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OT: Woodworking stuff... is that Rex Kreuger fellow a decent source of info?

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  • #16
    That inertia thing was crazy.... Although there is a point when you reverse it through the backlash in the adjustment, maybe.... I pretty much took it as the larger wheel being easier to adjust simply through better leverage.

    Some things the guy says...... well, some things ANYONE says, may be "off". I was interested to see if what he says is in any way in agreement with others who are knowledgeable and skilled.

    I know some custom woodworking folks. The best of the lot is a guy who makes very nice commissioned "art" furniture, who is very good, sensible and grounded. He could probably do better work with a Bowie style knife that some folks with a shop full of the best tools.

    Some of the others are pretty much "you can't do anything with that tool, you need an XYZ brand or you will just fail" (I've seen that here as well concerning metalworking, although not so much). I'm not generally in favor of that view, but since I am not much of a woodworker, I really don't know for sure.

    If Rex were FOS, I might recognize it, but then maybe not since I don't have the experience of various different tools, and do relatively little woodworking.

    I will say that I used his plane setup information on the worst POS I have in the shop (it's a really crappy block plane), and I got it to actually work rather well, considering what it is. So "planely" he knows a thing or two and can communicate what he knows..

    It's that sort of info I found interesting. Found I did not know s**t about setting up and using a plane.
    CNC machines only go through the motions


    • #17
      Originally posted by BCRider View Post
      There's a fairly popular movement towards mostly hand tool wood working. Rex is one of those providing material in that direction. Two other notable options are Paul Sellers and James Wright (Wood By Wright). All three have very good videos on selecting and using hand power only. And even making a lot of your old traditional tools or jigs to be used with those tools.

      Of course there are others. Many of them also very good. Some helpful and some that just make things that inspire. Heck, even all of the old Wood Wright series with Roy Underhill are available on YT.

      As a then new "fine" wood worker hobbyist in the late 1980's I enjoyed watching Roy's Wood Wright Shop series. In particular how he would try to cram sooooo much material into the 20 or 25 minutes that it was an iron clad cinch that he would look like a hack. But near the end of the project with a flourish of one arm he would sweep aside the disastrous creation of the moment to be replaced with the more carefully done pre camera time option showing neat and tidy joinery that could be done when not under the time limits of the producer.

      Of the three I have to say that Rex has the most pragmatic view about what is "good enough". His Roman low bench and recent Nicholson work bench are done in a solid but very time and effort conscious manner which is "good enough" but far from furniture level. On the other hand he did a rather nice job on his pine cabinet for the kitchen pantry given that it was supposed to be a period style project. If you're looking for ways and means for doing occasional powerless wood working I'd say that his ways are good ways to copy. As for the details of how to buy, use and maintain the hand tools all three along with many others offer up pretty much all the same tried and true methods. Other than a small thing here and there none of it is new after all.

      The only thing I will add as a good option is to get a set of water stones and a single coarse diamond plate to dress them. I picked up a 120 and 180 plate recently for cheap off Amazon. It uses a plastic core but with only a little care to spread out the pressure it does a fantastic job of keeping the stone faces flat... enough....

      I too used to scoff at Norm Abrams and the fact that he rarely ever picked up a tool which was not air or electric powered. I swear he probably had a battery powered pencil as well! But to be fair he was able to crank out decent enough work that fit in with the usual home handy man that might not have had a lot of time to work with hand tools. Folks with family find that there's enough demands on their time that if they have to power up then power up and enjoy creating. And Norm was very much the leader in that direction. Different strokes..... And I say this in Norm's defense because back when I did my cabinetry for my wood and metal shops about 7 years ago now I discovered the magic and joy of a brad nailer.... I felt lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut for tossing aside my "lofty standards"... And I smiled frequently at my previous disdain for Norm's Way. But darned if the lowly brad nailer isn't a wondrous thing... Even if it does feel like cheating....

      Shop made lignum vitea and maple mallet sitting on a yellow cedar (their wood with history to it) hand cut dovetail hall stool for some friends.... And it's sitting on my Nicholson style bench intended primarily for hand tool working. The stool still needs a bit of dragon motiff carving on the ends before adding a finish. The mallet head was cut using power tools since the darn stuff cuts much like aluminium. The maple was roughed out to shape on a bandsaw but then the rest was all done with hand tools. Brad nailed and glued drawers in screwed together carcases of the wood area in the background. Heck, I even laid the laminate floor come to think of it!

      Click image for larger version  Name:	P1040149.JPG Views:	297 Size:	120.5 KB ID:	1937242

      Roy Underhill is still at it and producing new shows. As a matter of fact, they have a new episode from season 26 that is posting today. (it's not actually up yet)


      • #18
        Originally posted by psomero View Post

        Roy Underhill is still at it and producing new shows. As a matter of fact, they have a new episode from season 26 that is posting today. (it's not actually up yet)
        Roy Underhill, a real traditional woodworker. Even the Barnes metal lathe he acquired was foot powered.


