Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Opening the shop

It's that time of year again. Sometime around the start of hunting season in the fall. My workshop begins to acumulate stuff. Good stuff, junk, stuff that could go either way. It's too cold to work out there with no heat. The days are short and there is no electric for lights. You want something out of the way, put it in the shop.

I've spent an hour or two a day for the past couple weeks just sorting through stuff and making things as neat as I can. That tends to be a loosing battle as I have more stuff than can be neatly organised in a 12x16 foot space. The ten box challenge is well underway in attempt to solve this. I've made the decision to just put much of it in consignment shops. Much less hassle that way. It gets things out of the way quickly and I only have to handle things once.

At this point the shop is cleared out enough to start projects. In my efforts to clean and neaten I found a project started several years ago. Sometimes I tend to over think things. This Stanley #78 plane was relatively clean when aquired 4 years ago. In spite of having around 90% of it's japan finish intact I intended to have it bead blasted and redone. When I came accross it sunday afternoon I could only ask myself why. I ordered a set of replacement parts from Stanley and they had arrived exactly 3 years and 3 days before sunday. So I spent some time sunday chasing out rusted threads with a set of taps. Then installed the new fence and depth stop. I spent the yesterday evening cleaning rust and putting an edge on the iron. The pictures were taken midway through the project. It's now a working plane again.

I also managed to fire up the forge yesterday. Earlier this month at the Rochester gun show I ran into an old coworker. He has a business selling survival stuff. He also does primitive skills workshops on the side. He expressed an interest in aquiring some flint and steel sets to sell and give out in his workshops. So I spent part of the afternoon straightening a couple old coil car springs out. Hopefully by the end of the week I will have turned them into steels. I also intend to dig out my little retort and make some char cloth up to go with each set.

A couple years ago I aquired a couple splitting wedges from the local Habitat for Humanity store. I think I paid a quarter each for them. I've been playing russian roulette with those mushroomed heads and know it.

They had become pretty work hardened too. The larger one has actually begun to crack lengthwise though it doesn't show in the picture. I decided while I had a fire I would aneal them before grinding the mushroom off.

Here is the small one in the fire. I'll bring it to a dark cherry heat then let it cool slowly. Quenching it would just make it hard again.

Shortly after this I put the fire out. The wind put an end to my nice day. Even if the nieghbor's house is in forclosure, I wouldn't want to burn it down with a stray spark. It gave me a chance to finish up that Stanley plane.


1 comment:

Gorges Smythe said...

Love the old plane! As for the wedges, old-timers who were purists said to always drive steel with wood and never with steel. ruined sledges and wedges (and shrapnel) are the reason.