A Hand Tool Cabinet: The Design

Ever since we moved, my hand-tools have been homeless.  Throughout the workshop build, they’ve remained hidden in drawers and boxes.  So, it’s time I give them a home.  It’s time I build a proper hand-tool cabinet. A few years back, Mike Pekovich built a beautiful hanging tool cabinet for a Fine Woodworking video workshop series.  … Read moreA Hand Tool Cabinet: The Design

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

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Holdfast in action

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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.

Roubo Workbench Build: Draw Boring the Base

A close up of the drawbored joints

I did a lot of research while designing my Roubo workbench.  There are many ways to bring everything together.  However, my favorite approach was draw boring the mortise and tenon joints.  There is no need for any glue, and the joint should stay tight for ages.  As of my last post, I didn’t think I … Read moreRoubo Workbench Build: Draw Boring the Base

Sharpening: Honing Your Skills

Honing and Edge on a Plane Iron

  The most critical part of sharpening is the honing process. This is where an abrasive is used to bring an edge to a theoretical, zero radius. A mirror polish is secondary. The details of how you get there, aren’t important. What is important is that you get there quickly and efficiently. For example, I recently … Read moreSharpening: Honing Your Skills

Sharpening: Regrinding a Bevel

Keeping your tools sharp is paramount to enjoying the time you spend in your shop working wood.  This is even more important to those of us who have limited time to spend in the shop.  If you’re like me, you enjoy building furniture more than you enjoy sharpening your tools.  The best way to minimize … Read moreSharpening: Regrinding a Bevel

Only Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Hand Sawing Practice

Some say that practice makes perfect. A wiser man will tell you that only perfect practice makes perfect. So if you’re having problems with any of your hand tool skills, get out there and practice perfect practice. Now, say that three times fast. Don’t wait until you start a new project to attempt a new … Read moreOnly Perfect Practice Makes Perfect