Drill and Driver Storage

Drill and Driver Storage

Progress on the workshop feels slow.  It’s probably because I have taken on too many projects at once.  Fortunately, I crossed one project off the list last night.  I wanted something that would keep my drills and drivers off the ground; something that would keep them within reach.  I found plenty of inspiration on the … Read moreDrill and Driver Storage

MiniMax FS30 Change Over

Since taking delivery of the Jointer-planer combo, I’ve had a few people ask about the change over between jointing and planing.  The process is quick and easy.  In practice, it takes under a minute.  If I had the Euro guard it would be even quicker.  So far, I’m loving this machine.  It’s very well made and I haven’t made any adjustments to get it working properly.  Let me know if you have any questions about the Minimax FS30 change over.


The Beast is Out of the Cage: Minimax FS30 Initial Setup

Minimax FS30 Change Over

Last night, I powered up the Minimax FS30 Jointer/Planer for the first time. The Minimax FS30 initial setup is straight forward.  Minimax secures everything to a wooden pallet.  They even nail down the fence and accessories.  The real trick is getting her off the pallet.  This thing is heavy. I stacked 2 x 8 scraps … Read moreThe Beast is Out of the Cage: Minimax FS30 Initial Setup

Embracing Electron Power: My Migration Towards Power Tools

Minimax FS30

I love my hand tools.  They’re soothing and cathartic.  But, the one thing I love more than using hand tools is designing furniture.  Eventually, I want to do this full-time.  If I want to take this passion full-time, I need to embrace electron power.   I need to focus more time on design and less on … Read moreEmbracing Electron Power: My Migration Towards Power Tools

Make a Sector from an Old Folding Rule

The Sector

  How do you quickly divide an interior space of 17 5/8 inches into three equal parts?  With a sector.  Furniture builders and architects have reached for the sector often to quickly divide spaces.  Unfortunately, it’s a tool that has been largely forgotten in today’s machine driven world. The sector is nothing more than a … Read moreMake a Sector from an Old Folding Rule

Troubleshooting Holdfast Issues

After boring the first few holdfast holes, I realized that I had serious issues.  My holdfasts simply weren’t biting.  Often, they were jumping around in their holes.  I had to find a solution, and fast.

The bench top is 4-1/2 inches thick.  The holdfast holes are 3/4 inch in diameter.  I am using Gramercy holdfasts.  They are very well made, and should survive years of abuse.  I did some research and determined that the most likely cause was the thickness of the bench top.  How could I resolve this with the holes already bored?

I received some excellent advice from my friends on Twitter and decided that I would counter bore the holes from the bottom with a large diameter hole.  To center the holes, I inserted a piece of 3/4 inch dowel.  After some trial and error, I determined that the most effective nominal thickness was around 3 inches.  The holdfasts work beautifully.  The solution was quick and easy.

I need to clean up the surfaces and coat everything in boiled linseed oil.  Then, I will finally be able to start my first project on the Roubo.  Stay tuned

You can find links to my other Roubo posts here:  Project Index


Holdfast in action


A Simple Trick for Boring Accurate Holes by Hand.

Crisp hole with bit and brace

I’ve always struggled boring accurate holes with hand tools.  I’ve tried using the “CD trick”.  I tried try-squares and mirrors.  I get close, but sometimes close isn’t good enough.  That’s when I came up with this simple trick (I’m sure I wasn’t the first one to use it): a guide block. I first came up … Read moreA Simple Trick for Boring Accurate Holes by Hand.

Superior Hand Tools: The Bit and Brace

I’ve recently been using my vintage hand brace often.  I’ve discovered that there are many times when I prefer it to a power drill.  As long as your bits are sharp and you use a brace with the proper sweep, it doesn’t need much more physical effort than a power drill.  It’s easy to get crisp, clean holes and it’s a lot of fun to use.  It’s also nice not to have to worry about charging batteries all the time.  Watch the video below to see how easy it is to use a bit and brace.

Music is by ‘Hare and the Hounds’.  They just released their first album.  It’s a good one.  I highly suggest you check it out.