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Messages - Ken S

Hand Tool Woodworking / Re: Cap Iron Plane Screwdriver
February 08, 2011, 06:10:30 PM
Steve and Dan,

Congrats on your second stars.  (I hope Jeff ordered enough stars.)

Hand Tool Woodworking / Re: Cap Iron Plane Screwdriver
February 08, 2011, 11:53:32 AM
Thanks, Dan.  I think it will work.  The pal design certainly puts the torque axis much closer to the screw head.  I think it would be more controllable, too.  It's on my short wish list for the next time L-V has a free shipping promotion.

Hand Tool Woodworking / Re: Cap Iron Plane Screwdriver
February 08, 2011, 02:20:34 AM

Do you happen to know if this screwdriver might also fit the tightening screw on the Eclipse (and clones) side clamping honing jigs?

Hand Tool Woodworking / Re: Grade of metals
February 08, 2011, 01:34:03 AM

This isn't a link.  What I did was by adding a post on this old posting, it brought it up out of the dust and put it center stage.  I think it's a good post, and worth the time to read.


I believe you mentioned you had spent forty years in construction. (Is my 60 year old memory right?)

If so, your time correcting the "footer problem" (not grinding the chisel square) will be very spent.  There have been several posts about being out of square.

Enjoy your new sharpening gear.  Keep us posted.

Well done (and photographed), Ionut.

General Tormek Questions / Re: oboe knife
February 07, 2011, 07:57:41 AM

Nice post, and nice sharpening job.  Good photographs, too.  The original reminded me of some of the telephone splicer's knives I've seen over the years with "creative" sharpening.

Thanks for the follow through.  Do post the "verdict" from the teacher.

You mention the Shapton products.  I have some concerns regarding them.  They may be very fine products; I don't doubt that.

However, I notice that Lie-Nielsen no longer sells them.  (They sell DMT diamond plates and Norton water stones.)

Also, there are at least two different lines of Shapton stones for different steels, and, I believe, at least three generations. Too many unknowns to make an informed decision.  I would back away until I had a good handle on the situation.

From my working past, I never liked radical measures until I had seen moderate measures fail.  I would put  acquiring other sharpening products on the back burner until you have become quite proficient with your Tormek.  At that point, if the results do not satisfy you in some areas, look into other options.

Ionut has found a method which allows him to quickly sharpen his tools to a very high level and return to what he really loves, woodworking.

Hand Tool Woodworking / Re: Grade of metals
February 06, 2011, 12:39:40 AM
I was poking around in the archives and found this.  It seemed worth being read more often.


You are in a nice position.  After forty years of working and dreaming, you will be equipping your home workshop.  I am most happy for you.

If I might offer some advice in the spirit of the original post:  I believe you will be most happy with your choice of tools if you first acquire more knowledge.  I have been most fortunate in being able to have some very solid training (weekend workshops at the Conover School near me in Ohio).  There are probably similar schools in your area.

There is no shortage of good books and DVDs on woodworking.

Keeping with our discussion of using chisels as an example: When you do finally shop for chisels, you will be more satisfied with your purchases if they are based on knowledge and experience.  You will know at that point which chisels feel right in your hand and do the work you intend well.  You will have a working knowledge how different chisels sharpen, and how frequently they need to be resharpened.  Using your initial Japanese and Lie-Nielsen chisels will help you acquire this knowledge.

You are at a rare opportunity in life. I hope this time becomes a time of great joy and satisfaction for you.  Savor it.


I would suggest ignoring the kind of steel in the chisels, as well as the cultural origins.  See them just as two tools.  Use them, sharpen them, use them some more and keep sharpening.  Your hands will direct you to which you prefer.  Have fun...there are worse things than using two fine tools.

I agree, Ionut.  Steve, the ball is in your court.  Enjoy.



We were posting at the same time last night.  I believe you are sharing the most valuable knowledge we have, personal knowledge.  Book learning is easily acquired.  Listening to what our hands tell us is more difficult, and more precious.


When you are comparing the Japanese and Lie-Nielsen chisels, choose carefully.  Chances are that whichever you choose will someday be passed on to your children and grandchildren.  Tools, both good and not so good, can stick around for a long time.

Perhaps someone else can post good sites for learning more about the Japanese chisels.  The lie-nielsen website has some excellent instructional you tubes, both about usage and sharpening.  The sharpening technique shown is very solid.  Do keep in mind that the instructor travels quite a bit.  The Tormek, while a delight at home, might be like the traveling anvil salesman in The Music Man.

At the same time I ordered my chisel from Lie-Nielsen, I also ordered an extra long handle.  The longer handles are designed for paring.  Using both handles is shown in the L-N you tubes. I would only order one long handle, as the chisels generally use the same size handles.

When choosing your chisels, pay special attention to what your hands say.  Some tools just fit well in your hands.  Some don't.  I would rather have a chisel with less than stellar steel which felt like an extension of my hands than a piece of superb steel which felt clunky.

Choose slowly.

Sorry, guys, but the chisel in my dream was definitely a half inch.  Just kidding.....What I meant to say was a chisel size which is the one you grab most of the time.  1/2, 5/8, 3/4 all are fine.

Thanks, Jeff.  I like the idea, too.  I wish it was original.  Whoever's idea it was originally, I think it is worth passing along.

Steve, I like Ron Hock's book.  I have both in my library, and would recommend both to you.  They complement each other.  I'm a book buff, and recently, a DVD and you tube fan, also.  

My Japanese fishtail chisel is a Matsumura.  It's very nicely made; I would not hesitate to buy more.  I enjoy reading the descriptions of the blacksmiths in The Japan Woodworker catalog.  By comparison, western toolmakers seem boring and conventional.  Go to work, make a good product, go home.

Jeff, your term "old friends" describes my feeling for many of my tools.  I started with the 5/16" size Lie-Nielsen chisel because I thought is would work well with my grandfather's Stanleys.  It does, and I suspect I will probably eventually add a full set.  They are even nice outside of the leather wrap.

One design feature I appreciate in the Lie-Nielsen chisels is that all the bevel edge chisels from 1/8 to 3/4 use the same size handle.  The same handle work with all but the largest mortise chisels as well.  They also sell long handles (interchangeable) for paring.

Steve, please keep us posted on your chisel experiences.

Jeff, any wife who gives her husband chisels for Christmas was well chosen!