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Shop Storage And Furniture – FineWoodworking


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I’m probably going to rile a few folks with this blog simply because talking about sharpening often borders on talking about religion or politics; everyone has an opinion and firmly believes the discipline they have chosen is the best. While I’m an advocate of using sandpaper on granite for sharpening, I’m also a firm believer that nearly every sharpening system is valid. Whether you are using waterstones, oilstones, diamond hones, sandpaper, powered disks, or grinding wheels, they all can make chisels and irons scalpel-sharp—with practice.

1The important aspects of a good sharpening system are simplicity, familiarity, and availability.

An overly complex sharpening regimen that requires multiple setups or complex jigs can lead to frustration and offers too many chances to wreck an edge rather than enhance it. Keeping the process simple is the best way to achieve a quick, keen edge.

Familiarity with any process is essential and the only way to become comfortably familiar is with practice. Practice sharpening and then practice some more. Like any discipline, you can’t understand and perform good sharpening by simply buying the “right” equipment and reading a book or watching YouTube videos. It takes hours of dedicated practice to understand what works for you with your system. When I want to spend some quiet time in my shop and don’t feel like working on a project, I sharpen stuff. Sharpening is a pretty low-stress task and requires enough concentration that you can get lost in the process for hours. Sharpening can be both meditative and productive, and you get consistently better at it.

One of the best things I’ve done for my sharpening system is to make it mobile. When I had a big shop, it seemed I was always far away from my sharpening station. So I would push a slightly dull edge until it was truly dull—with the resulting catastrophes that a bad edge can cause—before I’d take the long walk across the shop to my sharpening equipment. To cut down on the mileage and maintain my edge, I bought a three-drawer roll-around tool cabinet for $60 and turned it into a mobile sharpening system. I can hear it now: “You’re a woodworker and you BOUGHT a cabinet?” Yes, for less than the price of a good set of casters and three sets of drawer guides I bought a very serviceable solution, but I DID add a white ash and cherry top for holding my granite blocks!

2

I have four stones on the cabinet, so it allows me to have eight different grits at hand (both sides of the stones have abrasive paper attached). The stones are the size of a full sheet of sandpaper (9 in. by 11 in.) for adequate room to use my honing guide or flatten and polish chisel or blade backs. The drawers hold all my sharpening jigs, camellia oil, sandpaper, adhesive, and other necessities. I also keep all of my card scrapers, cabinet scrapers, and the equipment needed to keep them sharp in the cabinet.

I move the cabinet to where I’m working and my tools stay sharper. When I have all my sharpening stuff at arm’s reach, I find that I am frequently honing and refining edges. I don’t have to interrupt my work process to put that sharp edge back on a chisel or plane blade.

3

If your sharpening system consists of just a couple of stones and a jug of water, having a dedicated space that can be close at hand will result in better sharpening habits. And the drawers will be useful for storing bench hooks, shooting boards, and all the little tidbits that always seem to be in the way on the bench.

For those interested in sandpaper on granite (or glass), here’s how I use my system. The sandpaper is glued to the granite with 3M #77 spray adhesive. Apply the adhesive to the back of the sandpaper, place it on the granite, and use camellia oil as a lubricant on the paper when sharpening. Camellia oil is vegetable oil, won’t cause finishing problems, won’t rust your tools, and helps keep the sandpaper clean and cutting for a long time. When the paper finally wears out, pull up a corner and use a hair dryer to soften the exposed glueline. It takes just a few seconds to remove the sheet. Clean the glue residue off the granite with naphtha or acetone and put fresh paper on the stone. It takes less than a minute to replace the paper. I use 3M or Mirka paper but any high-quality paper will work fine. And I always use a honing guide. It keeps my stuff sharpened at consistent angles with sharp, square corners, and it’s fast (with a little practice).

If you have a question or a topic you’d like Rollie to cover, email talkingtools@finewoodworking.com.

