Thursday, February 28, 2013

a dangerous addiction...

last christmas my parents and robin gave me 3 tools, which are made by a small little company in Maine. Called Lee-Nielsen Toolworks.

These were 3 chisels in 1/4, 5/8 and 1/2 size. Which do more or less everything I will ever need from a chisel. But they are so beautifully made and lightweight. I haven't touched my Crown or Fuller Chisels than and terrible neglected them. There is just no point in using anything else anymore. Which brings me to my current dilemma.

The more I work with power-tools  The more they annoy me, because of all the noise and dust they generate. So I try to use hand-tools, whenever possible.

Don't get me wrong. I love my bandsaw, table-saw  mortiser, drill press, planner and drum-sander and don't want to miss them. Especially the table/band-saw. Since I can't cut or draw a straight line, even if my life depends on it. But something is just really justifying in using a plane or chisel to fine-tune and optimize joints. And I really dislike my 'el-cheapo' router-table, since every-time I use it, I worry about my fingers. It's just such a flimsy tool...

And since I got spoiled by using Lee-Nielsens terrible overpriced tools, I can't help myself, but wanting more and more. I don't need a full chisel set, since I barley ever have the need for anything bigger than 1/2" Chisel. But there handplanes are just so beautiful and well made...

Needless to say, I splurged yet again and order a Small shoulder plane and a Dovetail Saw. (Which I will most likely return, since as I mentioned I can't draw or saw a straight line....) But I hope to learn how to cut a dovetail in 30 days with a handsaw or just have to face the truth and stick to tenons.

Now the good part is that there is a very low risk of me acquiring a lot of handplanes, since they are

a) way to expensive
b) I make my money with software development and woodwork is an attempt to get me away from the pc and make some money to keep us in nice furniture.
c) I don't have a workbench, which means I won't be able to use any bench-plane.

Speaking of workbench, I actually attempted a while back to build one, around 2-3am in the morning over several weeks, using left over pine and fir from the doghouse. And it was a gigantic disaster. It warped, was to light and lacked any form of vise. Which meant I kept using clamps to awkwardly hold pieces in place.

So I would love to build a nice workbench sometime around the end of this year, except that hardwood is ridicules expensive and you literally need several hundred board-feet of maple for the top. I run some quick calculation and came up with a number of ~1800$ to build a workbench, just in wood and an end vise.

Maybe I can keep left over parts from my cutting boards and patch a top together over time, which will look funny. But aslong as it's flat and heavy should work.

Speaking of nice furniture,

at this point in time I have enough projects on my 'honey do list' to keep me busy for the next 1-2 years. From building a small reading table, over building 2 nightstands, a bed and headboard, refinishing the kitchen table again, turning chair legs to fix the broken chair to building planting boxes for the backyard...

I guess I'm going to generate a lot of sawdust and maybe a piece or two of furniture...

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