Another newbie


I was wanting to know where you can buy decent woodworking tools like a scribe/marker, wooden mallet(thought about making my own- haven't got the guts yet), counterbore bit sets, etc.
Another question is I am about to take down a shag-bark Hickory tree in the yard, and I have thought about trying to get some wood out of it, anyone have any tips they can give on this?
Mike
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Here you're delving into something that's not a science; it's an arcane art in which no two practitioners ever seem to agree.
Seriously, although I can't tell you about hickory in specific, I doubt it's worth your effort. To salvage enough to make it practical you really need to understand about the relative moisture content of the wood (so you can cure it properly; even a tree that's been dead for a few years or ground-logs need to be cured) and you'd need the kit to be able to safely rip it, etc., etc. It really is a field of knowledge in itself.
My advice is to spend the money on basic tools for your workshop first and take your time in research.
On the other hand, if you're thinking about turning it on a lathe (or making furniture from very small bits of wood <G>) you should be able to use some of it at least. This is still rather an arcane science but there are a few rules of thumb that should let you get something from it, even if it is only pen-blanks. O:-)
Cut it the bole into lengths slightly longer than the diameter, (I also like then split them down the middle but that's a debatable point) and almost immediately paint the cut ends with a sealant. ALL cut ends, even lopped ends. It won't hurt to seal any splits in the bark either. And I'll stress the "immediately." As soon as it's cut, it starts drying out and microcracks develop. They simply widen over time and they are not your friend. early prevention is better than any cure.
I won't mention any specific sealant here, I don't wanna start a debate. Strike up a friendshiop with a supplier or woodworker in your area and ask them for advice. You'll be making such contacts anyway if you're serious about woodworking.
The idea of the sealant is to slow the evaporation of moisture from the ends of the logs, reducing the severity of checking. Ummm... that means it should stop the wood from cracking too badly. Then store it in an outdoor shed, off the ground but with plenty of airflow around each log. Throw a tarp over 'em if you're in a hot, dry area. How long it takes to reach equilibrium (dry out) differs from species to species and on your location in the world (humidity, etc) but another rule of thumb is wait 1 year for each inch of diameter and another year on top of that. Rather like a good cup of tea!
Some woods (like I said, I dunno about hickory) tend to check severely no matter what you do, others are more forgiving. But either way you *will* end up with some usable wood. In a worst-case scenario, you'll have a ready-made firewood stack <G>
- Andy
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Damn. Reread my reply after posting and promptly spotted a few typos. When are thay gonna come up with a spiel-chequer that also checks grammar?

like
stress ^^^^^^ That should've been "lopped limbs," in case it had ya wondering. Anywhere you can see end-grain.
Won't bother with the other typos...
- Andy
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I don't have any experience with hickory, but I do have some opinions on woodworking catalogs/stores: leevalley.com has a great selection of good stuff, including mallets, some scribes, and other hand tools. They're a Canadian company, so be sure you're viewing the correct currency when you look at their catalog online. Other websites/catalogs/stores: rockler.com woodcraft.com highlandhardware.com mlcswoodworking.com has decent, relatively inexpensive router bits Amazon.com has a random selection - good for some things, completely lacking in others, and they have free shipping over $25, and they match anyone else's published price if they carry the exact same item and give you 10% of the difference. In my limited experience, they seem to have a better selection of power tools than hand tools. I got a good deal on my Dewalt router from their reconditioned site, so keep an eye on that. If anyone else has suggestions besides these, I'd like to hear them too!
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http://www.japanwoodworker.com /
Never used them, but their stuff looks awfully nice.
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On Thu, 16 Jun 2005 05:09:58 -0500, the opaque Prometheus

I kept seeing their little Ryoba saws in the back of FWW month after month and broke down, pulled out the crowbar, and paid a whopping $25.95 (delivered!) for one. I adore it and haven't touched another Western saw since. It's faster and takes less energy to use than either a Western rip or crosscut. I'll be shopping there again.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Just did a bunch of cuts with a Japanese style pull saw. Much faster than setting up a table saw, and much safer on that twisted ugly cherry. Not polished crosscuts like the table saw -- but very respectable and clean. And no accidents. Ok Ok I pronged myself on a tooth and bled on some cheery -- it was a _little_ accident and I needed a $.01 band-aid.
Highly recommended.

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On Thu, 16 Jun 2005 16:04:43 -0400, WillR

Just be careful with the ryoba - you'll have your nose off !
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On Thu, 16 Jun 2005 16:04:43 -0400, the opaque WillR

Dem's SHARP, ain't dey?

