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269697 Christian Gagneraud <chgans@g...> 2020‑01‑20 Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Hi Guys,

I just bought an old Stanley #55:
https://ww
w.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=2466673636

Description:
In original wooden box (Label is 40/50% gone), it comes with the
manual, the 4 boxes of cutters (Labels are in good condition).
The lid of the box is split. But i cannot see any borer damage anywhere.

It's missing 15 cutters (out of the 45), and the "2 that comes with
the plane", 2 cutters are butchered^W modified.
I went through the "Parts of a '55' plane" drawing, and i'm only
missing 2 washers, 2 screws for attaching the bottom part of beading
gauge, and one side spur. As well i have a flat head screw in place of
the slitting cutter thumb screw.
Not too bad!

There's not much rust on the plane, and where there is, it is light
surface rust!
Some cutters have rust, but on the end that attach to the screw.
The original nickel plating is still there, and is missing on the most
used parts (thumb screws and some moving parts)

Dating:
The main body has patents: SEP  19 93 and JAN 22 05, all clearly visible.
The manual has "Copyright 1914", and there's a flying ads with "From
68 - 12-23-09 - 2m" in the header (I'm assuming 23rd of Dec 1909).
I found another manual online, and it has "Copyright 1921", So it
seems that this plane dates from 1914-1920.
The number of cutters would indicate pre-1921 (as per
http://www.supertool.com/
StanleyBG/stan8.htm)

Restoring:
Honestly, the plane itself is in very good condition, so i don't think
i will risk anything, i'll start with a simple brush, and try not to
go further except for the rusty points.
Cutters should only require a bit of fine sanding.

But now concerning the main box and the cutter boxes, i'm not sure
what i should do. I would like to protect the parts which have paper
labels. Never done something like that in the past.
The manual has no missing parts, but has definitely the old looking,
yellow traces all around and rust around the staples.
I wonder if i should seal it completely, it's summer time here, that
might help, tho Auckland is quite humid, so i will certainly seal the
ambient humidity...

Any tips, advice's, or references are welcome.

Thanks for reading!

Chris
269698 Ed Minch <ruby1638@a...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
> On Jan 20, 2020, at 5:36 AM, Christian Gagneraud  wrote:
> 
> Any tips, advice's, or references are welcome.

Tips for what - using it?  Don’t

It makes a fun afternoon with nothing better to do to goof around with it -
maybe a dozen afternoons to work through the various issues.  Something Leach
does not say is that because there is no mouth in front of the blade, your stock
selection must be impeccable.  Just imagine trying to find a 10 foot or more
piece of wood with straight grain the full length in a modern lumber yard.

I found that, conceptually at least, a helpful way to think about it is to set
up the two fences so they contain the piece of wood you are working on - so when
you push the plane the length of the wood, the fences make contact with the
edges all the way down.  Now move the center section back and forth until it is
over top of the section you want to work on. Put in the right blade, use the
little roundy depth adjuster to hold the blade the right height off the work,
and make your cut.

Duplicating a previous set up would seem to be impossible.

I lucked upon one NIB and you have not seen so much shiny metal since the
Dagmars on the front of 54 Cadillac - that was fun.

Ed Minch
269699 Erik Levin 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Christian wrote:
> I just bought an old Stanley #55:


as well as

> There's not much rust on the plane, and where there is, it is light surface
rust!
That is a nice piece.


The inquiries:

> But now concerning the main box and the cutter boxes, i'm not sure what i
should do. I would like to protect the parts which have paper labels.
I can provide only a couple data points: this is hard if the paper is brittle.
When the paper is brittle, there is really no fixing it. I have used shellac on
a few when I really wanted to keep the label together and in place, but was
unconcerned about historical preservation (inventory labels for the parts and
the like), but it is not a very satisfactory method. It holds the paper together
and adheres it to the wood, but does not fix the brittleness.


> The manual has no missing parts, but has definitely the old looking, yellow
traces all around and rust around the staples. I wonder if i should seal it
completely, it's summer time here, that might help, tho Auckland is quite humid,
so i will certainly seal the ambient humidity...

If the paper is not brittle, protect it from light, higher humidity, acids, high
heat, and air. I have a few optical instruments, precision measuring tools, and
older books, that I store in ziploc bags, with inert gas. I have argon and
nitrogen on hand, so this is practical for me. I don't worry about getting every
last bit of air out, just reducing the O2 content and the RH. Not highly
controlled, but the difference between 60%RH and 10%RH at 20 degrees C is huge
at the temperature fluctuates.

I have seen references to using vacuum sealers for this, especially among the
comic book crowd, but I have not tried.


I also tend to keep vapour phase corrosion inhibitor chips (impregnated paper)
in the cases of pretty much every metal tool that doesn't get regular use, and
replace vapour capsules in my chests on a schedule. During the warmer months, my
shop is quite humid, and water comes in through the foundation. When the power
fails (a regular occurrence- more than 7 days at one shot two of the last 8
years, cumulative more than 7 days six of the last eight years),
dehumidification fails, and the RH goes from 45% to 80% or higher in a few
hours. The VCI materials make a huge difference.


*** This message was sent from a convenience email service, and the reply
address(es) may not match the originating address
269700 John Ruth <johnrruth@h...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Chris,

St. James Bay Tool Co. makes many reproduction parts for the Stanley 55.

http://www.stjamesbaytoolco.com/

He also sells on eBay, which can be very convenient.

I bought #55 cross-grain spurs from him years ago, and was completely satisfied
with the quality.

Sometimes all that’s needed for a light frosting of rust on a cutter is a dark
purple Scotchbrite (Tm) pad.

Keep us posted. And don’t forget what Ed wrote: a #55 is not as easy to use as
the woodie moulding planes it’s alleged to replace!

( See! I just took him up to the top of the slippery slope of the moulding plane
trail, which is rated “four diamonds!”)

John Ruth


Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 20, 2020, at 5:40 AM, Christian Gagneraud mailto:chgans@g...>> wrote:

Hi Guys,

I just bought an old Stanley #55:
https://ww
w.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=2466673636

Description:
In original wooden box (Label is 40/50% gone), it comes with the
manual, the 4 boxes of cutters (Labels are in good condition).
The lid of the box is split. But i cannot see any borer damage anywhere.

It's missing 15 cutters (out of the 45), and the "2 that comes with
the plane", 2 cutters are butchered^W modified.
I went through the "Parts of a '55' plane" drawing, and i'm only
missing 2 washers, 2 screws for attaching the bottom part of beading
gauge, and one side spur. As well i have a flat head screw in place of
the slitting cutter thumb screw.
Not too bad!

