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Is It Worth It?



The best part about blogging, as a beginner at woodworking, is that one learns much more than they would, were they doing the woodworking alone. Yesterday's blog had some great reactions, and posed a great question, is it worth it?

Is it worth the extra dollars for the expensive equipment? An experienced woodworker, who has tried a full gamut of tools, could give a solid argument for or against. I am not such a woodworker. With every purchase, the pros and cons must be weighed.

There is an old adage; you get what you pay for. There is another one which goes, buy the best tool you can afford. Of course, old Ben Franklin used to say, and probably would still, were his voice not impeded by a nasty case of death, 'A penny saved is a penny earned.' Historically, I have been a terrible impulse shopper, not at all taking Ben's advice. This has not been the case with woodworking however. (He said, knowing full and well, he ran amok with impulse purchases just yesterday, and wrote a considerable blog piece about that very fact.) It is the first time in my life where I have mulled over purchases for weeks or months, before making a decision. I spent a least a month deciding on the Bosch router. I took a week just to pick out a new set of drill bits. The decision to build or buy a router table started in November.

It isn't because of a new found restraint. It is more a case of fascination with all that is out there, and the research is definitely educational. I actually find the process enjoyable. Maybe it is that way with other things too, I wouldn't know, as I haven't ever tried it before. So this brings me back to the current items, which are trying their best to make it to the top of my list. I am considering the Festool RO Sander, a collection of nice chisels is something I would like, my first hand plane might be the Veritas block plane, a drill press or DJ1 drilling jig, a planer, SawStop table saw, and nice moisture meter.

There are lots of other wonderful items, like a band saw, lather, and some nice spray equipment for finishing furniture, but they aren't high enough on the list to mention. Oh wait, I just mentioned them. Oh well, I am on a roll.

So I continue to do research. Which brings me back to the discussion about the Festool sander we had today, and I don't know that I am able to give an answer one way or the other. I do know that I was very impressed with how the wood glowed after I used the 6" sander. So I wanted to check it out again. Today

I went prepared to do my own, very unscientific test. I took in a piece of rough cut walnut, cut to 33". I have lots and lots of this walnut, so this test will be more meaningful to me, than working on scrap pieces that Matt had with him. Because there wasn't a lot of time, I decided to a comparison based upon how much progress I could make in 15 minutes. Of course, I lost track of time, and ended up going 16 minutes.

This is how my test will go. I have spent 16 minutes sanding with the items that come in the 6" kit, on one side of the rough wood. I will now use my existing equipment, a belt sander and mouse sander, and see what I can accomplish in 16 minutes. I want to know how much difference there is between my current, albeit meager set up, and the Festool. It is not apples to bananas, by any means, and I am aware of that.

So today I have included a picture of the wood, in rough cut form, as a bit of a teaser for tomorrow's blog.



Now will this answer the question, "Is the extra money worth it, for the Festool, versus another company's less expensive option?" No, as I said, it isn't scientific. It will answer the question, how much improvement will I get for my dollars.

I should mention that there was a customer with Matt the Festool guy, when I arrived. He had a finishing sander with him, which he had bought about a year ago. He didn't feel like it did the job he wanted, not by a long shot. The customer builds furniture and cabinets and had used several other, very nice quality finishing sanders, before buying the Festool a year ago. He was very polite and explained that he honestly didn't know if it was his sander, or operator error. Matt got out the piece of tiger wood that I had sanded on one side the day before. The customer looked at it and said he remembered seeing a piece of wood at the demo last year, and he truly didn't believe that there wasn't a finish on the wood. I told him that I had done the sanding yesterday.

Matt turned the wood over and made a couple of passes with the customer's sander, using the 220 grit paper that was on it. He sanded for only a very short while, and then stopped. All three of us felt the wood. It felt just like I expected, as I had done the same thing the day before. The customer thought it felt really good too.

Around the table he walked, and grabbed a piece of scrap lumber and tried it himself. Sure enough, his sander worked just fine. But the customer still seemed confused. So they got the exact sander, which the customer had used, prior to buying the Festool. They fired it up and it was much noisier. After using both of them, side by side, the customer realized that his sander was working so much quicker, quieter, and the dust collection was so complete, that he was being fooled into thinking it wasn't working. The last tip that Matt gave him, was to dial down the vacuum, which when on high, sometimes creates too much suction. The middle of the road suction worked better for his model of sander. In the end, he loved his tool, and left feeling much better about his purchase.

