With every class there are three types of students.
The type that is there to learn. They learn. They go home happy.
The type that probably should consider a different hobby. (To be honest, that was me during my first woodworking class. Somehow I persevered.)
The type that has no business there because they could easily teach the class.
Ed Sutton is in the third category. Ed runs the blog thingswemake.co.uk, and is actively involved on Instagram and Twitter. If you haven’t joined in on Instagram and Twitter, you should consider it. It hasn’t (yet) been overrun by trolls.
Anyway, Ed was in my Dutch Tool Chest class in England this month (last month? who am I?) and has finished it up right pretty as we say in Arkansas (about our cousins). Here is his blog entry about the class. And check out his video, which is comprised of stills from the class.
If you don’t check my blog at Popular Woodworking Magazine, here are a couple of items you might be interested in.
I’m finishing off two Roorkee chairs this week and am using some different hardware bits that are working out quite well. If you want a preview, check out this entry on my hardware sources for Roorkee chairs.
After I buy a new 1/4” leather punch (the old one is roaming California or Germany or who-knows where), I’ll post some completed photos of the chairs and discuss some of the hardware options I’ve been investigating.
The other thing you might check out is a three-part series on storing hand tools. I have used (and still use) a variety of ways to keep my tools at hand. You might not agree with my perspective, but that’s OK. Because I’m OK and you’re OK. There’s what’s right and there’s what’s right, and never the twain shall meet.
The handful of you who witnessed the incident during the Midwest Woodworking wood sale already know that my block plane spontaneously disassembled while I was using it to check out some 8/4 incense cedar, with the various components flying out of my hand and scattering themselves across the concrete floor.
Surprisingly enough, I couldn’t find any signs of damage afterwards. There was a nick in the front adjusting knob, but that may have been there already. Anyway, once I got home I decided that it deserved the full spa treatment after an experience like that.
I disassembled it as far as I could, lightly went over the sole and sides with some 400-grit silicon carbide paper to remove any incipient rust, then cleaned everything with soap and water. After everything was good and dry, I sprayed the bare iron surfaces with Boeshield T-9.* Once that was dry, I wiped it all down with a cotton cloth to remove the excess.
Then it was just a matter of putting all the pieces back together in the correct order, honing the blade, and verifying that I hadn’t screwed something up and it still worked. Speaking of honing, I’ve been experimenting with some freehand honing techniques recently, and while the jury is still out, one thing I’ve decided to permanently add to the regimen is a final stropping. I bought a couple of Genuine Horse Butt strops from Joel Moskowitz, and—as he advises—use the rough side of the leather with some micro-fine stropping compound.
I suspect that the slight round-over produced by the stropping acts sort of like a micro-bevel, and helps toughen the edge. The net result is that the edge seems to last a bit longer between sharpenings.
*I’ve also used TopCote (now apparently called GlideCote). Boeshield has gotten better reviews with regard to preventing rust; TopCote is less messy to use.