my first shavings...

Well, maybe not *the* first. I have a cheap, crappy Stanley block plane that I might have gotten to make shavings once, a long time ago. It's been sitting here waiting on the Veritas angle fixture thingie so I can sharpen the iron properly. Freehand is getting me nowhere fast.
So I picked up a #5 today. One of the new ones that I'm sure is vastly inferior to the stuff they made in 1928, but it's a start.
No angle doodad, and I don't want to ruin another plane iron, so I gave it a shot out of the box. Clamped a piece of rough 4x4 dunnage to my workbench and futzed around with the thing a bit until just an eeensy bit of blade was protruding. Lo and behold, the damn thing makes shavings. I'm sure it will get better once I tune it up and sharpen the blade properly, but yeehaw, the damn thing makes shavings! That's pretty cool!
This is going to be expensive I think. My bench is one of those crappy pre-cut kits, and the top is completely irregular, and pine. I don't have a good way to clamp things for planing. Don't have a proper woodworking vise or dog holes, and half of my bench space is eaten up with metal-shaping gizmos besides. (And I need the metal-shaping gizmos. I use'em.)
Actually, I *do* have a woodworking vise. It's some honking *huge* thing. Made in the USA at some period way back yonder, but I don't think I'm ever going to get the thing to budge. Rusted together. Google back if anyone cares. I described it in detail many moons ago.
So I need a proper wood vise, and some dog holes or other means of clamping stuff down. I can see from using Quick-Grips to try to do this, it ain't gonna work.
So how 'bout this notion... Our kitchen counters are seriously ugly. That faux "granite" white flecked with gold stuff that was so popular 30 years ago. Probably real Formica. I priced out counters, and they're something we could maybe think about doing, maybe.
What if I buy SWMBO some new counters that aren't ugly and take the long section that doesn't have a sink hole in it, cut it to fit and fasten it to my bench as a new top?
Not as good as something made from carefully joined and jointed maple and all that whatnot, but I'm trying to think cheap here, and buying SWMBO new counters gets me enough SWMBO points to cash in for a vise and maybe a few more planes. Would a particle board/formica thing bolted to the top of a crude, twisted, irregular 2x6 bench work? What if I plane down the bench itself? Any chance that unfinished pine in an unheated, un-insulated shed type environment would stay put if I got it smooth?
Could I maybe get away with just planing the bench for now with this #5? Though I guess planes aren't supposed to work as well on soft wood, are they? (Or is that cabinet scrapers?)
Damn, I've been missing out on everything by attempting to belt sand away the sort of problems I hope to address with planes.
Sorry, I'm rambling. I'm giddy. I made shavings. :)
(Planer/jointer machines are out of budget and no room. So I'm thinking hard about doing shavings the old fashioned way here. I think I will become addicted like so many of you who have gone before me.)
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Careful! It's a very slippery slope as they say!!!
On Sat, 20 Sep 2003 21:55:12 -0400, Silvan

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wrote:

Hi chubby, I`m making my first shavings also. Love it. As far as the vice goes I would give the vinegar/salt trick a try. Its cheap enough so your not out alot of money if it does`nt work. Get cheap distilled vinegar at the market,add alot of salt to it in a bucket or whatever will hold your vice.Leave it overnite. The rust should flake off or dissolve. When you take it out blow it dry fast with compressor or swmbos hair dryer while shes out hehe.Lite coating if vegtable oil and hopefully your all set. As far as the countertop work table,why not? Its free and alls you`ll lose is time.Support its bottom with 2x4s or hell even dunnage ( a term not many know). You either work shipping or construction,construction here.Twisted under frame prob isn`t good though,try to true it up. Good luck with all.
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Teej wrote:

Chubby?
Yeah, that _is_ worth a try. It's probably not going to work. This thing was bolted to the back of a delivery van for years. (No, I have no idea why they had a gigantic woodworking vise bolted to the back of a van.) I'll go see about getting a big jug of vinegar at Big Lots or something.

If it would just move far enough for me to get it apart indeed...

