Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Paleo post (or maybe "Toishi in your backyard")

Trying to get my Blog stuff in order so that it will be easy to upload pictures. God forbid you actually have to read this drivel. Anyways, I've got a bunch of Japanese tool madness going on in the shop, and it looks to continue today. Kanna rehab, some Nomi chisel action, and I am also expecting more special treats from Japan as well.

Ahh, the best laid plans.....

I originally planned to do some more Kanna (Japanese carpentry wood plane) rehab and maybe polish up some chisels.....

But first..
Japanese carpentry plane rehab DIY
Evil hawthorn branch = good tool handles?

Then, OMG! the workbench looks like crap! Let the diversions begin!

Amazing stuff. Wipe on, watch the stains disappear, then neutralize the acid with some dilute baking soda water mixture. Fizzy. Oh yeah, the stains were iron and rust stains, that's why I used phosphoric acid to bleach the wood instead of a bleach or hydrogen peroxide mix. And the results.........
Bucket storage
Pretty good but even stranger is the cleared off table surface. I haven't seen that for at least 4 months. Weird. I can't remember if this photo is from before or after, but I also put on a couple of coats of shellac for a bit more stain protection. I also really need to finish making the drawers for the workbench. I obviously need the storage, because if you look the other way.....
Mess? What do you mean?

This is what the rest of the shop looks like. I wonder why my wife refuses to set foot in the basement? And while Dad works in the shop......
"What are you doing upstairs,Dad?"-Eliana Sabina Bellinger-Thomas
Eliana paints pictures of snakes.

OK, back to the branch, but now I need to sharpen the hatchet and so we come to the focus of the day. Sharpening things on rocks. Toishi is the Japanese word for sharpening stone but these are definitely not nice waterstones. I started collecting natural stones out of curiosity................. wait, let me backtrack a bit. As soon as you get interested in Japanese tools and how sharp they can get...well, then you got to learn how to sharpen the dang things. I mean, seriously sharpen, like working towards your masters in sharpening stuff. I thought that I was pretty good at getting a bleeding edge before, but this stuff gets just ridiculously, wicked sharp.

Carpentry, like everything else here in the US, is focused on getting the most, biggest, fastest.......whatever, just get it done. Sharpening tools is seen as a necessary evil that gets in the way of real work and is just a distraction from more important things. I once read a comment on woodworking forum by a guy who, rather than sharpen a chisel, just threw it in the trash and bought a new (sharp) one, because it was cheaper in a $/hr sense. I am going to believe that he was speaking facetiously because to think otherwise makes me sick to my stomach, even though you see this level of waste every day working in the trades. I need to stop now, otherwise we will never see the end of this day..........

So, I am learning to sharpen tools.
File hatchet, not foot!
Ugh! Nice rock!
Use funny rock with holes to make other rock flat
Nice and shiny wire-edge
But wait! "Dad, hold my snake while I build a habitat." Yes, our daughter really says things like that.

A snake's worst day ever
Ohh, your hands are so warm!

Fancy digs(not)
"Hi snaky snake"
Now, back to sharpening stuff. Lucky you.
Sharpen until the wire-edge comes off
At this point I finished up with a piece of slate to polish the edge. Not good enough.
Different rock, same hatchet, same bad camera
I pulled out the big guns. Great rock, lots of slurry, very muddy and, unfortunately, very soft as well. I wish that this rock would last forever, it's that good. High praise for a yard rock. Finish polish with slate.

How about some nicer tools?
Slip-stone made from slate
Not bad. Not great, but not bad.
More slate, even better edge 8/10
Ellie demonstrating proper form on some really tough Doug fir. Atta girl!
Well we didn't get much done, but we did have fun. Despite the teaser of Japanese tools, no harm was done to snakes or tools.See you tomorrow.


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Like all of us, I am figuring this out as I go, so when you see something that is incorrect or flat out wrong (and you will!), let me know. This is a learning process. Real people and names, please. Constructive comments and questions are very welcome, but hate speak/politics are not! Life (get one!) is too short.

Thanks, Jason