From scratches to slots

The plans of the diligent surely lead to success, But all who are hasty surely head for poverty

When I was at the Axminster demo day – which, as it turns out, wasn’t at the beginning of May at all. It was the 5th of April – I bought various items. Some files, some marking gauges, some Camellia Oil and the stones.

Some woodworkers like to use the marking gauges with the scratch pins untouched. This means you get a scratch on your work. A tried and tested tequnique. Others like to create knife lines instead of scratches. This is useful in that one can drop one’s chisel into the knifed line for a clean edge.

David Charlesworth, in one of his books, shows how to modify the pointed pins of a marking gauge to make them into little knives.

In much the same way as I forgot which month I went to the Axminster thing, I once again forgot to take a “before” picture. But here’s an after picture…

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You can see I’ve filed away one side of the pin to give a tool which will cut a half “v” groove instead of making a scratch. The vertical part if the half “v” will end up as the show surface. In others words, if you imagine the “knife” in the wood, the waste to be cut away will be on the left, the slope side of the “v”.
To do this, I pulled the pins out, put them in the metal vise and used this…

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…a diamond file, to abrade the pins. This is a dirt cheap diamond file, but it did the job on the hard pins. An ordinary file just skidded off.

I did this on three gauges. Here’s some more photos…

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Thanks for looking; more soon…

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Where am I?

…While they are promising them freedom, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for if anyone is overcome by someone, he is his slave…

Cyprus! But not since my last post, which was nineteen days ago. I seem to be going through a phase of being not at home a lot, but that doesn’t mean that things aren’t getting done.

After my last post, in which I declared the End of Phase One, I decided that I needed a short break from the lathe, much as I’ve been enjoying it.

In that time I attended an open day at Axminster Power Tools Warrington. Demonstrating there was Deneb Puchalski (apparently pronounced Poo-hall-ski) of Lie Nielsen Tool Works. In fact, that was the only reason I went. There were other demonstrators, mainly it seemed wood turners, but no metal working demonstrators, but I was there to ask questions of Deneb.

What was good about it was that there were only two or three of us around his bench keeping him occupied. He had new tools to demonstrate. One was a modular blade holding system for sharpening and another was a plow plane. We were able to try out all the tools there.

I asked about sharpening technique as whilst I can sharpen, I feel it’s not always perfect. His answer, after quizzing me on my methods and equipment, zeroed in on my sharpening stones. They were old and cheap. Technology has moved on since then – I bought them in 2004! – and so has technique. He gave me personal instruction, with the others looking on, on his method. It takes the Charlesworth technique a step further…

1. Use the best quality stones available.
2. Tune up your sharpening blade holder.
3. Dedicate a sharpening area to make it as easy as possible to go sharpening.
4. Use only one angle, 35 degrees, for both sharpening and polishing stones.

So I came home with new stones. Sigma. Japanese. Expensive. A 1000 grit for sharpening and a 10000 grit for polishing.

I decided to make a dedicated sharpening station to take them. It’ll go next to my sink. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I also modified some marking gauges and began studying diagrams of the lathe’s gearbox.

Sorry there’s no photos. Here at the hotel in Cyprus, there is an upload limit and photos won’t load up.

Anyway, there’s plenty to post when I get back next week…