Sharpening chisels


I’ve got the Veritas honing guide and it works great for wide plane irons. Like all non-edge clamping guides, it is difficult to tighten the guide enough to keep a chisel from shifting while sharpening.     

I came up with a simple solution. I have a sheet of 220 grit sandpaper that I use for hand sanding irregular shapes. It is simply folded in half with spray adhesive on the inside. That way both sides have grit and the backing won’t slide against itself. I cut a small piec of the double sided sandpaper and put it under the sharpening guide clamping bar. It gave enough friction to hold my chisel securely without shifting while sharpening. 


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.