Ditto. I used mine to even the length of 7/4 x 8" jarrah planks I had cut with the circular saw back before I got Dina. It worked like a dream and I wasn't out of breath afterward. That both surprised and encouraged me.
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My wood mallet is the inside scrap from cutting a heart shaped box. It's a heart shaped piece of walnut about 2" thick and maybe 5" wide at the "hips". For a scribe/marker, will that 2/1000' difference between a scribe and a sharp pencil make a difference?
With measuring tools and straightedges, it can make a huge difference in your project, but will owning a better wooden mallet make you a better woodworker?
I'm as guilty as anybody for getting hung up on marketing hype. I have 13 guitars to remind me that a different neck, pickups, or fretboard is no substitute for practice.
However, if what you do requires 1/1000 precision in your scribe lines, I'd recommend Steve Knight at www.knight-toolworks.com. His scribes are custom made to order, so you can specify exactly how you want the blade angled and which side it is sharpened on to fit your style. Steve is an excellent guy and makes excellent tools, so I hate to say anything derogatory, but I have one of his scribes and honestly don't use it that much. A sharp pencil gives me enough accuracy and is a heck of a lot easier to see than a scribe line.
As for wasting your money on a wooden mallet...build your own (I can send you some plans for a heart shaped chunk of wood *g*) and put the money you saved towards the best tri-square you can get. I like Starrett, but other people may have different opinions. Gather the information available and see what works best for you.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No, but I look in some of my woodworking magazines and it seems that's all they use. As a beginner, I need all the accuracy help I can get.

Not really, but I like to have tools that last a long time, so I like to buy decent quality.

I may just save a big piece of hickory off my tree and try to make a few mallets with it.
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"No, but I look in some of my woodworking magazines and it seems that's all they use. As a beginner, I need all the accuracy help I can get. "
That comes at a cost. If you have unlimited funds, go for it. The last time I used my scribe was when I needed a grid of holes to be exactly parallel/perpinduclar to each other (an adjustable wedge clamp thing). For most cuts, a couple thousandths isn't going to matter, so no point in spending money at the outset for a tool that isn't going to benefit you.
I mentioned measuring tools and straightedges in my first post. The reason is that they are the standards which everything is measured by in your work. I think the square is the most important tool in the shop. You use it to make sure all your cutting tools are cutting square, your drill press is truly perpindicular, and to check your handplaning (and many other things). A good straightedge is essential for setting up a jointer. If your measurement tools are out of whack, everything will be out of whack and every step will be frustrating.
A wooden mallet is used to strike an object without damaging it. You can do that with a chunk of pine 2x4. Don't go overboard buying the "best" tool for non-critical tasks until you have nothing better to spend your money on. Sure, there are times when a pencil line just isn't accurate enough, but, if you can't justify it in your current/next project, then you can't justify buying the tool.
I'm with you on buying the best you can affford and getting tools that will last several lifetimes, but there are times that it is overkill and you'd be better off spending the money elsewhere. Opinions will differ, but I think that a good tri-square and dial-calipers is one of the best investments you can make in your shop. Bite the bullet and shell out a $200-$400 on those, then fill out your shop when you can identify why the tool you have isn't performing up to task and can identify why and what tool will solve the problem. I don't mean to sound condescending, but it seems like you are looking for solutions to problems that don't currently exist.
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Well in actuallity the OP was just inquiring about where to pick up woodworking tools online and I just mentioned a few sample things like the mallet and scribe. I mentioned these in particular so people don't say, "go to lowes/home depot" because they don't carry these items much less a decent set of calipers. At least they don't in my area. Not to say I won't buy these items in addition to some of the others mentioned.
All of my hobbies have some overkill in them, that's what makes them fun. My computer is probably 10 times what I need it to be. Its in a 7 foot rack server with a 16 port switch (only 5 ports used, talk about overkill), router, 64 bit CPU (and still no software to take advantage of it),etc, etc. It's all in good fun, I don't consider it a waste of money because I enjoy it, much like fishing. I have 5 or 6 poles, yet I rarely take more than 2-3 with me. My wife still can't figure that one out.
Oh, BTW, I am looking for some plans for a leaning bookshelf. Kind of a new thing my wife has seen in Hold Everything, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrell. I thought I would try my hand at making one but can't seem to locate any plans. Any ideas on where to go? I don't mind paying a little for them.
Mike
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Yo, Rick!
The Repair Guy http://repairguy1993.netfirms.com /
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Mike wrote:

You've been pretty much told how to deal with the tree, so I'll take a shot at the tools. The first question is, "Do you have a lathe." If you do the rest is a gimme. Mallets are spindle work, and since they are expendables, make them out of scrap wood, beat them to death and cook over them on the grill. Marking guages are a dowek through the middle of that little top-looking thing that is left over when you make a bowl with a thumbscrew into the flat side of the cone that you cut off with your bandsaw. Tada. Make them out of whatever you want and give them away.
Dave in Fairfax
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