Workbench- some time with the scrub plane

i had planned to spend the evening reading a 176 page expert report for an intellectual property dispute but when I took the trash out after dinner the work bench in garage looked lonely.

On Monday I had marked out the this was on the sides with my marking gauge so a grabbed a block plane and chamfored the edges down to that line.  This would give me an easy reference point and help to reduce squelching.  I quickly realized that some areas would require the removal of a lot of material which meant it was time to get some use out of my scrub plane. 

I acquired this plane from everyone’s favorite tool pusher last year and other that some time at the grinding wheel I have not touched it.  It’s blade (from Keen Kutter) could probably use its back polishing and the sole needs some minor rust removal but otherwise it is a fine worker.

  I have not really used a scrub plane before so it took some getting used to as it seems to cut butter with more force on the front tote than I usually use.  I was also amazed at how smith the surface could become given the lack of a polished back and a honed edge.  At some point I want to make something with that surface on a non-show face.

After about an hour I had a surface that was a bit closer to flat which will get a lot closer after some passes with the #6 this weekend.  A much better use of an evening than reading about lost sales due to infringing products.

More Workbench Work

On Sunday I finished flattening the top and squared the front edge as best I could before making the front and back edges parallel.  Then it was time to square off the ends.  I decided to use my old circular saw (which has not been used in at least 8 years) to save some time and finishing each up each cut with a hand saw.  Unfortunately I made the rookie mistake of trusting the bevel gauge on the saw so while the ends are square to the front, there is a heavy slope compared to the top.


Once I figure out how to re-adjust the bevel gauge I will make another attempt but in the meantime the top needs to be made a consistent thickness which will be my after bedtime project this week.

Finally Back in the Workshop

The contractor has finally vacated my garage so I was able to get back to work.  The number one priority is getting my workbench finished so I spent about an hour today flattening the top.
I was amazed how much out of flat the top had become between the move and the work I have been doing.  The dark areas in the picture are the low spots which corespond to the area I work in the most (I flipped the bench around as part of the flattening) and the areas around my two dog holes is substantially  lower.  I used my #6 access the grain and diagonally to get a mostly clean surface and tomorrow I will follow up with my #8.  


Harvey Ellis Saw till – French cleats and saw racks

It has been a busy week at work with so very little progress has been made in the shop though I did finally get the saw till hung on the wall.

I cut a French Cleat our of 1/2 inch Baltic birch plywood and attached it to the wall and case back.  Then I started the saw rack itself by cutting groves in 4 inch wide piece of pine with 1.25 inch spacing.  I also made coresponding scallops in a 1.25 inch wide board for the saw handles to rest in.  I was in a hurry to get the saws safely stored so I only cut 6 slots, intending to update the rest once I finalize the layout.  I attacks them both with pocketscrews without glue so the can be easily repositioned or removed as they still need work.  I also still need to add the lower rack (where the back panel is split) and a height extender on the handle rack in order to accommodate my backsaws

Harvey Ellis Saw Till – Part 10 – Case Complete

This weekend I finally glued on the last side of the main case.  In preparation, I ordered two new Bessy H style pipe clamps off of eBay as I realized I needed at least 6 clamps for the side (9 would have been better) and I only had 4 that were big enough.  The other two pipe clamps I have are from Harbor Freight and there was no comparison, buy the Bessy, they are worth the extra few dollars.

For once, a glue up went without a hitch though I ended up using one of my extra long clamps to hold the side on instead of the top and bottom which was less than ideal.


On Sunday the clamps came off; I trimmed off the trough tenon wedges; and assessed the end results.  There were some dents on the front edges and some minor height variations where the case sides met the top and bottom.  I steamed out the dents with a Clothing Iron and a damp rag then I planed the front edges until they lined up (by pure luck the edge gain for three of the sides ran continuous making this process much easier).


The tails on the bottom were trimmed flush with a block plane and my smoother but the rest will wait until I get a chance to hone/sharpen my tools (my stones are covered in construction debris and need cleaning).  I also filled some of the bigger gaps in the upper left dovetails with pine shims (see the picture) to tighten everything up for the inevitable glue failure.  Now it is time to build the actual saw racks and the french cleat so I can get this thing off my bench.  The door and drawer will wait until my bench is finished.