Sunday, October 10, 2010

Okay, I've got it now...

...a little while ago I was struggling to come up with a good pun involving handplanes and airplanes. I've got it now...

Where do you park your plane when you are not using it?

A Hanger!

I've almost completed my little onboard benchplane storage unit here. This original section of benchtop was rather rotten so I went ahead and removed it early on. I made this little rack today and it is nearly complete. The glue for the additional inlay around the borders needs to dry and then I'll plane it flush. The inlay separating the planes will remain proud to prevent them from knocking against each other. We'll see how it works out.

I'm surprised I haven't been talking more about tools than I have. I really do enjoying learning as much as I can about all the different implements used in working wood. I think that I've twice mentioned that I'm moving over to Western saws. I went to a large antiques market today hoping to find a brass-backed rip-filed dovetail saw. I was disappointed. I'd been counting on finding one at a good price that needed a little work so that I could practice my sharpening skills but left empty-handed. eBay is questionable for this sort of thing because you can't tell a lot about the subtler points of the condition of the saw from the postings. 

I've had my eye on those new-fangled saws from Lee Valley/Veritas. They are kind of funny looking but I've yet to read a poor review. The price is amazing too: you can get a pair of rip- and crosscut-filed saws for $110. That's less than the cost of one Lie-Nielsen. Experienced folks generally place them in the middle of the pack for top-performing saws and nobody disputes the value. I think it was Christopher Schwarz who called them the Honda Accord of fine saws. 

The saw that seemed to keep being mentioned at the top of these tests was the Gramercy Dovetail saw, made in many other products can you name that are actually made in New York City? The downside: $150. That's too much money for me...I'd like to, but I can't. Then I noticed that you can buy a kit and make the saw for about half the price. Not only would this present an opportunity for a good project, I think it would also foster a better sense of ownership of the tool. There's nothing I hate more than products that aren't user-serviceable--this is a big part of why I'm moving away from Japanese saws. Sometimes, however, a lack of serviceability can be self-imposed. For example, were I to spend $150 on the complete Gramercy, there is no way I'm going to take that thing apart and alter it; I'd probably just be too intimidated by it. If I've already paid a huge premium for their assembly expertise, why would I risk screwing it up? 

Any thoughts?

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