Category Archives: Day to day

Stanley no.10 Rabbet plane rehab


This ca. 1910 Stanley no.10 Rabbet plane arrived today after crossing the Equator and the Atlantic Ocean en route to the Land of The Brave. It is another of my acquisitions from Patrick Leach.


Here you can see what the blade, chip breaker and lever cap looked like as I took the plane apart.


I found ample evidence that the plane was used at some point between 1910 and 2014, as you can see.


Initially I decided to only send these three parts (from my latest acquisition) for bead blasting, but then changed my mind and sent (second picture) all the blades, chip breakers, the #10’s frog and the #607’s main casting off too. (see posts entitled “Third acquisition from Patrick Leach” and “Stanley Bedrock no. 607 rehab”)


As you can see here, the main casting lost some japanning during it’s 104 year tenure.


During a very brief (less than 4 days) visit to Kenney at the Prop Shop it lost all of the rest of it’s japanning, rust and gunk.


The lever cap were bead blasted and then plated with cadmium.


The blade and chip breaker (left two) received the same treatment as above.



I hope to get close to finishing this rehab over the next weekend. So hopefully will be able to post the rest of the drama next week.


I first applied a coat of rust converter followed by an anti-rust undercoat (first picture). That was followed by three coats of black high gloss truck enamel.


After removing the masking tape, it looked like this.


Initially I I thought that the frog did not need the full treatment, but after try to clean it realised that it really should get the benefit of a bead-blast exfoliation. It is pictured with the #607 Bedrock (you will find a seperate post on this rehab) shortly after returning from the spa and after the rust converter, followed by anti-rust under coat and enamel paint.


Starting to look like the business.


Posing with the #607.





Third acquisition from Patrick Leach


My third shipment from Patrick arrived today. As you can see it contained a Stanley no.271 mini-router plane, a Stanley no.10 Rabbet plane (ca 1910) and a Stanley Bedrock no.607.


I first decided not to do much more than sharpening the blade and the usual flattening of the key surfaces (of the #607), but after taking it apart my OCD kicked in. As you can see it is a plane in very good condition given it’s age (as far as I can deduct from “Patrick’s blood and gore” it should be ca 1912-1925 given the style of levercap), but I have a problem as you might know by now. Therefore the main casting were also sent off (a few days after the other bits) to Kenney at the Propshop for a beadblast-exfoliation.



These babies were made between 1926-1973, but I have no idea when this particular specimen were fashioned. It is however the only member of the party that escaped my Rehab-compulsion.



This is the #10 aged 113. It will receive the full wroth of my compulsive rehab-therapy.




Festool TS55 issue


I use the Festool TS55 with the basic unit of the CMS (Compact Module System) as a table saw. One problem I seem to have on a fairly regular basis is pictured below. The sawdust does not clear adequately necessitating a proper clean, which takes up time that I would rather spend working wood. I am not using it with a dust collection system as I cannot justify the expense yet, so I guess that might be part of the problem. I am very happy in every other way with all the Festools I own. This is really the only problem I’ve come across.


Level playing field


On Sunday I finally made the effort to set up my radial arm saw and my planer (both DeWalt but from different eras) on the red steel table (first photo). About eight weeks ago I took the radial arm saw off it’s custom steel table and bought a new cross cut blade for it. I decided to move it to the red steel table to create more space for my new 18th century workbench that I am in the process of building. It used to reside next to the red steel rack that house all my offcuts (second photo).


In order for these two power tools to be functioning next to each other I had to get them on the same plane. That meant that I had to lift the planer.


Here you can see how the radial arm saw now acts as an out-feed table for the planer and vice versa. It took ages, fiddling around with different strips of wood to line the two surfaces up perfectly.


I also flipped the old chip board over that did duty as the radial arm saw table and made a new fence. Once I managed to set the saw up perfectly square in the two important dimensions, I cut a new zero clearance groove through the fence.


… and finally I cleaned the track in which the saw runs, which had heaps of antediluvian grease- sawdust-crap obstructing the saw’s path. A fresh serving of grease got it back to it’s former self.


Second acquisition from Patrick Leach


My second (of hopefully many more) shipments from Patrick Leach arrived yesterday. It reached these shores in perfect condition after a two week journey and a further week of faffing around at Namibia’s customs.

June 2014 US postal


A group photo.


This is a Buck Brothers drawknife made around the turn of the previous century by this famous company. It is an absolute gem, they simply do not make tools like this anymore.


