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Blog series by paxorion updated 10-05-2015 01:46 AM 41 parts 86910 reads 69 comments total

Part 1: My woodworking goal: to never have to (default on) buying furniture again...

05-18-2014 12:57 AM by paxorion | 2 comments »

As a hobbyist, I had to set a goal to justify to myself why the time, energy, and money (fun can’t just be the goal) is a worthwhile expenditure. I set the goal to grow high enough in skill level, so that any piece of furniture that I or my wife may like, is within reason for me to build on my own. And so I set my woodworking goal, to be at a skill level where I can build any piece of furniture that we might want, so that I never have to default on buying furniture that we like. Fa...

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Part 2: My daughter asked "Daddy I sleep on floor?"

05-18-2014 01:11 AM by paxorion | 8 comments »

My wife and I were recently (forced to) transition our daughter’s crib to a toddler bed. I say forced to because one day, she decided to go on a diaper protest and fully potty train herself. Unfortunately, her potty training regiment did not include training to stay in her bed. She is absolutely horrible in her sleep and rolls around everywhere! As a result, there wasn’t a single night where we didn’t hear a thud, from the poor girl falling out of her bed (6 inches is a ...

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Part 3: "Sleep on floor" Update - Toddler-resistant and the journey to limbo

05-27-2014 08:40 PM by paxorion | 0 comments »

One week (and many hyper toddler body-slam attacks) later, the bed rail is still standing strong. It is rather surprising given that the entire project is MDF, held together with glue and nails. I’m also happy to report that despite a few attempts to sleep on the floor, my daughter has stayed safely in her bed throughout the night for over a week. Unfortunately, my hopes of properly finishing the project over the Memorial Day weekend has been thwarted, as a toddler’s bedtime ...

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Part 4: Lumberjockette in the making!

06-07-2014 10:50 PM by paxorion | 14 comments »

This morning, when I ran down to the basement for something (probably laundry), my 2 year old daughter did what she always does and followed me downstairs. While I had my back turned, I heard what sounded a lot like sanding, and was worried that my daughter was up to mischief with the Craigslist dresser rehab project I left out. When I turned around, low and behold, I saw this… Turns out, she saw a sanding sponge on the floor, picked it up, and knew what to do. She got straigh...

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Part 5: Improv Fir Step Stool [Part 1]

07-09-2014 03:49 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

A few weeks ago, I was looking through my humble wood stash and saw a few large boards of remaining fir from my Wing Chun Dummy project and wondered what I could make for my family that would be a practical use of material. Later that day, I had to lift my daughter up to the sink to wash her hands, when it hit me that a step stool would be useful. Knowing that I have plans on making the Popular Woodworking I Can Do That Step Stool, I had to come up with a different design for the fir. Be...

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Part 6: Improv Fir Step Stool [Part 2]

07-11-2014 03:10 AM by paxorion | 2 comments »

I decided to take my wife’s strong hinting that dowels would “look better” than capped screws as a justification to pick up some new woodworking tools and accessories. Stopped by my local Woodcraft this evening and picked up a dowel center set. I almost spent some more money for a doweling jig, but decided to use my Kreg shelf pin jig to make myself a drill guide (I don’t have a drill press at home). After a few minutes of creative clamping (no vise either) and dril...

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Part 7: Improv Fir Step Stool [Part 3] - SAS Regiment

07-21-2014 01:18 AM by paxorion | 1 comment »

After a brief hiatus thanks to work and social obligations (groomsman in a friend’s wedding), I finally had a chance to dive into the SAS regiment (sand, assemble, stain). This project is certainly becoming an interesting exercise in using up what I have lying around. Sanding: I sanded all the parts (except the top) down to 220 grit prior to the glue-up. It can get tricky sanding small parts (with a random orbit sander) when you don’t have a vise, but you’d be amazed wh...

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Part 8: First turning project - Cherry Pepper Mill

07-23-2014 03:22 AM by paxorion | 1 comment »

A few years ago (before we were married), my wife bought me a monstrously huge pepper mill (I think it was about 3 feet long). It was awesome, except for the fact that it was a pain to use and had formed a fairly substantial crack over the years. Fate would have it that my daughter developed a huge love for dismantling it (apple doesn’t fall far from the tree), and lost several key pieces of the grind mechanism. After a painful hunt, we decided to give up on that mill and consider bu...

