Squaring your Squares

I’m going to go over how to check your squares, and how to fix them so they are square. This will be for a framing square and a combination square.

Also, check out the accompanying YouTube video:

You start by using a piece of plywood with one good edge. Either the factory edge that was cut when you bought it, or one you cut with your table saw. If you don’t want to make marks on the plywood, tape a piece of paper to it, and mark on the paper. Lay the short edge of the square along the plywood, draw a mark the entire length of the square. Flip the square over, and move it about 1/16″ of an inch away from the other line, and draw a second line. These lines should be parallel. You will see from the video above, that for a framing square, you can use a center punch and if your square is less than 90 degrees, hit the inside corner, if your square is more than 90 degrees, hit the outside corner with the center punch (hard), on a metal vise. This spreads the metal out ever so slightly and will move the angle of your square slightly. Be sure and check it again on the plywood, again making two marks with the pencil. See if you need to do it again. You can make several punches in a small area to spread the metal more and more if needed. Make sure and don’t go too far. Also don’t get too close to the edge, or you may mess up the straight edge, and you’d need to file that down.

Continue reading “Squaring your Squares”

My wooden clock built from plans

Several years ago, I built a wooden clock from plans from Clayton Boyer. I really liked Solaris, but decided I better start with Simplicity, which from its name, means it should be a bit simpler to build. I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to get it running, so thought I better start simple! It went rather well. I ordered the plans, then I just cut out the paper and glued them onto the wood. From there, it is basically cutting around the lines. I used oak and baltic birch plywood for the gears. I used a scroll saw to cut out the gears and a lot of the other parts. It worked pretty well, but I think a band saw works even better for the gear teeth. The gears aren’t really as difficult as you’d think to cut out.

I did make some copies of the plans and cut out several practice gears from cheap plywood before I tried my hand on one of the final gears from baltic birch. I did make a couple mistakes and had to make a couple pieces over, but for the most part, the clock came together fairly well.

Continue reading “My wooden clock built from plans”

Making a wooden mallet

I made a wooden mallet out of maple, to use when chiseling mortises for my workbench. I found some plans online and used those as well as some notes that Paul Sellers had on his mallet, and the Blue Spruce Joiner’s Mallet. This article in addition to my YouTube video, which shows many details in how this was built. So not all details are in this article, use my YouTube video, and the link above for the plans I found.

Continue reading “Making a wooden mallet”

The Ultimate Workbench – Part 2

This is a continuation of my progress on my new hard maple workbench I am making, with my SawStop PCS table saw, using a jointer and planer for the first time. This is a Roubo style workbench, based on the book Workbenches Revised Edition: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use and The Workbench Design Book: The Art & Philosophy of Building Better Benches both by Chris Schwarz. I read both of these books and then decided what parts to include or change for my workbench.

I have now glued up one leg, and have a video of me gluing up the first top section, which is 4 boards wide, or about 7 1/4″ wide, which will still go through my jointer one more time before I glue up the larger sections into the entire top.

Continue reading “The Ultimate Workbench – Part 2”

The Ultimate Work Bench – Part 1

I haven’t done a lot of woodworking in my life, and most of what I did wasn’t much to be proud of.  In 2011, I changed when I made a wooden clock from plans, cutting out gear teeth with a scroll saw.  It’s the first project I ever decided to do the ultimate great job on, and I think it turned out pretty nice. I got a new SawStop table saw recently, and decided the first project should be a new work bench.  I got the Christopher Schwarz book Workbenches Revised Edition: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use and read through it trying to figure out what kind of bench I wanted.  I did find out my current workbenches, built many years ago are “kitchen cabinet” type of workbench, a work surface, and storage underneath, but little opportunity to clamp your work to it to work on it.

This series of articles has companion YouTube videos you can watch, starting with the one for this article. Please subscribe and Like the YouTube video, and you can follow along with the project until it is complete.

Continue reading “The Ultimate Work Bench – Part 1”