Upcoming show – Hearne Hardwoods Open House

I have attended this show for several years now, and it never fails to impress me. While the obvious attraction is the world class selection of a mind-boggling array of woods, the live music, catered foods, and guest demonstrators (I’m particularly looking forward to meeting Steve Voigt this year) makes this an event not to be missed.

The Open House runs from Friday, September 30 – Saturday, October 1; I will be there both days.

 

Hearne Hardwoods Open House 2016 – Oxford, PA

Friday & Saturday, September 30 – October 1

10:00 – 5:00 (Friday), 10:00 – 4:00 (Saturday)

Hearne Hardwoods

200 Whiteside Drive

Oxford, PA 19363

 

Admission to this event is free, you will have a chance to play with a lot of beautiful tools, talk to other people who share your passion for them, so I hope to see a few of you there!

Posted in Shows | 3 Comments

Lie-Nielsen 2016 Open House

Just a few days to go until the Lie-Nielsen Open House up in Maine…if you’re still on the fence, it’s time to hop down and get in your car. This is LN’s 35th anniversary, and it looks like they’re putting on a great celebration. With at least 30 of the finest toolmakers and top craftsmen coming from all over the nation (Happy Birthday to the US!), as well as several presentations sprinkled throughout the day, there’s something of interest for everyone.

If your Saturday evening is free, the evening lobster bake is highly recommended.

 

Lie-Nielsen 2015 Open House

Friday & Saturday, July 8-9

9:00 – 5:00 (both days)

264 Stirling Road, Warren, ME 04864

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YouTube videos from Wood by Wright – building a rebate-saw plane and Roubo frame saw

A little over a month ago, James Wright ordered a rebate saw-plane fence kit and Roubo frame saw kit from me. At the time, I had not heard of him, so it was a pleasant surprise when I learned that he was featuring their construction in two videos on his YouTube channel, Wood by Wright.

While waiting for those videos to come out, I had time to watch some of his work. James is dedicated to working wood entirely with hand tools, and does a great job of sharing what goes on in his shop. His natural and pleasant screen presence make for a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience. As someone who dabbles in the blogging world, I keenly appreciate the dedication and discipline it takes to put those videos out on a regular schedule. Here’s hoping that he keeps it up for a long time to come and gains followers with whom to share the craft.

For viewing convenience, I have embedded the YouTube videos for the rebate saw-plane build and Roubo frame saw build below. Once you’re done watching these, I highly recommend visiting the Wood by Wright YouTube channel to view even more of his videos – you will enjoy them.

 

 

 

Posted in Product reviews, Saw making | 2 Comments

Lengthening a Disston saw bolt

When I was sent an older Disston backsaw to rehandle, it was requested that I reuse the saw bolts and medallion. While there was nothing wrong with them, they were too short to reach through the new and larger handle. While I could have sunk them below the surface of the handle, such a solution would have looked awkward and amateurish. Rejection of that option meant the reach of the bolt or nut had to be extended. I chose to extend the bolt.

To extend the bolt, I used a short length of 1/4″ brass rod. I began by drilling a 1/8″ hole in one end, to a depth of about 3/8″. I then trued that end up so that the face was perpendicular to the sides. Finally, I filed a couple of grooves into the face to give the solder an easy entry point into the joint.

Drilling 1/8" hole in bolt extension.

Drilling 1/8″ hole in bolt extension.

Grooves filed in extension for solder entry.

Grooves filed in extension for solder entry.

 

Next, I chucked the medallion in the lathe, then took light cuts to remove the existing threads. Because I did not want to damage the head of the bolt, I did not tighten the chuck as much as I could have or normally would, so limited myself to light cuts. I took multiple passes until I had turned the bolt shank down to 1/8″.

First pass at turning bolt shank down.

First pass at turning bolt shank down.

Approaching final diameter (1/8") on existing bolt shank.

Approaching final diameter (1/8″) on existing bolt shank.

 

With the bolt still in the lathe, I slipped the extension over the reduced shank on the bolt, then used a scrap of metal rod mounted in the tailstock to hold it in place while I joined them with silver-bearing solder.

Soldering the extension onto the bolt.

Soldering the extension onto the bolt.

 

With the extension in place, I turned to threading the new shank. Like Stanley, Disston used 12-20 threads, a size that has now fallen out of favor. 12-20 threads have a major diameter of 0.212 inches, so I first turned the extension down to that dimension in several light passes.

Turning bolt extension down to size.

Turning bolt extension down to size.

Bolt extension turned to final diameter and ready for threading.

Bolt extension turned to final diameter and ready for threading.

 

Because 12-20 threads are rarely used nowadays, the taps and dies needed to cut them are not commonly found items. While I do not own such a die, I do have a die head that can cut 12-20 threads in a pinch. Using 1/4″-20 chasers, I can adjust the die head to cut a 12-20 thread. I cut the threads in multiple light passes to prevent the cutting torque from spinning the bolt in the chuck. The video below shows a couple of those passes (the adjustment shown between threading passes reduces the diameter that the die cuts).

 

At the smallest setting, there was still a hint of a flat spot on the crest of the threads, so the nut would only thread on one or two turns before binding. With the lathe running, I used a three square needle file to finish off the thread.

I ran out of adjustment on the die chaser before the threads were entirely cut.

I ran out of adjustment on the die chaser before the threads were entirely cut.

The finished threads.

The finished threads.

 

And that’s it. After a little polishing on the lathe, these now look almost as good as new.

A dab of Autosol on 0000 steel wool took these from grungy to a near mirror polish in under 15 seconds.

