More Tools

I recently attended a quarterly tool meet with the Ohio Tool Collectors Association. The meetings take place throughout the state.  This one was in Grand Rapids, Ohio, near Toledo.  I always assume the basic stuff will be found in abundance, and you never know what else you’ll uncover.

  Here is a fine example of a Bailey 4-1/2.   The asking price was $45, which made me think something was wrong with it.  I gave it a good going over, and gladly forked over the cash.??????????  ??????????

Here is an interesting 90° drill. The chuck is very tight, the gears smooth, and the handle will turn a full 180° for just the right angle.  ??????????  ??????????  ??????????

I don’t usually expect to find tools for useful at work, but this time I did. A trio of Vise-grip clamps and a set of screw extractors.  The clamps are the older, heavy duty, made in USA models. ??????????

Here is a very interesting corner brace. The spring chuck is perfect and it has a tight ratchet assembly.  The double handle (on the right) spins to allow a good grip without hampering the boring process.  ??????????


I’ve been following Peter Follansbee’s blog for a while, and have taken an interest in his work. I came across this Plumb hatchet and grabbed it right away.  It is a single bevel and feels very nice in my hand.

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Speaking of Peter, I also bought one of his serving spoons. This one is apple, and the pictures don’t do the details justice. The handle has beautiful chip carving, and the balance is perfect.

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Wood molding planes have also peaked my interest lately. I bought 3 from Falcon Wood; a 3/8” cove with a bevel, a 3/16” cock bead, and a 7/16” side bead.

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They are all in very good condition and just need a bit of tuning.  I’ll have them working in a week or two.

I also just ordered a ¼” side bead from them. I should have it in a few days.

Here is an unusual saw; a Diston #9 with the improved Reagan handle. It is a 4/5 back saw, which allows the tip to get into tight spaces.


Lastly, I bought a nice piece of figured cocobolo and 2 pieces of ebony. Now I need to build something worthy of such rare woods.



Let’s go build something.

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The Beginnings of a Hall Table

??????????I started working through some design issue for my hall table today. I’ll be using the quarter sawn catalpa I just bought.  The slab is 2” thick, about 18” wide, and 65” long, with a great natural edge running the entire length on one edge.  The opposite edge has an average natural edge for about half the length, then a sawn edge.

By design issues, I mean defect issues. Here is a defect that won’t go away with epoxy.  ??????????

This crack, on the other hand will. ??????????  It is a split right along the weakest part of any wood; between the late growth of one year and the early growth of the next year.  It is a clean split and looks like it would cleanly glue back together. It runs about 24” from one end. ??????????



Here are some of design considerations:

1.  Natural Edges: Should they stay or go? Even though half of one edge is saw cut, I could tool it into a natural edge quite easily. Or, should I cut them all off and plane them straight and square?

2.  Ends: If the edges go square, I think the ends should too. But, if the natural edge wins out, I’m going to fair the ends to a rounder, more natural appearance.  This also handles one defect.

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Table width: This is only in relation to the split, and how to handle it. If the split will glue back together, great. I could also use hand cut bow ties to reinforce the split. The problem there is I have never seen a bow tie growing in a tree before, and I think they usually look out of place, especially if I go with the natural edges.

I could force the split down the rest of the slab. My best guess is it will follow this line, which I have penciled in. The knife shows the end of the split, and the pen and pencil are pointing to my drawn prediction.  ??????????

Since the split occurs where the slab is transitioning from full quarter sawn to rift sawn, there is a natural change in grain appearance too. I could rip the slab, remove the split area (about ¾”wide), then glue it back together.

I could rip off the split area entirely, and have a narrower table; about 11” wide. This is my least favorite option.

I’m leaning towards the natural edge, rounder ends, and ripping out the split section. I’ll sleep on it and see what strikes my fancy tomorrow.

Once I get this ironed out, I can get on with specifics for my base.  It will be a 4-post base with mortise and tenon aprons and spreaders.

Go build something!

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Getting Caught Up

It’s been a busy few months. At my day job, we went on overtime for several weeks to complete a project on schedule.  Things have settled down a bit there, and I’ve been busy in the shop.

