First page of the rasp archive.

Chisel’s are hanging

Posted by is9582 on December 17, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , , ,

A few days ago, I wrote about starting two racks to house some more of my chisels. I’ve been a bit stretched this last week, and unfortunately I didn’t take nearly as many photos of the process as I would have liked. Those of you who also follow my Twitter account, @LeeLairdWW, saw my brief tweet yesterday evening showing the smaller of the two racks I’d planned.

 

Small chisel rack installed, with three over-sized chisels in their homes.

Small chisel rack installed, with three over-sized chisels in their homes.

 

The smaller of the two racks (photo above) is storing three of my chisels that have extra long handles, or are overall longer than standard chisels, two of which are Japanese paring chisels. With the location of each chisel marked with a pencil, I followed that with a deep dimple with an awl. This helps to provide solid registration for the center point of the drill bit, to prevent the bit from potentially “walking” to an unintended position, before entering the wood.

Before drilling, I took measurements on each chisel, of the hosel/socket approximately 1/4″ down from the widest point. This measurement would ensure the chisels would fit into, and then sit down into their respective slots, providing a good home. I also measured the minimum size of each chisel’s shank/neck, to make certain the chisel would fit into the intended slot in the rack. I documented each of these measurements (shown in photo below) directly to each chisel position, so there was less chance I would create the incorrectly sized hole at any of the locations, while at the drill press.

 

Front board of Large rack, with layout showing drilling centerline, slot centerline and width, to aide drilling and sawing.

Front board of Large rack, with layout showing drilling centerline, slot centerline and width, to aide drilling and sawing.

 

After drilling all of the holes for all planned tools, it was over to the band saw to cut the slots that allows the chisels to enter from the front of the board instead of dropping down into each hole. As you can probably imagine, if you decide to go with a “drop-in” solution, the hole must be large enough for the cutting edge of the chisel to fit through. On smaller chisels, this works fine. On larger sized chisels, the size of the cutting edge can easily eclipse the diameter of the handle, which obviously prevents hanging larger chisels via the drop-in method.

After I made all of the cuts, to open up the slots, it was back to the workbench (on the smaller rack, this left little to do before mounting). I used some 1 1/4″ self-cutting Kreg screws, to mount the small rack, to the previously mounted plywood. This size screw was reasonable for this application, as they didn’t need to pierce drywall before contact wood. These square drive heads provide such a solid connection to the driver, that there are few other types I generally use, especially in a storage solution. I pre-drilled the holes through each end of the smaller rack, large enough so the screw’s threads didn’t bite into the rack itself. As these are self-tapping screws, and they screwed into plywood, I didn’t drill pilot holes. Just before installing, I noticed the end of the screws were only about 1/4″ beyond the rear edge of the rack, which wouldn’t penetrate deep enough to have the intended strength. Back to the bandsaw. I drew a line approximately 1/4″ in from the rear edge of the rack, as that would let the screws reach to full thread-depth in the plywood, and just followed the line. I hand planed the rear edge, to create a smooth, flat surface. When I tested the screw’s projection length again, all looked good. Before attaching the small rack with screws, I wanted to make sure it was level. I removed the head from my large adjustable square, and with it sitting on the top surface of the rack, used it’s bubble to confirm level as I drove the screws home.

The larger rack had quite a bit of the same processes, but since I wanted the chisels to sit farther out from the wall, I used a second board that is 90-degrees to the first. The rear board has a face-side against the drywall, while the board the holds the chisels, is set so it’s edge is against the rear board’s outer face-side. The studs in my shop are on 24″ centers, so I cut the rear board to 28″, providing a 2″ overlap of the stud on each end. I cut the front board to 22″, so it wouldn’t interfere with the screws I’d use to attach the large rack to the studs.

After I drilled all of the chisel holes, and cut the necessary slots, I used my Auriou Model Makers 15-grain rasp (does it seem like I use this rasp on every single project?) to remove soften some edges. I also used a paring chisel to cut chamfers on the edges of the slots, which helped refine the fit on a few, but it is also a nice visual.

