On 18 Oct 2003 20:04:33 -0700, email@example.com (Phil) wrote:
I just started doing more woodworking projects. My router had lain
idle for about 3 yrs. I got a new set of bits and am having a lot of
fun doing things that i hadn't been able to do before, mainly because
i only had a basic set of bits. I am also going to take up using a
scraper instead of using sandpaper so much. I do woodworking for fun,
so i use what is fun for me, in this case a router. i would imagine
that those who are against power tools are having fun doing it their
way. Also have a really old hand planer passed down from my father
which I haven't mastered yet, but i will. So i do my own thing, my own
way, whatever I find fun. If its power tools then its power tools. If
and when it ceases to be fun, then i will dedicate more time to my
Ken, making dust/chips in NS
I really like pine furniture, but it makes a total mess out of the
cutters and it's a POA to stain and seeps resins as the piece ages.
Unlike other types of wood, a pine piece doesn't weigh a ton after
it's completed. Too bad we got the chestnut blight--it is truly a
I love routers and I love the act of routering! I've got 2 PC's; one in
a Woodpecker table with the Precision Router Lift, a marvelous tool, and
one for the occasional free routering job! The router table does a
great job on anything I've thrown at it. It's fun to feed a piece of
wood into it and get a shaped, useful part out the other side. I don't
care to labor over things excessively or obsessively. I just want to
get the job down with a minimum of fuss, and a maximum of enjoyment.
For me that would only include a minimum of "Neandering", as I don't
like wasting time. I like the "building" of things, but not to the
extent that some guys carry things to the extreme by doing EVERYTHING by
hand. By that I mean jointing, rabetting, dovetails, everything done by
hand. That's just not my bag. Neanders are surely more talented than
I, but then again, I'm not comparing myself to anyone. All I care about
is the end result, having fun doing it, and not wasting time. (I know, I
know, I said that before.)
I DO cut my crown molding with a coping saw! That should count as my
concession to Neandering. Mill file, rattail file, sanding block: all
Neander stuff. Then when I put the crown up, I use my PC finish nailer!
Back to the modern world.
I carry a small plane; not a router in my pocket... :)
I like the router also. It doesn't take a lot of effort to dress up a
board. I regularly show my customers that edge treatments are the
difference between a plain old board and a great looking shelf (or
whatever). For some reason, that particular line of reasoning works.
Some folks don't consider doing things by hand to be wasting time.
Back to the original question: I'm in the camp of those who very
rarely use a routah. When I bought my PC I spent all of my time
trying to use it for everything possible (when the only tool you have
is a hammer ...). As I developed my handtools skills and acquired
various tools, I started to move away from it.
After we moved into our current house, it stayed packed up for
about two years. I finally got it out a few months ago when I was
working on a flybox and later a fly-tying station, because it was the
right tool for the job. Since then, it's been relegated to the back
wall of shop where it will sit until needed again.
I never enjoyed working with the thing. Carbide bits spinning at
21,000 r.p.m. right at crotch level just isn't my idea of fun. Plus
the fact that it spews dust and chips all over the shop, and one slip
can destroy a project (or a finger) in a millisecond. Naw, for the
most part I prefer to "waste my time" with plow planes, molding
planes, and scratch stocks.
Chuck, I have one of my routers in a downdraft cabinet router table, so
dust AND noise is minimized. I can hook up my Fein shop vac to the
fence, and the DC to the downdraft. That pretty much covers the mess.
The cabinet muffles a lot of the noise, but because my ears are
sensitive (actually ONE ear -- lost the hearing in the left to an
acoustic neuroma a few years back) I wear ear protection.
I spent several hours last night perusing the Lee Valley catalog where
some things were jumping off the page, screaming for a home. Namely a
Veritas low angle block plane, some gouges, and scraper.
Which leads me to a question(s): There are scraper blades that you bend
with your thumb, scraper handles almost like a spoke shave, and scraper
inserts for a plane. Is one style more popular and useful, or does each
style have it's proponents, OR is there a need for each type in one
woodworkers arsenal? I work oak and will be working cherry and maybe maple.
