By Jim Cummins

When my boy James was born about nine years ago, he proved to be an easy keeper and a good sleeper. Each eventide alter we'd settle him down, he would pull the big red ring on the plastic music box hanging from his crib, and it would play him to sleep with the tinkling notes of Hickory Dickory Dock. The box eventually fell apart, but 1 saved the movement because its tune evoked those bygone days. This year, with my boy old enough to collect treasures like baseball cards and gravel, the time...

Case For Hand Tools

My friend Scott, a man of few-words, dropped by for a cookout this past summer and I took him downstairs to have a look at my shop. He spotted a row of old wooden planes on a shelf. You mean to sav that vou actually use those things said the look on his face. I handed him a coffin-shaped smooth plane and clamped up some pine in the vise. Try it, I urged. He turned the plane around in his hands and t< x> k a long, careful stroke. Nothing. I reached for a hammer and tapped out the blade just...

Info

Don't, you'll have trouble sliding the shelves down the dowel rods. To keep the holes in line, I used one-shelf as a template and marked the four l i-in. holes on the underside according to the positions indicated in the drawing. I then made the holes with a drill press, using a l'vin. dia. Forstncr bit. Since the bit exited the face side the top surface , I placed solid backing under the shelf to prevent tear-out. Once I'd finished this shelf, I used it to center the holes in the remaining...

Sharpening Gouge s

Gouges, those familiar curved caning chisels, are time-honored, versatile tools that are used by craftsmen of all abilities, yet few people seem to know how to put a good cutting edge on a gouge. The Japanese craftsman sharpens his gouges with regular water stones. He makes a number of grooves in the stone to fit his gouge sizes. Sometimes he uses one groove for two or three gouges, even though they have different radii. The problem with this method is that if you have many gouges, you need...

Step By Step

First, there is straight oil, which is usually linseed oil or tung oil. The second type is wiping varnish a regular varnish that is thinned with two to three parts mineral spirits paint thinner to one pan varnish and is sold as an oil finish. The third type is an oil-tarnish blend, a mixture of oil and varnish usually thinned with mineral spirits. Finally, there is polymerized oil straight oil that has been changed chemically, causing it to perform more like a...