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Care and Repair of Shop Machines--A Complete Guide to Setup, Troubleshooting, and Maintenance
Checking Diagonals during Assembly
Comparing the diagonals of a cabinet or a box is a good way to check for squareness.
But when you're working alone in the woodshop, accurately measuring long diagonals
can be difficult. To make the job easier, here is an easy project. Make a pair
of simple tape holders.
A handy layout tool
Scenario: you’re preparing to install a plywood back in a cabinet. The plans
called for a large number of woodscrews to be placed evenly around the edge
of the plywood. This means a lot of screws to lay out. How do you make your
Using the right tool for refinishing a deck floor
Scenario: Say you have an old 12 x 24 cedar deck (2x6's) which has
been neglected for a while. It will take you virtually forever to sand down
with a belt sander (not to mention the cost of belts). Unfortunately you used
rifled nails so when you try to remove the decking the boards only rip through
the nails and this is very, very laborious.
As Lou says, a planer is not the right tool. The nails would destroy the planer in short order. The right tool for this job is a floor sander. You can rent these from equipment rental companies and the belts they use. The sanders have belts that range from 24 to about 120 and they will make very short work on the task. They will not have a problem with the nails and the hand planer will.
The sanders take a bit of skill to use but for a deck they will work very well.
Just in case you've never used one before... be wary of lifting the sander during passes... Make full length long passes and don't rock the sander. It creates a rippling effect on the wood due to the tiny differences in thickness caused by "lifting out" during a pass that sometimes can't be seen until it comes time to refinish.
Selecting first tools for woodworking
Say you're starting from absolute scratch. You would actually prefer working with hand tools over power tools, and so you've decided to get a set of 6 firmer chisels (1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4" and 1"), a 14" number 5 Stanley Jack plane, a dovetail saw, coping saw, and then lastly, some sort of power saw -- either band, table, or compound miter, for ripping long lengths accurately. The questions are:
-Whats a good brand for firmer chisels? You were going to go with plastic
handles, but the only brand you've seen is marples, and you read where one
person complained about them not holding an edge well.
Obviously you're not including things such as clamps and squares and rulers, etc. but you are already asking what seems like too many questions.
One of the first things that would be helpful for us is to have some idea from you what you are planning to build. Tooling up is pretty much a matter of personal preferences in accordance to method of work, especially where hand tools are concerned.
With that said, table saws can be grouped into 3 categories, bench top, contractor, and stationary. Cast iron tables and wings are desirable because they dampen vibration -- we're not aware of any bench tops that have cast iron. Just about every manufacturer makes a contractor saw with cast iron table and wings.
Radial arm saws are certainly versatile, some would say that ripping is their downfall. We disagree but then, we have an older DeWalt. The current "state of the art" is owned by The Original Saw Company, they acquired DeWalt's original patents...
When you speak of chisels, are you wanting a set of all-purpose bench chisels? Firmers are generally used for mortise work.
As to dovetail saws, we prefer the Western style.
The #5 jack is an excellent 1st bench plane, would only suggest that you get a low angle block with an adjustable mouth for end grain work. Since planes are like rabbits, you'll need two to get started.
As for the chisels, perhaps a set of all purpose bench chisels would be desirable. The project you are hoping to complete, say, is a West Greenland skin-on-frame kayak. There would be quite a bit of mortise work with the ribs (20 or so). Would bench chisels be able to handle this adequately? One other question I have is this; how difficult is it to hand saw very long lengths, say 12 feet or so? There are probably problems with precision and the amount of time it takes, but really time is not an issue. Obviously, it has been done without power tools for thousands of years, but are there any specific techniques or hand tools employed?
In view of the fact that you will indeed be mortising, go with the firmer in the sizes you need.
Certainly the frames and ribbands can be cut by hand, though it will be very tedious at best, very frustrating at worst; particularly getting your ribbands to final dimensions. FWIW, the boats that we've built the table saw and bandsaw were the "power" tools that were indispensable.
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Updated: Thursday, 2020-07-30 17:56 PST