So I am going to do my test, which will help me decide if I want to move it up the list. I may not learn anything that is helpful to anyone else, but what I will have done is recorded what I was thinking about and my reasoning for making the decision. This may one day, down the road, be incredibly valuable to me. I hope it will be interesting to all of you.
Just to comment on the earlier part of your blog, I think the reason we spend so much time agonizing over the decisions is because we are reminded of our choice every time we use the product. Every time I use my tablesaw, I kick myself because I made an error in my purchase. It is a good saw, but doesn't really meet the needs I purchased it for. On the other hand, I have a few tools, like my inexpensive $10 8" irwin flush cutting pull saw and my very expensive (compared to my other tools) that make me happy every time I use them (except when the DC pops a breaker - separate topic though).

I doubt I'll be getting a festool tool anytime in the future, but if i could afford it, I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up loving them. I'm looking forward to your comparison.
 

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Uncle Merle's Table



Tonight's blog is more of an update. I am sort of in a zone with flattening my router table top, and don't have much new to add. I did buy a 1" Freud bit, which has helped considerably. I am also getting better at making consistent passes over the wood, which has cut down on the slight variation from one pass to the next.

The most obvious part of this that has jumped out is that I have only done one side of the table top, and I just can't bear to not do the other side as well. So there is quite a bit more work to be done.



My great uncle Merle liked woodworking. I was pretty young, the last time I saw him, and I don't think I ever knew about his woodworking. I only found out, because I became interested in learning and my father mentioned it. A couple of weekends ago I was admiring a little round table with a lamp on it. It turns out that it was made by Merle Meeks. I know this, because he had written Merle Meeks and the year, 1977, on the bottom of it with some sort of burning iron thingy. I am sure they have a name, but alas, I don't know what they are called. It is a lovely little table, made from what I believe is walnut. The leg is turned and I am told that he was a big fan of working on his lathe. It has a nice finish on it and is a lovely piece of furniture. He did not, however, take the time to sand the underside of the feet of the table.

Now, I am sure my parents have had this table for some time, and like most people, spend very little time examining the underside of the feet. Of course, they haven't contracted woodworkers obsessive examiners disorder, or WOED. The first sign is when one notices the molding on a nice cabinet. Before contracting this disorder, which I am hoping will be covered under Obama care; I wouldn't have paid attention to such things. Now I open drawers, check for dovetails, salivate at the sight of lumber trucks, and generally think about woodworking all the time. I am hoping that once congress passes health care reform, I will be able to buy all the tools I need, for medicinal purposes, and only have a small co-pay. That would be lovely and I am sure it would improve my quality of life and make living with this terrible affliction, more bearable.

The second sign of being WOED is when one starts to obsess about the areas that are not going to be seen by anyone, like the underside of the feet on my Uncle's table. For me though, it is too late. I saw the saw marks on the bottom of those feet and thought, "I would have sanded that." In truth, the feet were eerily similar to the feet on my saw horses, of which, I did sand the undersides.

So that is where I am right now. The top side is nearly done and I am ready to move on to the other steps, but because of WOED, I just can't. So I think I will get back to work, flattening the part of the table that nobody will see, unless they are in the room when I am changing the router bit. This is unlikely, since I live in a town of 280, rarely get visitors, and if I did, wouldn't make them watch me change a router bit.
I like to push the writing envelope whenever I can, so I would like to conclude today's blog with the original intro I had written. Has that ever been done? Finishing with the beginning? I don't know. Surely I am on the cutting edge of blog writing technology? I digress.

(Original Intro) I am suffering from a mild case of 'writer's block of cheese'. This is commonly defined as "A cheesy writer who has, more than usual, nothing to say, though that rarely stops him or her." I could mention that today is the two month anniversary of my blogging journey, but that isn't terribly interesting. I could talk about the flattening of my laminated router table top, but that is probably getting a bit tired. I was even thinking I could do an episode of Henry Wood, but alas, I just don't feel it.

The end…or the beginning…I am not at all sure.

[Editor's Note: If anyone has any other symptoms of WOED, please leave them in the comments, as this will help us to get attention we deserve from the AMA.]
Trikzter and I are in the same boat. I'm delusional about how great a woodworker I can become when I plan out my next project. Thankfully, I often actually attempt the project and it brings me right back down to earth.
 

