Saturday, November 14, 2015

The finished Azebiki

This is really embarrassing, showing this saw.

 the teeth are terrible, the stuff that only a depraved, twisted mind could produce,

or a teenager. 

I have to find a way to file better, my vise keeps moving around even when my toolbox is filled with hammers and my file-box. 

I also wish I had made it taller, I will get more material next time...I REALLY want to get a stockpile of this pine, it's so nice to work with. 

                                                                 “If only, if only," the woodpecker sighs,
                                                            "The bark on the tree was as soft as the skies."
                                                             While the wolf waits below, hungry and lonely,
                                                                                Crying to the moo-oo-oon,
                                                                                            "If only, If only.”


well, here was a cut I made at midnight. Spent maybe a minute on it including the 'layout' (Grabbing a piece of maple). It works pretty well on this pine mortising board (Doesn't everyone have a mortising board? Just a scrap on the floor that you put wood on to chop and mortise?)

Seems to work well here. If only half blind mortises in sugar maple was this easy. 

Next to my four inch combination square. 

And next to my bow saw. 

I oddly enough still use my bow saw very frequently, often because Japanese saws are fragile. And when you have some nasty-grained sugar/rock maple or hickory that is quite capable of bending your saw in half (That...totally...hasn't happened. And I totally didn't have to flatten it out and count my lucky stars it bent at the tang.), there is really nothing better suited than a 9tpi, stubby, rip tooth blade. 

Underneath is the maple beam I am attempting to plane flat after my disastrous attempt at hewing. I am glad this maple wasn't sugar, it is a red maple if I identified the tree correctly. Red maple is known as soft maple at the lumberyard, but that's a vague term; Rock maple applies to sugar maples and soft applies to everything else, if I recall correctly. 

Any ideas what I should do with these maple branches? Part of me really wants to build a good workbench and store it somewhere until I have room. It'd definitely be a real anarchist's workbench, not a Home Depot love song; a workbenmch of hand-hewn hickory and maple, felled by lightning in Northeastern storms. 

It would tell one hell of a story. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Staple Vise!

Got your interest with the title, but first, let me gloat over my two new hammer heads; Left I will use to set saw teeth, the right I am thinking of trying to make a saw tensioning hammer out of. 

                                                          Now to the staple vise.

I was worried about making one, being unable to forge...until I realized, oh ya, metal isn't hard to bend, especially Home Cheap-O mild steel in a vise with physics working for you. 

After bending, I filed rough points onto the ends, drilled two slightly-smaller holes, and banged on the thing until it was about halfway through the wood. I then cut some wedges, don't know what angle; and went to see if this thing worked. 


It works...

This is the first time something has worked on the first try. This staple vise is so much better than a holdfast. 

Here are my 'sen'...The right is an old laminated blade I tried making into a kanna blade, complete with mock-hollow. It hurts to use, I can't figure out a way to make a handle for it. The chisel works better. 

Jason said that sen should be rounded slightly, sharpened at a very coarse grit, and used at an angle to the surface. Like, your going straight, but the blade is angled, sort of like using a plane on challenging wood. 

The results

Pretty nice! This sen-surface is lovely. This is my attempt at an azebiki nokogiri, New York style, with my attempt at 'progressive' teeth and a dual-sided flush cut saw. I have the rip teeth done so far on the azebiki nokogiri. For reference, the chisel is a 1/2" chisel. 

Better shots of the teeth of the flush cut, one side crosscut one side fine rip. 

The cut surfaces are pretty smooth, I need to make a handle for it, though. Cuts pretty fast, for my first saw. 

It took quite a while to make, but it should be useful. I learned a tremendous amount making this saw; I experimented with many different ways of creating teeth, you can probably tell. 

I ended up making the crosscut teeth by holding the file slightly upwards, at around a 15 degree angle, file one way, flip the vise around, file at the same angles, and you get a nice crosscut tooth. Repeat this, and I got nice spacing, similarly-shaped teeth. Finish up with the third facet, and there you go! 

The teeth came out chubby, which is OK, after all I will use it a lot for plane-making. 

Gather around, children, for spooky tales of woodworking horrors...

These teeth are on a very large ryoba I have. It has a loud voice, likes to be heard, and isn't shy to sing you a ballad; it sounds real nice, so it's fortunate for me. Nice signature, it had quite a bit of rust on it though. 

Odd, though: The nicks in the teeth. I guess even masters have that problem. Or maybe it was intentional? 

I am a cynic, in that I often see things as mistakes instead of  'on purpose'; after all, woodworkers are often guilty of 'inspirational design changes' when a project goes wrong. A song played wrong is an 'interpretation'. 

I just can't see how this nick would help in the sawing. And when it happens on each tooth...Well. My prevailing theory is that the sharpener or forger, or possibly user, was tuning the teeth and the file needed also coincidentally filed slightly into the next tooth. Doesn't effect sawing, so it is left there. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Quick update

                                  Joe the Groundhog welcomes you back to the Twin Maples.

                                                    Rochester Public Market is a fun place.

Been a while, school is taking time and when I do have free time I am woodworking and forgetting to update this blog and take pictures... Mainly making ornaments to sell. 

I found out that an old plane blade works great as a sen. After five minutes of playing around with angles, I got my first shaving, that little metal stick in the photo. 

I've been working on making a flush cutting saw and a small azebiki; I thought this might help show how I cut the steel out. 

First I use my dremel, using a piece of maple as a guide, then I cut it out with a cold chisel from my great grandfather. 

