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Sharpen your hand-tool abilities with this handy challenge.

I not too long ago obtained a pleasant piece of leather-based about 14” thick that I needed to make use of as a strop for airplane irons and chisels. And, I used to be in search of a easy hand-tool challenge. So I made a decision to make a “strop box” within the Queen Anne model.

The examples I studied all have cavities to carry sharpening stones. I wanted a platform to which to attach the leather-based, so I adjusted my design to accommodate that – however the methods proven right here can be utilized for both kind of field.

Most of the containers I studied are mahogany, although a number of are walnut and pine. They all look like made out of a single piece of wooden, or two items lower from the identical part of inventory.

The recesses within the field bottoms and tops are sometimes drilled out with a brace and bit, and normally to the identical depth in each items. You can see the remnants of the bit spur and the middle level in most of my examples.

A little bit of proof. You can nonetheless see the marks from the bit spurs on this field lid.

Many of those containers are squared off, however after they do have toes, they’re typically formed as a mirror picture ogee curve, lower with a band noticed or bowsaw, or kerfed then pared out.

For my field, I made a decision on toes within the Queen Anne model, primarily based on circles and ogee shapes. The strop is mounted on a picket platform on the bottom, and the highest suits tightly to the bottom over the strop platform. The prime has moulded edges and options some conventional ornament scribed on the floor.

I had a block of quartersawn beech, in order that’s what I used for the field proven right here. It’s a troublesome wooden; that’s nice for put on resistance, however not really easy to drill. I like to recommend mahogany as maybe a more sensible choice for yours; it’s straightforward to work and is traditionally appropriate.

Stock Preparation

Bases. Of the classic stone containers I studied, most have a squared backside, although a number of have some good curves.

In vintage containers the place the recess partitions are the identical thickness throughout, the end-grain partitions are sometimes cut up out or cracked, so I made a decision to make my end-grain partitions a minimum of 1″ thick, in hopes of avoiding a cut up.

The backside half must be about 112” thick (1″ for the foot recess, plus 12” or so for thickness above the toes. The prime half must be about 114” thick (34” to accommodate the leather-based and the bottom it rests on, plus 38” for the highest of the highest). I lower the bottom for the leather-based from the highest half of my beech.

So, with the above in thoughts, I lower my field elements from a bit of 8/Four inventory, about 9″ extensive x 10″ lengthy. But your precise measurements rely on the dimensions of the leather-based strop (or stone) you want to put in your field.

I planed a floor and facet of every field half to create a reference face and a reference edge, then marked them as such. The closing thickness and width of every was scribed off these.

Reference surfaces. With one edge and one confronted planed flat and at 90° to one another, you might have references surfaces from which to scribe the ultimate dimensions.

For the underside piece, I then used a facet axe for gross inventory removing, adopted by scrub, jack and smoothing planes. Bevel the lengthy edge reverse the reference edge to your scribe line earlier than planing to stop spelching.

On the highest piece, I four-squared it with planes, then marked and sawed off the waste; it would develop into the platform for the leather-based, and is sized to match.

For good crosscuts to get to my closing lengths, I used a miter field and noticed.

The prime face of the underside is the reference face of that piece, and the underside face of the highest piece is its reference floor. In the top, the 2 reference surfaces will mate.

Recesses & Leg Layout

Platform. The waste from the highest piece is sawn off; I’ll measurement it to match my piece of leather-based, and use it because the platform.

Lay out the recesses with a marking gauge and sq., registering your instruments off the reference edges of every piece. In my case, the structure accommodates the leather-based platform; needless to say your structure needs to be primarily based in your platform (or stone sizes). The lengthy partitions on mine are 38” and three38” from the reference edge; the top partitions are 1″ and 9″ from the identical finish of every piece.

I made two full templates for the toes – one for the long-grain edge, the opposite for the ends.

Miter field. Note that the reference edge is towards the fence as I crosscut this workpiece to size.

The long-grain template is derived from a circle, a fowl’s beak transition and lengthy, shallow quasi-ogee curve. The fowl’s beak transition is 1 / 4 arc of the identical circle because the leg circle. The ogee-type profile was derived from a circle that seemed good to my eye, then I faired it out to finish on the fowl’s beak.

Curve work. Half templates guarantee symmetrical layouts, nonetheless typically I prefer to make a full template in order that I can get an entire concept of the profile.

Because the end-grain template is a lot shorter, I modified the form barely by decreasing the profile depth from 78” to 34“, and eradicated the fowl’s beak.

Here’s the Drill

Bit choice. A No. 100 Jennings-pattern bit works for the long-grain holes, however for end-grain drilling, a centerpoint is the higher alternative.

