All these poor orphan tools.. I adopted another one today. A 1hp three phase Queen City “High Duty” pedestal grinder. I’ll write up the addition of a VFD and rewiring it.. I want to cleanly add speed control if possible, and hide the VFD around back. We’ll see.
*** If anyone has a set of wheel guards laying around that would fit, leave me a comment.. I’d like an original set! ***
I’m spoiled as far as vises go. I’m used to effortless clamping. So, while there was absolute nothing wrong with the vise I picked up last week, I had to tune it up. You could feel the accumulation of 80 years of dirt and grime when you spun the handle.
So! I gave it a good soaking in evaporust, then hit it with a wire wheel and brush to git rid of all the rust and grime. I took care to make sure all the bearing surfaces where super clean and smooth, and hit the acme screw with a coating of lithium grease.
I’m claiming that it’s now BETTER than factory-new condition, because the collet (garter?) didn’t seat very well due to a rough casting. I took a file to it, and 10 minutes later it was seated much better. This removed at least 1/8” of play and probably a full turn of backlash.
One of the coolest bits on this vise is the handle.. There’s a little set screw right on the head that squeezes a little metal disc against the handle. This allows you to position the bar whereever you want, and it will stay there (notice how its NOT sliding down in the picture above?)
Here is the little set screw in the center of the hub:
And here are the pieces pulled out. The set screw compress the spring against the metal disc, which pushes against the bar handle.
Here’s a video showing the vise in action after cleanup. So smooth. The question is where to put this thing? I kind of want to build a platform for it so I can move it on and off my workbench, but.. I shouldn’t really be doing metalwork on my workbench. So we’ll see what happens.
Can’t seem to get enough of them. Found this beaut on craigslist a couple days ago. I won’t claim that I got it for a song, but I feel pretty good about the price.
A Parker no. 134 from 1928. Apparently called the “Big Bear”! Here’s a flyer (gotta love the internet):
This one seems to be in incredible shape. I still think I’m going to pull it apart to clean everything up with a wire wheel and re-grease the innards though. That way it will be good for another 87 years.
Pretty nice! Also, the mini anvil on the back makes this thing just that much cooler.
I’m sure this won’t be the last one I buy…
Smooth like butter. Smoother, actually. Maybe like crisco. Or white lithium. I’ve got the chop shaped, lined with leather, and boy-o-man this thing has got some serious grip, breh.
Always needing to point out my mistakes: I experienced a little delamination of the two pieces of ash I had glued up for the chop. It was only about 1/8” deep, and a hair’s breadth wide. Just visible, really; nothing that would affect function. Anyways, it really annoyed me. So I routed a groove and glued in a patch. You can see that strip down the bottom half of the chop in the picture above, that’s the patch. I’m not actually sure this looks any better, but I feel good about it.
I wasn’t really looking forward to the larger chop. I liked the proportions of the old one, with the bottom of the chop ending at the top of the rail. However, I think it came out well enough. It is huge, no denying it. But it doesn’t look just weirdly long. Maybe because this one is a bit on the wide side (10”). In fact, that wheel looks kind of tiny now.. Maybe it’s time for an XL option, Jameel?
Not really sure how, but I ended up with a slight amount of toe-in.. I wasn’t trying to achieve it, but there it was. Which is super, because the top of the chop hits your piece and then squeezes right in.
The action on the criss-cross is different. The glide version of this vise hit your work with a *thunk*. From 0-100% hold instantly. This version ~squeezes~ your work more like a normal vise. I suppose it gives you a little more control. But don’t get me wrong, it is effortless. Spin the wheel, your work is immobile.
Anyways, I’m really happy to have it on. No more pin, no more re-adjusting the glide wheels because I cranked down on the wheel and forgot to adjust said pin. It just works, plain and simple. Super elegant and easy to install.
We went to the nashville flea market this past weekend. I have yet to leave that place without a new tool. Picked up a nice 2” slick and a hewing hatchet. You watch something like alone in the wilderness and you realize these are tools you *must* have.
I think it’s time I started building my dining room chairs.. Greg Pennington has been posting a lot lately and giving me the itch; I’ll need to run up there to trace the bending form for his balloon back. And sneak off with some green white oak… ;-)
My wife commented that most of what I build seems to have to do with my workbench. I suppose that’s a valid casual observation. Just two years ago I finished up what was supposed to be the ultimate, impossible to beat, best bench in the world. And it was! Then, I ordered and put together a moxon vise (which to my wife’s eye, is just another part of the bench). Now I’ve got the bench pulled apart to retrofit the benchcrafted criss-cross. Neccesary? No. But neither were those holdfasts from lie-nielsen.
While I’m not totally done yet, I’m 90% there. Just need to shape the chop and put a finish on it. The install went really well, and was pretty easy. One thing that made it much easier was ordering a 1/2” end mill roughing bit for my router. Jameel talked about these here. I didn’t order the exact one he talked about because I like to order everything off amazon. I’ve got this one, and I have to say it really worked well.
I hope there’s no downside to using a rather large chop.. This one is a full 10” wide and 3” thick. I’m not sure how heavy it is, but it is HEAVY.
And a picture with the handwheel attached. This thing is pretty smooth, just as smooth as the glide w/roller brackets.
One slight detail for people retrofitting this to their existing bench built from benchcrafted plans.. That mortise in your bench leg runs right through the knock down hardware. Benchcrafted offered some solutions, like doubling the width of your front rail and moving that nut back, but that seemed like way too much work. Plus, I’ve never take the bench apart anyways (and I have moved shops). So I just pulled the bolt out and put a couple pegs in.