??????????I don’t think I mentioned anything about my workbench since January, but it was completed some time ago. The bench finished out at 38” tall, 36” wide (two 13-1/2” tops with a 9” tool well between), and 5’ long.  The top is 2-3/4” thick, and the legs are 3” x 3” with a 10” apron on each side.

I have a quick release face vise installed on just my side right now. I added 2 shelves at my left end, to store my sharpening supplies, bench hook, and a couple hold-fasts.  I’ve only drilled 1 hole so far.

Every now and then, I will troll the ads on Craig’s list. I hit the jackpot 2 months ago.  A guy was selling over 1000 board feet of white oak, with about 250 BF of yellow poplar mixed in.  It is rough sawn to 1” and most (90%+) are wider that 6”, with a good deal over 10” wide.  All are at least 8’ long.

I got back into practice by building a few things. I made a small dovetail caddy for holding sandpaper quarters and a couple of chisel trays.

I made this chisel tray from quarter sawn red oak and a walnut base. It’s finished with shellac and wax.  ??????????

Here is a pencil box made from spalted American Beech. The box is dovetailed with a sliding lid, featuring a raised panel.  ??????????  I liked making this box so much.  The beech is just a wonderful wood to work, and because taking this picture reminded me of that, I had to go to the urban saw mill and get some more.

Here is a wall clock I just finished, also from quarter sawn red oak. It has 2 coats of shellac, and will be waxed tomorrow, most likely while the Browns are beating the pants off Jacksonville.  At some point, I need to get to Woodcraft and buy a clock insert.  ??????????

If you remember, while I was studying under Paul Sellers last year, I built a really nice rocking chair. It was partially built in class so I could stuff it in the car to get home.  I finally got around to completing that.  Here it sits, with a shellac and wax finish.

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My matching coffee table was brought out of storage today, and it will be completed in the next few days as well. Same story as the chair; partially built and unfinished.  I need to clean up the glued joints on the leg assemblies, then glue up the dovetailed aprons and through tenon stretcher.

I made a picture frame from pine. It was a learning experience, that’s for sure.  The entire length of stock was planed true and square, then beaded.  I used the Paul Seller’s poor man’s beading tool.  Look him up for more details, but it worked great.  The miters were cut with a makeshift miter box, and then planed on a shooting board.  Once the corners were perfect, a dovetailed key was cut in for strength.   ???????????????????????????????

I have a To-Do list of projects I want to get moving on. I went to the saw mill today for some beech (only).  That changed, of course, when I started hunting through the timbers.  I brought home 2 pieces of American Beech (1 is spalted), 1 piece of European Beech, 1 piece of clear, 12” wide red oak, 3 pieces of Linden, 1 piece of Red Elm, and some Catalpa.

The Catalpa will become a hall table. I bought an 8/4, quarter sawn, natural edge slab for the top, and a 4/4, quarter sawn length for the aprons.  The legs will be made from the 8/4 Red Elm.  I wanted Catalpa for them, but the only other thick boards were just so perfect, I couldn’t bring myself to cut them into pieces.

The beeches will become more picture frames and boxes. I may also try a small cupboard, with a frame and panel door.  I have a stash of curly, Eastern Cottonwood I could resaw for the panels.  Just an idea.

The oak will become a step stool, so my daughter can reach the bathroom sink easier.

The Linden is unspoken for right now. I’d like to make something with a carving aspect, which Linden is perfect for.  It is very close to basswood, so it will carve nicely.??????????

I have several pieces of mulberry, still in log form, from a tree that was removed in the neighborhood. I want to split it and rive some blanks for spoons and spatulas.  Being a fruitwood, it will be a great use.  I also got a 4’ long, 12” diameter piece of hard maple from my neighbor.  She had a tree come down a few weeks ago.  I will cut that into turning blanks, and hopefully get some bowls and platters.  I’ll turn them green, let the dry over the winter, and finish them off in the spring.  Good thing I got my hands on a chain saw.  It was being thrown out because it would not start.  Nothing some fresh gas and a new spark plug couldn’t fix!

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Rust Hunting Part 2

Here is my latest set of recently acquired tools. Some came from a Midwest Tool Collectors swap and the rest from local flea markets.