Conan the Librarian wrote:
And kevlar body armour? :-) I woodwork to relax, and all of the
safety safety precuations necessary for using a routah don't make me
feel very relaxed.
Yes, except for the scraper insert. (I consider that one so far
inferior to the other LV scraper variations that IMHO it's a waste of
The simple card scrapers are handy for spot work where you need to
get rid of a bit of tearout. If you do curved work, buy a gooseneck one
as well. (Personally, I keep about a half-dozen different profiles
around the shop.) The one that looks like a spokeshave is their
knockoff of the Stanley cabinet scraper (#80). It's an excellent tool,
and has some definite improvements over the original Stanley. It's
handy for larger surfaces, as the base gives you a good bearing surface
that is lacking with the card scraper.
But, my new personal favorite is their scraper plane. It's based on
the Stanley #112, but once again, it has some definite improvements over
that design. They've added a thinner blade with a thumbscrew
arrangement that can flex the blade much like the #80 does. With the
extra-large sole, comfortable tote and knob and flexibility of using
either the thick or thin blade in the same plane, this will probably
replace the #80 in my shop.
For the woods you mention, a well-tuned smoother would probably
handle most of your needs, but a scraper is always handy to have around.
thanks for the info, Chuck. By "smoother" I guess you mean something
like a Veritas #4 Smooth Plane? How does a smoother differ from other
planes of the same size? Is it the angle of the blade, or ??
Do I NEED to get a burnishing tool or can I use something that I might
already have in my tool cabinet? I have a vague memory of reading
somewhere that a common tool will serve as a burnisher...
Conan The Librarian wrote:
A smoother is usually about 9" long, and is set up to take a very
light cut and leave a surface ready for finishing. Veritas' #4 is a
smoother based on the old Stanley design, but with some improvements.
A standard smoother used for well-behaved woods usually has the
blade set at a 45 degree bedding angle. There are specialty planes
made that offer higher bedding angles (can be more effective on
figured hardwoods) and lower bedding angles (can also be effective on
figured hardwoods, strangely enough).
I'd go ahead and "splurge" for a burnishing tool. Some folks use
screwdriver shafts, carbide router bit shafts, valve stems, etc., but
the bottom line is you want something harder than the scraper and it
needs to be polished smooth.
FWIW, as a newbie to scrapers, you might want to consider the Lee
Valley variable burnisher gizmo. It'll cost you about $25, but it
will help you get a feel for what the edge/burr should feel like when
it's turned properly.
thanks AGAIN, Chuck. SWMBO wants my Christmas list. I'm gonna wear out
the pages of the LV catalog, making out that list for her. I like
having exactly the right tool for the job, so I think I should get a
REAL burnisher if it will work better than a screwdriver shaft.
Screwdrivers I own with round shafts, all have rough surfaces.
Conan the Librarian wrote:
New Kevlar routing sweater a friend of mine made 8-)
...and if you're going to look like an idiot while he fools with his
new camera-phone, then stick the fireman's helmet on too and look like
an unrecognisable idiot.
Seriously though, I'm not out in the workshop right now because I
crushed my foot this morning. 8-( Bounced a big slab of steel off
it, then had to hobble off to casualty for a X-ray, using the workshop
broom as a crutch. I didn't need the "Where's yer parrot" comments
Not broken, but it's damned painful and I can't stand on it.
Yes I _was_ wearing steel toecaps. If I hadn't been, I probably would
have bust it properly. The slab hit the toe, then tilted over and
bashed the top of the arch. Going a nice colour too.
"When men die, their Maker may reward them for their efforts by allowing
them to live again as male dogs. Thus freed from inhibition, they can spend
a cheerful existence doing all those things they really wanted to do when
they were men."
Paneb, Foreman mason in the Valley of the Kings, circa 1190BC
Once you've made a full complement of moulding planes you'll see that
it's a bit more than a "little" physical labor.
(remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
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