A dab of Autosol on 0000 steel wool took these from grungy to a near mirror polish in under 15 seconds.

The end results - a lot of work to add about 3/16" of an inch!

The end results – a lot of work to add about 3/16″ of an inch!

The bolts installed in the new handle. The wood is Brazilian ebony.

The bolts installed in the new handle. The wood is Brazilian ebony.

Posted in Saw repair | 4 Comments

Upcoming Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Events® – Philadelphia, PA

Early this Saturday morning, the saw elves and I will pack up and head east for this weekend’s Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event®, which is being hosted by the Independence Seaport Museum (the event is located in the Boat Shop). We have never been there, and are really looking forward to seeing an aspect of woodworking that is new to us.

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

 

Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event® – Philadelphia, PA

Friday & Saturday, January 29-30

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

Independence Seaport Museum – Boat Shop

211 South Christopher Columbus Blvd.

Philadelphia, PA 19106

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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Upcoming Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event® – Brooklyn, NY

This is the first LN Hand Tool Event of 2016, and looks to be a good way to start the New Year off. This event is hosted by The Community Woodshop, an organization that rents workshop space and offers woodworking classes. I only wish they had been around when I lived there.

Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event® – Brooklyn, NY

Friday & Saturday, January 8-9

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

The Community Woodshop

643 Classon Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11238

Onsite parking is available.

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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Petite Roubo frame saw blades and kits now available

Time saving summary: Small Roubo frame saw blades and hardware kits are now available. These new 27″ and 32″ versions complement the capabilities of the original 36″ and 48″ versions. Blades and hardware are available separately, or as a complete kit (if you have visited these pages in the past, you may need to refresh them to see the new versions).  -Ed.

When demonstrating my Roubo frame saws at shows, there are several common reactions and comments. “That’s why they make bandsaws” is a frequent disparagement, usually uttered by older men wearing a plaid shirt and suspenders. If I ask them how much it would cost to set up a bandsaw to resaw a 14″ or 16″ board, the snarky smile usually fades.

Another common reaction is one of shock at the size of my largest version of this saw (with a 48″ long blade, this one most closely resembles the saw described by Roubo). While proper technique turns this size into an asset in most situations, it is also a deal killer for many. And while I have always offered a 36″ version as an alternative, the fact remains that there is a niche for even more diminutive saws that can be used in tighter spaces and on smaller work.

With this in mind, I have designed and am now selling blades and hardware for two smaller versions of my Roubo frame saws. These new kits are available with 27″ and 32″ blades (up to now, 36″ and 48″ blades were the only options). These smaller blades are paired with a scaled down version of the full size hardware. Details for the new (and old) blades and hardware are summarized in the tables below.

Roubo blade specifications.

Roubo blade specifications.

Roubo blade and hardware compatibility.

Roubo blade and hardware compatibility.

Posted in Announcements | 3 Comments

Suspension of new backsaw orders

The last two years have been tumultuous ones, both personally and professionally. As my product line, and demand for it, has grown, so has my backlog for completed backsaws. As of this writing, the lead time for those backsaws has ballooned to over two years. While this provides a certain sense of security, it has also locked me into a schedule that prevents further development of my new tools.

After much reflection and deliberation, it is with no small measure of regret and trepidation that I have decided to suspend orders for completed backsaws. This suspension applies only to completed backsaws; all other orders will be taken and filled as before. All outstanding backsaw orders will be filled.

As I work through the existing backlog, expect to see an expansion of my product lines as I free up more time to devote to developing new tools. When the backlog is cleared, I will continue working on backsaws, albeit on a more limited basis. Future endeavors will most likely take the form of spec saws; I have many designs, embellishments, and details waiting to be brought to life, but which I cannot work on while maintaining an active ordering system for custom backsaws.

Again, I am not getting out of tool and sawmaking. I have not stopped taking or fulfilling orders for backsaw parts and kits, Roubo frame saw kits, or any of my other tools. Rather, this decision reflects the increased demand for all of these tools.

I would also like to thank all of my loyal readers and customers for their understanding, encouragement, and patronage over the last several years. Many an email or comment has made me pause and think to myself that I have some of the best customers in the world; it is only natural and right to take a moment here to publicly acknowledge the role that your support has played in keeping this venture going. It has truly been a pleasure to talk with and meet many of you, and I look forward to many more years of doing so.

Posted in Announcements | 4 Comments

Upcoming Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event® – Bridgewater, VT

This is my last LN Hand Tool Event of 2015, and is one I am really looking forward to. I love New England, fall and winter, and woodworking and its associated tools. This has all of those. This event is hosted by Shackleton Thomas, a furniture and pottery making company sited in a 180 year old mill.

 

Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event® – Bridgewater, VT

Friday & Saturday, November 13-14

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

ShackletonThomas Furniture

102 Mill Road, The Bridgewater Mill

Bridgewater, VT 05034

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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Backsaw parts now available at Dieter Schmid Fine Tools

This is a big day here at Blackburn Tools headquarters. While I have always sold and shipped internationally (20 countries on 4 continents, and counting), I am acutely aware of the high cost of international shipping. Even for small and light items, shipping charges can approach or exceed the purchase cost. With this in mind, I am happy to announce that, as of today, Dieter Schmid Fine Tools will carry a limited range of my backsaw parts and split nut spanners.

If you are an aspiring saw-builder in Europe that considered buying some of my parts, but balked at the high cost of overseas shipping, take another look. I think you’ll like what you see.

Posted in Announcements | 2 Comments