Happiness Is.. A Truly Sharp Saw

Just a quick story about a good experience I had in my shop today.

This afternoon I spent my lunch break in my shop.That’s one of the really nice perks of working from my home office. Another benefit is seeing my kids for breakfast and dinner every day. So today my schedule and workload aligned and had an hour to myself to do some actual woodworking for an hour. This may have been the first hour I’ve had in my shop in two months.

I need to work on some small saw benches for an upcoming woodworking show that I may participate in. The idea is to have a couple of multi-purposes benches that folks can use to try out tools like saws, molding planes, boring tools, etc. I’m basing my design on Chris Swartz’s saw bench. I have all the stock milled to the right dimensions and it was time to cut the legs to length. I pulled out my trusty Langdon Acme mitre box but swapped the stock saw, which has served me well but isn’t anywhere near sharp at the moment, for a Disston Jackson mitre saw I just got back from Matt Cianci. Matt’s a friend of mine and fellow saw geek. I scored this saw (which is almost completely mint with all its original bluing, handle finish and a mirror-like plate) up at MJD‘s last auction in Nashua. Matt picked out of few things from the auction lots I purchased that day and in return he took the Jackson home and sharpened it. It was virtually unused so it took him “all of ten minutes” to sharpen. This past weekend I met up with Matt at a local auction and he handed off the saw freshly sharpened and ready to go. We did well at the auction, Matt scoring one of the nicest pre-Civil War Disston 7s I’ve ever seen, and I found an even earlier (possibly the earliest ) Disston at the tailgate sale. Those are stories for another day.

Back to today, when I loaded that Jackson in my mitre box and started to cut the legs to length. Wow. That barely begins to describe what using a truly sharp mitre saw in a quality mitrebox feels like. The saw ate through the 6/4 stock in no time, leaving tiny curly shavings rather than dust. It was amazing. I knocked out eight legs and four stretchers in just a few minutes. The saw left an almost perfect surface behind and was able to take thin cuts leaving strips of wood behind no thicker than the plate itself. It was fantastic.

Jackson Mitre Saw In My Langdon Acme Mitre Box
Jackson Mitre Saw In My Langdon Acme Mitre Box
Squaring-Up a Leg, Taking A Very Thin Cut
Squaring-Up a Leg, Taking A Very Thin Cut
Resulting End Grain
Resulting End Grain

Matt is definitely one of the best saw sharpeners out there. He is one of only four people I will recommend you send your saws to or that I will drop-ship a saw to that a customer has purchased . I’ve been burned in the past by saw sharpeners who have come well-recommended but who have delivered substandard results to my customers. I guarantee you will be happy with Matt’s work.

That’s it from here. Thanks for reading.

-Josh

Molding Plane Basics

Hi Folks,

This evening I finished an article for my website called “Molding Plane Basics”. This article is in response to the numerous requests I have received from readers and customers asking for advice on where to start with molding planes and asking for my recommendations for a good starter set. In this article I try to explain some basic types of planes and give some advice what to look for in a molding plane. I included a number of photos of the molding planes I use to illustrate some points. I have also included links to some YouTube videos I shot a while back showing some of these molding planes in use in my shop. As I mention in the article, I am by no means an expert- I have been using, repairing, and making molding planes on a casual basis for about ten years. As always, I welcome your comments, questions, criticisms, and corrections.

Thanks for reading!

Josh

Hi Folks,

This evening I finished an article for my website called “Molding Plane Basics”. This article is in response to the numerous requests I have received from readers and customers asking for advice on where to start with molding planes and asking for my recommendations for a good starter set. In this article I try to explain some basic types of planes and give some advice what to look for in a molding plane. I included a number of photos of the molding planes I use to illustrate some points. I have also included links to some YouTube videos I shot a while back showing some of these molding planes in use in my shop.  As I mention in the article, I am by no means an expert- I have been using, repairing, and making molding planes on a casual basis for about ten years.  As always, I welcome your comments, questions, criticisms, and corrections.

Thanks for reading!

Josh

A New Auction Find

I usually attend auctions to find good tools to restore and resell. Once in a while I find a tool  I just have to keep. Besides saws, I also have a “thing” for crisp molding planes, especially British planes. When I found this plane at a local auction I knew right away it was a keeper.

J. Buck Molding Plane
J. Buck Molding Plane

This is a J. Buck, London quirk ogee in a really uncommon small 3/8 in. size. Buck made some of the highest quality molding planes in my opinion. The overall execution and attention to detail on this plane is amazing. It’s also as crisp as the day it was made. Aside for the MAX OTT owner’s mark there is barely a scratch on it. It was clearly used very little, if at all.

Continue reading “A New Auction Find”

Finally Found a Harvey Peace P-70! (Caution: Saw-Geekery Ahead)

I’m a huge fan, collector, and user of the saws made by Harvey W. Peace. Yes, I am a saw geek. I have been trying to gather at least one example of each saw Peace made in the 40 odd years Peace worked in Brooklyn. This has been a challenge because some of his saws were made for a short period of time and/or were made in limited numbers. One of the most elusive saws has been the P-70 which was the absolute top-end saw in Peace’s “Perfection” line of handsaws. I saw one example of this saw at a LFOD Auction in Nashua, New Hampshire back in 2003. At the time I didn’t realize what a rarity it was, and my tool funds were low,  so I had to let it go. That is one of the few tools I truly regret not getting. For seven years I haven’t seen another example. That changed a few weeks ago when this arrived at my door-

Harvey Peace P-70 Handsaw
Harvey Peace P-70 Handsaw

Continue reading “Finally Found a Harvey Peace P-70! (Caution: Saw-Geekery Ahead)”

This One is a Keeper!

I was sorting through my stash of molding planes, looking to pick out a few nice ones to put up for sale. I came across a nice deep but narrow roman ogee by A. Mathieson and Son. Mathieson was a prolific maker, and one of my favorites. Their planes are usually of very high quality and make excellent users. The plane I picked out was used, but well kept. A bit grungy, probably from tallow used to lubricate the sole. I could make out the marks where the former owner(s) hand rested in use. I like to find tools in this state- well used, but with visible signs of the former owner.

Mathieson Roman Ogee
Plane Profile

I thought it was a really nice looking plane, but I have a similar roman ogee. I hemmed and hawed but eventually put it in the “sell” pile. It was then that I noticed the owner’s mark, not at the heel or toe, but stamped in the side of the plane. “J. CLARK” Well, that clinched it! It’s not often you find your name stamped on a 100 year old molding plane!  I’ve found planes with my last name stamped on them, and I have a couple of  “W. CLARK” planes, but none like this.

Continue reading “This One is a Keeper!”