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Project Information

Carpenters grease box
As a lover of old tools I present; LJ's grease pot…

A long time ago I read that the old days carpenters used to have a grease pot on the bench, or a pocket version to bring out.
When you see the old wooden planes that are allmost black, it this layer of grease (75% fat / 25 % bees wax).
The grease was used to make a better glide when planing, and also to care for the steel and wood, to prevent dry out, and rust. It is also good for screwing a tough screw in, just dip it in a little grease.

The other day I fell over this on ebay.
And I remember having seen this also, so now was the time.

I desided to make my own version, and as I made the first glue up, I was inspired for one more.

The first one are designed for the workshop, it's allmost a bandsawbox, except I drilled out the center piece.
After I glued the buttom on, and finished the sides with a steel brush to enhance the texture, and the end grain polished up to mirror finish. The lid are attached by a brassscrew, and the lid simply turns, no locking.

The second box, are thought to be my bring allong box, so the egg shape was a shape I thought would be wonderfull to have in the pocket. I keept it a little rough in the finish, and then the whole box was polished up to a mirror finish, just for the sweetness. The lit are attached by a brass nail, that are epoxy'ed into the base, and locks by a little nail piece, that slice up and down.

I filled mine up with beeswax, since I have no experience with the fat, and also I'm on a diet!

Here are a recipe for Grease box, Grease our friend Alba blogged for all of us - thank you.

I'll post a blog with a tutorial when I have the time.
Perhaps this could be a challange for all you old tool lovers here, to make a interesting grease pot… So we can see the imagination here.

You have to see what our friend DIV's grease box version.

I made a blog about the grease box story.

And I made some other versions also; Grease box III (for Div), MaFe Overkill grease box (the Roy Underhill version)

_Hope it can be to some inspiration,

MaFe

Gallery

Comments

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Mad F, stop making us jealous with all your little wonderful shop additions! I suppose that is what you get when vintage architects become fanatical rhykenologists. PS, I see you have a new signature…
 

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Hi my friend,
Yes I changed my signature in your honor!
I was hopeing to make you jealous… Perhaps even to provoke you and somer other LJ's to take up the challange, and make your versions of this.
Best thoughts,
Mads
 

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I accept the challenge. Watch this space…!
 

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Good job on it. Thanks for the post, You could use a little mineral oil or vegetable oil to soften the bees wax. Just use very low heat or double boiler when you melt it. 50/50 will soften it quite nicely.
 

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Thank you Topamax,
Perhaps I'm just to much of a 'modern' man, but the thought of 75% fat…
So I'll try your advice.
DIV: I can't wait to see your version(s).
Best,
MaFe
 

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Very cool and very useful! Great Project! Thanks for sharing.
 

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sweetness itself :) i need one of those. it makes me happy to see your projects!

i think you've waxed your cogs and greased your bearings mads, the projects are just flying out of you.
 

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Roy Underhill made one last season. His was rectangular and had a pretty complicated lid system. He's got plans for it on his school's web site.
 

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Sweet
 

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Now that is just too cool to not have one in my shop. Thanks for sharing!
 

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Roy Underhill just did a nice in depth article on these called "Tallow Tales & the Black of Handplanes Of Britain" in the latest Popular Woodworking. I was wondering when I was gonna start seeing these pop up in the forums.
 

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That would be a welcome addition to any woodworker's apron. Great job.
 

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Hi Mads, that is a very nice and useful project. I like it. You always make me laugh- you did not use the fat because you were on a diet!! HaHa . Great sense of humor!!

I watched a blacksmith in Indiana at the Feast of the Hunter's moon and when he finished with one of his fancy twisted iron pieces, he dipped it while hot in a wax/fat solution and it turned black and he said it would not rust!

Did you get the beeswax in a paste form? I have a sheet of brown beeswax that I use to lubricate my bandsaw blade every time I cut aluminum, but I never saw the paste version.
 

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I rendered out some bear grease about 20 years ago. There must have been a little too much light in the cool dark place. It went rancid in my jars:-(( I only had a couple of plain old clear glass jars. Guess I should have found some little brown jugs for it :))
 

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I was just considering melting my bar of beeswax into an Altoids type tin. Why it never occurred to me to create a wooden box for this purpose is beyond me. Especially since most of my woodworking is box making. Thanks for the inspiration and great work!
 

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Hi guys,
Thank you for the great intrest and the comments, I can see that 500 looked in, so I guess it's not just me, that found it facinating.
Now I really look forward to see some grease boxes comming up here at LJ.
Jim, I never heard of this to use wax while cutting aluminium, but it must 'bee' for the same purpose, to void friction. to be or not to 'bee'...
Mads
 

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mafe,

i love hand tools and old school approaches, thanks for the insights and the cool links. i really liked the dovetail locking mechanism on the box in one of your links. i use bees wax on my table saw, planer and jointer. heck, the delta 13" jointer barely works without coating the infeed and outfeed tables with beeswax. with the wax coating, it works great.

thanks for the postings!!
 
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