Saturday, January 11, 2014

Blank slate for 2014 - Time to finish what I've started

"Great starter!" Might have been written on one of my earliest report cards, and while not being afraid to tackle new projects is a good thing, the inability to finish is not. I have the attention span of a 5 year old child, at least when it comes to building things, and the natural outcome of this is..... great heaps of stuff. Piles on top of piles, till the towers fall....



My friend Charlie is scrapping out an old ketch and before it hits the burn yard, I am trying to save as much of it as possible *Renee cringes*.

Teak, some copper.

Plywood face is almost 6mm thick.

That's 7/32's for the metrically challenged.

Making small piles from large. At least that is a step in the right direction.

I had started building a huge honking workbench because I have always wanted a giant monstrosity that makes a comforting "THUNK" when hammering things. Lots of vises. Drawers. Maybe a Roubo, like all of the cool guys?

This is a case of reality outpacing dreams. NOT having a vise for so long taught me to work in a way that makes gravity and geometry my friend.....I don't really need vises too much. Chemo wreaked havoc on my legs, so standing at a bench for a while is, uh, not pleasant and I find that I am a lot more comfortable just sitting on a piece of carpet on the floor. It's also easier on the tools, carpet being far more forgiving of my clumsy hands than the concrete is.

Drawers. Those I DO still need!

Ugly pulls, but quick/done. I badly need the storage so that I can....

Move every damn thing in the shop, finish an  unfinished wall and build some new racks for wood storage. This project is 2 days old and already I am itching to make a box (maybe one of the 30 out so, piled everywhere?), sharpen some tools, do anything that isn't mud-and-tape. Write a blog?


To do:

  • Lumber storage
  • Tool racks
  • Finish coat closet/ make Renee happy
  • Build a bench for the front porch. Ditto.
  • Try to remember what these piles of wood were intended to be... Japanese style tool box.... Bent-wood boxes... Sharpening bench....???? Gaaagh!
  • Build a better forge and anvil. Junji ( in Japan) is sending me some old tools, one of which will be reworked into a small yari-ganna, an ancient predecessor to the Japanese wood plane. It has a curved, leaf shaped blade, a long handle, and is used in a drawing/slicing movement.

This is my inspiration, although mine will be a laughably poor imitation.

Usui Kengo work ( sans-handle). Pro-shop Hokuto sold this one a while back. This is beautiful work from a true master.

Different blade. Yokoyama Yarri-ganna from Japan Tool. So-san has a page devoted to sharpening this blade and making a handle for it. It is amazing to see the transformation, from rough to... sublime. So is my tool-sharpening sensei!

Rough state, as received from the blacksmith.

Ahhhhhh......  beautiful.

Nice handle too.

Again, this is NOT my work, just what I will be working to emulate. But first I need to finish some stuff.


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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