Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happiness is a sharp chisel -or- "Why it takes me so long to fix the porch"

I have been working on  what WOULD be a definite improvement for our house, if only I could just get the work done. This is how it goes (and a familiar story for any long suffering spouse. I love you, Renee!).

We need to improve the storage in our front porch, build shelves and the like. Simple, no?
I got a good start but began to develop the sense of dis-satisfaction that comes from doing less than your best work. Even though it will be the inside of the closet and will be seen by only ourselves, and briefly at that, part of the fun of building for yourself is that you can afford to do what would cost a fortune the have built by others. AND I can do a better job anyway...we are soon to be buried under all of our cheap, throw away junk. We seem to work SOOOO hard to surround ourselves with ugliness that lessens our lives. I would much rather have the beautiful few things that bring me joy.

Staaaart over....

Empty closet.

Pebble finish concrete for wet boots.

Lined with recycled hemlock/pine. So here is what happened. I began lining the space and this old, recycled tongue and groove looks sooo nice when it is planed...

Ignore that glue bottle. In homage to Chris Hall- I made this WITHOUT glue (but did use screws. Shhhh.....). I made each surface an individual panel with rails and stiles, using splines to keep things aligned. This way, the horizontal slats can expand and contract with changes in humidity. Also, this material was nice enough to recycle once, so in the hopes that someday someone else might reuse this wood again, I made the panels easily demountable. Remove a couple of screws and the whole assembly breaks down into it's constituent components. I was going to just leave the slats bare, but they will stay nice longer with a quick shellac and wax it goes.

Nice, though. You can still see the occasional old nail hole. Ironic, I suppose. To get this nicely planed surface, you need to do this....

So. Two weeks of playing with new sharpening stones and we are all caught up.

I am so interested in using the new sharpening stones, particularly the ODC nagura, that I am testing edge durability using my favorite chisel. This has been sharpened using the Jnats with the ODC nagura and finishing with an ODC slurry on a granite tile. Full steel mirror and easy, IF you use the ODC nagura.

I like to round off the backs of my kanna so I have a nice large target to hit with the mallet. You hit the chiseled areas, NOT the semi-circle. Most of the old kanna that you see get all battered and split in these areas. This looks kinda frou-frou (namby-pamby, eh Renee?), and I am moderately embarrassed. It seems a bit like making your dog wear a sweater. I mean, I like scars as much as the next guy, and they are tools, right?

You make your plane all pretty, you put the sharp blade back where it belongs, then you adjust the iron. Make a test cut. And another. Adjust the gap.....shavings are hanging they are curling forward instead of flying out behind....old redwood is only making strings, well, we'll try some port orford cedar, just to be sure....ok, good enough! Gee, there goes another hour!

Nice shavings, though. Not tooooo bad for using the chip breaker.....I bet I could get a better cut if I just used a single blade.....hmmmmm.

Ok, enough playing. Back to work. For real, this time.

1 comment:

  1. Now I see why it's taking a while... but well worth the wait, the closet is beautiful :-)


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