The Board

The swift do not always win the race, nor do the mighty win the battle, nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches, nor do those with knowledge always have success, because time and unexpected events overtake them all…

Doesn’t time fly – er, when you’re flying? Apart from flying, there just seems to be a whole lot of little events all piled together to conspire to use up time. Planned time in the workshop gets cut short by “unexpected events”.

On the other hand, I’ve realised there’s not that much left to do to the lathe – cleaning and assembly, no repairs or mods – so I booked a beginners course at Axminster Power Tools.

At the moment I’m working away from home for a week so it’s a good time to catchup with this blog.

NEW SHARPENING BOARD

With Great Stones Comes Great Responsibility. So I decided to make a new dedicated sharpening board to hold them whilst I use them. This board will also have wooden blocks to enable quick setting of blade angle.

Two rules: Practice proper joinery where possible, use scraps.

Here’s a piece of leftover 25mm plywood…

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I planed all the edges and made it square. I had a load of little pine strips which I’d planed up for drawer runners ages ago and never used, so they became edge beading. The corners were mitred at 45 degrees by first marking out with a bevel, then freehand sawing, then clamping in place…

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…then running the saw through the joint again, unclamping, then pushing tight. This is the result…

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I worked my way round the board in this manner. Finally I glued them and clamped them…

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This is the completed board…

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I want this to resist splashes, so I treated it with three coats of exterior wood stain then three coats of Danish oil. The first coat of each was diluted with white spirit – around 20% – to improve penetration.

Next I had to make some blocks to hold the stones firmly. My first attempt was made using some softwood. I marked out the size of the stones…

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Note the scribed line using the modified marking gauge from the previous post. I cut them using saw and chisel…

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I made two, one for each end of the stone. They didn’t line up squarely. I should have ganged them together for cutting. Scrap pile. Attempt number two involved the same type of wood, but this time screwing two pieces together (ganging) and then marking and cutting…

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Better in terms of alignment, but this…

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…isn’t acceptable is it?

Scrap pile.

Playing around with these on the board, though, made me realise that the stones should be raised slightly off the board. This would make it a lot easier to grip them to take them off and on, and allow water to drain underneath. Also, each stone is a different thickness and I wanted the top surface to be level. So a different design was needed and different wood – something that wouldn’t split so readily – was necessary.

I found some pieces of cherry. I planed the blanks square all round using the Number 5 1/2 smoother and the Number 8 on the shooting board. Using the ganging method and some sharp chisels, I managed to get this result…

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Here’s both pairs of stone holders…

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In this picture, you can see the height difference which has the effect of raising one of the stones so that the top surfaces of both stones are coplanar…

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I also made a set in this style to hold the Dia Flat Diamond Flattening Plate (yes, I know, it’s extravagant and probably unnecessary, but you only live twice…) I made these from walnut.

All six pieces were given three coats of diluted danish oil. The walnut pieces are on the right…

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A softwood batten was planed nice, oiled and screwed to the board underside. Big clamps were screwed on to these…

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This is the board finished – bar the blocks – and in working position…

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With careful alignment, I screwed on the blocks. I made some little blocks from walnut – squared all round – and oiled them and screwed them on too. This is the finished board…

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…and with the stones and plate in place…

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Using the blocks to set blade projection…

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…in use…

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…and how a stone is flattened on the plate…

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This picture shows the setting blocks. They left three give the angles 25, 35 and 45 for wide blades and the right two give the angles 25 and 35 for narrow blades…

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Might be a bit posh for what it is, but I really enjoyed making this.

Anyway, back to the lathe…

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