I placed the two boards together in their final orientation, and made marks on the rear board, centered on each of the remaining thick sections between the holes/slots. I measure half the thickness of the front board, and marked along the rear board to intersect with each of the centered marks, which will make sure the connecting screws hit their target. I used the awl to again make marks deep enough so the drill bit (and I) could “feel” them. Using my 1/8″ drill bit, I pre-drilled holes at each of the marks on the rear board. With the front board held in my vise, I placed the rear board against it, so they lined up as planned. I re-chucked my 1/8″ drill bit and while holding the two boards aligned, carefully drilled the middle position, and then drove a screw, and lightly snugged it up. I did the same at one end position, and snugged the second screw. Now I drilled the rest of the holes as deep as the bit would reach, without worrying that one of the boards might move. This drilling operation only created a starter hole in the front board, since 1/8″ bits are fairly short, but the alignment is also transferred besides just the location.

After removing the rear board, I drilled each of the starter holes, on the front board, as deep as the bit could reach. With the rear board out of the way, the bit easily reached the depth needed for the intended 2 1/2″ screws. Since this larger rack carried additional weight, these screws seemed prudent, both to hold the two boards together, and to attach the pair to the studs. Before I drove the screws to mate the two boards, I put a bead of polyurethane glue on the front board’s mating edge. I didn’t take a photo of the glue on the board, but put a little bit on a paper plate just before applying to the wood, and then a second squeeze on the plate immediately after the rack was installed (below, second photo). I used a damp paper towel to put some extra moisture along the mating surface of the rear board, and then drove all of the screws until the heads were flush with the rear face.

 

Large rack, looking at connection from underside of front board, and small glue squeeze-out.

Large rack, looking at connection from underside of front board, and small glue squeeze-out.

 

Polyurethane glue on paper plate. Glob on right (red arrow) applied about 15-20 mins earlier, while left (blue arrow) was just applied. Just showing how this glue behaves.

Polyurethane glue on paper plate. Glob on right (red arrow) applied about 15-20 mins earlier, while left (blue arrow) was just applied. Just showing how this glue behaves.

 

Back side of rear board, showing the heads of the screws down flush with back.

Back side of rear board, showing the heads of the screws down flush with back. (As the back was flat, and would never be seen, there was no reason to spend extra time to clean up some stray paint.)

 

Large rack immediately after assembly. Red arrows point to the alignment marks I made on two boards, just so they didn't get shifted in the heat of the moment.

Large rack immediately after assembly. Red arrows point to the alignment marks I made on two boards, just so they didn’t get shifted in the heat of the moment.

 

I used my stud finder to mark the two wall studs and their outlines, and with the rack held up to the wall, I determined and marked the location of the screws for attaching. I again pre-drilled the holes through both ends of the rack, for the screws that would attach to the studs, and chose to use three on each side for this larger piece. After I drove the first screw lightly into one stud, I verified level using the square’s bubble, before sinking a screw at the other end of the rack (below, top photo). After a quick look to make certain the tools fit, I drove the other four screws into their respective holes (below, bottom photo), and it was time to load the chisels.

 

Large rack on wall, with one screw in each end, to assess before installing all screws.

Large rack on wall, with one screw in each end, to assess before installing all screws.

 

Large rack with all six screws installed, but no chisels/tools yet.

Large rack with all six screws installed, but no chisels/tools yet.

 

Even though I hadn’t actually planned to have any other tools on the larger rack, I noticed there was plenty of room to put both my winding sticks, and my micrometer case, on top of the rack behind the chisel handles. I love to realize extra efficiencies when making a project.

 

Large rack with all of the intended chisels in place (including Auriou Model Maker's rasp in far right position), as well as winding sticks (right) and micrometer w/case (left), behind chisel handles.

Large rack with all of the intended chisels in place (including Auriou Model Maker’s rasp in far right position), as well as winding sticks (right) and micrometer w/case (left), behind chisel handles.