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Part 9: First turning project - Cherry Pepper Mill [Part 2]

07-28-2014 01:04 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

I picked up some Arm-R-Seal on Friday during the Woodcraft anniversary sale and I am definitely a believer in the product’s quality. For starters, it is so easy to use, and levels itself off very nicely. I have finished four coats so far, and plan on putting 1 more coat on tonight, before I let the mill cure for a few days. Looking forward to a grind come next weekend! (My wife can’t wait)

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Part 10: Dresser Rehab [Part 1] - 3 years of procrastination taking a toll & Microsoft Project to the rescue!

08-18-2014 01:53 AM by paxorion | 3 comments »

This project series will be documenting (hopefully) the end of 3 years of project procrastination. When we found out we were having a girl (back in May 2011), my wife had this grand design vision of a modern vintage furniture theme in her room. One of the focal points she has been on the prowl for, was an old dresser to “upcycle”. Fast forward 2.5 years later (November 2013), she finally find a dresser on Craigslist that fits the design aesthetic she was looking for. After g...

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Part 11: Dresser Rehab [Part 2] - HVLP Priming

08-28-2014 03:48 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

Two weekends and a good amount of work has gone into the dresser. Following my project schedule, I managed to… Pick up the plywood and processed it into drawer stock, ready to be cut to length for box construction. Build out the inside dresser to be ready to install the full extension drawer guides Cut replacement “dust frames” Completely scuff sand the dresser case Breaking out my HF HVLP Spray Gun kit Spray Zinsser BIN primer on the dresser case and drawer fr...

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Part 12: Dresser Rehab [Part 3] - We have drawers!

09-15-2014 03:20 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

When I set out to rehab this dresser, my wife and I agreed to use do it once and do it right. On her wish list for this project, was to make sure the drawers worked well. To meet that goal, I opted to tear out the old drawers, saving the fronts to be attached to new drawer boxes with full extension glides. Retro-fitting full extension glides was a lot more work than I expected. I had… Glue/nail in a few pieces of plywood to account for the 1.25 offset from the frace frame”...

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Part 13: Birthday Party Activity [Part 1] - 20 Duck push toys need lots and lots of wheels

09-19-2014 02:49 AM by paxorion | 5 comments »

With the break point in my dresser rehab project (waiting for a day when I can spray the paint top coat on the dresser), I got started on my daughter’s birthday party activity. Inspired by the Grasshopper pull toy posted by Marc Spagnoulo, I decided to adapt the idea as a birthday party activity for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. My wife and I are a more of the hands-on “make it” type amongst a pool of not so hands on friends. I suggested the idea to my wife that, R...

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Part 14: Birthday Party Activity [Part 2] - Duck Duck, Goose?

09-21-2014 08:41 PM by paxorion | 1 comment »

With only a few more weekends to go, the time will undoubtedly fly by before my daughter’s birthday party. Knowing my track record, I opted to high tail it, so that I would be able to pre-prime the parts before the party. I managed to sneak some time in this weekend to: Trace out and rough cut the remaining 16 ducks – I tried to do as much work as I could at home before heading into the shop. I’ve decided I need a new jig saw. My Skil (older version of the 4290 one) i...

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Part 15: Birthday Party Activity [Part 3] - Start em early, start em young

10-06-2014 03:28 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

Yesterday was my monthly daddy daughter day (DDD). After a long day of activities and dietary violations (ice cream anyone), I told my daughter that daddy wanted to sand the ducks for her birthday party. Her response was “should I help?”. So off the DDD duo went to sand all of the ducks. Most of the work was done by me outdoors, with my daughter safetly behind a closed patio door. After I was fairly confident I had blown away and wiped down all the dust from the ducks, I let ...

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Part 16: Dresser Rehab [Part 4] - Almost finished...well finished but some assembly required

10-12-2014 08:22 PM by paxorion | 1 comment »

After an unexpectedly long detour detour to get my ducks in a row for my daughter's birthday party, I finally got to spraying on the paint for the dresser rehab. This was no easy feat, as I had to tackle two major roadblocks. I needed to get over my fear of trying out a HVLP. Since I was using a Harbor Freight HVLP, I wasn’t sure how well it would work. I had to get my wife to mix the paint color she wants out of the 3 cans of General Finishes milk paint we bought a while back. ...

