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And another local vendor that I'd have

2017-11-08 18:35:12.016957+00 by Dan Lyke 12 comments

And another local vendor that I'd have happily paid double to for their expertise just told me "we don't carry those parts, get them online". Killing retail, one transaction at a time.

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-05 22:41:21.453287+00 by: DaveP

My local hardware store just admitted they don't know what an "auger file" is, let alone know anyone who's ever sharpened an auger bit, and the idea that someone has worn out the file you use to do that made their eyes do that Marty Feldman thing.

I was going to tweet this at you, but it turns out Flutterby search is tons better than twitter search.

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-05 23:21:11.614933+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think these days, the idea that you'd sharpen a bit is astounding to many local hardware stores.

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-06 06:55:22.903073+00 by: Bunny

I find it fascinating that some people actually sharpen chainsaw blades. Really? I read a little about what it entails. Nope.

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-06 13:02:19.496272+00 by: DaveP

Oh, my local hardware store is somewhat used to my eccentricities. I buy all sorts of things nobody else buys, and frequently suspect I'm clearing out the "last one we will ever stock" of a given item. It's still annoying when I have to go online to get something, especially as I still have Amazon on time-out for missing their two day guarantee on Prime delivery on over a dozen orders in 2017.

Chainsaw blade sharpening files are also hugely useful for things other than sharpening chainsaws. I buy a half-dozen or so every year and treat them as disposable tools, as well as a cheap source of tool steel.

Heck, in my copious free time, I'm building a dovetailed infill plane, and will be hand peening the brass sides onto the steel sole some time in January, I hope. I'll probably have a detour as I pause to learn how to etch brass in order to put my mark on the metal. And I'm doing it all with hand-tools, though I may use a laser engraver to remove the asphaltum resist for etching the brass. If I go that path, that'll definitely be a garage-door-open project.

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-06 18:54:03.204679+00 by: Dan Lyke

So... a couple of questions, then:

First, I hadn't thought about using files as tool steel, but... I ground a screwdriver into a 1/8" chisel for cleaning out a mortise, and a chisel might make better stock. Do you anneal it first, and then temper it after?

Aaaand: Charlene has a creche set in the style Robert Hess, and would like a few more pieces (it's that season). I thought "well, that looks easy enough", but the final surface looks like it's cut with a gouge, and when I started looking at gouges I started down the "well, what really is the difference between $50 for a set of 6 and $135 for one?" Any guidance?

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-06 18:56:09.843462+00 by: Dan Lyke

And on etching brass: We used the CNC router to engrave brass. Broke the tips off of a ton of Dremel bits along the way. I'll probably fire that back up to make some labels for toolboxes shortly, and I'll keep notes.

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-06 23:40:24.428042+00 by: TheSHAD0W

If you use chainsaws more than occasionally, you'll wind up sharpening the chains; just replacing them is expensive.

Horror Fright sells a machine that makes sharpening chains quicker, it goes on sale periodically.

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-07 00:12:28.244836+00 by: Dan Lyke

I need to get the chainsaw sharpener. I have a handful of chainsaw files, but without a jig that's kinda tedious. Of course I only use it for milling logs, which I haven't done much of...

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-07 13:11:02.968561+00 by: DaveP

Using files as tool steel. Yes, anneal, work, harden, temper. E.g. Roy Underhill making a screwbox from a file

I do the annealing and hardening with a MAP Gas torch without a forge, so a chainsaw file is about the biggest thing I can easily anneal. I have a friend with a smithy, and bigger stuff goes to his place.

The Flexcut palm gouges work well, as do the longer Pfeil gouges. With Flexcut, you buy one handle and switch out the blades, which is a pain, but it saves you some cost. If you only need one gouge, spend about $20 for it, and you'll probably do fine. In my experience, the nicer ones only start to pay off when you need multiples and have to sharpen them, but I'm still learning carving at the moment. There's a LJ forum for carving, but I haven't tried asking questions there.

If you're looking for books or videos on carving, Mary May is a good teacher. I'll probably buy her new book from Lost Art Press at some point.

Re: engraving brass, I was figuring I'd either use ferric chloride (easy, but environmentally difficult) or Copper Chloride in Aqueous Hydrochloric Acid Solution but I also work brass with woodworking tools. Make sure to anneal it first, as almost all brass you buy will be work-hardened to some extent.

I've started on a brass and steel dovetailed infill plane and will cut the dovetails with a hacksaw and cold chisel. But that project will go very slowly until spring, since I have too many other things going.

Finally, the chainsaw sharpening jig from Harbor Freight has been mentioned as worthwhile, but I mill logs with a frame saw and panel saws. My sweetie has an electric chainsaw she uses to keep her arborvitae under control, and we take that to the neighborhood hardware store, which will sharpen the blade for less than the cost of dinner out.

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-07 13:16:23.096436+00 by: DaveP [edit history]

Oh! For the style of carving that crèche wants, you may be able to do everything with a sloyd. The morakniv sloyd, either 120 or 106, or both may be all you need. I use the shorter or the two most of the time, and a lot of my small details in woodworking get touched with that.

Edit to add: If you decide sloyd carving works for you, get a knife from Pinewood Forge but be prepared to wait three months. They really are nice.

I'd recommend staying clear of gouges until you've proven to yourself that a sloyd can't do what you need to do.

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-07 23:20:46.157384+00 by: Dan Lyke

The particular look I'm hoping for is that rounded concave grooving, but one of the projects I had back in grade school was to make a carving knife with saw blade stock. I have some used Bakuma blades that would probably be relatively easy to cut into a blade, maybe it's to start there...

On etching: I have an old PCB etching kit up in the attic, if you were closer I'd offer it to you... And I haven't found a good way to anneal big sheets, but maybe I'll try to anneal some smaller pieces before I engrave the labels for my toolbox.

#Comment Re: And another local vendor that I'd have made: 2017-12-08 14:14:59.023262+00 by: DaveP

Okay. Might need a gouge for that. But I'd try fiddling with a sloyd to see if I could get close. And then I'd get a gouge of the right sweep and size and wonder why I'd wasted so much time before getting the right tool. :-/

Brass will anneal (very slowly) at 500F. At 600F it takes an hour to anneal, at 800F it takes seconds. So yeah, it's not quite something you could do in the oven. Unless you have a wood-fired pizza oven. http://www.massreloading.com/annealing.html has good information on annealing cartridge brass. I've mostly been aneealing the heads of pre-made brass rivets because they won't mushroom over nicely if I don't anneal them, but it's just a few seconds with the MAP gas to get the head glowing.

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