 

It is great to have this many of my chisels so close to the bench, yet each with it’s own home. The time spent adding these racks was certainly well worth it, and will pay back in time saved in the future.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Lee Laird

 

 

Re-use a damaged file handle

Posted by is9582 on June 21, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , ,

I don’t know about all of you, but I really hate to waste wood. I have a lot of small blanks around the shop, so I could have easily made myself a handle for a somewhat new file in my shop. During some re-organizing I have been doing, I came across a file handle that I think came on a used file I got years ago. It had a small split towards the end where the file’s tang was driven (no surprise, right?), and had some copper wire wrapped around the same end of the handle, trying to keep the split from opening and releasing the file.

Old file handle in it's original form, next to the new file that needs a handle.

Old file handle in it’s original form, next to the new file that needs a handle.

The opening in this old handle was too large for the new file, and this handle was fairly long (between 6″ – 7″), so it felt like I could re-purpose the handle. I used a narrow triangular file as my depth gauge, and with this I was able to confirm the original hole did not go too deep into the handle.

Both the original handle and file, along with a thin triangular file I used as a depth gauge.

Both the original handle and file, along with a thin triangular file I used as a depth gauge.

Triangular file inserted into the handle, to determine the depth of the original hold.

Triangular file inserted into the handle, to determine the depth of the original hold.

I pinched the triangular file and while holding it, pulled it out and held it against the outside of the handle.

I pinched the triangular file and while holding it, pulled it out and held it against the outside of the handle.

With the “depth gauge”, I made a mark showing the full depth of the hole, and then a second mark effectively off-setting from the bottom. I used my Lie-Nielsen crosscut saw to quickly remove the excess portion of the handle, and then could compare the size of the hole at depth vs. the size of hole at the original opening. As I expected, the inner portion of the hole was smaller in diameter and was perfect for the widest portion of the new file’s hole.

Handle shows the two pencil marks, the left is full depth of hole.

Handle shows the two pencil marks, the left is full depth of hole.

Handle after cutting at my target mark, leaving a small portion of the original hole.

Handle after cutting at my target mark, leaving a small portion of the original hole.

At this point, the hole in the new handle is only about 1/4″ deep. Rather than taking three or four different drill bits, of different sizes, so it would create an almost perfect slope for the file’s tang, I just chose one that was close to the same diameter as the tang, about 1/3 of the way down from the file, or in other words, about 2/3 up from the tip of the tang. I centered this bit in the existing hole, and while holding the handle in the face vise on my bench, drilled until the bit was just slightly deeper than was necessary to reach the portion of the tang I measured.

The original top of the handle sitting beside the remaining section. Notice how much larger the hole was at the top of the original handle.

The original top of the handle sitting beside the remaining section. Notice how much larger the hole was at the top of the original handle.

To seat the file in the handle, I placed the tang as deep as it would go with finger pressure, and then dropped the file/handle unit onto my bench, so the handle hit squarely on the very bottom and the file was vertical. If you listen to the sound it makes, when the handle contacts the wooden bench, you’ll know if it is well seated or not. The first light drop had a sort of dull/deadened sound, but the subsequent drops had more of a ringing type of tone. I find this usually holds the file sufficiently, but I can still get the handle off, if I decide to change to another.

Handle and file fitted together as first test.

Handle and file fitted together as first test.

After knowing the file and handle fit well together, I went back and slightly modified the handle so my fingers and thumb on the driving hand, have an indention that feels better in use, to me. I used a couple of my Auriou rasps to generate some of this indention, and to speed it up a bit, I used a somewhat shallow carving gouge to excavate some wood. When the shape felt pretty good, I used rasps and then sandpaper to remove any portion that was too coarse, but I do like to leave some texture for feel.

Handle shaped and file re-introduced. This is a very comfortable and useful file, with it's redone handle.

Handle shaped and file re-introduced. This is a very comfortable and useful file, with it’s redone handle.

At this time this is all I will do to this handle, as it feels good and looks right compared to the length of the file. I may decide to apply an oil varnish finish to the handle in the future, but I guess only time will tell.

I hope everyone has enjoyed this article and might find a way to re-purpose something similar in your shop. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

 

Lee Laird