Handtool Haven

Today certainly was hand-tool day at Yaakov’s shop. And, how sweet it was! Warning! Rabbit Trail ahead! Last night we watched Toy Story 3 and the scenario of my tools having a secret life of their own popped into my head. My beloved LN #4 smoothing plane is my Buzz Lightyear, and now I wonder how my “Worksharp Station” feels now that it has become obsolete and is destined for Craig’s List. At least my old hand saws will still have a life with students. All and all, its creepy and depressing when I think about it. End trail.

Well, onward and upward. The number one goal for the day was making the drawer pulls. I have a big piece of ebony that I have been holding onto for something special, and the day was the day to start using it.

Ebony is a very hard and dense wood, so I wanted to make sure my planes were freshly sharpened. And to do that, I used my new Norton sharpening stones.  A couple of my plane blades needed some serious work on them, and these water-stones did the trick. My first task was to use my sharpening jig and set the 25 degree angle. To make that bevel repeatable, I made a jig for my jig to set 25 and 30 degree bevels.

A Jig for a Jig for repeatable settings

After soaking the stones in water for the prerequisite time, I started with the 1000 grit stone, then used the 4000 grit stone, and finally the 8000 grit stone. Next, I reset the jig to 30 degrees to create the micro-bevel.

A microbevel (or second bevel) is just what it sounds like: a very small bevel at the end of your already-beveled edge. The primary purpose of this microbevel is to save you time. When your blade dulls, you merely need to sharpen the microbevel instead of going through all of these steps from scratch. I created the microbevel by using my 1000 stone then the 8000 grit stone. Then I removed the burr on the 8000 grit stone, and badaboom badabing, you have a razor-sharp tool. I finally achieved the edge I have wanting for so long!

I took the 4/4 ebony board, set up on its side, and my Jointer plane made fast and easy work on squaring up the first edge. I will admit that I used my table saw to rip off a strip for the pulls about 1/2 thick. Rip sawing by hand was simply not a question when ebony is involved. Using my bench hook, various planes and my new Veritas crosscut saw I completed making the drawer pulls.

A jig for cutting each pull the same length

A sharp plane will eliminate most of your sanding, so I started sanding with 220, 320, and then 600 girt sandpaper. Tomorrow, I will apply a thin coat of shellac to give the wax a nice flat surface to reflect light.

The panel for the back was snap to make. I got a nice piece of 1/8″ veneered plywood, so all I had to do was size it up on the table saw. Sanding and Shellacking was the next order of business and that was fast easy job too.

The shellacking of the drawer fronts is completed, so the next session in the shop will be to sand them down for that super smooth feel. Hopefully I will get the drawer fronts completed and glued onto the drawer boxes, then attach the back, and then start on attaching the top. The light at the ending of the tunnel is there! Come to the light children, all are welcome, all are welcome!


About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
This entry was posted in Chai Boy Journal and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Handtool Haven

  1. Yep, the home stretch is where the excitement starts to build. I’m really looking forward to the pulls.

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