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Part 17: Dresser Rehab [Part 5] - Screwed...

10-19-2014 03:00 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

After a rather busy work week, I was confident that the paint on the dresser drawer fronts were fully cured. So tonight, I got to work attaching the drawer fronts to the dresser. The fronts were attached to the drawers with 3/4” Spax screws. When I got to re-attaching the drawer pulls, I found out that I was screwed. Well to be exact, the screws weren’t long enough. somewhere between 1/2” to 3/4” too short that is. Guess it’s off to the store tomorrow to bu...

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Part 18: Dresser Rehab [Part 6] - Hardware tweaking and tangent...

10-20-2014 03:41 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

My wife wanted to re-purpose the pulls to a satin nickel color. After a few quick sprays of some Rustoleum spray, we have some “satin nickel” pulls. While waiting for the paint to cure, we decided to move the dresser up to my daughter’s room. It’s already loaded up and ready for use. I figure I’ll attach the hardware tomorrow night once the paint is cured. We still have plans to rehab my bachelor days Ikea dresser for use in my son’s room, and to...

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Part 19: Dresser Rehab [Part 7] - Epilogue

10-21-2014 12:43 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

The dresser is finally done with the project posted! And my wife has turned around and asked for some work (strip and re-paint) to be re-done to my old bachelor days Ikea dresser for our son. My first declaration was (naturally) ”I know just the tool to get the job done! But I don’t have it so I’ll have to buy it to get started. wink”. I’ve decided to take a different approach with this project to “have fun”. So for my first round of fun…mo...

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Part 20: Storage Crates [Part 1] - Furring strips! How cheap can I go?

11-11-2014 02:59 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

Sometimes I think my wife enjoys my hobby more than I do. After all, she keeps coming up with project upon project that she would like me to make for her. Having finally finished that upcycled dresser and shocked all of our friends with the duck painting kits for my daughter’s birthday party, the took the day off to make some progress on the next 2 projects. First on the agenda was to make some headway on the end-grain cutting boards for my in-laws Christmas present. Nothing excit...

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Part 21: Storage Crates [Part 2] - Oh the pith =(

11-11-2014 03:24 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

Part one of the storage crate project began with material procurement. About a week ago, I went to my local Lowes to pick up as many straight-ish furring strips I could pull off. What I found is that either my local Lowes doesn’t stock enough of the 1×4 furring strips or they are an obscenely popular product. After scouring through what was left, I walked away with 10 boards that were acceptably straight. Unfortunately, about 4 of the boards had the pith in it, so time will tel...

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Part 22: Storage Crates [Part 3] - Wife needs to run a few errands = A lot less woodworking

11-12-2014 12:38 AM by paxorion | 1 comment »

Public holidays are great for weekend warriors, who can pack in a lot of woodworking in a finite amount of time. After falling behind on my 2 day woodworking schedule (due to a shortage of clamps), I had high hopes of making up the time, getting through pre-sanding of all the parts so that I can handle finishing in the evening hours before assembly. Unfortunately my hopes were dashed when I was informed by my wife that she had lunch plans for us as a family, followed by many errands that wo...

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Part 23: Storage Crates [Part 4] - Man is it cold... but thankfully I'm almost done?

11-15-2014 01:23 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

A little bit of work here, a little bit of work there. It is not fun woodworking outdoors in the cold. After a few days of scattered work, the crates are now assembled. I think the make-shift finger joints look quite nice. Given my choice of material (SPF furring strips), and my low expectations for long-term survival, the crates are assembled with just screws (no glue). Each side of the crate has 6 screws and the hardboard panel is floating in the groove. My daughter had a blast ...

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Part 24: Storage Crates [Part 5] - Do you want to do some special painting with daddy?

11-16-2014 02:26 AM by paxorion | 2 comments »

Braving the cold weather today meant I was able to finish sanding and apply the stain. Rather than spending the time staining on my own, I asked my daughter if she wanted to do some “special painting” with daddy. So off we went to apply the first coat of stain. All that arts and crafts time with mommy must have paid off cause this 3 year old did an awesome job. I decided to try Rustoleum Ultimate Wood Stain and was surprised to see acceptable blotching. The 1-2 hour re-coat t...

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Part 25: Storage Crates [Part 6] - Finished!

