Full Chisel Blog

March 13, 2011

Tool Making Workshop

The workshop ran smoothly, no one sent to the emergency room, everyone had a good time.  Here is a photograph of most of the graduating class of this workshop.  Two people finished early and did not attend the last half day session. 

Dick, Jan, Ed, Tom and Gene [Aileen and Rod N/A].

Some folks will need to do a bit more work to finish their tools, but at the end they  had both a double blade hacksaw and a stringing cutter/ marking gauge / slitting cutter, and they all worked.  I challenged them to figure out how to cut the 16d nails for the hacksaw blade pins with the hacksaw they were making?  Gene immediately answered the question, he said he would borrow a nail cut it off then replace one of the whole nails with the cut off then repeat the process.

We all had a good time, spent some quality time at Woody’s and they invited me back, might be doing the tenon saw/clamp.

I was given a piece of Vera wood, no idea what it is, very dense, green variegated with yellow and will add it to my collection.  Some research tomorrow at UNR libraries then returning home on Wednesday.


October 11, 2009

To proper scale

Filed under: Historical Material,Layout Tools,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 3:41 pm

Or as a rule(r), this one is quite nice.  A friend of mine picked this up at a local flea market and I quickly acquired it from him.  He knew I would appreciate having one made of boxwood instead of modern materials.  I have an Engineers scale made of plastic and this one is much nicer.

I didn’t think I needed to include the gnomon as the size is well marked.

I am not sure when the triangular shape was introduced, this one looks like an early twentieth century school model.  It does say U.S. ST’R on it but I am not sure what that means other than United States Standard.  It is not an Engineers scale and I think it is an Architects scale.  It has the following scales: 1/16, 3/16, 3/32, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 3.8, 3/4, 1 1/2 and 3 inch.

It is in remarkable condition, not big dents or missing wood, the lettering is sharp and almost all of the finish is in tact.  It had some surface ink that was easily removed using the universal solvent, spit.  The edge is ideal for inking because of its angle, you don’t get any bleed under as the bottom edge of the very edge is behind the top edge of the edge.

Anyone have any idea when the triangular scale was introduced?  And what is the difference between a scale and a ruler?



September 19, 2009

Of the Diagonal Scale

For your general use and amusement:





The chief use of such a scale as this, is to lay down any line from a given measure; or to measure any line, and thereby to compare it with others.  If the large division of oE be called units, the small divisions in Co will be 10ths, and the divisions in the altitude oB will be 100th parts of an unit.  If the large divisions be tens, the other will be units, and tenth parts.  If the large divisions be hundreds, then the other will be tens and units, &c. each set of divisions being tenth parts of the former ones.

For example, suppose it were required to take off 244 from the scale: fix one foot of the compasses at 2 of the larger divisions in oE, and extend the other to the number 4 in Co; then move both points of the compasses by a parallel motion, till you come at the fourth long line, taking care to keep the right hand point in the line marked 2; then open the compasses a small matter, till the left-hand foot reaches to the intersection of the two lines marked 4. 4, and you have the extent of the number required.  In a similar manner any other number may be taken off.

From Hawney’s Complete Measurer, 1801 Philadelphia


September 17, 2009

Strike Block / Miter Plane

What ever it is called turned out to be a nice plane.  I would like to thank those who contributed to my ability to complete this plane.  Although I just put the first coat of finish on, I will post a picture of the plane with finish on tomorrow, the oil is drying.


I did relieve behind the mouth of the plane, I slightly sprung the wedge and cleaned up the throat.  The laid steel Japanese chisel that I converted to Western did the bulk of the end grain work on the throat, not the bed.  I used a variety of chisels and even scrapers together with floats to bed the iron.  I also did the soot trick for final bedding.

I took Rob Lee’s advise and took off the back of the wedge, rounding it over and exposing the blade for ease of adjustment.  I tried it on hardwoods, softwoods, with the grain, end grain and miter, all cut superbly under normal conditions.  I did discover that the front of the throat was sharp on top, so I put a cupids bow decoration and the sharp edge is gone.

Another thing that I discovered, well ripped off Moxon was using the plane upside down.  Who would have thought?  I hold the plane upside down and pass the work over the blade.  This was mostly smaller work, but it did round over the edges of a small netting needle I made from maple.  I like using the plane upside down, you can see what is going on.  This of course only works on narrow smaller length pieces, but it works quite well.


I also made a 40-50-90 degree triangle of mahogany for the plane making class I have coming up in November in Reno and a bedding guide from maple.  These will be handy for plane layout as was the 30/60/90 degree triangle I used to make this plane.


September 2, 2009

Mariner’s Compasses

Or dividers if you prefer is available once again.  Thanks to Lee Valley these dividers or compasses are now available at what I consider a very reasonable price.  As of this date they are listed for $24.95 which includes a nice hardwood box with brass hinges and friction catch and a fouled anchor in brass ‘inlaid’ into the top.

It came wrapped in paper and in a cardboard box.  I would have paid the price without any of the excess packaging.  I will probably use the box for something else as this tool will be in constant use.  I intend to use it for all types of layout as well as transferring measurements and to mark turnings.  Nice steel points that are tapered and touch when completely closed.

I am always happy when a decent reproduction tool becomes available and at a decent price.  When I first saw these I of course made a pair out of wood.  I find the wooden version is handy to take measurements off the screen and for scaling.  The brass pair goes to the shop this morning.

The fish glue and compasses arrived on my doorstep and looked like it had spent a couple of weeks in the weather.  The cardboard box was all wrinkled, there was a clump of mud on the bottom and the labels were faded.  The contents of the box were in perfect condition.

I used the compasses to scribe some repair veneer on the bureau I am restoring.  I cleaned and squared up the edge of the veneer but did not straighten out the edge.  I held a piece of veneer (supported by a ruler) next to the edge and set the gap on the compasses to the widest part of the lacuna.  I then carefully scribed the new veneer and then trimmed it with some scissors.  It works so well I continued some curved repairs on other parts of the bureau.  The scribe line is very fine, but held in the right light I got the pieces to fit good enough and glued them in place with liquid hide glue.


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