Christmas and ordering

It’s been a while since I last posted, but not for lack of material. I have no shortage of ideas and topics, but time has been in short supply over the last several months. Between moving to a new, dedicated shop, then moving to a new house and riding out some turbulence in my personal life, my time has been consumed by keeping up with orders. As things settle down, I will get back to writing.

I am taking a break next week to visit family, so all orders placed from this point forward will most likely ship out in January when I return and resume production. You will still be able to place orders, but shipping will be delayed until my return.

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Transferring my website to a new host

I am switching website hosts over the next several days. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the transfer goes relatively smoothly.

While this work is being done, the Rose Tools Archive will temporarily be offline. If all goes well, everything else will remain in place and accessible.

If you have problems loading any pages, please be patient and check back later. If problems persist, drop me a quick note and I will work on it.

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Upcoming Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Events® – Trenton, NJ

Just two more weeks until my last Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event of 2014. This time, I am headed over to Willard Brothers Woodcutters in Trenton, NJ. Yet another chance to look at some special woods, something I never tire of.

Speaking of woods, last week’s event at C.P. Johnson’s (in Culpeper, VA) was excellent. Chris has a great selection of domestic woods at prices that are hard to beat. The man even knows his apples – the fresh pressed cider he passed around was some of the best I have ever had. And his mother’s ham sandwiches on sweet potato rolls – amazingly good.

 

Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event® – Trenton, NJ

Friday & Saturday, November 14-15

9:00 – 5:00 (Friday), 9:00 – 5:00 (Saturday)

Willard Brothers Woodcutters

300 Basin Road

Trenton, NJ 08619

Remember, the admission to this event is free, and you will have a chance to play with a lot of beautiful tools, as well as talk to other people who share your passion for them. Hope to see a few of you there!

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Halloween wood cutting

Earlier this year, a nice ash tree came down on a nearby back road. The butt end is a solid 24″ across, and there is about 20 feet to the first fork. While I would love to cut the butt up for lumber, it does not lay in a good position for doing so. The first crotch, on the other hand, was easy to get to. So, even though the wood larder is brimming, I grabbed an 18″ section containing the crotch.

Now, I have not cut an ash crotch before, and could find no online pictures of one, so was not sure what to expect. But the wood looked sound, and the bark pattern looked promising, so I had some hope. After trimming the branches and cutting back some of the main stem, I opened it up and found some nice figure. Not as showy as some of the walnut and cherry I have cut, but still very attractive. The wood is very solid, with no visible voids or cracks, and I have high expectations of it surviving the drying process.

I like to trim crotch slabs back as much as possible before drying them to lessen the chance of cracks appearing as the wood dries, pulling the crotch apart. It was not until I stepped back to take the picture below that I noticed the shape I had cut the slabs into – just in time for Halloween.

Ash coffins.

Ash coffins. The rough chainsaw cuts obscure much of the figure.

 

I’m not sure what this wood will end up in. I’d like to try a saw handle or two out of it, but part of me says that the grain is too coarse for that. Perhaps door panels for a Krenovian cabinet would be a better use. Or maybe I will think of something else in the year or two it will take to dry.

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Upcoming Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Events® – Culpeper, VA

Early this Saturday morning, I will be headed down to Culpeper, VA for the next Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event®, which is being hosted by C. P. Johnson Lumber. I have never been there, but I am really looking forward to browsing through their selection of domestic hardwoods.

Although the event will be held on both Friday and Saturday, I will only be in attendance on Saturday.

 

Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event® – Oxford, PA*

Friday & Saturday, October 24-25

9:00 – 5:00 (Friday), 9:00 – 5:00 (Saturday)

C. P. Johnson Lumber

21457 Business Ct.

Elkwood, VA 22718

 

Remember, the admission to these events is free, and you will have a chance to play with a lot of beautiful tools, as well as talk to other people who share your passion for them. Hope to see a few of you there!

