Racing wax


I keep a chunk of ski wax on my bench to lubricate my plane soles. I use ski wax instead of paraffin because I want to go faster. It started to look nasty from sitting in the sun and picking up sawdust. 


I scraped off the crud and melted it on the kitchen stove


Then I poured the wax into mini deodorant tubes. I bought these online at Aroma Tools.  They come in a variety of sizes. You could even re-use an old tube of deodorant, just be sure to wash all of the Old Spice out first. 


The only issue I had was that the ski wax is hard and it bonded to the sides of the tube and wouldn’t come out when I turned the knob. My solution was to put the tube in my pocket to let the heat soften the bond. 

This project was easy to do and now my plane wax will stay clean…if I can remember to put the top back on it. 

A Pair of Boxes


I made these two boxes during the Christmas building season.  I had already finished my shopping, but my kid wanted to make a box for his special lady friend for a Christmas gift.  It made sense to me that if I was going to set the shop up to make one box, we should make three for the same amount of effort.  Also, this way we would have an extra in the event one of us made a mistake.

The boxes are cherry and the lids are bird’s eye maple.  I used a dovetail jig to cut the joints.  The lids are not hinged, they sit in a rabbet at the top of the box.  

I made the handles from offcuts of the box sides.  I ran the offcuts over a round over bit for the top and the bottom was done with a round nose bit.  They were pretty easy to make.  The hard part was working with small pieces.  The first handle is padauk, which is what The Boy used for his box sides.  The second handle is cherry.  

The finish is a few coats of boiled linseed oil and wiping varnish.  

I am donating the box with the padauk handle to the fundraising raffle for the Artistry In Wood show in Anchorage.  I’m keeping the other one for myself.  

Pretty Good Maple Plane


About a year ago, Jonathan S. from the Alaska Woodworker and I taught a Krenov style plane building class for the Alaska Creative Woodworkers Association.  We had a dozen or so guys in the class.  We used Hock irons and chip breakers and the plane bodies were made from maple.  At the end of the class, my plane was substantially done and sat on the shelf for close to a year.  Does that make me a real woodworker?  Maybe I need a router table to be a real woodworker.

Each year ACWA participates in the Artistry in Wood display at the Northway Mall.  As president of the club, I encourage all of the board members to lead by example and put at least one piece in the show.  That was my incentive to finish up my Krenov plane.  A little bit of filing, contouring, and finish and I was done.  It did quite well in the show, perhaps because it was the only entry in the woodworking tools division.

The body of the plane is nice, straight grained maple.  The wedge has a little bit of curl to it and it has a pretty streak of spalting to give it some color.

I tried a new finish on this plane.  I made a beeswax and boiled linseed oil polish.  I melted the beeswax and poured it into the BLO.  I had to heat the mixture up to get it to blend.  I applied the first coat to the plane while it was still liquid.  Subsequent applications were when the mixture had firmed up.  I applied it to everything but the wedge, cross pin, and ramp.  Those areas received plain BLO.  No need for the wax to work against the wedge!

I’m happy with the way this plane turned out.  It is a pretty good maple plane.  Certainly not a Nice Ash Plane!