11-19-2014 03:29 AM by paxorion | 1 comment »

After a few days of applying polyurethane, the crates are now fully finished. A total of 3 coats were applied each day for the past 3 days. With that, another project is finished! Now for about a week of curing time, and then they can be put to use. When I declared project completion, my wife’s response was “well, I still want to put some labels and rope handles on them.” My response, “my job is done….” Once the finish is fully cured, a new pr...

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Part 26: Too many cutting boards...

11-30-2014 01:56 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

We had a slight break in the cold weather in my neck of the woods, so I ducked outdoors to do a bit of sanding of the cutting boards my wife asked me to make as Christmas presents for several of her family members. The router bit I used for my router sled left a bit of a mangled surface on the 3 end-grain cutting boards, so armed with a brand new Ridgid belt sander, I got to work with some cautious sanding. I can’t say I’m too experienced with a belt sander, so I am rather pro...

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Part 27: On the (business day) night before the Christmas (door decorating contest...)

12-11-2014 03:20 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

With Christmas just around the corner, I was gearing up to “close up” my outdoor shop for the winter. Work however, would have different plans. The Friday before the a Christmas door decorating contest, my colleagues and I were brainstorming decorating ideas. The design for our decorated door was coming into fruition when one colleague declared that I could make the tree and star for the door. At first, I cringed, knowing that the weather was cold, and without a band saw rea...

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Part 28: Doll House [Part 1] - My wife asked if I wanted to do any woodworking this past weekend

12-29-2014 05:09 PM by paxorion | 0 comments »

We’ve had unseasonably nice weather in my neck of the woods this past weekend. After a few days of family time and activities for Christmas, my wife asked me if I was going to take advantage of the nice weather this past Saturday to get some woodworking done. Since she offered, I couldn’t refuse and wanted to come up with a project to work on. On Saturday morning, I asked my daughter (she’s 3) what she wanted me to make her, and she said a wooden cutting board. I thoug...

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Part 29: Doll House [Part 2] - Wife says, "This is starting to become a complicated project"

12-30-2014 04:04 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

Got to work assembling the doll house today. With two units to assemble, I couldn’t resist “justifying” my black Friday haul of Jet parallel clamps. Each unit went something like this. I mentioned to my wife that I opted to use my best clamps first. She replied “of course, you have them”. All in all, 12 parallel clamps for the glue-up. It feels like a cheap existence, clamping up MDF. Once the carcasses were clamped up, I declared that picking the ...

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Part 30: Doll House [Part 3] - Half a house from Once Upon An Alphabet

01-16-2015 03:25 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

I’m down to the finish line for this doll house project. The Back – When it came time to attach the back, I busted out all of my 12” F-style (got to use my Small Business Saturday and Christmas clamp purchases) and a few Quick Grips (SL300s) clamps to glue to back panel on. Once fully clamped up, I asked my daughter if she thought daddy needs more clamps. She said yes. Painting – The paint scheme turned out to be a multi-part paint job. My wife caved and s...

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Part 31: I went for some Swedish meatballs, and walked out with a bonus chuckle

01-19-2015 03:46 PM by paxorion | 3 comments »

My 3 year old daughter associates the letter I with 3 things: her name, ice cream, and IKEA. This past weekend, I took her to IKEA to get ice cream, and to cause chaos running around the showroom. Armed with a bag (which was quickly forgotten) she got to work, wrecking a few hours of havoc in the store (and my psyche). About 2 hours in, we got to the dresser section. While I was there, a husband and wife couple were “cordially” debating over the stained or laminate venee...

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Part 32: Ribba must be short for Ribbaff

01-19-2015 08:02 PM by paxorion | 2 comments »

The night before my trip to IKEA this past weekend, my wife asked me to pick up a few RIBBA picture ledges for my son’s room. At first I said “sure”, until I saw the price. Sticker-shock is an understatement as we both agreed that the shelf is nothing short of a ribb-aff (rip-off). For $10 (the cost per shelf), I’m convinced I could make more than she 4 shelves that was requested. When I was IKEA, I scouted out this RIBBA shelf and found that it was just 3 ...

