Julie Mo

Miniature Hand Tools

94 posts in this topic

Julie I am not sure where the idea to use glass came from. At the time I was completely enraptured by a chap called James Krenov, I love the line in his book Called "A Cabinetmaker's Notebook"

 

"My way of working is just a long series of personal discoveries. I can't give anyone secrets, something that I promise
will work, because, finally, it depends upon one's skill and intuition, and other things. But I can give hints, the benefit
of some experience in the things that have happened to me. I don't get kiln-dried wood because I think that kiln-dried
wood has been killed. This is not a pun, but a fact. The process of saturating wood with steam and getting it all wet, cooking
it, you might say, is a chemical process that changes and dulls the color of the wood, and the fibers are affected so that wood
which has been kiln-dried feels different to me. It's got a different ring, a different texture; it isn't clear and fine. It's like
a poorly developed photograph-one that was taken well but just didn't come out. Besides, kiln-dried wood is brittle."

 

The bit about personal discoveries is so true, in any field of endevour we come across gems that are true for us, these things just happen at the right time, the key is realizing it.

 

This working with wood gig is just such a fantastic journey, I use wood to heat my shop and as I split the wood every now and then a piece of birch (air dried) or spruce or pine just splits in such a way that I have to put it to one side to use for something other than warming my body, more for using it to warm my soul.

 

Michael
 

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Ok, now I feel it is a right place to ask :)
I have a Veritas low angle block plane, and looking for something to flatten small boards.

There are two options:

1) buy an optional tote and a knob for the block plane (such thing exists! See http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=41715&cat=1,41182,48942 )

2) Buy a veritas low angle jack plane and an additional 38 degree blade (for smoothing). Keep in mind it is a bevel up blade, so angles sum up.

 

Second option is quite expensive though..

Block plane path is cheaper, but it only has 25deg blade. I can do scraping for smoothing, though.
Ok the other hand, my boards are typically as long as the jack plane, or even shorter - so the jack could be be too large for my purposes. But could be used for jointing due to its length... So far using a block plane and a shooting board for jointing.

Would appreciate some thoughts from a more experienced craftsman here!

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Ok, now I feel it is a right place to ask :)

I have a Veritas low angle block plane, and looking for something to flatten small boards.

There are two options:

1) buy an optional tote and a knob for the block plane (such thing exists! See http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=41715&cat=1,41182,48942 )

2) Buy a veritas low angle jack plane and an additional 38 degree blade (for smoothing). Keep in mind it is a bevel up blade, so angles sum up.

 

Second option is quite expensive though..

 

Block plane path is cheaper, but it only has 25deg blade. I can do scraping for smoothing, though.

Ok the other hand, my boards are typically as long as the jack plane, or even shorter - so the jack could be be too large for my purposes. But could be used for jointing due to its length... So far using a block plane and a shooting board for jointing.

 

Would appreciate some thoughts from a more experienced craftsman here!

 

Why are those the only two options? There are three sizes of smoothing plane between your block and the jack that make great jointer planes for model stock. Look at my build log, you see me using my bevel up smoothing plane to thickness cocobolo easily.

 

Ah heck here is the photo. This is my highly technical setup - a piece of 1/8 scrap (I can use 1/16", did last night) as a stop, two cam clamps, and my BU smoothing plane. It works great if you can plane parallel to your surface, and I have no issues controlling size down to .001".

 

post-9338-0-23033000-1485295388_thumb.jpg

 

As for which blade, you're right that the important thing is what is the final cutting edge angle of incidence to the wood (bed angle plus bevel angle for BU planes), and working with model hardwoods that should be close to the proverbial York pitch of 50 degrees. Higher for figured woods.

 

The reason I like the new BU planes is one smaller/lower profile that makes them handier, and two I just think it makes more sense to have most of the mass and blade axis with the highest strength aligned close to the cut. These planes sharpened never chatter on anything.

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Well, I am not only using it on a model scale, it is mostly intended for something between real woodworking and model scale.

