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Blog entry by toolchap posted 02-11-2011 07:17 PM 1304 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I trust all is seen as a melding together of blogs. Different pages, different days. Sometimes same projects.

I came from the workshop earlier shaking. I admit fear in many things. This was relief. I had assembled the sole and cheeks of the toyplane I am working on and so much time had gone into the preparation. I prefer to silver solder much of my work as the temeratures are not too high yet the bonding is amazingly strong. (Just think of silver-soldered bandsaw blades tensioned to about 14-20 000 pounds. And yes, if any of you wish for a quick self-help on joining broken blades, I will gladly share.)

Still today, even after putting torch to white and yellow gold…..yes, Portapak torch, I still fear overheating and collapse. Bronze, especially delicate does not tolerate haste. Castings collapse and bins go clunk with the result. The tips of the dovetails on the bronze cheeks are delicate and I had mistakenly taken a 20% rod instead of a 50% rod which melts at a lower temperature. Then to crown it, as I was soldering I thought I saw a warp. “Differential metals!” was screaming in my mind. The bronze is expanding and taking the sole with it. Why the hell didn’t I just peen it at the start. I am stubborn. Very stubborn. Extremely taken to repetition as well. Forgive me please. This is like talking to a friend so I know its okay. I grabbed the plane with the needle-nose pliers and my eyes were playing tricks on me. The cheeks are curved as it is a coffin shaped plane and those curved planes were playing havoc with my eyes. Long story short, I succeeded and went to dress it off, only to discover that I had gone too high with the temerature and tiny bubbles had formed in the solder. Now comes those moments when you scrunch your eyes, look at the thing and wish it away. You tell yourself no-one will notice, they will just see the beautiful little plane. But I know. Dammit! I know it is there. Back to the bench and this time with a 50% rod, easing it into the tiny holes. Cool off and back to dressing. Tinier holes. Ball-peen hammer anvil me plane. These are the times I hate aspiring to perfection. I always fail. But I’ll die trying. I peened the metal tighter and dressed it.

Sitting here I am relieved. I realise tonight when I wake up I will be building tomorrows problems while everyone sleeps around me.

It is sitting on our Burmese Teak dining room table. I swear I saw the glimmer of a smile from the cheeks. Or maybe it was soft light playing between the bronze and steel…...

7 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4364 days

#1 posted 02-11-2011 09:54 PM

when the new tools you are making start to smile at you so soon in the making
means two things either they have decided they will tease you for the rest of your life
or they are so glad to come a live so they will sing for you as long as you want
and to many more generations of woodworkers

Hmmm… little thing missing ….

take care

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4267 days

#2 posted 02-11-2011 11:22 PM

I think Dennis hit the nail on the head!

I have made a couple of carving knives from a metal reciprocating cut off saw blade. The blade is 1/8 ” thick and is incredibly hard, once I got the blade shaped and sharpened, it now holds an incredible edge and cuts through paper like a hot knife through butter. The shape of the knife gives me a great leverage when carving on a piece wood. After making this knife and misplacing it once, I was almost frantic when I was not able to find it for a few days and when I finally found it under a pile of shavings I felt that I must have knocked it off the table and moved the shavings out of the way with my foot and accidentally covered the knife up. I am so glad that I had not cleaned the shavings immediately like I usually do or this might have gone out with the trash. I really do feel that this knife had “told” me not to clean up like I usually do immediately after each session.

I had a small piece of Tulip wood that I decided to use for the handle and absolutely loved the very sweet aromatic scent it gives off when sanding on it.

I thought I would show my favorite carving knife in hope of inspiring someone else to copy this style?

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4189 days

#3 posted 02-12-2011 12:26 AM

You know what? I really do enjoy your writing my friend! Much pleasure and a smile this side. A certain Warlock once told me there comes a time when one should choose projects carefully. You have chosen well.
Give my love to the queen!

BTW, that is a pretty neat carving knife Erwin!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View toolchap's profile


150 posts in 4169 days

#4 posted 02-12-2011 06:31 AM

Thank you Dennis, Erwin and Div. Dennis, what is missing? Erwin, that lil knife looks really great and professional, I like it. Div, again thank you. For all you are…..

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4364 days

#5 posted 02-12-2011 02:05 PM

it was just a little hint about a picture ….LOL
you know we love pictures to learn from

take care

View toolchap's profile


150 posts in 4169 days

#6 posted 02-12-2011 05:41 PM

I posted the pictures on the other blog…he he…go check them out!

View mafe's profile


13350 posts in 4338 days

#7 posted 02-12-2011 11:58 PM

Ohhhhh yes I know this feeling.
I used to live in a house where I closed a door hole with plaser boards instead of using brik as the house was made of, this is fine I suppose! But not for me, for six years I always knocked on that wall when I passed, and I always felt a hole in the wall… Bad Feng Shui I guess….

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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