Free contingent upon buying SWMBO some new counters anyway... ;)

Trucking. We evidently save all the dunnage from in-coming shipments. Some of it finds its way onto my truck, and then into the trunk of my car at the end of the trip. :) One of these days I should go poking through the warehouse and try to find the mother lode, but I try to stay away from that place during business hours, lest they get ideas about putting me to work prematurely. ;)

Yeah, I think I should practice planing on this benchtop. It's not so much twisted or warped as it is just poorly-fitted. Boards at different heights, and the overall surface isn't particularly flat. I can probably flatten it enough for now, and do the countertop thing next spring.
Just gotta get my angle jig thingie. I bought some spray adhesive and a bunch o' really teensy grits of sandpaper, but I'm being a good boy and I won't even try to do anything until I have a proper angle holder doodad. It's a damn shame NOBODY in town has anything remotely serviceable for this. I really hate waiting for stuff to get around to showing up on my porch.
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That's exactly what I did with one bench, though it was more grimy, than warped (deep, embedded gunge); I've a second bench top that I'm continuing to work on, when other projects for the house don't get in the way. I find planing to be a very relaxing activity.
I say go for it ...
Regards,
JT
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John Thomas wrote:

OTOH, grime is something to really think about. Betcha I have tons of embedded metal particles in this thing. Iron, steel, copper, aluminum. Could be really bad for ye olde plane iron. Lots of flux residue too.
Maybe I should get a Big Lots Workmate clone for now, and then do the countertop thing as a complete replacement for the existing top.
I blew the dust off /Making Workbenches/ and am giving it another read... :)
BTW, my new plane is a #4, not a #5. 9" long. I guess this is a smoother? Checked the sole against granite, and it's dead flat. At least, it's dead flat all the way around, and doesn't rock at all. Should I be worried about taking off the machine marks and getting the sole to a mirror finish, or should I just leave well enough alone?
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Mike,
Nails are bad for plane irons, too. DAMHIKT. The stuff on my benchtop was really just gunge -- ours is an old (ca 1941) farmhouse; the bench was left from the original owner, and had who knows how many years of paint, oil, dust, etc, etc; I would be concerned about the embedded metal.
About the 'workbench clone' -- don't know where you live, but Harbor Freight had one on sale for about $12 a few weeks back (I'm in Portland, OR). For that price I couldn't resist. Seems like a good enough thing, but haven't really had a chance to use it. -- Just another option to think about.
As far as the sole machining marks, I guess I'd make a judgement call -- if they are deep/rough enough to potentially cause scratches in the wood, then yes; if all you are really doing is rough surface work, to get the benchtop flat enough to cover with, eg, MDF, then I probably wouldn't worry about it now -- but might make a nice 'rainy day' project.
Welcome to the slippery slope ....
Regards, JT
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John Thomas wrote:

The bench is right next to my DP, and there's probably lots of swarf on that side. The other side is my metalworking station, and there are lots of little needle sharp bits of copper and stuff.
OTOH, maybe this isn't as hopeless as it sounded a couple days ago. All I need to do is procure some real wood and make a new top. The support structure is fine, and it's already there. No use reinventing the wheel, since it's not like putting a hardwood top on a softwood frame is going to cause a galvanic reaction and make the wood start to decay. :)

I live in BFE as far as HF and Grizzly are concerned. Nowhere near a store. I could maybe do mail order though, if the price + shipping is practical relative to picking one up at Big Lots.
I haven't looked at one of those in a long time, but I have a vague idea that that is probably the most practical short term way for me to have something suitable for holding a board for planing.

Indeed. I'm already thinking about my next plane, and I don't even have the iron for _this_ one sharpened yet. :)
I brought home a bunch of red oak 4x4 about 3.5' long to practice on. I don't have a bandsaw yet, so I'll have to resaw on my table saw, which will probably be rather ugly. Cleaning that up and making some boards ought to be a good introduction. Maybe I can get enough boards out of these to do a complicated glue-up for a new workbench top, though that's probably an overly ambitious and time-consuming project considering that the bottom just dropped out of the weather, and I don't have much longer to use my shop until next spring.
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