Category Archives: Custom work

Forging a strap hinge complete video

Here is a link to all for part of the Strap Hinge video

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Planing Stop

Boy, have I been bad about writing this blog.  I don’t think any of the great bloggers have any competition from me.

Anyway,  Today I finished up a few planing stops or bench stops, I’ve also seen them called bench hooks.  These are a small fishtail shaped iron hook that had teeth filed into it.  Typically these are set into a wooden square 2″ – 3″ that is mortised through the bench top.  This allows the iron hook to move up or down to adjust to the board thickness.  These are a real improvement to most hand tool workbenches.

Three planing stops ready to be put to work.

Three planing stops ready to be put to work.

When you cut the hole in the wooden part of the stop, just make sure it is a good fit so you don’t cause a split like i did.

Here is the bench stop inserted into the wooden planing stop.

Here is the bench stop inserted into the wooden planing stop.

In use be sure to keep the iron stop well below the path of your plane iron.  This will dull your cutter badly if you’re not careful

The planing stop in use

The planing stop in use

Warm beer anyone?

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A few weeks ago a friend was commenting on a TV show he had seen where someone took what he thought was an old style soldering iron, and used it to warm his cup of coffee.  While I have never actually seen this done, I have heard of a “flip iron” being used to make a hot toddy or hot buttered rum.  I felt pretty smug knowing what he was refering to.

Imagine my surprise when I recieved the following message a few days latter. “I’ve been searching for an iron tool that is used in the upper-midwest during spring bock beer festivals. The solid iron “head” of the tool is heated in a fire and then dipped red hot into a glass of beer. The result is a hot foamy head of beer.”

Here is the picture provided by the customer

Here is the picture provided by the customer

Now I really should learn from the way the old timers did things. It would save me lots of grief.  But not me, I have a 100 pound power hammer.  So why not just make these from a single piece of 1″ round bar?  Even under the hammer drawing 10″ of 1″ bar into 40″ of 1/2″ bar is a lot of work.  I suspect that this took about 3 times longer than the alternate and probably more traditional approach.  I am pretty sure the old timers would have used a shorter section of the 1″ bar with a short stub drawn out and the 1/2″ handle forge welded on.  But, live and learn.  My customer gets a great value and I got a great education.

I suppose I need to make a shorter one and try the hot toddy or hot buttered rum, but I’ll leave the warm beer for more adventurous types.

Here are the 43" long irons ready to make hot beer, Yum ;)

Here are the 43″ long irons ready to make hot beer, Yum 😉

The claw hammer gives some idea of the size.

The claw hammer gives some idea of the size.

Cat Head Chest Lifts

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I had never heard the term “chest lift” before.  But that is what Megan Fitzpatrick from Popular Woodworking Magazine asked for.  Turns out it is just the same as a chest handle.  since there is generally a waiting list around here it was going to be awhile before I got the handles done.  In the meantime Megan posted a blog about her new tool chest she showed some little toggles that hold the hand saws in the till, they are shaped like little cats.  I commented that I could make the handles for the chest look like cats as well.  Really I thought she would laugh and write it off as a joke.  But she loved the idea.  So I have been working on my first ever set of cat shaped tool chest handles.  This has really been a fun project and I’m glad Megan liked the idea.

The design was drawn up in Correll Draw by Janet (my wife and the head of our quality control department).  The paper copy is then glued to an 1/8″ piece of steel plate.  I cut to the line using a Beverly shear, hacksaw and belt grinder.

Cutting the cats on the Beverly shear

Cutting the cats on the Beverly shear

the ears are cut a bit closer with a hacksaw

 
Here is one of the blanks before trimming, the one on the left is ready to grind right down to the line.

Here is one of the blanks before trimming, the one on the left is ready to grind right down to the line.

 

I wish I had some pictures of the chasing process for the eyes, but I can’t get pictures while working very well.

 
the ears are cut a bit closer with a hacksaw