Saturday, December 20, 2014

got the hang of it.........

After way too many moons I've finally done something that had been making me feel like I didn't have opposable thumbs. I'm talking about the humble spokeshave. The same tool that Paul Sellers says a 5-6 year old can use as his or her first tool. I must have regressed 55 years because tonight I was a 5-6 year using my first tool.

test hole
Before I got to getting the hang of the spokeshave I did some work on the remaining 6 stars. I started that by finding a drill bit that made a hole big enough to put both ends of the fishing line into it.

the back side
I picked what I thought is the best side to show and on the opposite side I drilled the hole for the fishing line.

point hides the fishing line
the reason why
I am gluing the fishing line to the back of the star up to the point so that it will hang plumb. I'm gluing it this way because I don't know where the center of gravity is on the star. If I hang it from the drilled hole it may lean in or out rather then straight up/down.

gluing the fishing line in
The tape is holding the fishing line in the hole while the super glue sets. I used the gel stuff and it isn't a instant nor a few seconds setting super glue. It was after I did all 6 of the stars that I looked around for something else to do.

sharpening my scrapers wasn't that something
This is something that I will have to do eventually. For now I'll use the camera case to hide it somewhat.

there is a spatula in there
This is a piece of 1/2" thick cherry that I found on the floor underneath my bandsaw. It's a little less then 10" long and it's about 4" wide. I had started to use this for the star halos but I couldn't saw a circle out of it on the bandsaw. That is what the saw kerf on the bottom right is from. I can get a spatula out of the opposite side.

sawed out the rough shape
Using this saw to do this is much easier then I thought it would be. It was more of a PITA to re-position the piece in the vise then doing the actual sawing and following the pencil line.

ready to shape
I figured I had nothing to lose here. I needed to get some practice in on using a spokeshave. If this worked I would have a xmas gift for someone. If it turned out to be toast I hopefully would have learned something and I can improve on it at the next outing.

the tool to master
After shaping this spatula I think I may have found a big part of my problem with this tool. I wasn't using it properly for sure but mostly I was pushing or pulling it improperly. I was putting the weight and emphasis on the back of the tool and not the front of it. Obvious to others but I missed it entirely.

The spokshave is just a tiny handplane with wings. Once I realized that and started "planing" it was an eureka moment. Or it could have been a senior citizen moment in reverse.

35 minutes later
other side
I can get another spatula out of this
This was a lot of fun to do. I can see a little better why making spoons is so addictive and why some guys make so many of them.

chisel work
I could have used the spokeshave to do this but the chisel was much quicker. I used it to knock off the nub and smooth out the curve. Once I did that I went back to the spokeshave.

some saw work
I used the carcass saw to remove the bulk of the waste at the butt end of the spatula. I also used it complete the partial saw cut at the toe.

end grain
Proof positive that you are never too old to learn something new. This is me planing end grain with a spokeshave. Yesterday I couldn't spell spokeshave and today I'm doing end grain work with it. I have finally used a spokeshave like I've seen Paul Sellers do.

2 more xmas gifts
I like the top one better then the bottom one. I think these will be ok for someone with small hands. These felt a bit on the smallish size in my hands. Other then this I'm pretty happy with what I did and what I ended up with.

forgot the carcass saw
You don't need a lot of tools to make these spatulas. Tomorrow when I go to Highlands I'll look through the shorts bin for some spatula stock. I think I may be giving as many of these this for xmas as I am giving stars.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the origin of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer?
answer - It was written by Robert May for Montgomery Ward in 1939. It was an advertising coloring book to be given away to customers.

Friday, December 19, 2014

HB to me.......

I reached the big six oh today at 7:12AM. It was at this time 60 years ago that I said hello to this world. I don't feel any different now then I did from 10 to 15 years ago. I have a few more aches and pains that I didn't have then.  But I can still do the same things I did as a youngster of 40 albeit a lot slower.  Which works in my favor as experience acquired from the years lived kicks in.

As a birthday gift to myself I'm leaving work after lunch today. And since I get screwed out of birthday presents due to having been born so close to xmas, I'll make up for that too. I plan on opening the Lee Valley tool catalog with my eyes closed, picking a page at random and fingering something on that page. If it is something I need, want, and can afford, it'll be my HB present to myself. I may have to repeat this as necessary till I get ........

My thanks to James Mason for taking the time to wish me a HB.  And I give my HB greetings to all others who were born close to xmas and get screwed.

What is the cutoff date for this? I personally think anyone whose birthday falls within the 12 days of xmas is fair game. (All others should be compensated with cake and presents.) So that would be anyone born from the 13th on till xmas. What of the birthdays that are on the first few days of  December? I hadn't thought of this till now but what of the birthdays that occur right after xmas? I wonder how they make out present, cake, or birthday card wise?

I Wish everyone a happy, safe, and fruitful holiday. May the new year yet to come be filled with surprises and good things for you.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is Clement Moore's claim to fame?
answer - He wrote the poem "A visit from St Nicholas" in 1822.  It is now more commonly known as "T'was the night before Christmas".