Japan Woodworker sells the brush after all

Greg Merritt at Hillbilly Daiku was kind enough to let me know that Japan Woodworker (JW) does indeed sell the brushes for Uzukuri. It only looked to me like they did not. The reason being that JW calls them texturing brushes, and does not use the Japanese word.

For what it’s worth, I think they appear to be over priced. Maybe after I try one that opinion will change. For now, I just can’t part with that kind of money for a brush. Perhaps I’ll never know what a joy they are to use.

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Been a while.

Fell in love with:
Practice with the Uzukuri-Part 1

Seems like a cool way to use less than perfect wood and avoid all the perfect finish issues. Japan Woodworker stopped selling the brushes, so that left me no choice but to improvise. I tried all the wire brushes and coarse sandpaper I had in the shop and had mixed results. Pine is easy to abrade. Fir is much harder, even in the early wood. I got better results with a medium wire wheel at about 45 degrees to the grain, followed by a flap sander with [maybe] 150 grit paper.


It’s good enough for now.

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Fixed my Table Saw crosscut sled…

Short story:  I have a simple sled to square off plywood pieces.


Simple TS Sled

Simple TS Sled


The slot was loose, REALLY loose. To fix it, I popped some #6 flat head screws into the [wooden] bar and, after tweaking and filing, the slot fit’s very well.



There’s more on Lumberjocks:


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Blogging is overrated.

I don’t really like doing this. Other prople’s stuff I can really enjoy, but putting one’s self out there is not easy or fun. Maybe that’s why I do so little of it? Duh!

I guess it will help if I get better with WordPress. It’s just so confusing.

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Summer is just about over…

But it has been eventful.

The furnace is in the basement along with my woodworking shop and that means the furnace distributes dust throughout the building. So, in June, I took delivery of a custom filter for the cold air return.


There are the standard one-inch “pre-filters” and behind those there are 3-inch filters (green) for the fines.

I plan on running the furnace blower in fan-only mode to act as an air cleaner. This will allow me to work in the old ribbon space and keep the dust from getting everywhere. The dusty air will be drawn through the filters and pushed into the “clean” floor above. As long as the blower is on, the pressure difference will also keep the dust from migrating upstairs. Also, because the blower won’t be on 24/7, I plan to close off the stairway with a “curtain” like this:

Curtian wall

All filters are standard and, individually, are much less expensive than the filters on the Delta or JDS style of cleaner. The nine filters here will cost about $100 to replace. That’s still only slightly more than replacing both filters on my Delta Air Cleaner.

I wanted to relocate the furnace upstairs and avoid all this. However, since this is a commercial building, the permit process involves “re-engineering” the heating system. I was told not to ask how much that would cost; if you need to ask, you can’t afford it. It’s a real joke. Getting a permit to replace the furnace in its original location was easy–no questions asked. Go figure.

* * * * * * *

And the next day, I was finally able to unload the first of the machines from our defunct ribbon making operation.

Out the door on skids and pipes, just like the ancient Egyptians:IMG_1203

Good bye Ludlow typecasting machine:


Leaving a nice little opening:


Now I must get rid of the other 90% of that old junk. Working on it.

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Q&D jig for sharpening planer blades

Once in a while, I do a bit of woodworking for the trophy shop. On Tuesday, Bert tells me I need to make a custom base, by Friday no less. It’s a block 9.25″ square and 2.25″ high. I’m all out of 10/4 walnut, so I have to laminate. For that, my thicknesser needs new blades or, at the very least, sharp blades. I’ve been looking at the Deulen jig and just haven’t pulled the trigger. So I’ll make something using alum angle. (The picture shows two pieces, but I only used one piece of angle)


The jig, mocked up with tape.IMG_1636

The rush is on, so the jig will just sit in the slot on the table saw.IMG_1635

Drill a few holes, tap some threads.IMG_1642

Some brass screws and the jig is done.IMG_1665

Well, not quite. Seems the sides of are not exactly equal, making the jig ineffective. Take the blades off, trim the angle and put the blades back on:IMG_1661

Ready to sharpen. I’ve got four grits of diamond here. The black tool is very coarse. The middle plate has medium and fine. The top one is 1000 grit. I used it because I had it.IMG_1662z

A nice even secondary bevel.IMG_1663IMG_1664

Good enough — smooth with just a few ridges from what’s left of the nicks in the blades.IMG_1670

I’m darn’ impressed with myself and this jig. While it is certainly not as beautiful as a chunk of tropical wood with brass inserts, it’s not to shabby for two hours. Oh yeah, the custom base is done and it isn’t even Friday yet.

Wouldn’t it be loverly if pieces came out of this machine surfaced and lacquered?IMG_1673

There is really only one thing that needs fixing. The blades are not supported at the ends. This allowed some flexing. I can fix this with four more screws or come up with some sort of stiffener plate (like the ones in the planer).

PS: working on this post has sparked a couple ideas to make this jig much better. More on that a bit later.

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It’s worse than I expected, but only a little.

I’m not complaining, but this deal has a few worts. I have no use for the jointer, so that’s for sale. The table saw is intriguing. Do I want to use a tilting table saw?  It’s not a Unisaw, but the top is the same size. There is no provision for extensions which makes sense. Tilting the table would be bad enough without extensions.

TS illustration00E0E_fuYu44iFdkJ_600x450


Then there’s the motor. It’s an old B-Line 12/24 amp. Cast iron housing; It must weigh 75 lbs. I don’t have  a 110 circuit that can take 24a. To use 220v, I’ll need a proper switch.   So this gets shelved in favor of a newer, lighter motor. I have a 1hp on the shelf; guess I’ll use it here.