*Stupid copy and paste – that should have been Culpeper, VA. I sure hope I didn’t mislead anyone. -Ed., 31 October, 2014

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CRAFTS of NJ Picnic update

I have been told that a bridge on one of the approaches to the Picnic site may be closed for construction. The map below shows some alternate routes.

crafts-picnic-detour

 

It’s shaping up to be a beautiful fall day, so I hope to see some of you there!

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Upcoming Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Events®

As I type this, Lie-Nielsen staff are preparing for the 2014-2015 season of Hand Tool Events®, and once again I look forward to exhibiting at several of them. I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the shows I participated in this spring, as did everyone I met and talked to.

The first of the two Events I will attend in September is at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking in Manchester, CT on Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20. Admission to this show (and most others) is free. Full details for these and all other 2014 Events are posted on the Lie-Nielsen website.

 

Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event® – Manchester, CT

Friday & Saturday, September 19-20

10:00 – 6:00 (Friday), 10:00 – 5:00 (Saturday)

The Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking

249 Spencer Street

Manchester, CT 06040

 

 

The second September show I will attend is at Hearne Hardwood in Oxford, PA on Friday and Saturday, September 26 and 27.  Admission to this show is also free. I have been to this show as an attendee several times, and the Hearne Hardwood facilities alone are worthy of  a road trip.

 

Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event® – Oxford, PA

Friday & Saturday, September 26-27

10:00 – 6:00 (Friday), 10:00 – 5:00 (Saturday)

Hearne Hardwoods Inc.

200 Whiteside Drive

Oxford, PA 19363

 

 

Looking forward a little further, there are two other Events this year that I will set up at:

  • C.P. Johnson Lumber, Culpeper, VA – October 24 and 25 (I will attend on the 25th only)
  • Willard Brothers Woodcutters, Trenton, NJ – November 14 and 15

 

Remember, the admission to these events is free, and you will have a chance to play with a lot of beautiful tools, as well as talk to other people who share your passion for them. Hope to see a few of you there!

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Yankee 2101A brace disassembly and cleaning

No other ratcheting brace is more highly sought after than those made under the “Yankee” name. The liberal use of ball bearings, the concealed ratchet, and rugged construction all leave a most favorable impression on the user. Use one that is in good condition, and you will be spoiled for life.

Originally made and sold by The North Bros., these braces feature the mechanical elegance and simplicity for which the firm was justly renowned. When Stanley acquired the company in 1946, they continued to make the brace with only minor changes. This brace is one of those made by Stanley.

Like so many other “Yankee” braces, this one was made expressly for Bell Systems, who valued their rugged, sealed construction. Earlier models are substantially similar. If there is one weak point in these tools, it is that the grease in the sealed ratchets dries out and hardens after a few decades. In many, the grease will be so stiff as to completely freeze the ratchet mechanism. Fortunately, the time and effort needed to clean and regrease the ratchet and pad is not great.

Although the 2101 and 2101A models are far more common than the 2100 and 2100A, there is little difference between the models. To the best of my knowledge, the difference lies in the plating: the 2100′s are chrome plated, while the 2101′s are nickel plated. In 1958, that chrome plating commanded a 20% premium (page 66 of the 1958 Stanley catalog).

A word of warning before starting:  while much of the construction remained essentially unchanged over the years, there are some differences. On older braces, I believe that the cladding and bearings on the end handles were peined into place. Disassembly of this requires modification of the brace which may or may not be worth pursuing. If you run into this, or other differences from what I have shown, consider taking pictures of the disassembly process. It takes time to do this, but makes it much easier to put everything back in its proper place.

Without further ado…

 

Let’s start with the head. Begin by removing the two or three screws on the underside. The plastic or composition handle is threaded, so after these screws are removed, it will not simply pull off, but will need to be turned counterclockwise (looking at it from the above, as if you were holding it to use). Occasionally, these threads will be a little sticky. If this is the case with yours, hold the collar of the metal cladding in a wooden handscrew or vise (pad the jaws of your vise to prevent damage to the plating).

Unscrew the pad (after removing the screws from the underside).

Unscrew the pad (after removing the screws from the underside).