There's not much rust on the plane, and where there is, it is light
surface rust!
Some cutters have rust, but on the end that attach to the screw.
The original nickel plating is still there, and is missing on the most
used parts (thumb screws and some moving parts)

Dating:
The main body has patents: SEP  19 93 and JAN 22 05, all clearly visible.
The manual has "Copyright 1914", and there's a flying ads with "From
68 - 12-23-09 - 2m" in the header (I'm assuming 23rd of Dec 1909).
I found another manual online, and it has "Copyright 1921", So it
seems that this plane dates from 1914-1920.
The number of cutters would indicate pre-1921 (as per
http://www.supertool.com/
StanleyBG/stan8.htm)

Restoring:
Honestly, the plane itself is in very good condition, so i don't think
i will risk anything, i'll start with a simple brush, and try not to
go further except for the rusty points.
Cutters should only require a bit of fine sanding.

But now concerning the main box and the cutter boxes, i'm not sure
what i should do. I would like to protect the parts which have paper
labels. Never done something like that in the past.
The manual has no missing parts, but has definitely the old looking,
yellow traces all around and rust around the staples.
I wonder if i should seal it completely, it's summer time here, that
might help, tho Auckland is quite humid, so i will certainly seal the
ambient humidity...

Any tips, advice's, or references are welcome.

Thanks for reading!

Chris
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269701 Kevin Foley <kevin.m.foley@c...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Fine folks,

Whilst people have their fond thoughts about their 55s in mind I have a
question.  Several of the cutters I have, though they appear unused, are not
close to flat.  Is this common occurence or did some tot wedge mine in a crack
in a bench and use them to flick screws across a shop somewhere?

Thanks.
Kevin
269702 Troy Livingston <horologist@w...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Chris,

My 45 had a torn label with loose fragments. I used a little liquid hide 
glue and a small soft artists brush to adhere the fragments. I'm pretty 
sure I took an after photo but typically forget to take the before one. 
If I can find them I will post. Once set I used the brush with some warm 
water to clean the excess glue. This is also my procedure for old clock 
labels. The advantages are the glue is acid neutral and more importantly 
the whole thing is reversible. In the old days people used to coat their 
clock labels with varnish or PVA glue. These are permanent and make a 
mess of the paper.

Troy
269704 "Joseph Sullivan" <joe@j...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
SNIP:

Something Leach does not say is that because there is no mouth in front of the
blade, your stock selection must be impeccable.  Just imagine trying to find a
10 foot or more piece of wood with straight grain the full length in a modern
lumber yard.

END SNIP

Well, yes and no.  

The Chris Schwartz method of getting straight grain lumber for workbenches works
pretty well, although a bit spendy.  The idea is to buy wide lumber -- say
nominal 12".  Generally, this will be from better cuts anyway, and will have
bands of straight grain in one or both edges.  Rip those sections and Bob is
close relative.

I myself do something like this with my oak and walnut.  I have walnut and  both
white and black oak in excess of my lifetime needs.  Generally, I have it sawn
through-and-through (right down the log the long way).  This yields stacks of
book-matched wide boards  that will contain varying degrees of flatsawn,
riftsawn and q-sawn wood.  If I want straight grain, I look for nice rift or
q-sawn stretches and rip them out.  Just did this with some rift-sawn sections
of walnut I want to use for table legs.

Joe
269705 don schwartz <dks@t...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
If I were to do this, I think I'd try glue size rather than full 
strength hide glue. The paper shouldn't need full strength glue, the 
glue size would darken the paper less, and should be more easily 
reversible. Try it on a test piece and see if that's satisfactory.

Don

On 2020-01-20 8:31 a.m., Troy Livingston wrote:
> Chris,
>
> My 45 had a torn label with loose fragments. I used a little liquid 
> hide glue and a small soft artists brush to adhere the fragments. I'm 
> pretty sure I took an after photo but typically forget to take the 
> before one. If I can find them I will post. Once set I used the brush 
> with some warm water to clean the excess glue. This is also my 
> procedure for old clock labels. The advantages are the glue is acid 
> neutral and more importantly the whole thing is reversible. In the old 
> days people used to coat their clock labels with varnish or PVA glue. 
> These are permanent and make a mess of the paper.
>
> Troy
>
>
>
>
> On 1/20/2020 5:36 AM, Christian Gagneraud wrote:
>> Hi Guys,
>>
>> 
>>
>> But now concerning the main box and the cutter boxes, i'm not sure
>> what i should do. I would like to protect the parts which have paper
>> labels. Never done something like that in the past.
>> The manual has no missing parts, but has definitely the old looking,
>> yellow traces all around and rust around the staples.
>> I wonder if i should seal it completely, it's summer time here, that
>> might help, tho Auckland is quite humid, so i will certainly seal the
>> ambient humidity...
>>
>> Any tips, advice's, or references are welcome.
>>
>> Thanks for reading!
>>
>> Chris
>>

-- 
“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” —Thomas Paine
LEt's start here in N. America https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-
border-crossing-rights-1.5382547
269706 gtgrouch@r... 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
It's fun to try to find straight-grained lumber. 

	I've found that if I split a trunk first, the resulting sections
usually have fairly straight grain. If I've split it once, I can
usually saw the rest and retain the grain orientation if I'm careful.

	Your mileage may vary, Gary Katsanis
Albion New York, USA

	-----------------------------------------From: "Joseph Sullivan" 

SNIP:

 Something Leach does not say is that because there is no mouth in
front of the blade, your stock selection must be impeccable. Just
imagine trying to find a 10 foot or more piece of wood with straight
grain the full length in a modern lumber yard. 

 ================================
 Well, yes and no. 

 The Chris Schwartz method of getting straight grain lumber for
workbenches works pretty well, although a bit spendy. The idea is to
buy wide lumber -- say nominal 12". Generally, this will be from
better cuts anyway, and will have bands of straight grain in one or
both edges. Rip those sections and Bob is close relative.

END SNIP
269707 "Joseph Sullivan" <joe@j...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Yes, riving will lead to more straight grain wood than any other method.  In my
case, with logs 8 ft- 10 ft long and 28 inches at the small end, I just don’t
know how I would do it.