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Part 33: Workbench Time [Part 1]

05-17-2015 07:50 PM by paxorion | 3 comments »

For a while, I had been working on saw horses with a melamine coated piece of MDF I picked up from the Ikea as-is section. After abusing that thing for 2 years, I figured it was time to embark on a build. My goal for the workbench was to make it as inexpensive as possible. I first thought of going the 2×12 douglas fir route, but opted to liquidate my stash of MDF. The MDF was laminated with Titebond and wood screws across 2 sessions. After finishing the lamination, I double sticke...

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Part 34: Basement Wall Cabinets [Part 1]

05-25-2015 03:39 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

When my wife and I bought our townhouse, I promised to take on some DIY projects to improve the storage options. When I took up woodworking, I amended that promise to make cabinets to improve the storage options in our house. Fast forward 7 years, I decided to finally get to the first project on the list. I picked up 2 sheets of 3/4 birch plywood from Home Depot on Friday night. Had them cut in the store and after moving them into my basement, I committed to breaking them down sooner ra...

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Part 35: Basement Wall Cabinets [Part 2] - Done?...

07-22-2015 03:40 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

It occurred to me that it’s been 2 months since I posted anything. I’m actually done with the basement wall cabinet build and install and posted it as a project in my gallery. All in all, if I had to time the build, at most 25% of the actual working time was spent on the actual construction of the cabinets and doors, 75% on the finishing (experimenting with thinning and spraying the 5 coats of finish used: 1x primer, 2x paint, 2x water-bourne polyurethane). I for one am certa...

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Part 36: First hand-cut dovetail

07-22-2015 03:44 AM by paxorion | 6 comments »

Being bored one night, I decided to head down to my basement and give hand cutting a dovetail a whirl. I had never hand cut a dove tail before and drew the layout lines on a whim. After some work with a saw that was certainly not meant for hand cut dovetails, a coping saw meant for moulding not woodworking, and chiseling, I had my first (sloppy) dovetail. Say what you will, I’m pretty proud of winging it and learning a thing, two or two hundred for myself.

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Part 37: Restock - Baby's first trip to the hardwood dealer

07-25-2015 08:18 PM by paxorion | 9 comments »

I had to restock on some maple today, so I told my wife that I was off to the hardwood dealer in the morning and that the kids were coming with me. I was fine with my daughter coming with me as it wasn’t her first trip with me. However this was a first for my son. Upon arrival, my daughter knew what to do…head straight to the racks. My son was a bit confused. Eventually, he got the hang of it and started calling out to daddy. I was looking for maple, but not 4/4 While I ...

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Part 38: Workbench Time [Part 2] - Nice legs?

08-16-2015 05:40 AM by paxorion | 0 comments »

After a few months of slacking off, I’m finally picking back up my workbench project. I purchased 3×2x10’s from the big box store and had them drying in my basement for a few weeks. The plan calls for legs that around 3.75” square, built up like a French Roubo workbench. Tonight, I got to milling the lumber. After filling the dust collector, I was finally done milling the material, and glued up the legs. I decided to glue up 2 legs per clamp up. After fini...

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Part 39: Workbench Time [Part 3] - Ready to work

09-12-2015 02:22 PM by paxorion | 2 comments »

Last night, after several nights of working on and off on the project, I finally finished my workbench and I couldn’t be happier. There’s still a few loose ends to take care of (adding the shelf for heavier tool storage. I will write more about it in the project post.

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Part 40: Silverware/Cutlery Tray [Part 1] - Clamps - Got em? Use em!

09-19-2015 09:53 PM by paxorion | 1 comment »

After finishing my workbench, I realized that I had no projects in progress. I mentioned this to my wife, and said I would finally get to the tea box she requested. As expected, she asked me to re-order my priority list and work on a more “urgent” project, a new silverware/cutlery tray. Ours has seen better days, with a few partitions broken for some time now. After taking some measurements and working out “requirements”, I set to work today. I picked several ch...

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Part 41: No hand planing for you = Crocodile tears...

10-05-2015 01:46 AM by paxorion | 1 comment »

Premise: In the last few months, I had picked up a Woodriver low angle block plane and 2 made in America bench planes (a Stanley #4, and a Sargent #5 equivalent). Despite the acquisitions, I have been putting off the honing of the blades out of procrastination for some time now. This was mainly due to the knowledge that the 2 antique plane irons needed some serious work. After seeing this month’s Woodcraft sale on DMT Dia-Sharp diamond plates, I decided to bite the bullet and go pick...

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