 

Once the head is removed, you will see a C-clip that holds the cladding and bearings in place. (ab)Use a screwdriver to remove this clip, then lift off the cladding. This is best done with the brace in the upright position so that the now exposed ball bearings don’t make a dash for freedom (hard to blame the little buggers, though – who wouldn’t want to explore the world after toiling away for decades in a confined space?). The bearing cup, races, and bearings can now be removed from the handle and cleaned.

Remove the clip that holds the cladding in place.

Remove the clip that holds the cladding in place.

With the cladding removed, the ball bearings are exposed. Actually, there is an upper race between the cladding and the bearings, but this often sticks to the cladding when you remove it.

With the cladding removed, the ball bearings are exposed. Actually, there is an upper race between the cladding and the bearings, but this often sticks to the cladding when you remove it.

Pull the cup and bearing assembly off the frame.

Pull the cup and bearing assembly off the frame.

Most of the parts before cleaning (there are a few bearings that didn't show up for the picture)

Most of the parts before cleaning (there are a few bearings that didn’t show up for the class picture).

 

Reassembly of the pad is simple, so long as it is done in the correct order. The bearing cup goes on first, followed by a bearing race (flat washer). Next, install the grease and bearings. If you give the race and cup a good coating of grease (I use axle grease), the bearings will stay where you stick them. If you managed to lose some of the bearings along the way (there should be 16), take a deep breath and visit a good hardware store and ask for 1/8″ bearings there. If you can’t find them locally, you can order them online. The other bearing race goes on top of the bearings, followed by the cladding and the C-clip to hold everything together. Finally, screw the pad on and reinstall the two or three small screws from below.

Reassembly begins with putting the greased lower race in teh cup.

Reassembly begins with putting the greased lower race in the cup.

Install the bearings and the upper race.

Install the bearings and the upper race.

Replace the bearing assembly on the frame.

Replace the bearing assembly on the frame.

The cladding goes on next.

The cladding goes on next.

Install the clip to hold everything in place.

Install the clip to hold everything in place.

Finally, screw the pad back onto the frame, then replace the screws.

Finally, screw the pad back onto the frame, then replace the screws.

 

With the pad done, it is time to tear into the shell (the assembly that houses the jaws) and ratchet. Begin by unthreading the shell completely. No tricks here; just turn until it falls off.

Unscrew the shell from the rest fo the brace. This is the easiest part of the entire process.

Unscrew the shell from the rest fo the brace. This is the easiest part of the entire process, so don’t feel too smug yet.

 

Hold the shell in a handscrew or padded vise jaws and use a wrench or handscrew to remove the end cap. This usually requires little effort. The threads are a standard right hand form.

Hold the body of the shell in padded vise jaws.

Hold the body of the shell in padded vise jaws.

Use a handscrew, monkey wrench, or something else to remove the end cap.

Use a handscrew, monkey wrench, or something similar to remove the end cap.

 

With the cap removed, look down into the shell, where there is an internal spring clip. This clip needs to come out so the cone shaped race and ball bearings can be removed. I use a machinist’s scribe and pick to remove this clip. Patience and persistence are your friends in this step. With the clip removed, the cone race can be removed. Remove carefully, as the ball bearings (there are 31 of them in there) beneath it are no less eager to taste freedom than were those in the head. Remove the bearings and the thrust washer below them.

A machinist's scribe and pick is an invaluable tool for this and many other tasks. Just be careful, or you'll put your eye out, kid.

A machinist’s scribe and pick is an invaluable tool for this and many other tasks. Just be careful, or you’ll put your eye out, kid.

Use the pick to remove the internal clip. Expect to spend a few minutes fishing this out.

Use the pick to remove the internal clip. Expect to spend a few minutes fishing this out.

Remove the cone race.

Remove the cone race.

Remove the clip.

Remove the clip.

There are 31 ball bearings beneath the cone race. Remove these carefully to avoid losing any of them. You will pay dearly for them if you need to buy them at a hardware store.

There are 31 ball bearings beneath the cone race. Remove these carefully to avoid losing any of them. You will pay dearly for them if you need to buy them at a hardware store.

With the bearings removed, the lower race can be taken out.

