Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Mexican Magician

For the finale, a Mexican magician told the audience he would count to three, then disappear.  He counted: One….. Two….. and <POOF>, he was gone without a tres.

Thoughts on Sharpening

After building my bench, my plane blades and chisels needed some serious attention. For a "softwood," southern yellow pine really does a number on hardened steel. I finished the bench several months ago, and have kept finding reasons to put off that desperately needed sharpening marathon. I have soft and hard Arkansas stones from and they are fantastic for honing. But if the blade needs more than a quick dressing, I have to get out the sandpaper and glass plate. Don't get me wrong, the sandpaper method works great. It's just SO SLOW. Starting with 80-grit paper to take out moderate nicks, a single blade can take an hour. I had been thinking about getting a grinder, but I really don't have the space. So instead, I picked up a DMT Extra-coarse Dia-Sharp bench stone. Wow. Now I understand why DMT stones are so popular. It cuts quick and smooth, and there's no mess. I still need to run the steel over 220- and 320-grit sandpaper (and might look for another DMT to fit that gap) before moving to the soft Arkansas, but I can grind and hone in about 15 minutes. Money very well spent. After spending time to resharpen my jack plane iron, I'm once again amazed at how much easier woodworking is with sharp tools, and wondering why I don't sharpen more often....

Monday, December 28, 2015

Orion’s Belt

What did astronomers find behind Orion’s Belt?

A big waist of space.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

My First Christmas Present

I know a lot of woodworkers make their Christmas gifts, but I have never had the time. But this year, I decided to make time to make a present for my Mom. She loves to play cribbage, and I remember the two of us playing for hours when I was young (she even let me win a few).
A cribbage board is a pretty simple project—just a board with a bunch of holes drilled in it, and a well to store the pegs.  I made my own template out of hardboard for the holes. The key was to drill the holes in the template with a countersink bit. Then use a self-centering bit to drill the project board. The self-centering bit pulls the work into the exactly the right spot, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time getting each hole lined up perfectly. I even put a bit of wax on the drill press table so everything could easily slide into place.
On this board I added a simple inlay. Since I put the inlay on by bench leg, and found out how easy it is, I’ve been looking for any excuse to use it. I’ve been carving the relief by hand, but I’m starting to consider getting a plunge base for my rotary tool.
Anyway, here’s the completed project.
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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Time for some Dad Jokes

I have always had a special fondness for jokes.  Not the witty, intellectual kind.  The best joke make some people laugh, and some people groan.  Recently, these kind of jokes have been called “Dad Jokes’' and I can think of no better way to describe them.
So it’s time to start a new section on my blog for these very special things.  Here’s the first one, courtesy of my youngest son.

A man and his wife are walking down the street in soviet Russia when it begins to precipitate. The man declares, "I do believe it's raining!" His wife replies, “It's December, I'm sure its snow."  The man then says, "well lets ask an officer, they're always right." They agree, and the man approaches an officer across the street and asks, "Officer Rudolph, is it raining or snowing?" The officer replies, "Rain, of course!" The mans turns to his wife and triumphantly announces, "See? Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.”