 

J

 

Joseph Sullivan

President

JSA

(972) 463-1125
269708 Ed Minch <ruby1638@a...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
I used his method in building a bench 12 years ago.  I got 14” Yellow Pine 2 X
12’s at a Blowes or Homr Cheapo and ripped them into thirds and edge glued them
together to make a 7 foot bench.  Fantistical.

Ed Minch
269709 Christian Gagneraud <chgans@g...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On Tue, 21 Jan 2020 at 00:42, Ed Minch  wrote:
> On Jan 20, 2020, at 5:36 AM, Christian Gagneraud  wrote:
>
> Any tips, advice's, or references are welcome.
>
>
> Tips for what - using it?  Don’t

No, tips on the wood box restoration and their paper labels.

Chris
269710 gtgrouch@r... 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
If you're stubborn and refuse to accept 'no' then you can split a
trunk. I also use a slick on the end of a shovel handle, a hatchet,
lots and lots of wedges and wooden gluts. This is an english walnut
that eventually gave way.

	http://galootcentral.com/components/cpgalbums/userpics/10072/Pic_4.jpg
[1]

	http://galootcentral.com/components/cpgalbums/userpics/10072/Pic_3.jpg
[2]

	http://galootcentral.com/components/cpgalbums/userpics/10072/Pic_5.jpg
[3]

	-----------------------------------------From: "Joseph Sullivan" 
To: gtgrouch@r...
Cc: "old tools"
Sent: Monday January 20 2020 3:15:10PM
Subject: RE: [OldTools] Stanley 55 dating and restoring

	Yes, riving will lead to more straight grain wood than any other
method. In my case, with logs 8 ft- 10 ft long and 28 inches at the
small end, I just don’t know how I would do it.

	J

	JOSEPH SULLIVAN

	PRESIDENT

	JSA

	(972) 463-1125

	 

Links:
------
[1]
http://galootcentral.com/components/cpgalbums/userpics/10072/Pic_4.jpg
[2]
http://galootcentral.com/components/cpgalbums/userpics/10072/Pic_3.jpg
[3]
http://galootcentral.com/components/cpgalbums/userpics/10072/Pic_5.jpg
269711 Christian Gagneraud <chgans@g...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On Tue, 21 Jan 2020 at 01:46, John Ruth  wrote:
>
> Chris,
>
> St. James Bay Tool Co. makes many reproduction parts for the Stanley 55.

Good to know, thx!

> Sometimes all that’s needed for a light frosting of rust on a cutter is a dark
purple Scotchbrite (Tm) pad.

I usually use steel wool or 400+ sand paper. Would you use any
products? A bit of WD-40 works quite well for me.
As well, i'm using more and more the razor blade scraper technique for
delicate (flat) jobs.

> Keep us posted. And don’t forget what Ed wrote: a #55 is not as easy to use as
the woodie moulding planes it’s alleged to replace!

I will, this will take me some time, as i'm doing that evenings/WE
when i have time.

> ( See! I just took him up to the top of the slippery slope of the moulding
plane trail, which is rated “four diamonds!”)

I see, i'm not too much (yet! :)) in this kind of discussion, i 've
read quite a lot about pros and cons of the 45 and 55. And i decided
to go with buying a 45 (more simple), but then this beautiful 55
turned up, couldn't resits! :P
I'm a beginner at wood working, i think my needs are basic: simple
beading, moulding for door, feet, drawer decoration. and then rabbet
and dados...
I know i could buy dedicated plane for rabbet and dados, and wood
plane for 'fancy' beading/moulding, ....
Something i need to explore.

Before being grumpy about the 55, you need to own one! I've just made
the first step. :)

Thanks,
Chris
269712 Christian Gagneraud <chgans@g...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On Tue, 21 Jan 2020 at 04:31, Troy Livingston  wrote:
>
> Chris,
>
> My 45 had a torn label with loose fragments. I used a little liquid hide
> glue and a small soft artists brush to adhere the fragments. I'm pretty
> sure I took an after photo but typically forget to take the before one.
> If I can find them I will post. Once set I used the brush with some warm
> water to clean the excess glue. This is also my procedure for old clock
> labels. The advantages are the glue is acid neutral and more importantly
> the whole thing is reversible. In the old days people used to coat their
> clock labels with varnish or PVA glue. These are permanent and make a
> mess of the paper.

Thanks for sharing, would you do any cleaning job first?
The label on the cutter boxes are near pristine, but the label on the
main box is half gone. Basically i would like to stop the aging
process.
I'm considering keeping the boxes and the manual in a cupboard after
restoration, and make a new box for the workshop...
This thing is 100 year old already, would be nice if it can go for
another century or two, for the lucky next owners.

Chris
269713 Christian Gagneraud <chgans@g...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On Tue, 21 Jan 2020 at 09:03, don schwartz  wrote:
>
> If I were to do this, I think I'd try glue size rather than full
> strength hide glue. The paper shouldn't need full strength glue, the
> glue size would darken the paper less, and should be more easily
> reversible. Try it on a test piece and see if that's satisfactory.

Thanks a lot, had to google 'glue size', seems to be the same as what
Troy suggested.
Will do more research.

Thanks,
Chris
269714 "Joseph Sullivan" <joe@j...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
SNIP:

If you're stubborn and refuse to accept 'no' then you can split a trunk.  I also
use a slick on the end of a shovel handle, a hatchet, lots and lots of wedges
and wooden gluts.  This is an english walnut that eventually gave way.

http://galootcentral.com/components/cpgalbums/userpics/10072/Pic_4.jpg

http://galootcentral.com/components/cpgalbums/userpics/10072/Pic_3.jpg

http://galootcentral.com/components/cpgalbums/userpics/10072/Pic_5.jpg

 

END SNIP:

Wow.  That is a lot like work!

J
269715 Bill Ghio 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Well said, I can save further comment. 

Sent from my iPhone
269716 Christian Gagneraud <chgans@g...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On Tue, 21 Jan 2020 at 09:54, Christian Gagneraud  wrote:
>
> On Tue, 21 Jan 2020 at 09:03, don schwartz  wrote:
> >
> > If I were to do this, I think I'd try glue size rather than full
> > strength hide glue. The paper shouldn't need full strength glue, the
> > glue size would darken the paper less, and should be more easily
> > reversible. Try it on a test piece and see if that's satisfactory.
>
> Thanks a lot, had to google 'glue size', seems to be the same as what
> Troy suggested.
> Will do more research.

I found that: h
ttps://titebond.co.nz/shop/titebond-liquid-hide-glue/
Doesn't seems to be the real/natural hide glue tho.