4

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A Simple Sharpening Cart


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I’m probably going to rile a few folks with this blog simply because talking about sharpening often borders on talking about religion or politics; everyone has an opinion and firmly believes the discipline they have chosen is the best. While I’m an advocate of using sandpaper on granite for sharpening, I’m also a firm believer that nearly every sharpening system is valid. Whether you are using waterstones, oilstones, diamond hones, sandpaper, powered disks, or grinding wheels, they all can make chisels and irons scalpel-sharp—with practice.

1The important aspects of a good sharpening system are simplicity, familiarity, and availability.

An overly complex sharpening regimen that requires multiple setups or complex jigs can lead to frustration and offers too many chances to wreck an edge rather than enhance it. Keeping the process simple is the best way to achieve a quick, keen edge.

Familiarity with any process is essential and the only way to become comfortably familiar is with practice. Practice sharpening and then practice some more. Like any discipline, you can’t understand and perform good sharpening by simply buying the “right” equipment and reading a book or watching YouTube videos. It takes hours of dedicated practice to understand what works for you with your system. When I want to spend some quiet time in my shop and don’t feel like working on a project, I sharpen stuff. Sharpening is a pretty low-stress task and requires enough concentration that you can get lost in the process for hours. Sharpening can be both meditative and productive, and you get consistently better at it.

One of the best things I’ve done for my sharpening system is to make it mobile. When I had a big shop, it seemed I was always far away from my sharpening station. So I would push a slightly dull edge until it was truly dull—with the resulting catastrophes that a bad edge can cause—before I’d take the long walk across the shop to my sharpening equipment. To cut down on the mileage and maintain my edge, I bought a three-drawer roll-around tool cabinet for $60 and turned it into a mobile sharpening system. I can hear it now: “You’re a woodworker and you BOUGHT a cabinet?” Yes, for less than the price of a good set of casters and three sets of drawer guides I bought a very serviceable solution, but I DID add a white ash and cherry top for holding my granite blocks!

2

I have four stones on the cabinet, so it allows me to have eight different grits at hand (both sides of the stones have abrasive paper attached). The stones are the size of a full sheet of sandpaper (9 in. by 11 in.) for adequate room to use my honing guide or flatten and polish chisel or blade backs. The drawers hold all my sharpening jigs, camellia oil, sandpaper, adhesive, and other necessities. I also keep all of my card scrapers, cabinet scrapers, and the equipment needed to keep them sharp in the cabinet.

I move the cabinet to where I’m working and my tools stay sharper. When I have all my sharpening stuff at arm’s reach, I find that I am frequently honing and refining edges. I don’t have to interrupt my work process to put that sharp edge back on a chisel or plane blade.

3

If your sharpening system consists of just a couple of stones and a jug of water, having a dedicated space that can be close at hand will result in better sharpening habits. And the drawers will be useful for storing bench hooks, shooting boards, and all the little tidbits that always seem to be in the way on the bench.

For those interested in sandpaper on granite (or glass), here’s how I use my system. The sandpaper is glued to the granite with 3M #77 spray adhesive. Apply the adhesive to the back of the sandpaper, place it on the granite, and use camellia oil as a lubricant on the paper when sharpening. Camellia oil is vegetable oil, won’t cause finishing problems, won’t rust your tools, and helps keep the sandpaper clean and cutting for a long time. When the paper finally wears out, pull up a corner and use a hair dryer to soften the exposed glueline. It takes just a few seconds to remove the sheet. Clean the glue residue off the granite with naphtha or acetone and put fresh paper on the stone. It takes less than a minute to replace the paper. I use 3M or Mirka paper but any high-quality paper will work fine. And I always use a honing guide. It keeps my stuff sharpened at consistent angles with sharp, square corners, and it’s fast (with a little practice).

If you have a question or a topic you’d like Rollie to cover, email talkingtools@finewoodworking.com.

4

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Published at Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:57:12 +0000

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Mini Workbench Makes Detail Work Easier

Lisa Raleigh, Colin Russel, and Gary Junken

Period furniture maker Steve Latta first conceived of his “minibench” as a way to raise detail work to a more comfortable height, and to hold legs and other furniture parts for joinery cuts. Clamped atop his regular workbench, the minibench gets work closer to his eyes without having to bend over. The 42-in. long top is perfect for most furniture parts. It sports a vise on one end, and dog holes make it easy to hold parts.

