NBSS Week 3 – Hand plane tune-up, machine safety and large scale drafting…

We started this week learning the fundamentals of tuning and using hand planes. Many of us had purchased older used planes last week at the MJD tool auction in Nashua, NH and many of those tools needed a bit of TLC to work properly. We focused specifically this week on our #4 smoothing planes. We learned first about the function and parts of the tool, and then we learned how to repair and tune those parts. My plane was a Stanley Bailey that I picked up for $25. Monday we worked on flattening the bottom (sole) of the plane.

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Tuesday we focused on tuning the frog and chip breaker, which support the blade during the cutting process, and then we sharpened our blades using the techniques we learned last week with our 1” chisel. After a day of tuning efforts, I called an impromptu “plane-off” with some of my classmates. A bit more detail can be found here, but the best performing plane was a Clifton #4 sharpened to 16,000 with Shapton glass stones, a tie for 2nd was my Stanley Bailey sharpened to 8,000 grit with Shapton Professional Waterstones and a Woodriver #4 sharpened with DMT diamond stones up to ultrafine.

The later part of this week (Wed, Thurs and Friday) was devoted to a machine safety course presented by Matt Wajda and Ellen Kaspern. We started by talking about wood as a building material and how we used machines to help us prepare lumber for the building process. We then moved to the machine room where we processed a set of glue cauls while learning the use of the swing saw, jointer, planer, and finally the table saw part 1.

In between formal class lectures and demonstrations this week, I also began my large scale drafting projects. Previously we have been drafting individual woodworking joints; the large scale drafting involves the full size drawing of 5 pieces of furniture. The first 2 pieces were a step table with inlay

 

 

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and a drum table with a central turned column.

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As part of the drafting we are also creating the detailed stock cutting and material lists. This begins the process of learning how to estimate the time and materials needed to start working up accurate price quotes for potential clients. Next week, we flatten a board by hand with our newly tuned hand planes and continue on with the full scale drafting…

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