Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cutting Board

 The cutting board is as simple as useful auxiliary device in any woodworking shop. Its construction is very simple and does not require special materials (scrap wood will be fine)

The main piece consists of a 1 inch thick board, 10"  wide  and 1 foot long. At both ends, on opposite sides, two square holders (1 1/4" x 1 1/4" section)  are screwed and /or glued (of course these sizes can be customized as needed). While one  is located on the backside and firmly holds the tool  against the workbench edge, the other is on the top face and  holds the workpiece in place during cutting.
This holder is shorter than a couple of inches in respect to the tablet width, in order to provide room to the saw action  (typically we will use a backsaw).
The cutting free hand (in my case the right one, more often the left one) will hold the workpiece firmly pressed against the  support. At the same time this force will push the tool against the bench,  blocking everything very efficiently.
Using a free-hand cut, the cutting board, usually, is delegated  in the preliminary stages of  cutting job, remanding  later  the fine squaring process, but ......... surfing the net, I saw a  Roy Underhill and Chris Schwarz video and..... I discovered a truly amazing trick which helps you to get a much better result. This method exploits the ability of the saw blade to reflect items, including the workpiece. If you look carefully, you will see how the blade may cause image distortion when it is out of square and how easy is, however, to place the saw in the right way just following the optical effect of mirror surface. Well ...... I tried it and really works!
Here are pictures of the first piece I just cut in this way without marking it. Only one cut dimension (first pic) is slightly out of square.
Really promising!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In small barrel......

....... there is good wine!!

The Stanley 101 is a plane that escapes the attention and consideration of many. It is just  long 3 1 / 2 inches and has a blade only 1" wide. It was produced from 1877 to 1962.
When put on the market  it was offered as a toy plane, failing to provide the considerable success it would have. In fact, I too have not considered it for some years, parking on its shelf  until I had the need to use it. In fact, I had to finish the corners of a frame fixed with glue and nails. Lacking room for using a classic block (my 9 1 / 2 plane) without danger to ruin the cutter edge on nails, I decided to use the 101, which carried out its first job to my service in the best way . Of course it needed the classical  basic treatment : iron sharpening (I made a single 30° bevel ) and sole flattening.
I tested the plane onto mahogany and ash. Passed with flying colors!