In this short video, Fine Woodworking senior web producer Ed Pirnik offers a soup-to-nuts overview on the bench.

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Visit the Taunton Store to purchase plans for the mini workbench.

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Published at Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:55:27 +0000

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Essential Hand-tool Kit

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Whether he’s teaching at North Bennet Street School or working in his home shop, furniture maker Dan Faia wants certain essential hand tools close by. As it happens, the compact tool rack also featured in this issue holds them all. Your list may vary, but this comprehensive list of hand tools for layout, surface prep, shaping, and joinery is a good starting point for any aspiring hand-tool woodworker.

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Published at Wed, 28 Oct 2015 04:00:00 +0000

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Dan Smith’s Dream Shop and Tool Chest

  • Very nicely produced video. Great job Ben!

  • Congratulations !
    What a legacy you are going to leave behind for your sons one day.
    I know ,I have been privileged to have had my foundation laid by my father .An excellent hoby to compliment surgical skills.
    Gert du toit ,gastrointestinal surgeon.

  • Sorry. We don’t have plans for any um… plans of this cabinet.

  • Are the plans going to be available to download?

  • I should have taken my American exams and done orthopaedics! When I was a student in Oxford I played tennis with a newly appointed Professor of orthopaedics. We had lots of discussions about the overlap with woodwork. Power tools were just being introduced to orthopaedics then. Can you wash out my arthritic ankle? (Only joking). What a superb workshop. I live in crowded England. No hope of achieving what you have here. I have holidayed in Maine. Higgins Beach. Very beautiful.

  • To JohnOSeattle;

    The radial arm saw is a Sears Craftsman circa 1973, identical to the one I received when I graduated from high school and that I still use in Missouri. Found it on Craigslist for $75, but it took some work to restore it to its current state! The lack of sawdust is because we hosted my younger son’s wedding in the shop and just restored it to its rightful use before the shoot.

    -Dan

  • A little detective work via Google reveals:

    http://www.finewoodworking.com/author/c-daniel-smith

    Dan Smith is an orthopedic surgeon in St. Joseph, Mo., who specializes in reconstructive surgery, including knee, shoulder, and hip replacements. But woodworking has always competed fiercely with medicine for his attention: His subscription to FWW dates to issue #19, when he was a third year medical student, and he admits he would read it before reading his medical journals. Over the years, in addition to making clocks, built-ins, and many pieces of furniture for his family’s house in Missouri and for a summer place in Maine, Smith has also built four boats.

  • What does the shop look like during a project. This a beautiful shop and high end craftsmanship. How do you support this or is it a hobby. In other words, does the shop earn its keep?

  • Can’t view the video…

  • Easily in the top 5 shops I’ve seen for ambience. Very well done!

  • bmd November 5th

    What do you do (or did) for a living $?
    Nice building, shop and geographic area!
    Maybe too nice to work in…?
    I hope you have so much fun your tools get dirty.

    customcabinetmakers.com
    Birdie Miller

  • Very nice tool cabinet! Hope it turns into an article

  • I couldn’t help but imagine this is what it’s like to wake up in heaven. Complete with music. Great Shop, great job on the video.

  • Beyond the call of duty!
    What is the machine make/ model (Radial arm Saw ?) near the featured tool cabinet.

  • A dream come to life I’d imagine.
    Perfect.

  • one word ok two WOW, WOW!

  • Absolutely beautiful! Amazing tool chest, shop and boats! And to my surprise well away in the corner a wood lathe with a guard. Not often I see those. Also nice video production!

  • That shop is inspiring! Great lighting … and just has a great feel about it. I love it.

  • Gorgeous. I am so jealous!

  • There will be more information in the Tools and Shops issue coming out next week.

  • Beautiful. Are there plans available for the tool chest?

  • Good job Ben and Cari! Where’s all the sawdust?

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    Published at Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:35:09 +0000