Full Chisel Blog

July 20, 2014

New Shop Tool

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Shop,Uncategorized,Wood — Stephen Shepherd @ 11:33 am

new shop toolYes it does match my other maple octagonal tapered handles on my chisels and dovetail saws.  This has been on my list since childhood.

It is not a caliper, it is not a tuning fork, it is not a truncated trident, it is not a gimble, it is not a frog gig, it is not a boot jack, it is not an oar lock, it is not a pattern for a flyer [although I did use a flyer for the layout], it is not a crutch, it is not a stirrup, it is not a gun rest, it is not an equitorial mount and it is not brought to you by the letter ‘Y’.  What is it?


January 12, 2014

Storage of Pliers, pincers, shears, snips and scissors

I have a good collection of box joint pliers and use them regularly, however they were stored with their working ends down in holes in a block of wood that also holds my files and rasps, so they needed a place of their own.

Then I remembered a quote from my first father in law and mentor when it comes to old things, he said ‘don’t forget the great unused storage space in the sky’.

Using some 1/2″ thick pine I cut a length of the 11″ wide board to 18″, drilled holes in the end grain for the pivot hinges, drilled a hole in through the top of my tool cabinet and manufactured a bracket to hold the lower pivot hinge.  I used white oak for the dowels/pivots and there is a single slotted screw holding the bracket to the side of the tool cabinet.


I then laid out the pliers/ pincers on one side, they are held with 1″ fine cut headless brads with room for expansion, I already found another pair of box joint pliers to add to the collection.  Then on the other side I put my snips, shears and scissors that I use regularly.


This arrangement works nicely, everything easy to see and a place for storage out of the way.


May 29, 2013

My Dust Collection System

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Shop,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 10:18 am

It is 100% reliable, totally effective, environmentally responsible and cost less than $200.00.  The brooms were made by a friend and the tin dust pan made by another at Hot Dip Tin.

dust collector


January 11, 2013

Shepherds’ Compleat Early Nineteenth Century Woodworker – First Review


This is the first book review of my first book that was originally published in hardbound in 1981.  This review appeared in Smithsonian Magazine April 1982.





I found this while doing research at the University of Nevada, Reno at their excellent library.

Now I need to find the reviews in Workbench Magazine, Soldier of Fortune Magazine and Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly.

Available at Tools for Working Wood

and The Full Chisel Store or from Amazon.  Amazon also has original hardbound editions for sale.


January 27, 2011

Shop Window

My new shop has an opening in the door that at one time held an air conditioner.  I have since removed the modern contrivance and this is what I have.

Does let the light through and doesn’t look that great.  So I decided to make a simple window.  As I learned there is no such thing as a simple window.


I first ripped out the pieces, mostly 3/4 inch pine with a stool of inch thick stuff.  For some of the parts I made multiple layout lines and cut them all at once.  Well one at a time anyway.


And not having a sash plane, seldom needed for what I do, but I sure could have used one on this job.  Instead I used a slitting gauge to make all of the rabbits.  So instead of shooting rabbits I was slitting rabbits.  I reversed the blade in the slitting gauge set it to 1/4 in depth and the fence to 1/4 inch wide.  I then slit out the small pieces of wood resulting in no waste or shavings.    I finished the cuts with the fine blade felt knife, which I need to add some nice snakewood scales.  I used the small waste pieces for some of the stops.


It has two sliding sashes that are saddle joined at the corners and will be pegged and glued with hide glue treated with alum to make it waterproof.  The rabbit joint went all around the inside of the rails and styles and I haunched the rails to cover the rabbit on the styles.

I will treat it all with linseed oil/turpentine mix and allow to dry before glazing the ‘antique glass’ lites in with zinc glazing pins and oil based glazing compound.

I will have to make a screen before spring.


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