Benchtop Tool Stand

Jim Morgans Wood Profits

Jim Morgan's Wood Profits

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No open comers in your shop for a revolving tool station? Then this compact tool stand could solve your storage problems (drawing at left). It provides both a convenient work-surface and a place to organise your bench top tools.

The stand is just an open box with space to hold several tools, depending on the size of the tool and the shelf it sits on. The tools are mounted on removable shelves that slip in and out of the stand. When you need to use a tool, just slide it out and set it on top. A shop-made "pin" locks the shelf and the tool in place.

Larger tools (like a scroll saw) are secured to a single, deep shelf. But in some cases, a smaller tool (like a bench top grinder) can be placed on a shelf that's only half the depth of the stand. This way you can store two tools in one spot.

You can build this stand out of any type of sheet good, but 1 recommend using y4" MDF. It's reasonably priced and heavy enough to prevent the stand from "walking" around the shop when a tool is being used. OS

India Stone

Hard Black


With all the new developments n sharpening technology, learn .,~

these old favorites are still deserving of a spot on your workbench V


No. 157

Slow and messy. Those two words pretty much sum up my experiences when it comes to sharpening with oilstones. So naturally, I'm always surprised when I meet woodworkers who actually prefer oilstones over other sharpening methods.

But this also peaked my curi-ousity. If oilstones are favored by these woodworkers, could there be something more to them that I'm missing? To find out, I decided to take a closer look. I spoke with several oilstone users as well as a couple of Stone Manufacturer; And I also tried out some oi stones in my own shop.

BENffiTV .', hat I learned is that oilstones : iave a couple of advantage- over waterstones. First, oilstones are harder, so they stay flat :ri ch ! inger than waterstones.

At f rsi may not seem like a big deal But if you try to sharpen a tool on a stone that isn't flat, you're going to have a difficult time getting good resuiU. With a water-stone you have to constantly monitor the condi: '. -^tone as you're sharp;r _■ _ - ¡ke sure it isn't dishing out " sic res don't have this problem

Second, oilstone? . s*i ■ ¡1 (instead of water) as a lubr zsr t for floating away the metal =. ..» produced while sharpening Trus means that you don't have to w orry about mst attacking your toe Is

STONE SELECTION. Choosing an oilstone can be a bit confusing. That's because there are several different types of oilstones and none of them

Hard Translucent Arkansas Stone

India Stone

Hard Black

3-Way Sharpening: Norton Multistone

■'-. Hard Arkansas stones are so dense that it's nearly impossible to wear a groove in one. This makes them ideal for honing carving gouges and other small tools.

are designated by grit numbers. So comparing them isn't easy. But it helps to have a basic understanding of what's available.

Oilstones can be broken down into two main categories — man-made stones and natural stones. Man-made stones consist of abrasive particles mixed together with a bonding agent and then fired in a high-temperature furnace. These are the stones most of us probably think of when we hear the word "oilstones."

Man-made stones can vary a great deal in quality. And here is where I think oilstones may have gotten a bad rap. The coarse, low-grade stones that you'll find in the bargain bin at the hardware store aren't really suitable for sharpening woodworking tools. Instead, I'd recommend buying .in oilstone from a well-known company, like Norton Abrasives.

Norton has a coupie of different man-made oilstone; appropriate for woodworkers — Crysic'.: stones and India stones Both : these stones come in medium, and fine grits. The differ ences between the two are in the abrasive particles and the bonding agent used to hold them together.

The Cry stolon stone is made of silicon carbide with a fairly soft bonding agent. It's fast cutting, but it also tends to wear quicker than the India stone. It's a good choice for sharpening a tool with a damaged edge, when you want to remove a lot of metal quickly.

India stones are made of aluminum oxide. Because they have a harder bond than the Crijstolon stones, they don't cut quite as fast. But they stay flat longer and give you a finer edge. If you're looking for an oilstone for general sharpening i d recommend a medium stone. And at under $15, this stone won't break the bank. (See page 49 for sources.)

NATURAL STONES. When it comes to natural oilstones, the best known are the Arkansas stones. Arkansas stones are actually novaculite — a form of quartz that is found prima-rilv in Arkansas. These stones are sold as either "soft" or "hard" depending on the density of their crvstal structure.

The soft Arkansas stone is used for initial sharpening. It's comparable to an India stone, but wears away a bit faster.

When choosing a stone for final honing, a hard Arkansas stone is the way to go. (Translucent and hard black Arkansas stones areacoupleof varieties.) These stones are extremely dense, so they cut slowly but leave a polished surface. Since they're natural stones, they can be expensive (S60 or more, depending on the size). But a stone like this will last you a lifetime and most likely never need flattening.

ONE OF MANY. I'm not about to tell you to throw out whichever sharpening system you're currently using and switch to oilstones. But taking a closer look has definitely made me an oilstone "believer." The key is to find a sharpening system that works for vou and stick with it. E£3

Wouldn't it be great to have 1 vour sharpening stones in one spot, ready to a: a rr ment's notice? That's theidea behind Norto;- .': - v, shown at right. It holds three separate oils it. nes mounted together in a single unit All you have r. do is lift the stone assembly from the base by the handles and rotate it to the stone you want to use (see inset photo). The plastic base serves as a reservoir for honing oil. And a cover protects the stones when the', re not in use.

DESIGNED FOR WOODWORKERS. Norton has been making the Multistone for decades. But only recently have they offeredit with a combination of stones tailored more toward woodworkers. The version shown here includes a coarse Crystolon stone, a medium India stone, and a hard translucent Arkansas stone. (You also have the option of selecting different stones when you place your order.)

J^ The stones are extra-long (11 '/V') making them great for use with a honing guide. And a pint of honing oil is also included. For sources, see page 49.


Multistone includes three sharpening stones. A coarse, medium, and fine oilstone can handle just about any sharpening task you're likely to encounter.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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