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The Glockenspiel



The first side is sanded and now I am starting to route flat the other side. I believe this second side will go even better, as I am clamping down onto a flat side. I have just started and the cuts seem to be more uniform. This seems like progress to me.

Earlier today, I got a message on Linkedin from a friend. She had found a writing contest, which required that one submit a story, under 300 words, using purple, tree, and glockenspiel. I felt that the gauntlet had been tossed at my feet, and I was ready for the challenge. A little while ago, when I took a break from my woodworking, I sat down and wrote my story. The story did not need to be about a glockenspiel, but I decided that I would make that my main character. I submitted it, comfortable in the knowledge that it is complete rubbish, but that I had finished the challenge. I can't wait to read my friends version, as she is a good writer.

Sadly, I may have sapped all of my daily allotment of creative juices for the day. So I don't seem to have anything funny or entertaining to say, regarding woodworking. That is too bad, but such is life. So here is the story about the tiny glockenspiel. It is really quite dreadful, but it is 298 words!

The Tiny Glockenspiel

Resting on a table made from the Peltogyne tree, more commonly called, Purple Heart, was the tiny glockenspiel. It has been there long enough that one could measure the time with a simple wipe of a finger across the dusty bars. A fine instrument, one that brought melodies to the ear and smiles to the faces of many football fans waiting for the second half. Those were the little glockenspiels happiest days.

He didn't get to attend college with his player. High school days, and marching under the Friday night lights, had been replaced by lectures and beers with friends. The little glockenspiel didn't figure into those plans, and so, he sat, on the tiny table, with a song, unsung, in his tiny heart.

From the table into a box he went, and the time passed. His little steel bars yearned to ring out, especially middle c. The tiny glockenspiel became resigned to his dark lonely world. He could hear things going on outside, he knew that there were people moving about, he heard them talking. He heard the voice of his player now and again.

He heard his player talking with her parents; she had brought a boy home to meet them. She showed the boy her room. He teased her about her posters and the band uniform hanging in her closet.

The lid of the box opened, the player took out the tiny glockenspiel, and rested it on her round belly. She hammered a few bars and sang, "Hush little baby…", then whispered, "This will be yours one day", while she rubbed her belly. The notes were clear; the glockenspiel was, for the first time in years, happy. She polished it, treasured it, and never put it in a box or out of her mind again.

So that was what I wrote. I realize it was abysmal and that you will never get that ninety seconds of your life back, but in my defense, I did tell you it was going to stink, so if you are reading this sentence, you have no one to blame but yourself.

One of the reasons it is just awful, is that I don't believe glockenspiels come in different sizes. Maybe they do, but I just can't imagine it. In retrospect, I think I should have tried to be funny, as I am sure I would have done a better job. Oh well, sometimes one, with delusions of wordsmith, pounds out a real disaster. It is a shame though, because glockenspiel is a funny word. I truly feel like I have squandered an opportunity.

I think I will go downstairs and get back to woodworking.
I think it would have been better if the instrument was MADE of purpleheart. Other than that, I think you are being too tough on yourself. It was a fun little read.
 

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Progressing Slowly



The flattening of the router table top took slightly less time than it did for China to put up a wall to keep out the neighbors' goats. I estimate that I spent around seven or eight hours flattening my laminated table top. I would imagine that, if I had run the boards through a planer, and then did some sanding; it would have taken less than 30 minutes. That is ok though, as I enjoyed myself and it is done now.

I really like the breadboard look. My friend Ryan made a really cool coffee table with a breadboard top and welded iron rods together, to create the legs. It is a brilliant use of materials which, when combined, created a stunning look. One day I may try my hand at welding and make my own version of his coffee table.

The next step in my router table is to figure out a good plan for routing out the edges, so that the base plate will fit in nicely. I have just cut the middle section in half. I decided to take a break after the cut and the stress testing. Stress testing you say? Why yes I did. I decided that to be thorough, I should let one of the halves drop to the floor while I focused on the circular saw. I like to be very careful with my power tools. The stress test indicated that one of the glue joints should probably be redone.

Ok, that isn't actually how it went down. But as it has been suggested, one of the keys to mastering woodworking is to be creative in how one looks upon unforeseen issues. I cut the pieces in half, one half was clamped to my workbench, the other half was in my right hand and I reached down to drop it, so I could bring my right hand up to my saw. When I did this, the one piece became two. So I called it a stress test and felt much better. Those two pieces have been glued back together and the glue is setting up at this very moment. There haven't been too many mistakes thus far, so I didn't feel to terrible, and I would rather have it happen now, than later on.

