Saturday, November 29, 2014

The list......(and not the the Christmas kind).

It is very nearly time for us to go.... The big move is neigh, and swiftly approaches. I'm getting anxious.

We haven't chosen a place too live yet preferring, it seems, to trust in providence to guide us once we arrive. Where will we live? A slum-lord tenement, a junk heap, a palace, a tumble down shack in the woods (my preference, haha!). Will we even have running water?

Will we have electricity?

What tools do I bring? 

It must begin with an inventory, of course, as I'm not fully sure what hides in some of these boxes, anymore.

My precious, hand crafted tool boxes, built with love and care.... actually just drawers from my workbench. And plastic crates. And cardboard boxes. 


.... and not so much users.

Choosing the actual tools to bring is relatively easy. I'll bring what I use, of course, and that is a rather small percentage of the whole. More on that, in another post.

The real scary part comes with the need to pare down the sharpening stone selection. 

Oh the pain!! The tragedy!! How will I survive?!!

At $1/lb, I had better choose wisely. I've got another box full, too. So many experiments with locally found stones.

 I wonder what the next people living here will think? "What are all of these funny looking stones for? They are all flattened on one side..... Obviously paperweights!"

My excellent Baldor grinder will stay in storage, mostly thanks to a gift from a friend.

Brandon gave me this wonderful hand-crank grinder, and it has been sitting in the shop for a few months now. I've always wanted one of these, ever since reading Krenov's "A cabinet-makers notebook" almost 30 years ago. Man......time flies.

The Luther grinder, made with pride in the USA. I wonder what that means?

I've wanted one but never bought, mostly because those that you do see are so often trashed. Not this one. It's beautiful! Thanks Brandon!

Another reason that I didn't buy one is, well..... How well can it possibly work. Really.

When I was doing the spark testing of steel the other night, I tried to get some examples of Japanese steel to compare to. Taking the photos is an extremely awkward affair, with the tablet computer balanced in one hand, and the shrieking jerking grinder in the other. I don't want to completely shred one of my good kanna blades, so I dug this guy out of the "fettling" box. With a big chip out of the cutting edge, it will need to be visiting with Mr grinder anyway.

I don't know much about this kanna, other than its dirty. I've done a bit of hammering to clean up the top, but aside from that, nothing. Hirosada kanna and Cubs-Torasaburo post that I wrote a while ago explains what little I DO know about this kanna.

What? No spark pictures?

No sparks, almost none. WTF?!!

Well it turns out that this blade is made from some type of strange steel (a Togo steel variety, maybe), and based on the extreme lack of spark, I am guessing a type of high-speed tool steel. M2? I don't know much about that stuff yet, but I mean to learn. It's not your average high carbon steel, in any event.

So, back to the hand crank grinder..... It just eats this stuff up, no problem at all.

Even more interesting is that it is relatively slow going when using the Baldor electric bench grinder. It seems that the slower rotation of the hand-power grinder lets the grit of the wheel really work more effectively. The finish left is slightly rougher, too, which supports my theory. The individual grit particles get more opportunity to remove material.

Anyways, the gist of this is that, for some things, hand power really is faster. I'm learning that this is the case with using grinders and files to remove material when roughing out blades. Using files to hog off the bulk is faster than using the bench grinder. I guess that I need a bigger bench grinder, haha! 12" should do....220 volt...... Noise. $$$, yuck!

Another gift that will help me out when we get to Hawaii.

Sebastian has sent me a couple of saws to test out. He is studying hard, learning the Zen of saws.

There is some great new stuff here that isn't being explored anywhere else, in any degree (that I'm aware of).....

Almost all of my power tools are staying, and that's fine, mostly.

I will miss this old guy horribly. My old Delta 1160 tilt-top tablesaw. 

The dust collector I won't miss, though.

Another thing that I won't miss.

Ya' know, all of my woodworking life I wanted a huge workbench, something robust and thick. You need a big, heavy workbench to stand up to all of that planing and pushing, hammering, etc. I was so sick of flimsy, rattling workbenchs that don't work well, and are often too short on top of it all. Not this time. This time I was going to make a big sucker, one that would push back when I was planing, and not dissipate 1/2 of the force I was using to hammer a chisel into a piece of wood. 

Then I found the Japanese tools.

They pull.

I mostly work like one of those little, old, Japanese guys, sitting on the floor.

Too funny.


  1. I like your little corner. Very metonymic picture.

    Hope the saws help you build a noise free life over there. They will give you a good training, that's for sure.

    Gosh, there is lots of saudade in those pictures.

    Have fun with the moving and keep us posted once you arrive.

    1. Thank you my friend, both for the saws and the reminder of that wonderful word.

      It is a good thing, to be able to make a new life.

  2. You are always welcome to stay with us for the eight days we are at Papa Bay. Hope we can get together while we're on the Big Island.

    1. *Knock knock knock* hahahaha!

      Thanks Brandon, honorary grandparents status validated!

      You guys are the best!


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