        • #19
          For those interested in hand planes:

          I’ve been working with wood for over 70 years, from log building through fine furniture. Only a couple of things for pay, though - I have to work at my pace and to my standards. I have collected and use a variety of hand planes, from tiny violin maker’s planes on up. Some common, some quite specialized and rare - and expensive. Here are the bench planes that I keep at the ready above my (my grandfather’s, actually) workbench. All of these are old Stanley planes, from father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

          #60-1/2 block plane. This is a low angle block, bevel up. Adjustable mouth, which is a necessity with all the low angle planes. It is small and handy enough to be carried in a pocket. Great for chamfering and edge work on soft to medium-hard straight grained woods. The stock blades are thin and a bit too flexible for use on hard and figured woods, as there will be tear out. There are some heavier blades available, and these are sometimes ground to less acute angles which can help with tear out. But I just keep the standard blade in it, and pick up one of the bigger planes for more serious work.

          #3 and #4 smoothing planes. The #4 is slightly larger. These are the best planes for getting a smooth surface, although it will not be as flat or straight as that from the longer planes. With the cap iron set almost on the blade edge and the frog set for a narrow throat, they will work even on hard figured woods with rowed, curly or birdseye figure. Sometimes it helps to use them at an angle or in a circular motion. Premium blades by Hock or other manufacturers hold their edge longer than the original blades. Corners of blades are slightly rounded so as to not leave marks.

          #5 jack planes. A general purpose workhorse. Two of them - one with a square blade, one with a blade ground on an arc. The one with the blade ground on an arc is set with a wide mouth, and is used for quick removal of wood. The straight across one has a Stay Set cap iron. This is a two piece cap iron which allows the lower part to be removed for sharpening and replaced without changing the setting. Not sure if these are available today.

          #6 fore plane. At 18”, considerably heavier and wider than the jack planes. 2-3/8” wide iron. My grandfather was a short man, and I think this served as his jointer plane. Good for final flattening of a surface.

          #7 jointer plane. The most common jointer plane. 22” long, and uses the same 2-3/8” iron as the #6. Used for planing straight edges prior to gluing up panels or for flattening them as flat as possible. The length of this plane makes it almost impossible to plane an edge hollow, although trying to do so is the best way to ensure that it is straight. Planing an edge very slightly hollow - usually by taking an extra pass or three only at the middle of the board will give you what is called a spring joint. A spring joint has a better chance of remaining tight at the ends in winter’s low humidity. Another trick when jointing boards to be glued up into a panel is to fold them together and plane both at once. Do it that way and even if your angle is off a bit the panel will glue up flat.

          #8 jointer plane. The largest iron jointer made, at 24” long and with a 2-5/8” iron. Those irons don’t fit any other plane, and can be hard to come by. Mine is not a Stanley but an English Record, and it lives in its original box on a distant shelf. Used only for the very fussiest jointing, and not very often.

          An antique tool dealer, Patrick Leach, has written a guide to all of the Stanley planes titled “Patrick’s Blood and Gore”. I recommend it highly.


          • #20
            I grew up from the earliest of age,watching my father using bench planes. He was the finest "trim man" I've ever seen. Started in the early 1930's,time off to go kill Nazi's,then hit it hard post war. I'm talking,full on sub contractor,trim guy. The time from late 40's through about the early 70's was the real heyday for craftsmen. Once pnuematics and power mitre boxes hit the masses..... been a race to the bttm since. I still use a cpl hand mitre boxes,and just simply got tired of trying to explain their inherent superiority over "round" blades.....

            He went to the grave,pissed I chose following his footsteps vs engineering school. Hey,different strokes?

            I worked in the biz for a looong arse time. Took what he started to some logical progression. Ultimately losing out because of lack of interested young people? My 4 sons,two with PhD's,and the 3rd closing in.... are only now "getting it" WRT fine home building. And are asking questions,and getting dirty working on their own "stuff". They're all good boys,just products of a changing landscape.

            Alright,with all that out of the way .... here's an easy to remember bit of "plane BS". 357,yup just like the cartridge. Say it again. Those are the 3 best size planes for most,up to and including museum work. Add a 60 1/2,and ywo rabbit planes. The smaller,baby bullnose and the std 96? or whatever # Stanley uses,might be a 99. You know the one,the # simply escapes me. That's about all you,"have to have",taking mould planes out of the equation. Not sayin,don't get other sizes.... but 357 is what you can build a career on.

            I did way too many years of historic pres work,exclusively. In that time was being paid rather well for using traditional tools and techniques. Which,was fun even though it was a reducing environment... hard to explain in synopsis. Should write a book but well,..... uhhh,....not. Interestingly,just got my arm twisted enough to come out of retirement and am overseeing a resto project on an estate house. And no,it isn't the money.

            Towards the OP,if your guy is pushing handtools and explains how they fit into today's game..... good for him. It's a tough row to hoe.


            • #21
              Originally posted by BWS View Post

              Towards the OP,if your guy is pushing handtools and explains how they fit into today's game..... good for him. It's a tough row to hoe.
              He explains them and how to set up and use.

              I think everyone knows that handwork DOES NOT "fit into today's game", as far as working for anyone. It's for yourself, or commissioned work for a few very good craftspeople.

              "In today's game", nobody wants to, or can afford to, have anything done by hand. Not unless it is done in India at a zero wage per day.

              Heck, from what I see, if we sold our 1934 house these days, we'd have to paint all the woodwork white just to get a realtor to sign a contract. And, of course, to find a buyer, as they all say "Eeeew... all that dark wood is just creepy". With paint on it, might as well be made of extruded plastic, and apparently quite a bit of it is.
              CNC machines only go through the motions