??????????The tool chest is gorgeous and the perfect size. The handles and corners are original hardware, but the lid stop and lock were replaced with a new. The apron hides a lower drawer with a very simple latching device.  ??????????

??????????Here are some great block planes, a Bailey #3, and a smaller wooden body and transitional.


I also got some nothing special jack planes. They include a few Sergeants, a Defiance, and an Eclipse.

I grabbed a tiny wooden smoother, and beautiful English radius plane, and a couple of mortising gauges. To me, these gauges are like clamps and underwear… you never have enough.


A couple of screw drivers, couple of 12” combination squares, a ratted out 151 spokeshave, and a 1-1/2 auger. The auger will be sent to Tillers International, in Scotts Michigan. In their many good deeds, they use the 1-1/2” auger to make yokes for driving oxen and draft horses.


Lastly, I got an Eagle sliding bevel, a few sets of Starrett framing square buttons, and a couple sets of chest handles.

If you’re not a member, consider joining the MWTCA. Go to for more information.

Remember to get into your shop and make something, anything.  Just have fun.

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Rust Hunting, Part 1

It’s been a good spring of “Rust Hunting.” I frequent a few flea markets and antique stores in a 3 hour radius from home. They are always hit or miss, but a few people, who know what I’m looking for, will hold something I might be interested in. I also recently joined the Midwest Tool Collectors Association, and attended a tool meet in Kalamazoo, MI. It was a bit longer of a drive for me, but well worth the trip. In no particular order, let me share what I’ve acquired…

Here are a few of the braces I’ve recently collected. These 10 are part of about 30 that have come my way by flea market or auction. Four of them were recently bought in an auction lot for $5.00. The same lot also contained a mixed assortment of wrenches and 2 block planes, which I’ll get to.


Here are a few user planes. No rare gems, but all solid. The front left is a Dunlop size 4, with a Sargent next to it. In the back, left, is a Stanley Bailey pattern 4, another Dunlop, and a Millers Falls. The Millers Falls was sitting on a tarp at the July 4 flea market, all by itself, with a $1.00 price tag on it. I didn’t even argue with the guy.


Next, are a couple of moulding planes. The left is a Tod Herrli ¼” ovolo, and the right is a #12 round.


Here is a very nice assortment of bench planes, all worth their respective price tags. On the left, front, is a Stanley #2. They do not fall in the typical type study range, so I have not yet figured out its age, but at $75 it’s worth it. Also included are a Stanley #3, a pair of #4’s, a type 12 Bailey #5, and a #5-1/2.


I also found a Sargent 410, which is equivalent in size to a #4-1/2.


Here is a bunch of layout and other miscellaneous tools. ??????????

There is a Stanley #61 and an unknown marking gauge that are solid. I also got a Stanley #76 and a Rabone mortise gauge and an unknown maker panel gauge.

A pair of cross peen hammers, a pair a reamers (1-1/4” and 1-1/2”), a pair of countersinks, a leather punch, a Stanley #18 sliding bevel, a pair of squares, and a clamshell saw jointer will fill a drawer. To finish out this bunch is a pair of Stanley #49 auger depth stops. One is nickel plated, pre-WWII, and the other is a japanned war time model.


Earlier, I mentioned the auction lot with some block planes. Here are my recent finds. A Stanley #140 skew, a 60-1/2 LAAM, a 9-1/2 SAAM, a newer #220, and a Millers Falls #45. There is also a #80 cabinet scraper. ??????????

There’s more to tell, but I have to get back to work.

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I Miss My Son

Well, it’s been 2 weeks since my son moved to Arizona. It feels like a lifetime; a really long, painful, empty lifetime. I miss him so much. Although I talk him just about every day (except for when he forgets to charge his phone overnight), it’s just not the same. So if you’re reading this son, PLUG IN YOUR PHONE!

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Turned Lidded Boxes

I recently took a class, at my local Woodcraft store, learning to turn a lidded box.  It was a great class, packed with all sorts of information. 

I started with a 4″ square cherry billet, about 8″ long.  I’ll do a longer post about the process, but wanted to share these pictures.


Enjoy the weekend.




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