First page of the Homestead Heritage archive.

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


A cool Marking Knife – Homestead Heritage

Posted by is9582 on February 16, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , ,

I’ll start this with the premise that a good marking knife is extremely valuable, if not critical, for marking fine woodworking. I have a number of different styles and types that I’ve used over the years, from a basic utility knife to a lower-end laminated Japanese knife, to all things in between. Most styles/designs will work great for one or more tasks, while still not being ideal for another, and to this point, I’ve not found one knife that does the best at all tasks. If you have one that does, please let me know.

This knife from Homestead Heritage is extremely solid in the hand, and just feels great. I don’t know what type of steel they used, unfortunately, but it has held it’s edge all of this time, without the need to resharpen. The design is a double-bevel, in some regards, might resemble some style of chip-carving knife. I’ve used it to mark for tenons, mortises, bridle joints, as well as assorted other marks. The back of the spine is somewhat thick, so marking out the thinnest of dovetails could be an issue, but I do have a different knife I grab for those joints.

Marking Knife from Homestead Heritage, beside it's safety sleeve of sorts.

Marking Knife from Homestead Heritage, next to it’s safety sleeve of sorts.

The knife doesn’t come with a blade guard, so for a while I would use a thick piece of cardboard, wrapped with some strong tape, so I could carry it safely. One of my mates saw this and gave me a wine cork, to house the blade. I’ve used the cork ever since, as it is cool looking as well as functional.

Homestead Heritage knife with blade protected.

Homestead Heritage knife with blade protected.

If you like hand-made tools, great woodworking or other neat stuff, you should go and check out Homestead Heritage. They are located just North of Waco, TX, in the small town of Elm Mott. If you do stop by, make sure to see Frank Strazza and say hi for me.

Thanks for stopping by the site. Let me know if you have any comments or questions.


Lee Laird