Friday, 3 July 2015

Equipping the (woodworking) workshop

I've been acquiring more woodworking tools since my last update. eBay provides relatively great deals (that may still amount to a lot, of course), but some things I buy new.

My greatest concern is to buy the wrong things, or to buy things in un-refurnishable condition. Since I have little idea and less experience, this is always a possibility. I try to do a lot of research before I make my choices and then a lot of and digging in order to get what looks like a good tool for a fair price.

Right now I cannot focus on woodworking proper since we have more urgent things to do, and we are on a schedule to get them done before the winter (we should have the back building sort of emptied and the windows and heating installed before it starts freezing - it's a lot of work) but already we've been able to use some of the new tools in the home renovation. And I do hope to squeeze building a workbench somewhere in there, but if it has to wait until winter, so be it, the workshop is a very cosy room (in fact, in the middle of a heatwave at the moment, it is not particularly pleasant).

I've scraped the paint off the front door (and I found green goo underneath) and am also fixing a spare door we found in the attic to install it in the attic bedroom.

I painted the areas I didn't feel like scraping, laaazy
They really weren't in good condition

On the front door I started testing a few card scrapers I got, it has a lot of mouldings (see link above) so I got different shapes.

I you look closely you'll see I have already altered two profiles

This took me on a journey to get them sharpened properly, which was my little odyssey (it still is). Finally I got everything I needed: a mill file (I really did not want to buy yet another file, but it does make a difference), 3 diamond sharpening plates (coarse, fine and superfine; this was ouch, but am convinced a very solid and necessary purchase), a really hard burnisher (I could go on about my burnisher frustrations, this one works); so I am getting there. I need a little more practice. It would have been difficult to justify such expense just to sharpen the scrapers, but all these things are also necessary to sharper other tools. And all the tools need sharpening...

I also got the small sharpeners
"To save on shipping", I'm sure you've heard that before ;)
Comparison of a double cut (top),
and a single cut file (bottom)

Just this week I received a Record 080 cabinet scraper. I needed something heavier to remove the paint and varnish from these doors. At least I hoped it did the work... even after my first inept sharpening session (with all proper tools this time) it performed brilliantly! first clear win in this adventure :D

This is joy!
I hate sanding
Record 080 with a pretty good blade

It seems it belonged to a Ray

I've also been trying to get the most basic equipment, and my main goal is to get the best tools I can afford, so I do not have to buy them twice: I have too little space available and too many interests (and a limited budget) to go on tool collecting for collecting's sake.

We also are building a frame for the door in the bedroom attic. We have no idea what we are doing but it is taking shape nonetheless.

We cut some housings for the top "beam" and for the door hinges. I cut one housing for the "joint", and Pim cut everything else while I was busy with the door.

From the tool list below, I already had the AI chisels, but not the router plane, so we did all this with a chisel (which I didn't sharpen yet because they came pretty sharp and I want to have more practice on cheaper chisels before I ruin these), and the marking the best we could with my steel ruler and flat metalworking square from the jewellery bench (less than ideal).

Anyway, the point of the story is that after cutting these housings Pim said: "This is a lot of fun". You have to understand that Pim is the king of understatement. I'm still giddy about it! it will be great if he also develops an interest.


So, apart from the things I mentioned in the previous post, I went on a workshop-equipping frenzy :) the holiday pay helped ;) I'll make a list with pictures because I can and because no one reads this anyway ;D in no particular order:

Ashley Iles chisels (1/4, 1/2, 3/4)
A box with three chisels and three files (sigh) from Aldi
1/4", 10mm, 12mm, 1/2", 18mm, 3/4", 25mmA couple of these are closer than I thought when I bought the box
(12mm and 1/2, 18mm and 3/4, I'm not good at imperial)
So now I have 7 chisels, and I hope this is enough for years and years! who am I kidding.

Guess which handles might not last
And check out how lithe the Ashley Iles' chisels are:

Top to bottom, Stanley, Aldi, Ashley Iles
Sooo, why did I buy three very fancy chisels and three Aldi chisels? (I had the Stanley since 2008 - trying to re-sharpen it, someone took it to some concrete... grr). I've actually been reading very good things about Aldi/Lidl chisels, but after being subscribed to their newsletters for months and months, I gave up ever seeing them surface. I ordered the Ashley Iles chisels. Guess what? like two weeks later I saw the chisel/file box in the newsletter. I checked it out, it was 30€... and we bought it, even though it is not the same set of (4) chisels I've been reading about. Not a bad price (although I REALLY do not need more files), and I thought despite the dreadful handles, it'd be good to have intermediate, metric sizes. Turns out two are pretty close, but hey. Hey! whatever.

On to more eBay:

A combination gaugeYay! finally! yay!
The next two are still greasy grimy:

Record 044 with... 14 cutters!
Stanley 71 1/2 router (this time with only one cutter,it is difficult to win one of these on eBay)
And shiny and new:
Starrett 10MEH-150, Stanley 10-049, piece of granite
I got the Starrett 10MEH-150 150mm combination square. This is supposed to be for students, with my budget, I preferred to get a quality small model that will always remain useful, rather than an unreliable full-size one. I found the Stanley 10-049 folding pocket knife in the local hardware store, so I got it for marking accurately. And our marble guy just gave us a chunk for free when we asked for a very flat one to sharpen/flatten on. This was in his refuse pile, so it is certainly not certified or anything, but at least against the combination square it looks perfectly flat:

And perfectly square:

It could be that both are wrong in the exact same way I suppose ;D

More eBay:

4 moulding planes that I probably shouldn't have bought (yet). I could not resist. They are things of beauty. For all I know they may be completely fucked up, but indeed, what do I know.

Cheap, boring and effective
10 Silverline sash clamps (60 and 90 cm).

And this is a group picture of the things I mentioned in the previous post:

Some planes, a gouge and a saw

I think this is actually all we need to build the workbench, and then some! from now on we can just get what we need when we need it at a more relaxed pace. RIGHT?