With the bearings removed, the lower race can be taken out.

 

Clean, grease, and reassemble.

After cleaning and greasing, install the lower race, ball bearings, and cone race.

After cleaning and greasing, install the lower race, ball bearings, and cone race.

Push the clip back into place. This is a snap compared to removal.

Push the clip back into place. This is a snap compared to removal.

Screw the end cap back into place. Snug it up lightly with a handscrew or wrench.

Screw the end cap back into place. Snug it up lightly with a handscrew or wrench.

Squeeze the jaws together, then thread the shell back onto the brace.

Squeeze the jaws together, then thread the shell back onto the brace.

 

Now that you are warmed up, it’s on to the ratchet. This is the most challenging work, but very doable. Pay close attention to how things fit together, and take pictures to help you remember the proper order and orientation.

Begin by removing jaws, then the cap on the end of the ratchet housing. Once again, use wood handscrews or padded jaws to do this. The cap has right hand threads, and usually comes off easily. Use a pick to remove the exposed pawl.

yankee-brace-ratchet-01

Remove the jaws. I’ve never had much luck removing the spring, and just leave it in place. It is easy to clean around.

Clamp the ratchet housing in padded jaws.

Clamp the ratchet housing in padded jaws.

Use a handscrew to rmove the ratchet cap.

Use a handscrew to rmove the ratchet cap.

Alternatively, use slip-joint pliers to remove the cap.

Alternatively, use slip-joint pliers to remove the cap.

This exposes one of the pawls.

This exposes one of the pawls.

Pull the pawl out.

Pull the pawl out.

Close up of the pawl.

Close up of the pawl.

 

Now turn the brace over to work on the other end of the ratchet housing. Remove the knurled collar using – yes, you guessed it – either a wood handscrew or paded jaws. With this collar unscrewed, use a pick to remove the clip that is now exposed, then lift out the entire shaft and collar.

Flip the brace upside down.

Flip the brace upside down.

Carefully remove the knurled collar.

Carefully remove the knurled collar.

Even after the collar is entirely unscrewed, it remains captured by the threaded shaft.

Even after the collar is entirely unscrewed, it remains captured by the threaded shaft.

The ratchet and shaft are held in place by a clip.

The ratchet and shaft are held in place by a clip.

Remove the clip with a pick or similar implement.

Remove the clip with a pick or similar implement.

The clip that was removed in the previous step.

The clip that was removed in the previous step.

Now the ratchet shaft and collar can slide out of the ratchet housing. There should be no resistance.

Now the ratchet shaft and collar can slide out of the ratchet housing. There should be no resistance.

This is what you will often find. Here, the green grease has dried out and hardened. With the grooves filled in, the ratchet function does not work.

This is what you will often find. The green grease has dried out and hardened. With the grooves filled in, the ratchet function does not work.

If a brace has seen heavy use, there may be some burs on the edges of the ratchet grooves. These can be removed carefully with a fine file.

If a brace has seen heavy use, there may be some burrs on the edges of the ratchet grooves. These can be removed carefully with a fine file.

 

Now push the ratchet selector down (towards the head) and remove the second pawl. With both pawls removed, the flat spring will slide out.

Press the ratchet selector down.

Press the ratchet selector down.

Because of the way it sits in the housing, the second pawl cannot be pulled straight out. Pivot it first, then pull it out.

Because of the way it sits in the housing, the second pawl cannot be pulled straight out. Pivot it first, then pull it out.

With the pawls removed, the flat spring can be pulled out.

With the pawls removed, pull out the flat spring.

The pawls and spring.

The pawls and spring.

The spring shoul have a nice even curve to it. If it does not, it is usually possible to bend it gently. Gently.

The spring shoul have a nice even curve to it. If it does not, it is usually possible to bend it gently. Gently.

 

Finally, remove the ratchet selector by pushing it in one direction or the other. Once this is out, the spring and pin are free to fall out.

Remove the ratchet selector by pushing or pulling it to on end.

Remove the ratchet selector by pushing or pulling it to one end.

The three grooves are the detents for the selector.

The three grooves are detents for the ratchet selector.