And, then there’s the stand:


This is really awful. The original TS stand is recognizable but two of the flare legs have been butchered, presumably because the previous owner thought it would make it easier to add casters. The angle iron addition was welded on and that is where the jointer sat.  I plan on cutting that off. To fix the stand, I’ll put the stumps on the rear and weld on a bracket to level it. Easier to hide the eyesore than to restore.

All this because I had to have that tenoning jig.






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Confession time. I bought something.


Worse yet, it was some thing I didn’t need and don’t have room for. Oh well. There is the cool factor. How often does one see a Delta 1172 Tenoning Jig. I mean Delta stopped making them when I was young before I could afford one. So there it is, in the upper left of the photo. That was the target. The rest is now a chore. Whether I sell it or keep it, there will be work.

For the curious, we have a Delta 10″ TILTING TABLE saw on its original stand. Motor is old, but I have no idea if it is original (It does have oilers!) The jointer is a Boice-Crane 6″ on a user built stand made from angle iron. It runs off the same motor, just like the Delta saw/jointer combo’s.

00E0E_fuYu44iFdkJ_600x450Both machines seem to be close to complete. The saw is missing its belt guard. Nothing else from what I can see. This is good, because I should sell the machines and keep the 1172 Jig. That’s really the only reason I broke the rule about not adding to my hoard of tools.

Getting it loaded was such fun (not). I had to strip off everything and take the saw off the stand just to get everything in my Pathfinder SUV. I should have taken off the jointer too but the seller was about out of patience. He thought I would show up with an assistant and a pickup with loading ramps and just roll this beast onto the truck and leave. Instead, I kept him from being somewhere else for about 30 minutes. Oh well, he did help me with loading. Maybe I should have tipped him.

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I’m Lousy at this.

I do find this difficult. Here I am 65 years old and I’m still pounding the pavement to pay the bills! Not much time or energy left at days’ end. Not enough for woodworking and even less to write about it

Ok, enough venting. It’s my day off and I need to be somewhere.

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New Bench: Prelude

When I was in my early twenties, I built a workbench. At that time, I owned  a 9-inch builders saw, 4-inch jointer and a “radial drill press”. All three were Delta tools and they were bought new. This was around 1970, so they were branded “Rockwell/Delta”. I also had a Porter-Cable router with 1/4″ collet. Truth be told, I had no training or experience. I did own the old Delta “Getting The Most Out Of Your…” books for the tools I owned. I had picked up a few magazines but there wasn’t much available until Fine Woodworking was launched. I still have issue #1 and every issue since. But I digress. The point to this is, that I was completely unbothered by my lack of actual knowledge. I was unafraid, unapologetic and, for the most part, clueless.

With all of this going for me, I decided I could build a bench. I bought some 2-by-4’s and built a basic “H” frame for the ends and simple two-by rails.  The rails were bolted to the ends using the old “nut in the hole” trick. But the end frames were mortised! You see, I had splurged on the mortise attachment for the drill press and it worked pretty well.

For the top, I bought three sheets of CD plywood. After cutting them down to about 36″ x 80″, I laid them on the floor of the spare bedroom that was my shop. I can’t remember what I used to protect the floor, maybe some more two-by. Anyway, I laid out a 6″ grid and drilled 1/4″ holes through all three sheets. Then I separated them and applied lots of glue and laid them back down like pancakes. Then I hammered carriage bolts into the holes and turned the stack upside down, bolts pointing up. Nuts and washers tightened, it sat for a day while the glue dried. By the way, the dimensions for the top were dictated by the space available in the workshop. I think the room was roughly 7 feet by nine feet plus a six-foot wide closet. Not a lot of room.

It never occurred to me to worry about getting it flat (I didn’t know about winding sticks). I just never thought about it. With the lamination now on the base ( I was a strong guy), I drilled up through the frame and sunk lag screws into the bottom of the benchtop.

Next came the vise. I had just bought a Record 52-1/2. Without looking for instructions, I figured out that I needed a spacer between the vise and the underside of the bench. For some reason, I decided to recess the fixed jaw into the benchtop. That was one ugly chisel job. So the big moment was upon me–time to attached the vise and start using the bench. So I crawled under the bench and drilled some holes for the lag screws that would hold the vise. And then I held the vise up with one hand and screwed one of the lags in and so on until all four lags were in place. Anyone seeing this would have laughed their heads off, but I didn’t know any better.

This all happened while I was in college. After graduation, my woodworking stuff was usually stored away. There was a brief time when I had everything set up in a double garage. That’s when I bought the Rockwell/Delta 14″ band saw. But those few years were the exception.

So now, after years of neglect, I’ve been slowly putting together a new workshop. It’s a basement, in the building where my business has been for close to 25 years. (I’ve been moving veeeeerrrrrry slow. For all that time, I’ve used that space as a place to do whatever was required for the business; so there has always been a sort of shop. Just not one that a woodworker would want.

I still have most of that bench…the top, the vise and some of the base.  For my new bench, I’ll be using the laminated top and the vise, nothing else. About that laminated benchtop–I checked recently and was amazed that after everything, that top is within 1/16″ of being flat. Not bad considering I never even gave it a thought until forty years after building it. The new base will have support under the top and I plan on coaxing the top into true by bolting it to the supports. It might work.

And finally, I want to explain the title of the blog. Growing old has replaced that fearless young man with a rather timid geezer. I want to do things better than before. I plan everything now. It irritates my wife quite a bit. I try to explain and justify, but she tells me that this is the age of “Just Do It” and I need to wake up. Easy for her; her hobby is gardening. I used to garden. Stop that. This is not about the wife. She’s more right than wrong. I’m TRYING to loosen up.

And now, it’s time to start on that bench.

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