Right now, while I wait for the glue to dry, I am going to open up my Rousseau router base plate. There are lots of parts, which seem to be crying out to be lost. So I have a small bucket next to me, and I will carefully count them and toss them in the bucket. That way, I will know which ones I have lost, when I drop the bucket and the tiny parts shoot out in all directions. Now that I look at the packaging, it appears designed to explode the tiny bits everywhere, upon opening. It is obvious that I should open this in a space that will make it easier to track down the stuff, but alas, I am not going to follow gut on this one, and open it while I sit at my computer chair. Here it goes.

(1) Silver thingy that seems to be used by sticking it into the router plate for free hand routing of curved surfaces.

(6) Little brass things that one puts into wood, so that one can then screw tiny screws into them. I am guessing they have a name. Hopefully someone will be able to tell me what they are actually called.

(6) Plastic screws that fit into the brass things. I matched each one up with one of the brass things, so that I will lose them in pairs. That thought comforts me.

(1) Router base plate and instructions. I am very pleased to see the directions. I feared they would assume I knew what I was doing.

(4) Black plastic things with oval openings. Perhaps the directions will call these parts by their names? That would be lovely.

(4) Steel screws. Ok I don't really know what they are made of, but it is definitely metal and not plastic.

(4) Nuts with little spiky things on them. It is painfully apparent that my woodworking vocabulary is woefully inadequate. I paired the screws and nuts too.

Ok, now I am going to read the instructions.

Ok, page one has the word WARNING with exclamation points in triangles, all over it. I haven't read the warnings yet, but I am sure their inclusion, is a good indication, that it is likely thousands of people have been maimed or killed during the installation. Ok, the warnings were for general router use. Always wear eye protection, which I do, and don't wear loose clothing, which I don't. The word death did appear twice though.

The black plastic things are Corner Snuggers, which is a trademarked term, so don't go throwing it around all willie nillie.

The directions have instilled a sense of dread. My confidence is hovering around 12 %. Of course, I was equally terrified when I started to flatten the table top, and that turned out ok. I think I will stare at my shinny Rousseau plate for a bit, and perhaps become one with it. I am sure that is what a sharpening monk would do.
I don't know if this is what you mean by "Little brass things that one puts into wood, so that one can then screw tiny screws into them". Do you mean Threaded Inserts? I used them as part of the crib I built. They are a challenge to put in straight. I'm just telling you in case these are what you are talking about and you want to practice with a few before working on your actual project.
 

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I hate it when that happens...

While blogging tonight…something killed a skunk outside…I can smell it inside. Ugh. I finished my blog, posted it and mention it here…I don't know if it is good or not, but I can say with confidence that it stinks less than my house.

http://bit.ly/aKKkD4

Ok, I am leaving for Des Moines. I don't even have time to try to trick David or SPalm into giving it a read.
Happy Birthday. If you keep posting like this with just enough teaser to keep it a real post (as opposed to just spamming a link) I'll keep reading. I read almost all of the blogs and yours is very good.
 

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A complete lack of self restraint...

Hello Lumberjocks and Cats,

Today I shopped. I made a list, checked it thrice and headed out determined to stick to it.

The power of the Woodsmith store was just too great, and though I resisted the temptation to make any major Festool purchases, I did stray from the list.

Oh well. I had fun. Talked a bit of woodworking. And when I got home with my stuff watched UNI beat Kansas in basketball. I would rate that a pretty good day.

To see the actual rating I assigned today… http://bit.ly/dAuBFx

Brian
another good one
 

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Is it A Good Deal?



I awoke this morning and ate a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. As I sat and ate, nom nom nom, I thought about the rest of the day. This day was a 'blank sheet' and I had some 'writer's block'. I intended to work on my jig a bit, so I made a mental note on the blank page in my mind. As I stared at the sole objective it occurred to me that I needed another set of Rockler cam clamps, or as I like to call them, clampy thingies.

A trip to ACME was added to the list. That was all I needed on my list, as I was sure that other good ideas would present themselves. A quick shower and I was off. Out of AAA batteries and air filters for the furnace, I noted it and decided to keep my eyes open for a reasonable place to buy both.