This photo should give an idea, block plane for scale. 

post-5430-0-87317800-1485296029_thumb.jpg

 

There are two choices because I already have a block plane, and buying something similarly sized is not reasonable. So jack plane that can also be good for jointing the boards along the grain (cross grain low angle block plane is good and big enough). On the other end, I have no troubles jointing it with block plane and a straight edge.

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Ok, I wouldn't call block and smoothing plane similar-sized, standard block, smooth, jack, and jointer are all distinct sizes that perform specific functions relative to each other. I mean I'm not sure I'd recommend buying the small smoothing plane but the large one I have is an altogether different animal from your block plane.

 

But your mileage may vary and it's up to you what you get. My concern is that the jack is too big, but certainly block is much too small to flatten boards that long/wide so no I wouldn't recommend getting the handle for your block plane at all. That would make you use that plane in that mode a bit better but it doesn't change the fundamental size and you need more size.

 

The reason I'm also against jack is that board is about the smallest that's appropriate for a jack plane, so you pay lots of money for something that applies to only one process.If you know you're going to be doing bigger work more often maybe it works out.

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Mike, before reading vossiewulf's reply, the first plane that came to mind for me is the smoothing plane.  I agree with is comments 100%.  I have used mine for jointing the sides of planks I ripped on the table saw.  And for finish work, it is the best choice.

 

The #62 low angle jack plane however, can be a great all around plane if you equip it with extra plane irons.  I especially love the adjustable throat on mine.  It really helps control the cut. 

 

FWW did an article some time ago about the #62 calling it the only hand plane you need.  In the article, the author recommended having one iron sharpened at 280 and one at 350.  Add the 120 already in the plane bed and you can tackle more jobs.  He also recommended a toothed iron to take the place of a scrub plane and a scraper blade to round out the collection.  You can see how versatile the #62 can be if you do this.  It was the first "real" plane I bought and with it bought the additional irons.  

 

Over time, I added to my plane collection and while I don't use the #62 for everything any more, it is the plane I still use most often for general woodworking.  But it's not one I would think of going to for model making.  The first one I pulled out when I wanted to joint the edges of planks was the smoothing plane, FWIW. 

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Above somewhere I was talking about the need to slightly curve the edges of straight plane irons to feather the edges of the cuts and avoid those nasty hard lines made by sharp plane iron corners. I was sharpening my little Lie-Nielsen squirrel-tail plane, the flat-bottomed one that matches Julie's convex one, and remembered to take a pic to demonstrate.

 

Some people try to make it a smooth curve all the way across, this is senseless to me as no matter what you do that will leave a scalloped surface. Instead I leave as much of the iron as possible straight, and then only smoothly relieve the corners, because unlike the continuous-curve iron, mine leaves a perfectly flat surface. As to how flat, go look at the piece of wenge I planed, pic on page 3 of this thread.

 

Since this iron is only 1" wide it doesn't have as much of a flat in the center, but you can still see what I mean. By the way, I'm with Ron Hock and don't do secondary bevels despite what it looks like here. Somehow the last time I sharpened this it was more like 23.5 degrees instead of the desired 25 degrees, so I'm fixing that, another couple of sharpenings and it will be all one bevel again. And this was sharpened 1000-4000-8000 Shapton stones and finally on a strop. The dark spots on the right part of the cutting edge that look kind of like flaws aren't, they're reflections of things on my bench above,

 

post-9338-0-06636600-1486605935_thumb.jpg

 

The best way to do this curved edge is with the Mk.II Veritas Honing Guide with the curved barrel-shaped roller that is designed to do exactly this process. It's technically feasible to do it by hand, but it certainly ain't easy.

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I have had the Veritas micro chisels for over a month now and wanted to update my previous email. I love using these chisels. I am working on masting for my Eagle and find these are the go to tool when making small cuts and bevels on the masts. They also work well in getting into tight corners to remove squeeze out.