I made the ugliest box ever from pallet wood, to hold files in. It fits nicely into my real tool chest, and was my first venture into no-measuring finger joints...Basically I wanted to see how quickly I could make a box. 

This weekend was the Letchworth Craft Fair, a gathering of some of the most talented craftsmen and craftswomen in the country. 

All in one of the most stunning places in America, Letchworth State Park. It's earned itself the reputation as being the Grand Canyon of the East; I haven't been there yet, but I don't think the Grand Canyon could be better. It doesn't have any trees.

If your ever in the States in fall, come to Letchworth when all the trees are ]changing color, you'll see some of the best views in your life. 

As you can see, it's not peak foliage viewing time. 

This artisan let me take photos, a lot of the stalls had no photogrophy rules. He was a fun guy, the operator of Lukacs Studio Pottery in Sodus Point. These flutes were available to try out and he was giving impromptu lessons to passerby. 

No penny whistles, sadly D: 

Shout out to Wood Duflo! Mrs Duflo shared with me what they use on their spoons, cutting boards and other products. They had stunning designs, I bought a cherry toast tong for my little sister.

So, what else is in the works? Experimenting with saw making from blue-tempered steel hopefully, I am hoping to get back into pottery after learning I can repurpose my forge into a sawdust kiln, pyrography and scrollsawing.  No update on the sumitsubo, sadly. 

Oh, and a kantele! I got the parts for it and am starting on a five string model. I was thinking possibly a ten string, but decided sometimes limitations can create a better player. This time I am using a maple soundboard and am hoping to hollow out the center of the top. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

September Rains

The woodwind section.

So, first things first, starting with last week's work: I sharpened up the crosscut saw. 

Then got to work, it cuts well but it's hard to use a foot off the ground. The log in question weighs probably around six hundred pounds; none of us can lift it.

Meeko helps clean up every time branches fall down! 

You can kind of see the log to the right there. 

I tried splitting the giant log...I knew it wants to be split vertical, but I want it to be horizontally. The log won this round.

So, I worked on one of the saws, got it all nice and shiny except for the teeth. The signature on this one used to be very faint, now it's visible, I'll try taking a picture next time. 

I found this in the metal, it's strange, it isn't on the other side. 

I sharpened the rip side, but forgot to only sharpen the side facing away from me. As such, I had to stone that side until the saw started cutting straight again. 

The saw stand is full, but I still have saws to hang...

So, here are pictures of the tooth profile of the dozuki, the best ones I could get. 

It has an extremely thin kerf 

I listened to Sebastian and made a new saw vise. A softwood wedge works much better, but there was a gap in one side so I used duct tape as a shim. I think it's caused by the wedge, my planing technique is a bit off so one side is thicker than the other; the looseness is where the wedge is thick.

I used eastern white pine, hopefully it will last; I put in seven screws from each side. I love eastern white pine, it dents very very easily but it works very well, and it smells great. It smells like home, like drinking apple cider next to a log fire. 

Finished up a cross today, I made it loose enough to be easily taken out to be hung on the wall, but still snug to give a satisfying fit. I found this nice piece of live edge, thought it'd pair well as a base, it seems like it did. 

                                                         Life is rapid in the school year!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

They're heeeere....

"Hey, kid! Pssst!"

"My mom said not to talk to strangers..."

"Ah, come on...try a Japanese saw...First ones are free."

"I don't know..."

"Here, I'll even throw in a pruning saw..."

"Well, ok, a couple saws can't hurt, can they?"

Gosh darn it, Murakami and Sebastian are a team. Typical strategy: First ones are free, then you need more...

So, all this was $36, but shipping and assorted fees brought it to $127.

We need cheap teleportation.

Of course, five days after Murakami shipped them, they arrived.

Can't complain about that, no complaining at all. Thousands and thousands of years of traveling taking weeks, months, and years. And within five-six centuries of rapid advances, we can now have saws from Japan shipped to New York. 

I am so unbelievably blessed, to be able to have these opportunities available to me.

Aw yiss

First dozuki has some teeth missing  Very straight teeth.

Some rust on the ryobas 

Cracked handles...

This one seems good

Some stamped signatures

This key saw seems nice, I wonder if it can be used for saw handle making?

The teeth viewed from the top seem a little unusual, like there's no set but instead the teeth are zig-zagging. 

These two guys came with their own wrap. I like it, I think I'll make wraps for my other ones. 

A very small signature 

Oooh, a curve, this guy will be a learning opportunity! 

Another signature, or is it the same one? I sometimes forget which picture applies to which saw. 

Aw yiss, files! 

So, something I noticed about the key saw, the back is ground to become a knife's edge. Not like a taper, but like an actual knife bevel. 

The pruning saw, second from the right, was another gift from Murakami. 

Seriously, Murakami is really nice! Even put up with me trying to figure out how to use PayPal.

First up, a saw vise, then sharpening them and finding a setting hammer. Can't find one anywhere, though.  

I was working on forging one, before. Now, it appears I won't be able to do blacksmithing, apparently the excessive lights will accelerate the eye disease. Doctor is predicting I won't go blind, but I will become even more light sensitive. 

My oldest brother said he might take up the forge, though. A big thing I was hoping to do one day, maybe in ten or twenty years, was to be able to sell American made kanna blades. I can still probably make the dais, though, and metate work doesn't need bright lights. My dad and oldest brother said I should try welding goggles first.