Chris
269718 Christian Gagneraud <chgans@g...> 2020‑01‑20 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On Tue, 21 Jan 2020 at 09:52, Christian Gagneraud  wrote:
>
> On Tue, 21 Jan 2020 at 04:31, Troy Livingston  wrote:
> >
> > Chris,
> >
> > My 45 had a torn label with loose fragments. I used a little liquid hide
> > glue and a small soft artists brush to adhere the fragments. I'm pretty
> > sure I took an after photo but typically forget to take the before one.
> > If I can find them I will post. Once set I used the brush with some warm
> > water to clean the excess glue. This is also my procedure for old clock
> > labels. The advantages are the glue is acid neutral and more importantly
> > the whole thing is reversible. In the old days people used to coat their
> > clock labels with varnish or PVA glue. These are permanent and make a
> > mess of the paper.
>
> Thanks for sharing, would you do any cleaning job first?
> The label on the cutter boxes are near pristine, but the label on the
> main box is half gone. Basically i would like to stop the aging
> process.
> I'm considering keeping the boxes and the manual in a cupboard after
> restoration, and make a new box for the workshop...
> This thing is 100 year old already, would be nice if it can go for
> another century or two, for the lucky next owners.

Just found that, an article about restoring Stanley 45 labels!
https://www.timetestedtools.net/2017/08/10/repairing-and-or-
replacing-box-labels/

The guy mentioned 'Memory Mount' glue as being "the highest
recommended product by restoration experts"

And near the end:
> There is one final step that I wanted to do but the recommended product is not
available at this time.
> The product is sprayed over the label to prevent the paper from becoming
brittle over time and
> extending the time required for restoration. With proper care and storage this
label should now be
> able to survive another at least another 50 years.

But he doesn't say what spray product it is :(

On other sites, I found quite a few mentions of 'ModgePodge', and
spray sealant, water based polyurethane, acrylic sealer, ...
Tho, i would prefer something natural than complex chemical.

Chris
269719 Ed Minch <ruby1638@a...> 2020‑01‑21 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Don’t forget Knox gelatin - cheap and comes packaged in small amounts and is
available at the grocery store or pharmacy

Ed Minch
269721 don schwartz <dks@t...> 2020‑01‑21 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On 2020-01-20 1:54 p.m., Christian Gagneraud wrote:
> On Tue, 21 Jan 2020 at 09:03, don schwartz  wrote:
>> If I were to do this, I think I'd try glue size rather than full
>> strength hide glue. The paper shouldn't need full strength glue, the
>> glue size would darken the paper less, and should be more easily
>> reversible. Try it on a test piece and see if that's satisfactory.
> Thanks a lot, had to google 'glue size', seems to be the same as what
> Troy suggested.
> Will do more research.
>
> Thanks,
> Chris

Yes and no. It's diluted.

Don

-- 
“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” —Thomas Paine
LEt's start here in N. America https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-
border-crossing-rights-1.5382547
269722 don schwartz <dks@t...> 2020‑01‑21 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On 2020-01-20 4:50 p.m., Christian Gagneraud wrote:
> Memory Mount

You might try Michael's or an art supply house for this and 
acid-reduction products.

FWIW

Don

-- 
“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” —Thomas Paine
LEt's start here in N. America https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-
border-crossing-rights-1.5382547
269723 don schwartz <dks@t...> 2020‑01‑21 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On 2020-01-20 5:07 p.m., Ed Minch wrote:
> Don’t forget Knox gelatin - cheap and comes packaged in small amounts 
> and is available at the grocery store or pharmacy
>
> Ed Minch
>
>> On Jan 20, 2020, at 3:54 PM, Christian Gagneraud > <mailto:chgans@g...>> wrote:
>>
>> Thanks a lot, had to google 'glue size', seems to be the same as what
>> Troy suggested.
>> Will do more research.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Chris
>
Tell us more.

Don

-- 
“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” —Thomas Paine
LEt's start here in N. America https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-
border-crossing-rights-1.5382547
269735 Michael Suwczinsky <nicknaylo@g...> 2020‑01‑22 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
It works with 4x4 lumber at the Borg too. When I built my Doug Fir
workbench, the 16 foot lumber was far nicer than anything in the 8 foot
racks. Straighter grain, fewer, tighter knots. A lot closer to quarter
sawn, than the shorter stuff. There were some sawing decisions made in the
Home Depot parking lot.

Michael

Ed Minchwrote:

> I used his method in building a bench 12 years ago.  I got 14” Yellow Pine
> 2 X 12’s at a Blowes or Homr Cheapo and ripped them into thirds and edge
> glued them together to make a 7 foot bench.  Fantistical.
>
> Ed Minch
>
> > On Jan 20, 2020, at 2:40 PM, Joseph Sullivan 
> wrote:
> >
> > SNIP:
> Just imagine trying to find a 10 foot or more piece of wood with straight
> grain the full length in a modern lumber yard.
> >
> > END SNIP
> >
> > Well, yes and no.
> >
> > The Chris Schwartz method of getting straight grain lumber for
> workbenches works pretty well, although a bit spendy.  The idea is to buy
> wide lumber -- say nominal 12".
>
-- 
Michael
269736 Matt Cooper <MaNoCooper@l...> 2020‑01‑22 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Hmm sounds like I need to keep a saw in the truck. Never thought about it that
way.



Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S10.



-------- Original message --------
From: Michael Suwczinsky 
Date: 1/21/20 21:17 (GMT-05:00)
To: old tools new server 
Subject: Re: [OldTools] Stanley 55 dating and restoring

It works with 4x4 lumber at the Borg too. When I built my Doug Fir
workbench, the 16 foot lumber was far nicer than anything in the 8 foot
racks. Straighter grain, fewer, tighter knots. A lot closer to quarter
sawn, than the shorter stuff. There were some sawing decisions made in the
Home Depot parking lot.