Before drilling out the recesses, drill holes to outline the eight exterior circles of the profiles for the legs. I drilled these circles to a depth better than the deliberate wall thickness of the recesses (to about 112” for the ends and about 12” for the perimeters). The 4 long-grain holes could be simply drilled with a brace and the suitable auger bit. In all circumstances, use a bit diameter smaller than the precise diameter of the circles (by 18“) so there isn’t any chance of breaking out the underside fringe of the profile – you want this floor to relaxation your router airplane on.

The end-grain holes must be drilled with a centerpoint bit. The auger bits that the majority of us personal have a double-cut lead screw; this model will simply clog in an end-grain lower. Some bits have a single-cut lead screw that ends in a extra aggressive advance to the lower, which is much less prone to clog. Unfortunately, I’ve not been in a position snag bits of this model. Centerpoint bits are an excellent various, however as a result of they don’t feed, a little bit extra effort is required. Also, these bits are higher designed for shallow cuts. In a deeper end-grain lower, they have a tendency to observe the grain. So for these, I first drilled a pilot gap for the centerpoints to assist the bit observe higher.

For the entire drilling, I clamped a scrap piece on the underside to provide the underside floor of the field help to stop breakout.

Modified. “Safe” information (which have a number of clean edges) make fast work of modifying a centerpoint bit. Above is the bit earlier than I shortened the purpose; under I filed the purpose so it’s about 1⁄8″ longer than the spur.

I needed to maintain the thickness of the field halves to a minimal, plus I needed to rout a clear floor after drilling. Deep lead screw (or centerpoint) holes would current an issue for the strop field (although much less so for a honing stone field). But happily the centerpoint bits can simply be modified to beat this.

I filed a centerpoint to about 18” longer than the skin spur, then recreated the three-sided level to get it again to the axis of the bit shaft. (It have to be completely centered to maintain the bit from levering out of the circle it’s reducing.) Also, the cutter could must be reshaped within the area subsequent to the centerpoint; it must be sq. to the axis of the bit. I used numerous “safe” information for this. This is principally a trial and error course of, however takes just some minutes.

Hog it out. It’s so much simpler and sooner to drill out the majority of the waste than to take away it with a chisel alone.

After making the holes for the ornamental profile, take away the waste within the heart of the bottom.

Rough removing. Work with the grain with a chisel to take away the waste between the holes

For this field, I laid out and drilled 24 holes to hog out the waste. Why “laid out?” You need to determine the centerpoints and depart loads of leeway between the field sides and the holes themselves. Generally, I wanted about 100 turns of the brace to drill a gap 78” or so deep. I stored the holes shallow sufficient in order that I may convey them to closing depth (1116“) with a router airplane.

I used a comparatively slender chisel to knock out the majority of the waste between holes, then a wider chisel to roughly flatten the revealed floor. Here is the place straight, flat grain within the inventory actually pays off. The ends of the recesses and the lengthy edges have been outlined with V cuts with a large chisel, then pared straight down.

Rout it out. Use a router airplane to succeed in the ultimate depth and take away bit device marks.

Note: If you’re making a stone field, excavate the cavity on the highest facet of the underside utilizing the identical methodology, and ensure your inventory is thick sufficient to accommodate each cavities, with a minimum of 14” of fabric remaining between.

Now mount the inventory between canine, and use a router airplane with a large, sq. bit to refine the recesses. I used a depth gauge to verify my progress as I planed to a closing depth of 1116” and the entire device marks from the bits have been gone. I made vertical cuts with a large chisel to wash up the partitions, in order that the interface between the floor and the partitions was sharp and crisp.

Now excavate the waste in the identical method for the underside of the lid.

Shape the Feet

Once the recesses are completed, it’s time to form the toes.

First, rasp out the circles that outlined the toes in any respect 4 corners. I used a nice modeler’s rasp and a rat tail rasp.

Next, I made a sequence of vertical noticed cuts to the profile strains at each transition of the profile, adopted by cuts with a coping noticed to tough out the curves.

Then I pared with a chisel bevel up, following the grain downhill to provide the curves a completed floor.

In hindsight, I like to recommend skipping the coping noticed and simply utilizing a chisel – you’ll get a completed floor off the device.

It’s a good suggestion to set the field apart at this level for every week or so. Loads of materials has been excavated from the inventory, and the field will proceed to dry out and transfer, relying on the grain and moisture content material. You may need to make some changes for match after the wooden has settled.

Alternative Feet

The commonest foot sample is a mirror-image ogee curve centered on the midpoint of the field backside, as proven on the interval stone containers at left. These toes are straightforward to put out, however if you’re making a honing stone field, simply be sure that your profile on the midpoint leaves sufficient materials to excavate the recess.