 

I also have to mention that the stereozoom microscope I purchased off eBay is also coming in very handy. While it is a large tool, it is sort of tertiary to this discussion since it allows one to see really small areas. A good example of how both of these tools came handy is when I was making the top mast platform. After I cleaned up all the squeeze out using my flip down magnifiers, I decided to see how mush left over I could see with the microscope. It was a huge amount. However, with the small chisels I was able to clean out all of this squeeze out cleanly. You ask if it made any difference since it was so small to begin with? I think so. Cumulatively, this type of squeeze out removes some of the sharp corners that while they might not be evident, once they were all done, did make the stop seem much crisper.

 

Anyway, that is my story and I am sticking to it.

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Just catching up with this thread. There is no substitute for a quality tool. I smiled at Michael's reference to James Krenov. A wonderful designer/craftsman. For gnarly woods, a cabinet scraper is a useful alternative to shards of glass, and perhaps a little safer as well!

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Been exploring the Japan Woodworker site and am enjoying it.  I am at the point of life where I only want to acquire quality tools.  I am tired of trying to "make do" with the bargain basement specials I have been using.  

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That's more or less my state also Michael, and all of my hand saws and about a third of my hand tools are Japanese, most of which came from JW. I very much like the design philosophy of Japanese tools and I very much appreciate Rc64 edges in very good steel, you can get incredibly sharp edges.

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I think one of my next side projects is going to be learning how to correctly sharpen edges.  Excellent tools are not very good if you cannot sharpen them or even worse mess them up doing it incorrectly.

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See Ron Hock's book on sharpening that I linked in my tools topic, it really is the best and most straightforward I've read.

 

I strongly recommend Shapton Glass Stones. I have an entire drawer filled with sharpening stones of every variety; Japanese water stones work as well as Shapton Glass stones but are much more messy. Diamond is 1) expensive for the rate at which they wear out and 2) always leaves a really aggressive scratch pattern. Ceramics almost always rapidly glaze over.

 

Shapton glass stones stay reasonably flat for a long time, only require a few drops of water so very little mess, and remove steel at a faster rate than any stones I've ever used. I have a 220 for reshaping bevels, then 1000/4000/8000 for sharpening plus a strop for final finishing.

 

I also strongly recommend the Mk.II Veritas Sharpening Guide if you have chisels and plane irons you want to sharpen. That jig makes plane iron sharpening very easy, including being able to gently radius the edge (never sharpen a plane iron square).

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The book is my next purchase. Thanks for the req on the Shapton stones.  I will also look into the guide when I need to.  Either the Veritas or the Kell mentioned above.

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The Kell is an excellent chisel sharpening jig. I don't however think it's a good plane iron sharpening jig. Plane irons should be sharpened not with a straight edge and hard corners, but with a .005" to maybe .01" radius. A square-edged plane is not very good for the task of actually planing down stock, every cut leaves a deep hard edge or two deep hard edges. However, if the iron is sharpened with a gentle radius, the cut feathers out to nothing on both sides and you can easily produce a completely flat planed surface by overlapping strokes right to left or vice versa.

 

The Veritas Mk.II is designed to make it easy to sharpen in that radius, and every plane I own is sharpened that way.

 

Here's an example, I had just bought a Veritas low-angle jack plane, and had just sharpened it for the first time with the proper radius and used it to flatten this wenge board. If you can make a wood surface flatter and shinier than this, please let me know how :)

planes testing 5r.jpg

And here is my little Lie-Nielsen plane that I use most on ships, showing a good but slightly lopsided radius on the edge, I straightened it out the next time I sharpened.

20170208_012519.jpg

And speaking of which, if you want to buy good tools now, you need to spend time at both Lee Valley and Lie-Nielsen.

 

 

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I've spent a small fortune at Lee Valley this year, and my wish list is still quite lengthy! Just placed my latest order yesterday. Gotta love quality tools!!! :):):)

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Yeah, if you want good chisels or planes with blades that stay sharp near forever, most of Lee Valley/Veritas tools now have the PM-V11 powdered metal alloy as an option. You pay more but the reduction in sharpening time makes it very worth it. 

