Exclusive of "large" power tools, what tools - both normite and
neander, do you feel a journeyman cabinetmaker ought to have for his
own? I've got some strong opinions, but I'd be interested to hear the
1. Eye protection
2. Hearing protection
3. Dust mask (filters provided by shop owner)
4. Respiratior (ditto)
5. Good boots and insoles
6. Work apron...
I'm thinking about what I'd like to see a prospective employee show up
with - provided he knows how to use what he's brought!
Taking more than he gives for now.
Excellent addition, Dave. Also add 8a. If I ask and get
an answer I don't entirely understand or am not comfortable
with the actions asked of me, I'll ask the question again,
either to the same or another person.
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The above #7 I was kidding about, but I have been trying to fine tune
my working environment lately. I think I'm good on 1 thru 4, and I've
been working on #5 lately. The other day I went and tried on a pair
of Red Wings and they felt very unsupportive relative to what I've
been wearing lately. I pulled out a set of custom foot beds from some
old ski boots and shoved them into my Timberland chukkas and man have
they been comfortable. The support is outstanding and I find them to
be much more comfortable day in and day out on concrete. My only
gripe is that since I fit my ski boots much tighter than my workboots,
my toes hang over the edge of the insole! (A new set is on the list,
but not near the top.)
What is near the top is a better shop apron/tool bet set up. I just
started wearing a welder's apron waist
when I had to do a bunch of stripping. I like it, but I think I want
something with the ability to comfortably carry around a few necessary
tools (which have yet to be decided). I haven't really seen anything
out there that matches what I had in mind though, and was thinking
about trying to make one, when I saw this...
I like it because it's got a good support system (doesn't go around
your kneck) and offers a high level of protection. I saw a coworker
take a kick-back to the groin a few months ago, and let me tell you I
don't need to feel that. I know a traditional apron would offer the
same protection, but I also like the idea of putting some padding in
the knees. Our shop takes the phrase "ergonomically challenged" to
whole new levels. As such, something that prevents you from embedding
a wood screw into your patellar tendon when you kneel down is a *good*
What I don't like is that it's too hot in the summertime, and it looks
a little dorky (to me). Plus, it would need to be modified to hold
the tools I want to anyways. What to do...
On to old business...
Last paycheck's new tools were the accessories for the LV low angle
block plane - ball/tail knob and chamfer guide, and a set of Hirsch
firmer chisels. The knobs haven't gotten any real use (too much
finishing work right now) other than a quick run through. The chamfer
guide got a good workout though, and I really like it. Once you have
the depth setting right, taking it on and off the plane is a snap.
This is nice, since I only have one block plane right now. (A new one
is waaaay down the list!)
The chisels haven't really been used yet either. They've been
flattened through 1500 grit, but haven't been sharpened yet. I've
heard nothing but good things, so I'm pretty excited. I'm actually
more excited that I'm finally finshed flattening them. They are
certainly very shiny when you get them, but the backs aren't totally
flat. First you have to soak off a layer of sealant, and then you
need to grab your coarse stone and go to work. I started with 220,
then went to 600 and then jumped to 1200 then 1500. I wouldn't
recommend that method. I'd get all of the interim grits and get a
little assembly line going next time. Doing it here and there while
talking on the phone just didn't cut it. (The DRLP and complete line
of Shapton Pro Series stones - now THAT would cut it.)
My other new tool this week will be a digital voice recorder. Much
easier than digging out a pen and paper, and allows for an easy record
of what works and what don't. I'm more likely to avoid the same
mistake the next time if I have it written down somewhere. I'm
planning to transcribe my notes at the end of each day, but I'll also
be able to keep the audio files as well. How cool!
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