ACME in Cedar Rapids has recently increased their hours on Saturday, now open until 5:00, or is it 5:30, I don't know, I just know that it is not 3:00. It is ironic that, on this day, I was not in danger of bumping up against 3:00. I arrived with all sorts of time to look around. I found my cam clamps, ran across a feather board, and then happened to see the Shop Fox set of templates. I already have this set. What was interesting is that when I saw it, I realized that my design for the router planer portion of my jig was all wrong. I didn't need to make a special base plate, I could just use the 1 inch template. The bit I had imagined using for the planing is actually 1 1/4", so it obviously wouldn't work. I picked out a lovely 3/4 Freud double flute straight bit.

While at ACME I met a delightful gentleman named Mr. Houser. He is a woodworker and turner. It was obvious that he is much more experienced than me, and we talked about lathes. I can't remember the name of his lathe, but it sounds very cool. It is made in Australia and doesn't have belts. How it keeps it's pants up, I don't know, nor did I ask. His mother was an artist who kept meticulous records and we discussed the merits of such. It did get me thinking about how I am, through the blog, actually keeping pretty good records of my projects. This made me happy.

Target called me into its big boxness and I looked about for my batteries and air filters, which I promptly found. I mentally crossed it off my list.

When downtown Marion appeared up ahead, the list suddenly included, 'shop at antique stores'. So I wondered into the Park Place Hotel Antique Mall. It is right next to the Boardwalk Hotel Antique Mall, and only a few spaces from Go. I did not pass Go, nor did I collect $200.00. In fact, I had a bit of a financial crisis.

At one of the booths there were a couple of very enticing hand planes. A Stanley 110, Stanley 220, and a Stanley 15 spokeshave. All 3 could be had for $79.00. I don't know if this is a good deal. I am hoping a reader will be able to tell me. I decided I would risk it. All three are in beautiful shape. I am sure the bottoms will need to be lapped and the blades sharpened, but to look at the bottoms they very nice. The rest of the bodies are excellent too. Now I don't now anything about antique hand planes, but I have been lusting after getting some planes, since I bought the English plane.

The problem began when she ran my debit card. It gave her a weird message that she had never seen, so she tried again, and it didn't work. I had checked my balance before leaving for the day, so I didn't know what the problem was until I got home. Both charges were pending. I called and asked her about it. It turns out that the antique mall isn't set up for debit cards and that was the problem. So I got on the phone and called PayPal and a very helpful man named Chris was able to cancel both sales. He was great, as if I had just waited for the charges to come off on their own, it would have taken 5 business days for the money to show up back in my account.

The good news is that the lady at the Antique Mall put all three items behind the counter for me. I will simply go get some cash tomorrow and then use legal tender to buy them. That is, unless the clever readers tell me I shouldn't. So the question of the day is this, is this a good deal. Stanley 110
Code:
 $25.00, Stanley 220
$25.00 and a Stanley spokeshave @ $29.00?
Yeah, I know you are pretty technology savvy already, but here has been my approach. check ebay, factor in shipping, and factor in that you can look at what you are buying. Even with good photos, it is easy to overlook a flaw (like a TINY crack in the sole) unless the seller points it out. The seller doesn't usually know what they are selling though. I know I'm posting too late to help you, but let us know what you decided.

For a very reasonable price, I'd strongly recommend a book on planes. While you can learn a lot about planes on the web, a book allows you to read from start to finish without the fear of huge gaps in your foundational knowledge. No book could teach you everything there is to know about planes, or even the come close, but it can give you a good overview of how they work, what to look for in used or new planes, and how to tune/use them. Aside from that, make sure you are reading Chris Schwarz blog. You'd love his writing style and you can search for the keyword "plane" to learn a lot for free. Then you'll buy his book just like i did.
 

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Is it A Good Deal?



I awoke this morning and ate a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. As I sat and ate, nom nom nom, I thought about the rest of the day. This day was a 'blank sheet' and I had some 'writer's block'. I intended to work on my jig a bit, so I made a mental note on the blank page in my mind. As I stared at the sole objective it occurred to me that I needed another set of Rockler cam clamps, or as I like to call them, clampy thingies.

A trip to ACME was added to the list. That was all I needed on my list, as I was sure that other good ideas would present themselves. A quick shower and I was off. Out of AAA batteries and air filters for the furnace, I noted it and decided to keep my eyes open for a reasonable place to buy both.