A peek beneath. Note on the underside of this instance that the curves are lower right into a stable piece of inventory.

The profile could be lower on a band noticed or with a bowsaw. Alternatively, you possibly can outline the curves with a sequence of crosscuts to the profile line, then pare throughout the grain with a chisel and clear up the cuts with a nice rasp. Make the noticed cuts shy of the midpoint junction, so that you could make that junction very sharp with some bevel-up paring. — WA

Assemble the Platform

Piecework. Here’s the rough-sized platform (with leather-based atop), the underside of the underside with the cavity drilled and smoothed and holes drilled for the nook curves, and the hollowed-out prime.

The dimensions of the platform have to match the lid recess. First pencil reference marks on the platform and one finish of every recess so that you could match the elements collectively the identical method every time. Then rigorously airplane and file the platform in order that it suits snugly contained in the lid. Don’t push the platform all the way in which in otherwise you may not get it again out once more.

Curve enchantment. After rasping the drilled holes clear, make reduction cuts straight right down to all profile transition factors, then tough out the curves with a coping noticed. Follow that with chisel cuts to truthful the curves. Or, skip the coping noticed and simply use a chisel.

Once the platform is sized, confirm that the leather-based strop has the identical dimensions, then glue it to the platform with cover glue.

After the glue is dry, re-scribe the highest of the underside with a marking gauge, making only one end-grain mark and one long-grain mark. Apply cover glue, rigorously align the platform to those two strains and clamp it to dry.

Now assemble the 2 halves, and make alignment marks (I take advantage of chisel nicks). If the halves don’t match simply, first verify that the within of the partitions on the highest are vertical; second, think about using a shoulder airplane to tweak the sides of the platform till the elements slide collectively.

Leatherwork. Glue the leather-based on the platform, then glue the platform to the bottom.

When the highest and backside half match snugly, assemble the field, clamp it in a face vise, and airplane the lengthy edges with a finely set airplane till they’re flush. The finish grain could be planed with a low angle block airplane or filed till they’re flush. Reestablish your alignment marks, if want be.

Mould the Top

Shoulder work. I used a small shoulder airplane, held barely off vertical, to first lower flats, then to truthful the curve on the field prime.

For the lid, I made a decision on a large ovolo profile (actually an ellipse), that’s comparatively shallow, with fillets on the prime and backside. This profile could be made with a shoulder airplane solely, which is a bonus on the top grain. If you utilize a devoted moulding airplane, it would must be very sharp, and nicely profiled to work on the top grain.

I blocked out the ovolo form by eye, with a small shoulder airplane held simply off vertical.

Make a bevel fully across the prime, beginning with the 2 finish grain ends first. Set the shoulder airplane very nice and truthful out the bevel to a delicate curve on prime and a sharper curve on the backside, once more engaged on the top grain first. Finally, rigorously take away the sides with sandpaper (I used #150 grit).

Scratch Decoration

Lid Moulding

The scratch decorations on my field prime are laid out with a compass. Here I needed to make two circles touching at a single level, with a hex image inside every circle.

To copy this design, begin by laying out two pencil strains – a vertical line and a horizontal line that divide the sector into 4 quadrants. Set one compass level on the intersection of the 2 pencil strains, and the opposite to inside 18” or so from the highest or backside of the sector.

Once the unfold is ready, swing the compass to the best and to the left alongside the horizontal pencil line to seek out the centerpoints of the 2 circles.

Penciled in. After scratching the design with compass factors, use a nice pencil to hint the shallow recesses; this can assist the design stand out.

Lightly pencil in a vertical line at every of those factors. Reposition the compass to the respective centerpoints and swing circles. Scribe frivolously and repetitively to get an excellent mark. To make the normal sample within the heart, place the compass level on the intersection of the scribe line and the vertical pencil line for every circle and step out six factors across the circle. Reposition the compass progressively at every level on the circumference and scribe arcs throughout the circle. If you might be cautious with the compass, these arcs will every go via the circle heart level and drop right into a corresponding circumferential level across the circle.

To make the sample stand out, I traced the sequence of circles and arcs with a pencil, then sanded the floor frivolously with #220-grit paper to take away fuzz and the floor pencil marks.

Generally I wanted to repeat the scribing and penciling-in course of a minimum of a couple of times extra to get a well-defined penciled-in form. As you do that, all the time verify your compass settings to confirm that they may drop into the circumferential factors precisely, in any other case you’ll muddy the design.

To prime issues off, I merely I used my favourite oil end: Minwax Antique Oil. It is fast drying (lower than at some point) and builds comparatively shortly. I ragged on three coats (buffing in between) then polished issues as much as a pleasant shine with a clear mushy cotton material.


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