Saturday, January 9, 2016

Project Update: A Little Maintenance Here and There

After all of the hang-wringing about the 1/16" tearout on the wrestplank, it turns out both ends will be buried in 1/4" dados. Once again, my lack of experience created unnecessary chaos and work. I love learning.

Image courtesy of Ernest Miller and the Harpsichord Project eBook

Though I'm ready to go ahead and cut the dados in the cheek and spine for the wrestplank, I've discovered I don't have a poplar board of sufficient length to prepare the spine. I'll pick up an 8-footer on Monday and can start that process next week. Until then, I'm continuing to clean and maintain the shop during this short Winter Break.

The first of the mini-projects I decided to embark upon was centered on cleaning, repairing, and sharpening the various hand planes I've picked up over the years. While I've picked all of them up at antique and junk stores, they're all in good enough shape that a little cleaning and sharpening will bring them back to life.

As you can see, I needed to hit many (most?) of the blades with a wire brush attachment on my drill before I could sharpen them. The second photo above pictures my trusty Grizzly grinder/sharpener working its magic on one of the hand plane blades. The trouble with this tool is that the clamp in which the blade sits does not provide a way to get the blade in at a perfect 90-degree angle to the wheel.

I'll be figuring out a way to do that, like, today because I was really, really, really frustrated to discover that the clamping tool skews the blade a bit. Did I mention this is frustrating? I'm sure Grizzly offers an add-on tool that costs nearly as much as the sharpener that will provide a perfect angle to the stone. At any rate, I did the best I could using a square and some patience. The sharpening needs to be done before I can hone the final microedge on the blades, so I proceed.

To accomplish the final honing, I went ahead and purchased four Shapton ceramic whetstone knock-offs from eBay. As you can see in the photo below, the grits are 1000/4000 and 3000/8000. I will most likely use the 1000, 4000, and 8000 for honing up the blades.

While these are knock-offs, I'm reasonably sure they will work fine for my purposes. This purchase was inspired by Owen Daly of Daly Early Keyboard Instruments. Owen continues to teach me something new every time I visit his shop. He's a kind, caring mentor who has been instrumental (pun intended) in my development as a builder. So...back to cleaning, sharpening, and honing.

Until next time...

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