ACME in Cedar Rapids has recently increased their hours on Saturday, now open until 5:00, or is it 5:30, I don't know, I just know that it is not 3:00. It is ironic that, on this day, I was not in danger of bumping up against 3:00. I arrived with all sorts of time to look around. I found my cam clamps, ran across a feather board, and then happened to see the Shop Fox set of templates. I already have this set. What was interesting is that when I saw it, I realized that my design for the router planer portion of my jig was all wrong. I didn't need to make a special base plate, I could just use the 1 inch template. The bit I had imagined using for the planing is actually 1 1/4", so it obviously wouldn't work. I picked out a lovely 3/4 Freud double flute straight bit.

While at ACME I met a delightful gentleman named Mr. Houser. He is a woodworker and turner. It was obvious that he is much more experienced than me, and we talked about lathes. I can't remember the name of his lathe, but it sounds very cool. It is made in Australia and doesn't have belts. How it keeps it's pants up, I don't know, nor did I ask. His mother was an artist who kept meticulous records and we discussed the merits of such. It did get me thinking about how I am, through the blog, actually keeping pretty good records of my projects. This made me happy.

Target called me into its big boxness and I looked about for my batteries and air filters, which I promptly found. I mentally crossed it off my list.

When downtown Marion appeared up ahead, the list suddenly included, 'shop at antique stores'. So I wondered into the Park Place Hotel Antique Mall. It is right next to the Boardwalk Hotel Antique Mall, and only a few spaces from Go. I did not pass Go, nor did I collect $200.00. In fact, I had a bit of a financial crisis.

At one of the booths there were a couple of very enticing hand planes. A Stanley 110, Stanley 220, and a Stanley 15 spokeshave. All 3 could be had for $79.00. I don't know if this is a good deal. I am hoping a reader will be able to tell me. I decided I would risk it. All three are in beautiful shape. I am sure the bottoms will need to be lapped and the blades sharpened, but to look at the bottoms they very nice. The rest of the bodies are excellent too. Now I don't now anything about antique hand planes, but I have been lusting after getting some planes, since I bought the English plane.

The problem began when she ran my debit card. It gave her a weird message that she had never seen, so she tried again, and it didn't work. I had checked my balance before leaving for the day, so I didn't know what the problem was until I got home. Both charges were pending. I called and asked her about it. It turns out that the antique mall isn't set up for debit cards and that was the problem. So I got on the phone and called PayPal and a very helpful man named Chris was able to cancel both sales. He was great, as if I had just waited for the charges to come off on their own, it would have taken 5 business days for the money to show up back in my account.

The good news is that the lady at the Antique Mall put all three items behind the counter for me. I will simply go get some cash tomorrow and then use legal tender to buy them. That is, unless the clever readers tell me I shouldn't. So the question of the day is this, is this a good deal. Stanley 110
Code:
 $25.00, Stanley 220
$25.00 and a Stanley spokeshave @ $29.00?
I'm not saying this is the case, but if someone told me I overpaid when spending $80 on four planes, I'd say "Maybe I did, but I could have done much worse." The ones you got were in pretty good starting condition. Good luck.
 

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Is it A Good Deal?



I awoke this morning and ate a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. As I sat and ate, nom nom nom, I thought about the rest of the day. This day was a 'blank sheet' and I had some 'writer's block'. I intended to work on my jig a bit, so I made a mental note on the blank page in my mind. As I stared at the sole objective it occurred to me that I needed another set of Rockler cam clamps, or as I like to call them, clampy thingies.

A trip to ACME was added to the list. That was all I needed on my list, as I was sure that other good ideas would present themselves. A quick shower and I was off. Out of AAA batteries and air filters for the furnace, I noted it and decided to keep my eyes open for a reasonable place to buy both.

ACME in Cedar Rapids has recently increased their hours on Saturday, now open until 5:00, or is it 5:30, I don't know, I just know that it is not 3:00. It is ironic that, on this day, I was not in danger of bumping up against 3:00. I arrived with all sorts of time to look around. I found my cam clamps, ran across a feather board, and then happened to see the Shop Fox set of templates. I already have this set. What was interesting is that when I saw it, I realized that my design for the router planer portion of my jig was all wrong. I didn't need to make a special base plate, I could just use the 1 inch template. The bit I had imagined using for the planing is actually 1 1/4", so it obviously wouldn't work. I picked out a lovely 3/4 Freud double flute straight bit.

While at ACME I met a delightful gentleman named Mr. Houser. He is a woodworker and turner. It was obvious that he is much more experienced than me, and we talked about lathes. I can't remember the name of his lathe, but it sounds very cool. It is made in Australia and doesn't have belts. How it keeps it's pants up, I don't know, nor did I ask. His mother was an artist who kept meticulous records and we discussed the merits of such. It did get me thinking about how I am, through the blog, actually keeping pretty good records of my projects. This made me happy.