From left to right: spring, pawl, and ratchet selector (this is the proper order for reassembly).

From left to right: spring, pawl, and ratchet selector (this is the proper order for reassembly).

 

Reassemble after cleaning and greasing everything. Again, I use axle grease here. Reassembly of the pawls and springs is a little tricky. Not complicated, but you will often wish for a third and fourth hand to hold everything in its proper place. Take your time and don’t force anything.

After cleaning and greasing, reassembly starts with the ratchet selector mechanism. After installing the spring and pawl, slide the ratchet selector in. Use a pick or slender tool to hold the pawl back so that the end of the selector can slide past it. The three grooves need to face the pawl.

After cleaning and greasing, reassembly starts with the ratchet selector mechanism. After installing the spring and pawl, slide the ratchet selector in. Use a pick or slender tool to hold the pawl back so that the end of the selector can slide past it. The three grooves need to face the pawl.

Use tweezers to put the spring in its place. It is symmetrical, so don't worry about putting it in backwards.

Use tweezers to put the spring in its place. It is symmetrical, so don’t worry about putting it in backwards.

Install the pawl on the lower end of the housing. It needs to enter at an angle. Be sure that the square-shouldered groove faces the spring (the spring rides in this groove). The two pawls are identical, so don't worry if you forgot which one came from this end.

Install the pawl on the lower end of the housing. It needs to enter at an angle. Be sure that the square-shouldered groove faces the spring (the spring rides in this groove). The two pawls are identical, so don’t worry if you forgot which one came from this end.

The pawl will be cocked out by the spring, but will pivot into place when the shaft is installed.

The pawl will be pushed out by the spring, but will pivot into place when the shaft is installed.

Slide the shaft into the housing. Make sure the collar is on the shaft, and facing the correct direction.

Slide the shaft into the housing. Make sure the collar is on the shaft, and facing the correct direction.

Replace the retaining clip, then thread the collar back onto the housing. The upper pawl can now be replaced. It will be necessary to use a pick to pry the spring away from the housing to provide clearance for the pawl. Make sure that the spring rides in the square-shouldered groove.

Replace the retaining clip, then thread the collar back onto the housing. The upper pawl can now be replaced. It will be necessary to use a pick to pry the spring away from the housing to provide clearance for the pawl. Make sure that the spring rides in the square-shouldered groove.

Replace the ratchet housing cap, and snug this and the collar up. Do not overtighten them.

Replace the ratchet housing cap, and snug this and the collar up. Do not overtighten them. Replace the jaws and shell.

 

And here is the completed brace.

The completed brace. This should outlast all of us.

The completed brace. This should outlast all of us.

 

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Email subscription to the blog

I’ve had a few people contact me about adding an email subscription to this blog. After a bit of research, I have chosen and installed a plugin to make that possible.

If you enter your email address in the box at the top of the right hand column, all future blog posts will show up in your mailbox. There is no charge for this, and your email address will never be sold or used for any other purpose. If you tire of my writings in the future, you can unsubscribe at any time.

RSS feed is also available for those who use an RSS reader.

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CRAFTS of New Jersey Picnic and Tailgating 2014 (September 14)

Please read this recent entry for important information regarding a possible detour.

This Sunday (the 14th of September), one of my favorite old tool events in New Jersey will be held in Tewksbury. Yes, it is time for the CRAFTS of NJ Annual Picnic.

The day starts at 8 am with tailgating, where some real deals and gems can be found. Non-members are welcome to buy at the tailgating, but selling is restricted to members (you can sign up there – an annual membership is $15, and is a bargain).

While the deadline to sign up for the noon picnic has passed, the tailgating alone is worthwhile, and is a great way to meet fellow tool collectors.

If you do make the trip, stop by and say hi. I will have a few saws there, and the elves may bring along some of their cookies to tempt you.

 

CRAFTS of New Jersey Picnic & Tailgating 2014

Sunday, September 14 2014

Tailgating begins at 8:00 am

Picnic begins around noon

Life Camp

McCan Mill Rd Tewksbury, NJ 07830

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