Michael

Ed Minchwrote:

> I used his method in building a bench 12 years ago.  I got 14” Yellow Pine
> 2 X 12’s at a Blowes or Homr Cheapo and ripped them into thirds and edge
> glued them together to make a 7 foot bench.  Fantistical.
>
> Ed Minch
>
> > On Jan 20, 2020, at 2:40 PM, Joseph Sullivan 
> wrote:
> >
> > SNIP:
> Just imagine trying to find a 10 foot or more piece of wood with straight
> grain the full length in a modern lumber yard.
> >
> > END SNIP
> >
> > Well, yes and no.
> >
> > The Chris Schwartz method of getting straight grain lumber for
> workbenches works pretty well, although a bit spendy.  The idea is to buy
> wide lumber -- say nominal 12".
>
--
Michael
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269737 Christian Gagneraud <chgans@g...> 2020‑01‑22 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On Tue, 21 Jan 2020 at 08:40, Joseph Sullivan  wrote:
>
> SNIP:
>
> Something Leach does not say is that because there is no mouth in front of the
blade, your stock selection must be impeccable.  Just imagine trying to find a
10 foot or more piece of wood with straight grain the full length in a modern
lumber yard.
>
> END SNIP
>
> Well, yes and no.
>
> The Chris Schwartz method of getting straight grain lumber for workbenches
works pretty well, although a bit spendy.  The idea is to buy wide lumber -- say
nominal 12".  Generally, this will be from better cuts anyway, and will have
bands of straight grain in one or both edges.  Rip those sections and Bob is
close relative.
>
> I myself do something like this with my oak and walnut.  I have walnut and
both white and black oak in excess of my lifetime needs.  Generally, I have it
sawn through-and-through (right down the log the long way).  This yields stacks
of book-matched wide boards  that will contain varying degrees of flatsawn,
riftsawn and q-sawn wood.  If I want straight grain, I look for nice rift or
q-sawn stretches and rip them out.  Just did this with some rift-sawn sections
of walnut I want to use for table legs.
>

That is actually kind of my plan for my workbench, I have a friend who
run a saw mill, it does macrocarpa slab only.
I was thinking about using macrocarpa for the legs and the top. since
i want a 10 cm top and 10x10 cm legs (10cm = 4"), i'm thinking about
buying a 10cm thick slab, 2m long (6.6 ft) and maybe 80 cm wide (2.6
ft). Choose a slab that has the pith (or close too), rip it into
double legs and half tops and discard the pith.
Don't know yet how much this will cost.

The only thing that is unknown to me is the stability of the wood, as
he's doesn't kiln dry the wood.

Chris
269738 Kirk Eppler 2020‑01‑22 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 6:31 PM Matt Cooper  wrote:

> Hmm sounds like I need to keep a saw in the truck. Never thought about it
> that way.
>
>
>
What, you mean not having one is an option? I have a LV toolbox saw under
the back seat.  Used it a few times over the years, cutting a 6'2" exotic
board down to 6' to fit in the bed, with the cover closed, when I picked up
a bunch of stuff from my dad's.  Before a 6 hour drive home, in the rain.
Or cutting a 16' garage sale board to transportable length.

Never had to rip plywood tho.

Kirk in HMB, CA
269739 Ed Minch <ruby1638@a...> 2020‑01‑22 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Chris

If anything, I would tend to let the stuff dry for longer than the rules of
thumb.  I have had plenty of 20 year old wood move when I ripped it into parts,
and this is something you don't want for a workbench

Ed
269740 Ed Minch <ruby1638@a...> 2020‑01‑22 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Bill Ghio and I just got back from a very good 3 days at the Williamsburg
Woodworking in the 18th Century annual extravaganza.  So I have 5 in the car
right now - everything from a 28” Richardson rip to a 20” Disston #12 cross cut
- I can do anything!!

Ed Minch
269741 "Joseph Sullivan" <joe@j...> 2020‑01‑22 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
SNIP

That is actually kind of my plan for my workbench, I have a friend who run a saw
mill, it does macrocarpa slab only.
I was thinking about using macrocarpa for the legs and the top. since i want a
10 cm top and 10x10 cm legs (10cm = 4"), i'm thinking about buying a 10cm thick
slab, 2m long (6.6 ft) and maybe 80 cm wide (2.6 ft). Choose a slab that has the
pith (or close too), rip it into double legs and half tops and discard the pith.
Don't know yet how much this will cost.

The only thing that is unknown to me is the stability of the wood, as he's
doesn't kiln dry the wood.

END SNIP

Yes, that is what I do with my lumber.  Typically on the near-pith strips of
oak, I have wonderful quarter sawn figure.  However, it is divided by a strip of
pith.  So, in a board that is 32" wide, after cutting out 4-6 inches of pith,
and another 2 of sapwood I will wind up with two beautiful boards,  each 12" -
13" wide.  Of course, there are always a handful that are not close to the pith,
but somewhat narrower because of the semi-cylindrical shape of the log.  From
those I can get clear, figured boards that are exceptionally wide -- but very
few.

FWIW, kiln drying is not recommended for Macrocarpa until after it has already
dried to fiber saturation.

As to stability, with green wood, you are simply going to have quite a bit of
shrinkage.  Here is a useful on-line tool to figure it:

http://www.woodbin.com/calc
s/shrinkulator/

To use this you need to know initial moisture, and the range of humidity I the
place you will keep the bench.  Get the moisture through a meter, or back into
it by figuring that  green Macrocarpa  heartwood averages 65% MC, and the
sapwood is 145% on average.  You can get any of a number of tables that tell you
what the MC will be in a give RH environment, so you could calculate the
shrinkage that way.  However, the fact is that building that green will cause
not only shrinkage but warpage.

SO

If instead of green cut wood you get wood that has been properly stacked and
stickered for at least  year per inch of thickness, you can assume that the MC
will likely be between 15% and 18%.  Use that as a starting point, and refer to
the RH/MC tables and the Shrinkulator.

It seems a pain, but I do it any time designing furniture to go into various RH
environments.  Better to plan than to see all that hard work scrapped by cracks
and warps.

Cheers!

Joe
269744 Chuck Taylor 2020‑01‑22 Re: Workbench - was (Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring)
Christian and other Gentle Galoots,

Many years ago Phil Koontz, long-time Porch denizen, wrote words to the effect,
"Make your workbench out of the wood that comes to you." Words to live by.

Cheers,
Chuck Taylor
north of Seattle USA
269745 Ed Minch <ruby1638@a...> 2020‑01‑22 Re: Workbench - was (Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring)
Agree with Richard on everything - I glue on my bench, chisel, pound, etc, and
have no qualms.  I used yellow pine framing lumber and it turned out great - I
love it, it’s my most used tool.  The only problem with YP is that the grain is
busy and when I am in Bill Ghio’s shop working at his maple bench, things look
different.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruby1638/20199521585/in/album-72157654306
631774/ <https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruby1638/20199521585/in/albu
m-72157654306631774/>

Ed Minch
269746 Bill Ghio 2020‑01‑22 Re: Workbench - was (Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring)
> On Jan 22, 2020, at 4:05 PM, Ed Minch  wrote:
> 
> Agree with Richard on everything - I glue on my bench, chisel, pound, etc, and
have no qualms.  I used yellow pine framing lumber and it turned out great - I
love it, it’s my most used tool.  The only problem with YP is that the grain is
busy and when I am in Bill Ghio’s shop working at his maple bench, things look
different.
> 
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruby1638/20199521585/in/album-721576543
06631774/ <https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruby1638/20199521585/in/al
bum-72157654306631774/>
> 

Since Ed brought it up a link to mine, when it was pristine, is below. The frame
is Mulberry, free from a friend. The jaw on the Record vice is Long Leaf Maple,
a Galoot-a-Claus gift. Most of the Maple top came from a Craigs List ad at about
$1.80 a board foot. Didn’t get quite enough of the Maple for my design so was
looking for more when a local antiques dealer called to let me know about a
nearby wood hoard being liquidated. Part of what I bought there was Tiger Maple
that ran well under $3 a BF, I just don’t recall the exact price. Some of that
became the band around the bench to get the top to final dimension. The
patternmaker’s vice was a $20 yard sale gloat from c. 1999. It gets treated just
as Ed’s does and no longer looks pristine. A couple of yeas ago I went over the
whole thing w/ a toothing plane and I really like the high friction surface that
resulted from that treatment.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/77280442@N.../6960008992/in/album-721
57643255823474/

Bill
269747 Mick Dowling <spacelysprocket@b...> 2020‑01‑23 Re: Workbench - was (Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring)
GGs

34 years ago I knocked together a temporary workbench made from a good set of
salvaged 100 x 100 KD hardwood legs, some salvaged 250 x 45 KD hardwood rails,
and a temporary top made of 40mm particleboard that was given a couple of coats
of shellac.

The plan was to add a proper bench top made of something more suitable when that
something more suitable showed up. Strangely, hasn’t worked out that way and the
particleboard is still in place.

Anything would be an improvement on the particleboard, but I’ve long thought
that if I could get hold of one of those laminated hardwood kitchen bench tops,
that would be the ideal material. They’re generally around 35mm thick, and
glueing 2 together would make a hefty 70 or so mm thick top.

A more likely scenario is that I just flip the particleboard top over because if
the other side lasts 34 years as well, that might see me out!

Mick Dowling
Melbourne Australia
269750 Christian Gagneraud <chgans@g...> 2020‑01‑23 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On Wed, 22 Jan 2020 at 23:12, Ed Minch  wrote:
>
> Chris
>
> If anything, I would tend to let the stuff dry for longer than the rules of
thumb.  I have had plenty of 20 year old wood move when I ripped it into parts,
and this is something you don't want for a workbench

I'm a newbie on this sort of things. I know that he's cutting logs
(tree trunks) that have been drying outside for "a while", so i'm not
sure it qualifies as green wood (Re: Joseph),  i don't think that he's
trying to "manage" the drying of the slabs. He bought a saw mill
business, converted the kiln drying building into family/friend
apartment and "just cut slabs".
On one hand, i can get some slabs at a "friendly" price, but what i'm
not sure if it's a good idea given the uncontrolled drying post-cut.

I can buy kiln dried wood from a lumbyard instead, more expensive...
But maybe this will pay off in the long run.

Having said all of that, as other people mentioned, i could build
another bench in 5 years. Based on the mistakes i'm about to do....

Thank you and everyone else answering on this thread.
Chris
269752 Matt Cooper <MaNoCooper@l...> 2020‑01‑23 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Your right, it just never occurred to me previously.  Kind of one of those DOH,
moments.

The question  is now. Does this require finding another saw to sneak into the
house. Yes I think it does......



Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S10.



-------- Original message --------
From: Kirk Eppler 
Date: 1/22/20 00:52 (GMT-05:00)
To: Matt Cooper 
Cc: Michael Suwczinsky , old tools new server 
Subject: Re: [OldTools] Stanley 55 dating and restoring



On Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 6:31 PM Matt Cooper
> wrote:
Hmm sounds like I need to keep a saw in the truck. Never thought about it that
way.



What, you mean not having one is an option? I have a LV toolbox saw under the
back seat.  Used it a few times over the years, cutting a 6'2" exotic board down
to 6' to fit in the bed, with the cover closed, when I picked up a bunch of
stuff from my dad's.  Before a 6 hour drive home, in the rain.  Or cutting a 16'
garage sale board to transportable length.

Never had to rip plywood tho.

Kirk in HMB, CA
269754 "yorkshireman@y..." <yorkshireman@y...> 2020‑01‑23 Re: [SPAM?] Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
And the other thing about a green wood bench would be that you may need to
‘adjust it’ now and again.

Ask yourself what sort of work are you intending it for?   -  What does the top
have to do and why?   Mostly It’s so that you have an assured reference surface
that will support the weight of planing to allow the planed surface to be flat
and parallel to the bench top.

If you only ever plane up, say, joint stool legs, than you could make a sturdy
planing support, lay it on your wave top bench, and work happily.

Most of us like a flat plane of a bench top, and are happy to use stuff like
plywood or manufactured boards because they are sacrificial and will be flat -
and they can be cheap, and stable.

But nothing like as inspiring to work on as a gorgeous slab of something
figured, with matching wooden dogs and fittings.


Richard Wilson
Yorkshireman Galoot
269756 "Joseph Sullivan" <joe@j...> 2020‑01‑23 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
SNIP

On one hand, i can get some slabs at a "friendly" price, but what i'm not sure
if it's a good idea given the uncontrolled drying post-cut.

I can buy kiln dried wood from a lumbyard instead, more expensive...

END SNIP

After the original year per inch or so It has nothing to do with time, and if
you buy kiln -dried wood and then put the bench in a humid area, you will have
wood movement the opposite way.  Wood is just a hygroscopic bundle of straws.
It constantly shifts its moisture content to match the surrounding air.  The
"rule of thumb" takes the wood from hyper saturation in its green state down to
equilibrium with the local air in which it is being dried.  In most places with
regular rain, that will be about 15% to 18% MC.  There are tables that will show
the MC equilibrium for each percentage level of relative humidity.  If you start
with wet wood and it dries in place, it will move and crack.  If you start with
dry wood and it gains moisture, it will break joints and warp -- and sometimes
crack.  Kiln drying just takes it to a given MC at the time it comes out of the
kiln.  Once in the open air, it starts to readjust.  Unless you keep dried wood
in a dry environment, it will go back to a higher level.

SO, ideally, you will build with wood that is within a couple of percent up or
down of the equilibrium MC for the relative humidity in which the bench will
then be kept.

OR, you can work up a design that will allow for the certainty of dramatic
shrinkage from newly cut-"green" wood.  BTW, even when we cut standing snags
that have not been actively pulling water into themselves for years, they have
very high moisture -- 30%-40%, even 50% MC.

J
269757 Bill Ghio 2020‑01‑23 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
> On Jan 23, 2020, at 7:16 AM, Matt Cooper  wrote:
> 
> Your right, it just never occurred to me previously.  Kind of one of those
DOH, moments.
> 
> The question  is now. Does this require finding another saw to sneak into the
house. Yes I think it does......
> 
> -------- Original message --------
> From: Kirk Eppler 
> 
> On Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 6:31 PM Matt Cooper
> wrote:
> Hmm sounds like I need to keep a saw in the truck. Never thought about it that
way.
> 
> 
> 
> What, you mean not having one is an option? I have a LV toolbox saw under the
back seat.  Used it a few times over the years, cutting a 6'2" exotic board down
to 6' to fit in the bed, with the cover closed, when I picked up a bunch of
stuff from my dad's.  Before a 6 hour drive home, in the rain.  Or cutting a 16'
garage sale board to transportable length.


I have told this story before but since saws at the lumberyard has come up… I
needed some moldings from Home Depot and since their saws are always so horribly
dull I took in my own, a circa 1890 Disston 22 inch #12. I carried my length of
molding up the the cashier to check out and she asked to see the saw. I gave it
to her and she turned it all over and then said. “I’ll have to get a price check
on this.” I explained that it was mine and she said, “I have to get a price
check.” I told her I would be more than willing to pay for it, and buy another,
if she could find it in inventory. She hit the store loudspeaker w/ a request
for someone from the tool department to come to the register. He duly arrived,
from about ten feet away he started laughing, and just walked away shaking his
head. That’s when I discovered that at least some HD staff know their stuff.

Bill
269759 Nick Jonkman <njonkman@x...> 2020‑01‑23 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
I remember reading many years ago (maybe 50) that the best way to treat 
your wood for a projects was to stand the boards vertical against a wall 
with each layer spaced a bit at the bottom to allow air movement for a 
year. Then it will reach the equilibrium of the space/area where it will 
live thus minimizing unwanted movement. You will never stop the 
movement. I remember building a table top from red ceder 2x6 to use at a 
wood show with a set of those folding legs under it. Since it was a 
tight time scenario only the top side got varnished before we left to do 
the show. By the time the show was over the center of the top was about 
an inch higher than the edges which worked great for people walking 
around the table but was not the intention. Later we sanded the top down 
again and when it flattened out we refinished it on both sides and still 
use that table for displays at shows.

Nick
269766 Robert Brazile <r.brazile@g...> 2020‑01‑24 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
>> If anything, I would tend to let the stuff dry for longer than the rules
of thumb.  I have had plenty of 20 year old wood move when I ripped it into
parts, and this is something you don't want for a workbench

>I'm a newbie on this sort of things. I know that he's cutting logs
(tree trunks) that have been drying outside for "a while", so i'm not
sure it qualifies as green wood (Re: Joseph),  i don't think that he's
trying to "manage" the drying of the slabs.

For what it's worth, when I built my bench last year (well, 2018, so year
before now), I took Chris Schwarz's advice and just built it without
worrying about dryness. His comment is something along the lines of, "yeah,
it'll move, but if it's big enough, it won't matter that much and in the
meanwhile you'll have a bench."

That has proved to be true. My oak slab was soaking wet, and I just bulled
ahead and built it anyway. Worked out fine. The top is still tending to cup
a bit (unfortunately the sawyers included the pith in it, silly sawyers)
but I just flatten it every so often when it bugs me enough, and in the
meanwhile...I have a bench.

My sense is that the anticipation of problems is worse than the actual
problems, but perhaps that's just me.

Pics of the journey here:
https:
//www.flickr.com/photos/rbrazile/albums/72157691923374330

For those who just want to cut to the chase:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/rbrazile/45838413314/in/album-72157691923
374330/

For those who remember my old Galootavision segment, I remodeled my house
after that (2001, sheesh) and one result is that my shop is a bit larger
now.

Robert Brazile
Arlington, Mass.
269767 Ed Minch <ruby1638@a...> 2020‑01‑24 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Very nice bench

Ed Minch
269769 Phil Schempf <philschempf@g...> 2020‑01‑24 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
And shop!

Sent from my iPhone
269771 Chuck Taylor 2020‑01‑24 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Robert Brazile wrote:

===begin snip===
For what it's worth, when I built my bench last year (well, 2018, so year
before now), I took Chris Schwarz's advice and just built it without
worrying about dryness. His comment is something along the lines of, "yeah,
it'll move, but if it's big enough, it won't matter that much and in the
meanwhile you'll have a bench."...

Pics of the journey here:
htt
ps://www.flickr.com/photos/rbrazile/albums/72157691923374330...
===end snip===

Fantastic bench! And I love the way you documented your build. Well done!

Chuck Taylor
north of Seattle USA
269774 John Ruth <johnrruth@h...> 2020‑01‑24 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Robert,

Yeah, +1 on the comment that you have a wonderful shop!

You’ve somehow avoided the dreaded “Saw Problem!”  Only six handsaws are visible
in the photo essay.  Your pics of the leg dovetails demonstrate that you are
good with handsaws, yet somehow you’ve been able to decline acquisition
opportunities.

I’m reminded of a half-remembered saying about a marksman with only one rifle;
he knows how to use it.

Neat how the partially-completed top furnished a work surface to build the legs.
That could be a lesson for wooden bench-builders everywhere.

One question: if you did it again, would you still make the tenons on the top of
the legs before the mortises in the top?  (Craftsmanship of risk: the top is a
much harder-to-obtain piece of stock.)

That bench is better than anything I’ve ever made; my hat’s off you.

You’ve emboldened us all!

John Ruth

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 24, 2020, at 9:00 AM, Robert Brazile  wrote:
269778 Paul Gardner <yoyopg@g...> 2020‑01‑24 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Wow Robert,  what a wonderful bench build and cozy/inviting looking shop
space as well.  I really enjoyed the self guided tour. (nice shop radio as
well)  Thanks for sharing this.

In terms of worrying about dryness, I'm with Schwarz as well but with one
important caveat.   I used the same joinery you did when connecting the
legs to the bench top.  My mistake was I left too much time between cutting
the joints out and banging them it and it that time the wood twisted a bit
and the alignment was off.  I have four witnesses (of the Flea Bag variety)
now with premature hearing loss that were required to help drive it home.
It's against all natural inclinations of a galoot but this is one area
where you can't afford to dilly dally.

Paul, in SF
269781 Robert Brazile <r.brazile@g...> 2020‑01‑24 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
Thanks! I'm very happy in it these days, although I still have some
re-organization to do. It's getting more usable all the time.

Robert
269782 Robert Brazile <r.brazile@g...> 2020‑01‑24 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
>
> Yeah, +1 on the comment that you have a wonderful shop!
>

Thanks!


> You’ve somehow avoided the dreaded “Saw Problem!”  Only six handsaws are
> visible in the photo essay.  Your pics of the leg dovetails demonstrate
> that you are good with handsaws, yet somehow you’ve been able to decline
> acquisition opportunities.
>

Ha, well, I claim no particular virtue there.

First off, what I have is what I was left with after my initial acquisition
phase, during which I was fairly indiscriminate. Went to a lot of auctions
in the late 90s (a bunch with Jim Cook, if he's reading lately) and came
back with box lots of all kinds of goodies (and weird stuff, that I'm still
finding.) At some point I realized that I actually had everything I needed
to do work, and that I'd be better off acquiring onesy-twosy as needed,
rather than going for some kind of completeness, which is an itch that can
be both irresistible and more or less impossible to scratch properly. That
helped a lot. But there are any number of tools on shelves (oy, the plane
habit I had at one time...) that are still awaiting rehab and use and are
more or less duplicates of ones I already have and use. Plus I got
distracted by other pursuits (bicycling, photography) for a decade or so,
and there was only so much time available outside of work. But I got the
bug again a few years ago and determined to start dealing with the things
that felt like they were holding me back, and the need for a better, more
stable workbench was one of them. Hence this project.

Second, I guess you couldn't really see the pile of saws on the shelf under
the bench. :-) After I finished the bench, I built a simple saw till (that
is later in the Projects album) and they're now up on the wall over the
bench, where the ones you already saw (sorry) were hanging. Still, there's
only about 3-4 more all told, a couple of which are duplicates that I could
either file in an alternate fashion or just ignore. I could get by with
several fewer, I suppose, but, well, they're here now...

Neat how the partially-completed top furnished a work surface to build the
> legs. That could be a lesson for wooden bench-builders everywhere.
>

It was tremendously useful, if only for space reasons.

One question: if you did it again, would you still make the tenons on the
> top of the legs before the mortises in the top?  (Craftsmanship of risk:
> the top is a much harder-to-obtain piece of stock.)
>

Well, I see what you mean, but I have to say: chunks of wood of this size
are not trivial to come by in any sense, at least not for me, so even
having to replace the legs would be a real PITA. That said, yeah, I'd still
do it this way. Frankly, there are ways of dealing with nearly any mistake
you're likely to make, so I'd still recommend just jumping in. As I said
earlier, it's much scarier in contemplation than the actually difficulties
turn out to be. As it is, I took off a bit more in the mortises than I
needed to get the legs to seat fully, because I struggled a bit figuring
out exactly what was hanging up. This is what wedges are for. :-) If you
are contemplating this style of bench, I also recommend Schwarz's video,
which was very helpful in allowing me to completely visualize what I'd be
doing. Also feel free to ask me questions. For the most part, what you see
is what happened, but if anything is obscure or ambiguous, just ask.


> That bench is better than anything I’ve ever made; my hat’s off you.
>

Thanks very much, but it's the best thing I've ever made, too. The lesson I
learned, which I strongly commend to you, is the old saw (there I go again)
about thousand mile journeys and single steps. At every stage, you just
break it down into the next couple of steps and worry about them only.
Eventually (very eventually in my case) you get there. Finishing gave me
tremendous satisfaction, and the feeling I could build most anything I set
my mind to, if I went about it in the same way -- rather than worrying
about how big a job it was, or all the ways I could screw it up. The fact
is I did screw it up! Many times! But I was always able to come up with a
way to route around it and it all came out OK in the end.


> You’ve emboldened us all!
>

I sincerely hope so...I look forward to following others' journeys; be sure
to document them!

Robert
269783 Robert Brazile <r.brazile@g...> 2020‑01‑24 Re: Stanley 55 dating and restoring
On Fri, Jan 24, 2020 at 1:59 PM Paul Gardner  wrote:

> Wow Robert,  what a wonderful bench build and cozy/inviting looking shop
> space as well.  I really enjoyed the self guided tour. (nice shop radio as
> well)  Thanks for sharing this.
>

You're very welcome! It occurred to me as I read this thread that I should
have shared it a long time ago. Just been out of the OLDTOOLS habit for too
long, I guess. I still drop in and read fairly regularly, but not as
obsessively as I once did. Trying to get back into the habit.


> In terms of worrying about dryness, I'm with Schwarz as well but with one
> important caveat.   I used the same joinery you did when connecting the
> legs to the bench top.  My mistake was I left too much time between cutting
> the joints out and banging them it and it that time the wood twisted a bit
> and the alignment was off.  I have four witnesses (of the Flea Bag variety)
> now with premature hearing loss that were required to help drive it home.
> It's against all natural inclinations of a galoot but this is one area
> where you can't afford to dilly dally.
>

That is an excellent point. I mentioned his video in my last reply; in that
video, I believe he warns against exactly this problem, and I took it very
much to heart. The other thing he emphasizes is the care in which you get
the frame clamped up as close as you can to square before you do any
marking. The tension between taking the time fo fuss with the clamps (that
stuff wasn't very square, I can tell you) and worrying about everything
going all Chubby Checker on me was the cause of some serious worrying. And
things did move a bit during that time.

I made it work anyway, either by butchery of the mortises (mostly invisible
now, thank god) or by brute force in a similar fashion to your description.
I confess I did enjoy the see-saw lifting the ends of the bench and letting
them drop to fully seat the legs; it was satisfying and ultimately
effective, but as you say: a bit loud. I wore ear protection, as I already
have issues in that direction...

Robert Brazile
Arlington, Mass.

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