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Bob Blarney

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  1. A source for reasonably priced tools is CR Hill in Berkley, Michigan. They supply fine tools to the jewelry trade and artists. https://www.crhill.com/
  2. I like most Lee Valley tools, but this is what I call an 'executive' tool. Sure, it does a nice job, but there are substantially less expensive ways to get the same results. I could set up my trusty old Stanley 60-1/2 to do that in a jiffy. By the way, I'd probably tack-glue the stock on to a larger board, or cut a board with a recess to carry the stock across the plane. It would be safer and easier to plane the small stuff. Another way is to glue one end of the stock on a board, plane it to shape, and then cut/chip off the glued end.
  3. Just a word of caution about photocopied plans. I had a set of guitar plans copied and laminated in plastic for the building on the benchtop. (I file the originals away for safekeeping). During construction, I used a commonly-used online fret spacing calculator for the fingerboard. When the guitar was finally strung up, it didn't sound right. It turned out that intonation (distance from nut to saddle) was off because the dimensions of the photocopy were a few percentage points too short. It was not too difficult to correct, but next time I'll check closely. For your purposes, this is probably not a matter of great concern, so long as you have all the copies that you need made at the same copying session. If you go several times, the last copy may not match the first.
  4. Several of my tools were purchased on Craigslist, and I recommend that you research the tool before going to look. Know how it operates, and see if there are particular problems in using or breakdowns. Find out if parts are available. Never pay more than 50-66% of original price unless it is pristine. Look at the seller's place - are other things in order?
  5. Here you can see how I've clamped a piece of binding, using strips of bicycle inner tube to clamp and support the binding strip as I've been bending it. This keeps it from fracturing on the outside surface. You can also cut rubber bands of various widths from bicycle inner tubes for other clamping needs.
  6. I needed to bend some granadilla, a very hard rosewood, to make bindings for a very small guitar. And so I came up with this mini steamer that I thought you might be interested in seeing. It works.
  7. "MagEyes anybody use them ? Which ones and Y" I had to do a doubletake to get the meaning of the title. Was sent from a phone?
  8. The name of the excellent coping/fret saw is Knew Concepts, https://www.knewconcepts.com/Coping-saws.php
  9. I've got two, but one will be donated to an artists' organization if I don't soon incorporate the mechanism into a larger bench. I work on many types of objects, and the variable height makes things easier. I've found it's easiest to locate the workpiece at elbow height. One is based upon a salvaged veterinary operating table. The top had broken mounts, and so I put a top with clamps on it. What makes it special is that it has a pedal-operated hydraulic jack that can lift the top about 12", and the column and inclination mechanism allows it to rotate 360 degrees and incline from 0 to 85 degrees. It can lift probably 400-500 lbs, which is more than I could ever lift and place on its top. The other one is one that I bought today for $200. The top is 24 x 52 inches, and the height is variable from 26 to 42 inches. The lower drawer is 39 x 16 x 1.5 inches, and the upper is 39x8x1.5, and they're on ballbearing slides. The base is powder-coated steel. I will make a cabinet with additional drawers that will be mounted on the base, probably resting on the crossbeam and attached to the columns. This will add more storage space and mass to the bench.
  10. The enemies of any cutting process are slippage and vibration. With power tools there's also the phenomenon of harmonic vibration, which does not appear when using hand tools. Perhaps you're using the wrong hand saw. Try a jeweler's saw (or you coping saw), with a variety of blades, and use it with a birdsmouth attached firmly to a solid bench. If that goes ok, then look into a buying a high-end coping/fret saw - the brand name of a premier saw escapes me at the moment - (New Saw Concepts?). There is also a very specialized saw for marquetry & veneer work, a chevalet Here's a few pics of a birdsmouth. http://blog.oldwolfworkshop.com/2015/05/coping-saw-appliance.html
  11. As mentioned above, always keep the fire extinguisher near the exit door. Never let a fire get between you and the door. if there is any doubt about being able to quench it leave immediately. As for the phone, well, I got rid of regular house phones a decade or so ago (a damned nuisance that I didn't want to pay for), and I always keep my cellphone in my pocket. If you do call 911, don't forget to say the address because that info may not be available to the operator.
  12. Your lathe is a versatile tool. Here I'm polishing and washing 50 small parts. The pill vial is held in the pen-blank jaws, with a dead-center rod to give it a small offset for tumbling the parts. My lathe is powered by a variable speed DC motor that I scavenged from a bedroom clothes rack (aka an exercise treadmill). It gives speed from ~20-4000 RPM with a simple modification of the controller board, and is reversible too (use a chuck that locks on the spindle!) Washer.mp4
  13. Yep, a lot of people sell pens now. But it was more than a fad - many people made the rent when times were hard after the Mortgage Meltdown that destroyed the economy in late 2007. But for me, I never kept an inventory - that was too expensive. It was about working with someone person-to-person in an artist/craftsman way to make a pen that they really liked and used. It was a matter of engaging them in the process, and I've run into people who wave their pens at me that were turned years ago. It was fun, and sometimes I still do it. All that said, I'd say that learning one craft always aids in learning another. The experience of handling tools with one's hands sharpens the imagination.
  14. great work on the knives. I know what you mean about lathework and turning pens. I made one once to avoid watching the news when I got home from work. I took it work and showed someone, and soon people were calling me to turn pens. Well, it got a little embarrassing because I wasn't there to sell pens, but when someone offers $50-150 for an hour or two of relaxing work then why not? It also paid for some shop improvements.

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