By Megan Fitzpatrick Page 14 A scratch stock is a simple tool – sort of a combination of a scraper and a moulding plane – for scratching in a profile (typically a bead or other simple shape). And while it’s fairly easy to make a scratch stock out of scrap wood and a piece of … Read more
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By Megan Fitzpatrick Pages 64-68 November 2012, issue #200 Today, we aim for too much perfection; period work wasn’t like that,” says blacksmith/whitesmith Peter Ross. Handwork, Peter Ross says, is a culmination of learning to do things quickly with few tools and little fussing, whether that’s working with iron or working with wood. With a … Read more
By Megan Fitzpatrick Page 16 Spear-point marking knives are my favorite marking knives because they’re a good all-around choice for most layout tasks in the shop. Because a spear-point knife has two bevels and a flat back, it can easily register against a guide on either the right or left side – very handy when … Read more
The truss system of the spine looks curious, but it works gangbusters. By Megan Fitzpatrick Page 16 The crazy design of this titanium 5″ woodworker’s fretsaw from Knew Concepts is, I think it’s fair to say, the first thing you notice. But use it and you’ll quickly come to appreciate that the structure helps to … Read more
Notched and nailed joints add visual interest to this simple project. By Megan Fitzpatrick Pages 50-52 This form is typically called a Shaker silverware tray – but it comes in handy for ferrying all sorts of things hither and yon. I got lucky at the big box store in finding some perfectly straight, flat and … Read more
The editors present some of their favorite designs.
By Matthew Teague, Robert W. Lang, Megan Fitzpatrick & Steve Shanesy
Whether we spend most of our time building 18th-century highboys, production cabinetry or toys for our kids and grandchildren, we all build small boxes from time to time. Because we produce so many small offcuts of beautifully grained and highly figured woods, to do otherwise would be a shame. Building small boxes can be the mainstay of our shops – or simply a nice diversion from our usual work.
Often, a simple box can be made in just a few hours, either to break up the work on a more involved project, or simply to test our skills with a miniature masterpiece. Boxes can be customized for display, built to house jewelry, cigars or various keepsakes and collections. Plus, small boxes are lightweight, which makes them a nice respite if we’ve logged hours muscling larger timbers around the shop.
strong>Blog: View a series of step photos that show how to assemble a solid box then cut the top off using the table saw.
In our store: “Box Builder’s Handbook,” by A.J. Hamler. Read more
By Megan Fitzpatrick
This wee bronze plane from Warren, Maine, is a reproduction (of sorts) of the Stanley No. 101 plane – a small block plane originally designed for household use and light work (and sold in toy tool chests, according to Patrick Leach’s “Blood and Gore” web site).
But unlike its inspiration, this new version from Lie-Nielsen, which is also called a violin maker’s plane, has all the same features as its slightly larger cousin, the No. 102, including a stainless steel adjuster to advance and retract the blade.
With a sole just less than 3″ long and 11⁄4″ wide, the plane fits comfortably in even the smallest hands, and its size allows you to work very locally indeed, and in tight spaces – and anywhere else you’d typically turn to a block plane. Plus, it’s the perfect size for slipping into an apron pocket or even your pants pocket.
The 7⁄8″-wide A2 steel iron is bedded at 20° for a typical 45° cutting angle.