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Vossiewulf, your postings will be the end of me :)

 

I've just blown the budget on an order and here he goes and posts more quality tools to use!

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On ‎2‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 6:14 PM, druxey said:

Just catching up with this thread. There is no substitute for a quality tool. I smiled at Michael's reference to James Krenov. A wonderful designer/craftsman. For gnarly woods, a cabinet scraper is a useful alternative to shards of glass, and perhaps a little safer as well!

I was introduced to the use of glass as a wood scraper by a master craftsman at Wurlitzer's music instrument repair shop in Buffalo New York over 50 years ago and still have all my fingers.

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*Poster is not responsible for any resultant marital strife and/or budget destruction :)

 

You guys are just joining me. Because I do all this digging I've been living with years-long wish lists forever :) Even now that I'm in a position to spend quite a bit more than I used to, it's STILL years long.

 

But at least if you know all the cool things out there, you can make better judgments about priority and get the ones that will benefit your processes most first.

 

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7 minutes ago, vossiewulf said:

*Poster is not responsible for any resultant marital strife and/or budget destruction :)

 

Haha!!

 

8 minutes ago, vossiewulf said:

But at least if you know all the cool things out there, you can make better judgments about priority and get the ones that will benefit your processes most first.

 

This for sure.  I love these kind of threads.

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4 hours ago, mischief said:

I was introduced to the use of glass as a wood scraper by a master craftsman at Wurlitzer's music instrument repair shop in Buffalo New York over 50 years ago and still have all my fingers.

Yep, obsidian and flint were the first scrapers, and glass was very popular as scraper material throughout the 18th and 19th century as I recall, and still works fine today as mischief says, you just have to be careful handling it and the edge is not going to be regular.

 

Every edge tool you own can also act as a scraper, and I regularly use them as such in small areas. As long as you don't do it too much, using them this way doesn't significantly increase sharpening requirements, at least in my experience.

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11 hours ago, usedtosail said:

I hear you Jeremy. Every time he posts my wish list gets longer and my wallet gets thinner.

I think we agreed that riffler file sets are what you need next? Certainly if you don't have a good set, you're going to find tremendous use out of that as a purchase.

 

The annoying thing is the set I bought is no longer available anywhere. There is this Glardon-Vallorbe set at Otto Frei, but I don't think the choices in that set are the best for ship modeling.

 

I think the best choice at this point is to buy individual Grobet files, Contenti is a good supplier that I've bought from for years. In fact you should add them to your supplier list, they are jeweler/watchmaker supplies like Otto Frei but they have some things Otto Frei doesn't. I tend to use Otto Frei because I get next-day delivery on standard shipping as they're just across the bay from me.

 

Some things about rifflers - you want diesinkers' or diemakers' riffler files. Almost all suppliers call them diesinkers as a group now but sometimes you run into ones that know that there is a division there and will list them as two separate groups.

 

DO NOT get silver smiths' riffler files, they are much too big. Unless you want an 800 pound gorilla riffler to teach a 1/24 build what's what.

 

You want both cut 2 and cut 0. Those would be medium and coarse respectively when used on wood. If you can only get one... I'd probably get 2 as you can use it in precision cases, it's just not as good at removing large amounts of material.

 

Number 901 is the one I use most, it has safe edges all around and you can do fairly big areas laying it flat or very tiny areas with the pointy end.

231-901_2.jpg

Number 951 is generally useful but it also seems specifically designed to help make clean planking rabbets quickly. Click here to see it in action doing that (toward the end of the linked post).

231-951_2.jpg

My other favorite is missing... I'll have to look around to find another supplier who has ALL Grobet rifflers, you can see there are many numbers missing from Contenti's list. There are others they have that are useful, but each of you should decide from here which ones will help the way you work. I do strongly recommend you focus on the ones with safe edges, if you have cutting surfaces all around it makes them more flexible but also capable of causing as many problems as they're solving.

 

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