Works pretty well! I’ll post some more pictures when done. I’m also almost done with this piece (finally).
So, I’d been eyeing some primo holdfasts from Peter Ross for awhile now (read about them here). The ones I’ve got work just fine, I just have never really been happy with how they look. I’ve currently got four of the grammercy tools holdfasts (seen here). Now, there are a couple things about the grammercy tools holdfasts. #1 is that they are cheap. $20 a piece. #2 is that they were really the only option available (until now) unless you wanted to pay a blacksmith a small fortune to make custom ones for you (see above article about Peter Ross). There is one bad thing I’ve noticed about the Grammery Tool’s holdfasts, and that is that they’ve tended to burnish the holes that I use them in. So, once every few months I’ve got to scuff up the holdfasts themselves with some 100 grit paper, AND scuff up the holes that I use them in. Not that bad, but still kinda annoying because I put it off.
Enter Lie Nielsen. They started selling their own holdfast a couple weeks ago, which has a nice traditional look. So I went ahead and ordered a pair. I’m hoping since these are cast and have a much rougher surface, they won’t require constant fiddling and scuffing in the long term like the TFWW ones.
The lie nielsen is a little longer in the shaft, which in theory would give more height capacity; in reality tho, you never use them at that height. The TFWW holdfast has a little more reach.. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s in the way.
There’s not much to review, honestly. Both hold things down when you whack ‘em with a hammer. I really like how the LN’s look though, and isn’t that what its all about?
I’ll report back if the LN’s have the same “burnishing” effect that the TFWW’s do. I don’t think they will, but only time will tell.
I’ve got some lots more updates coming up! Finishing up a project and installing a Benchcrafted criss-cross..
That’s what I’ve been up to. I don’t nearly get the time I *need* out in the woodshop these days. So, I’m going to condense some things that I’ve been meaning to post separately.
First, a new dovetail saw! I bought a badaxe tenon saw back before it was cool to have one (subtle gloat), and I finally got around to ordering a dovetail saw from Mark as well. There wasn’t anything wrong with my veritas dovetail saw. But man, this one sure is pretty. Cherry handle, stainless back, stainless sawnuts. I was going to get the 12” dovetail hybrid saw, but I’m glad I went with the 10”. This thing is plenty agressive (re: sharp).
Cuts like a dream. What have I been dovetailing? Well, I’m almost done with a 5-drawer shaker table. Just need to put bottoms in the drawers and throw some knobs on. One of these days…
I picked up a top section to my toolbox on black thursday, which necessitated some rearranging in the shop.
Also: don’t buy driver heads at harbor freight. This is just the first three that snapped in a row.. I think I went through 7-8 within 10 minutes.
I’ve done a few other things as well, and have plenty coming up. Moxon vise, benchcrafted criss-cross, etc.. But we’ll see when I can get some time ;-).
In what seems to be becoming a habit, I’ve taken a before shot, no progress shots, and a few “complete” pictures. Well, I never claimed to be a photograher.
Here’s a “before” picture. In fact, that was just two posts ago! Hmmm, this doesn’t seem to be the most active space, does it.
Hey, that was only the end of May? Four months isn’t so bad. Anyways, it wasn’t in that bad of shape at all. Check out my other post for more details.
So, what did I do? Replaced the wheel bearings, replaced any rubber bits, replaced the guides (with fancy ceramic ones), new belt, new blade, new wheel tires, and a 6” riser block. Oh, and a new high-tension spring, new guide post, and some reproduction cover knobs. And some paint. If you’ve got one of these that you’re restoring, look up “Iturra Designs”, they’ve got you covered for parts.
Pictures! Reminder: this saw is 72 years old.
The best part is that it actually runs really nice. Very little vibration, lot’s of resaw capacity, plus bonus vintage good looks. You may notice a piece of cardboard wedged under one of the feet.. I actually haven’t repainted the original mobile base yet, I’m having a super hard time locating replacement casters. The original ones sat so long they developed a flat spot on the wheel, so they don’t really function well as wheels anymore.
All in all, it was a lot of fun to restore. It’s amazing what you can do with a brass wire wheel and some spray paint. If you’ve got an old piece of woodworking machinery laying around somewhere, chances are that it’s just as good or better than anything you can buy new. So don’t throw it away! Restore it, or better yet just give it to me.
Now I can actually get back to some woodworking projects. I’ve actually had a few in progress, just no posts about them yet. I’ll have a report up on a new moxon vise and a badaxe saw in a few weeks though. Let me just say, the combo is supersweet.
Well, that was quick. I don’t even have the bandsaw back together yet (it’s about to the painting stage), and I found this beauty on craigslist. A little newer, I believe this one is early 60’s. I’m pretty excited to have found it. Whoever owned this really took care of it.. I can’t say it’s immaculate, but it’s pretty close. Should handle all my turning needs for the forseeable future..
Down the rabbit hole. My first piece of “old iron”. An admittedly small piece, of course, but pretty cool nonetheless. A pretty common delta 14” bandsaw, circa 1945. In surpisingly good shape, although you couldn’t tell it from this cell phone pic. I’ve got the doors and the table off. Its missing a few things.. Mainly the light, belt cover, and fence. Actually, it may have never had them to begin with, you could configure these lot’s of different ways. But those are things I’m going to want to find.
Also think I’m going to add a 6” riser block so I’ll have 12” of resaw capacity.
Here’s a link to one that was restored really nicely: http://s178.photobucket.com/albums/w279/rcmg52/Delta%2014%20BS/890_Finished/
Anyways, this is going to consume some time, but I can’t wait to get started!