Target called me into its big boxness and I looked about for my batteries and air filters, which I promptly found. I mentally crossed it off my list.

When downtown Marion appeared up ahead, the list suddenly included, 'shop at antique stores'. So I wondered into the Park Place Hotel Antique Mall. It is right next to the Boardwalk Hotel Antique Mall, and only a few spaces from Go. I did not pass Go, nor did I collect $200.00. In fact, I had a bit of a financial crisis.

At one of the booths there were a couple of very enticing hand planes. A Stanley 110, Stanley 220, and a Stanley 15 spokeshave. All 3 could be had for $79.00. I don't know if this is a good deal. I am hoping a reader will be able to tell me. I decided I would risk it. All three are in beautiful shape. I am sure the bottoms will need to be lapped and the blades sharpened, but to look at the bottoms they very nice. The rest of the bodies are excellent too. Now I don't now anything about antique hand planes, but I have been lusting after getting some planes, since I bought the English plane.

The problem began when she ran my debit card. It gave her a weird message that she had never seen, so she tried again, and it didn't work. I had checked my balance before leaving for the day, so I didn't know what the problem was until I got home. Both charges were pending. I called and asked her about it. It turns out that the antique mall isn't set up for debit cards and that was the problem. So I got on the phone and called PayPal and a very helpful man named Chris was able to cancel both sales. He was great, as if I had just waited for the charges to come off on their own, it would have taken 5 business days for the money to show up back in my account.

The good news is that the lady at the Antique Mall put all three items behind the counter for me. I will simply go get some cash tomorrow and then use legal tender to buy them. That is, unless the clever readers tell me I shouldn't. So the question of the day is this, is this a good deal. Stanley 110
Code:
 $25.00, Stanley 220
$25.00 and a Stanley spokeshave @ $29.00?
I'll admit, I've never seen one that is actually called a "jack plane" like it is labeled on the box. I always thought it was really just a number 5 being called a jack. My guess is the value is being driven by the box and manual along with the fact that it is a sweetheart plane (assuming that logo went with the jack). If it were me, I'd sell it and buy an old #3,5, and 7 with the money. We are all different though. Just out of curiosity, does the box or instructions have a date printed on them? I couldn't find anything about your plane on patrick leach's website. I'm just wondering how old it is. It doesn't look THAT old, so I wonder what makes it so valuable to someone. The large brass knob also leads me to believe that it is a "newer" old plane. If you aren't interested, don't worry about looking into it. I'm not trying to send you on any errands to satisfy my curiosity. I'm just thinking aloud here.
 

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Things I Love

Hello LJ's,

I have glued the box together. It is a simple act, though I fussed over it for a long time. When the moment arrived to apply the glue, it was much less stressful than I imagined. I am getting excited about making another box. It will be far less scary. And likely go much quicker, as I won't be goofing around trying to understand what I am doing.

Tonight's post is entitled 'Things I Love'... http://su.pr/3c4T3s I hope you enjoy it.

Brian
i love your methodical approach. it's starting to look like a box! keep on keeping on.
 

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A Detailed Explanation of My Methodology

Hello LJ's,

It has been pointed out, and rightfully so, that I am really descriptive in every aspect of my blog posts, except my methodology. This is true and tonight I decided to give a much more detailed account of how I glue up a tiny box with 45 degree angled joints. I have lots of pictures and of course, a silly introduction.

Tragic Error in Communications - Extremely Average

http://su.pr/2dhgCI

Tonight's post made me chuckle. :)

Brian
I liked this post a bunch. your methodology is certainly different from what I usually see. I think most people use a band clamp for this type of thing (or even very strong rubber bands if the box is too small for a band clamp). This was an innovative way to clamp small pieces.i think the rubber band idea would only work to get a "semi-strong" joint that would be sufficient until you could add splines. A miter is only so strong doe to endgrain to endgrain glue ups. I get the feeling you won't be abusing a box of this size though.
 

