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Homestead Heritage – Lie-Nielsen Event December 4-5, 2015

Posted by is9582 on December 5, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , ,

I drove up to Homestead Heritage (608 Dry Creek Rd., 76705) in Waco, TX today, as it was the first day of the Lie-Nielsen Handtool event. As usual, Lie-Nielsen have two of their workbenches onsite, as well as their tool line, ready to hold, feel and see how they behave on wood, as well as a great staff ready to help customers with all facets of their visit.

One specific new item was on my radar, the new honing guide, which is built to the high-standards of Lie-Nielsen. I know almost everyone has used one of the ubiquitous inexpensive side-clamping honing guides before, and they can work just fine; especially after spending the time “tuning” them up. No tune up needed on the finely machined Lie-Nielsen version, which is completely obvious as soon as you pick it up, and the tight tolerances said to me “I’m a high-end tool”! The honing guide is made from stainless steel, brass and bronze, so rusting is not an issue.

The honing guide comes with the standard set of jaws installed, but Lie-Nielsen also offers other jaw sets, to handle specific portions of their tool line. The other jaw sets available are the Mortise Chisel jaw pair; Chisel jaw pair; Long jaw pair; 30-degree Skewed Jaw Pair, Right; 30-degree Skewed Jaw Pair, Left; 18-degree Skewed Jaw Pair, Right; and 18-degree Skewed Jaw Pair, Left. Remember this honing guide and jaws are made to handle Lie-Nielsen irons/chisels, so don’t expect them to work with every make of tool that needs sharpening, just so that is clear.

Guest demonstrators at the event are Dowd’s Vintage & Antique Tools, Texas Heritage Woodworks, and The Society of American Period Furniture Makers.

Saturday, December 5, the event is open from 10a.m. to 5p.m.

Homestead Heritage has also extended it’s annual Homestead Fair through Saturday, December 5, 2015, and it opens at 9a.m.

There is a lot to see and experience at one location. Go check them out.

Thank you for stopping by, and as always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Lee Laird


Cool old tool!

Posted by is9582 on March 18, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , , ,

I was going through some of the old stuff at my wife’s parents, and ran into something I don’t see every day. As a matter of fact, this is the first I’ve ever seen in person. An old Drill Press that is operated via a hand crank. Here is the beast in it’s historic “clothes”.

Old manual operated Drill Press.

Old manual operated Drill Press.

I was so excited to find this stashed away, that I texted my wife, wondering if she knew it was around. It turns out this old guy spent most of it’s life in South Dakota, inside a barn that was on her Grandfather’s farm. If you zoom in (and even if you don’t, for those whose eyes are nice and sharp), you can likely see some of the mixture of grease and time, in and around most of the gears. Don’t misunderstand, as I see this as a sign of many years of good, hard work, and not as disregard. I’m sure this tool was a great addition, and likely was used in not only the construction of the family dwelling, but all barns, coops and fencing they built.

As the handle on the Drill Press (right side in the photo) is rotated, the drill bit spun, and the heavy wheel on the left side helped provide momentum. In the mechanism, the drill bit would also advance downward, as you turned the handle, so unlike the modern electric Drill Press, it didn’t have a handle that just fed the bit towards the work. Seems like a pretty smart design, as it could quickly take more hands to operate, than one person had available, if the crank for the power didn’t also feed the bit.

It is an interesting design, which I’ve seen on TV once before, or at least one that is somewhat similar. That was on The Woodwright’s Shop, with Roy Underhill. It’s been quite a while, but I’m fairly sure he showed a hand-operated Drill Press, during an episode on people-powered tool.

I still haven’t had time to dive deeper into the full operation on this tool, and I’ve yet to find anything on it that identifies the make or model, but that doesn’t really matter that much. It is a piece of history and who knows, it may just give up a secret or two, as I dig into it. I’ll be sure to update they blog, when I’ve had time to give this tool some care.

If someone happens to recognize the make and/or model, I’d appreciate you sharing the information. I always  enjoy learning as much as I can about an old tool.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the article. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments.