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Saturday, October 11, 2014

So That's What Pitch Is

I haven't done any serious planing in over a year--since I hurt my shoulder at work.  I got the go-ahead last week from the doc to resume normal activity as tolerated.  Somehow I figured that meant I could do some planing today.  Other than some sore muscles in the back, I did OK body-wise.

The boards didn't fair as well.

I'm working with some Northern White Cedar on a project.  The wood is reclaimed from a barn that stood for 90 years before coming my way.  I think the barn was held together with the pitch in the wood.

The plane kept getting bogged down with pitch.  Sometimes I couldn't even finish a full traversing stroke before the plane was all gummed up.

Repeatedly removing and replacing the blade got old real quick.  I stopped after a while to consult the web for advice on planing pitchy wood.  Surprisingly, there was not much to be found.  I found a lot of advice about using solvents to get rid of pitch for finishing.  After a while I gave up and went back to the workbench.

I spent about an hour experimenting with the best plane set up for dealing with the pitch.  I finally settled on taking whisper thin shavings and cleaning after every stroke.  Definitely not the path to high productivity with hand tools.

The real kicker is that this first 4X8 board was practice for the real stock that needs prepped.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lie-Nielsen Back In The Mid-West

CU Woodshop supply in Champaign IL is hosting a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event 10/31, 11/1.  Details can found here.  I'm pretty far away (78 miles) from CU Woodshop, but they have become an important resource in my woodworking.

I usually go to Jeff Miller's studio for the Lie-Nielsen events but had to miss this year's soiree.  Jeff is on the far side of Chicago from me, but technically closer.  Champaign is a cornfield lined trip down I57.  I can get to Champaign quicker than the North side of Chicago.

I do not know if this is the first time Lie-Nielsen has been to CU woodshop, but this is the first time I've heard about it.  The web is full of people recommending these things.  I'm going to leave you with the most profound experience I have with the Lie-Nielsen events:   the insight into the use of the tools is indescribable.

So, go.  Show your support for the world of woodworking.  Even if all you do is walk around and gape at the CU Dreamshop.  I'll be there on Friday, the 31st.  I'm the scary one without a costume.