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Introducing Fred

Hello All,

I finished another tiny box. http://su.pr/2HV6P5

Brian
Brian,
I've got to say that your latest box came out Extremely ABOVE Average. It's been fun watching you progress to this state. Sometimes it can get tedious working on the same things over and over while practicing. Your experience is a good reminder that it will pay dividends in the end. I really have to say this one came out great.
-JC
 

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Inlay Boxes

Hello All,

I took advantage of Labor Day to work on my tiny inlay boxes. I am almost done and they look like tiny boxes. I still have some sanding and finishing to do, but that can be done tomorrow. Tonight, I am going to watch the rest of the Boise St. vs. VA Tech game.

http://su.pr/66ZjBl

Brian
I hope you enjoyed the game more than me. Hokies were one 1st down away from a win. I'm pretty sure Boise will go on to the national championship. A precedent has been set when the Hokies lose to a major opponent early in the last 10 yrs (USC, LSU, Alabama). I'll try and take a look at your post tomorrow. Right now I'm kinda depressed for my guys. I think tonight shoulda been our turn after 10 yrs of this.
 

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Inlay Boxes

Hello All,

I took advantage of Labor Day to work on my tiny inlay boxes. I am almost done and they look like tiny boxes. I still have some sanding and finishing to do, but that can be done tomorrow. Tonight, I am going to watch the rest of the Boise St. vs. VA Tech game.

http://su.pr/66ZjBl

Brian
well, your Buckeyes have a big game of their own this coming weekend. I've got several co-workers that are fans so I know I'll be watching with hopes of a good game. OSU looks like they've got a lot of potential (as usual). Take care.
 

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More Henry Wood

Hello All,

I have undertaken a new job, and it will take up much of my time, for the holidays. As some of you may know, I started blogging Jan 2, of 2010, and done so every day since then. I have posted links to most of the woodworking posts (which make up about 85% of my blog) here, and I try to focus the majority of my effort on woodworking. But over the next two months, I may have many days which are too full to allow for woodworking, and thus, a blog about my woodworking.

So I am starting my next Henry Wood novel or novella. I won't know the correct term, until I am finished. I feel badly that I won't be able to write as much about woodworking, but alas, that is the state of things in my life for the next two months. Writing fiction, is something I can do, while on break and such. Woodworking, not so much.

This is Chapter 1 of Henry Wood (Time and Again) the chapter is entitled, 'The Song'.

http://su.pr/7vqe4c

Sincerely,

Brian Meeks
Good Luck Brian,
Most of us that do woodworking as a hobby get pulled away from time to time. We'll all be here when you get time to get back to it. I'll wish you the best with this new job you are taking on!
 

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I did it!

Hello All,

I just posted chapter 35 Henry Wood. I wrote a blog piece every day of the last year. In truth, because of guest blogging, I actually wrote around 380 posts, but the point is, I didn't take a day off! I couldn't have made it without all of your kind words.

Thanks,

Brian

http://extremelyaverage.com/2011/01/henry-wood-time-and-again-ch-35-moments-in-time/
I'm glad you aren't worried about it. I think that when you do have an error, it just stands out more because it is in good writing. When you self-proofread and need to turn material out quickly, these things can be tough to find. I've noticed I pick up most of my errors if I can come back to my writing a day or so later with fresh eyes. A daily blog doesn't really allow for it.

Keep up the good work. I read the occasional Henry Wood, but have never been a big reader of that genre. I ALWAYS check out the woodworking posts though. Happy new year!
 

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Hello Long Lost Friends

Hello LJs,

I have not posted in a long long time. I used to post every night, but eventually my blog was no longer about woodworking, just additional chapters of my Henry Wood Detective novels.

Back in October I got a job which required leaving my home. The long commute really shortened my days and I lost my 'Woodworking Time'. I had only enough time to write every day.

On Monday I went to the Woodsmith store and picked up a couple of magazines and a nice piece of cherry. I intend to make a few more tiny boxes to give away to promote the release of my first novel. 'The Henry Wood Detective Agency' got its start right here on Lumberjocks and now I am about to finish up the 3rd in the series. (All three should be released this summer, with at least the 1st one having a print edition.)

I wanted to thank everyone who encouraged me and followed Henry on his adventures. So Thanks. Tonight I wrote a blog post with some of the details about how Henry Wood came about and where he is now, if anyone is interested.

http://extremelyaverage.com/2011/05/story-of-the-writing-of-henry-wood/

Thanks,

Brian

p.s. I will however keep posting anything with woodworking foibles. :) Monday I start my new tiny boxes!
Hey Brian,
I was about to check in with you to see if you were going to get back into woodworking blogs any time soon. I've missed your posts. Congrats on your writing!
 
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