A #71 open throat Stanley router plane with three different blades, in original box and hardly ever used condition.


A #923 Stanley 10″ brace in perfect condition and no obvious signs of being used much at all. Again, you simply can not buy anything approaching this quality made more recently.


These are two Sorby (Sheffield made) pairing chisels Patrick acquired in England recently and shipped it to the USA, only for the edge tools to extradite themselves to Namibia after a very brief visit. There are a ¾” and a 1″, both in as new condition with the usual boxwood handles.


Shop High Stool facelift


In order to provide a brief hiatus in my bench building activities I decided that it is time to update the shop high stool I originally built back in 2000. You will notice that it was made out of the same Swarthout strips I used for the Darwinian Sawhorses. After almost ten years in storage it did not look particularly elegant.


I decided to rip the fabric off and to replace it with Hyena leather. Or at least that is what I think it is as it was written on the back of the piece I bought from Nakara.


It is a very sturdy and thick leather with a colour that is pleasing to the eye.


The staple gun did a sterling job to fix it. As you can see I did not spend too much effort to get it perfect as it is only a shop workhorse. You will also notice that I reinforced the structure with bits of scrap pine that was lying around.


Didi’s Projects


My son Didi (short for Didier) is slowly starting to develop an interest in what is going on in the shop. I thought I should start documenting his progress. Here you can see him building a wild bird feeder.



He did the bulk of the work to glue-up and turn his first tool in the form of this beautiful Witpeer mallet.






Chisel storage


On Saturday I briefly interrupted my bench-building-activities in order to ensure that my precious new Lie-Nielsen bevel-edge chisels receive a warm welcome and safe haven right from the start of our (hopefully) long and prosperous relationship. I ordered these chisels back in November 2013, but the tool works at Lie-Nielsen were out of stock and in the process of crafting new ones. As far as what I can gather they had a few hiccups in this process, which meant that the chisels only arrived on 10/3/2014. The guys and gals at Lie-Nielsen leave no stone unturned when it comes to their commitment to ensure the absolute highest quality, which was again quite obvious when I unpacked these heirlooms.


An example of the attention to detail is how the backs of these chisels have been perfectly flattened by hand honing. This means that you have the absolute minimum preparation honing to do before you go mental with it on a piece of timber.


Just look at these stunning Hornbeam handles. I plan to turn my own longer handles for when I am using the chisels for paring.


Here you can see how I very quickly built a rudimentary chisel dwelling from a piece of scrap Swarthout. Swarthout (Acacia melanoxylon and known as Australian Blackwood, Sally Wattle or Tasmanian Blackwood) originates from Australia (surprisingly) as a species, but this particular piece is South African by birth as it spent many years enjoying the tranquility of the rain forests of the Garden Route.


I decided that the quickest way to keep the chisels sitting stable and upright (as the three smallest chisels are top heavy and therefore tends to attempt acrobatics in it’s dwelling) was to whack dowels through the living room.


Together with the dowels, a small notch on the inside of the side walls where each chisel’s socket rests, does a great job of keeping each chisel proud and upright.



At this stage I left the dwelling as is, but might add a base once my bench is finished, because it might be useful to grab the who set and stick it on the bench next to you while doing dovetails or mortises. For now it will be supported by two storage containers on either side of it in my tool rack.



Egg beater drill rehab

2/12/2013 – We had our staff’s end of year function on 28/11/2013 at the best Coffee Shop/Pizzeria  in Namibia. It is a wonderfully ambient establishment by the name of La Brocante. What makes it even better is the fact that they also have a treasure cove of old furniture, tools and just about everything else that you could wish for in a historic hotel dining room next to the pizzeria. I found a few old tools in need of basic rehab, one of which was this old egg beater drill. It was still in perfect working order, but needed new handles and knobs.

In the picture below you can see how I turned the three parts needed out of a single piece of leftover beech.


Here it is sporting it’s new limbs.



The final product after a light coat of tung oil.



Shop made winkelhaak

2/12/2013 – So what is a Winkelhaak? It is Afrikaans for trisquare.

I have been unable to buy a small trisquare in the local market, despite trying for more than 18 months. So 10 days ago I decided to make a few from wood and a couple using a combination of wood and brass. They are so straight forward to make that I will not insult your intelligence by showing the steps involved. In the picture below you can see the collection of scrap pieces of wood I chose from to make them.


Here you have the all-wood set. The two smaller ones have Kershout blades and Assegaai handles. The alpha-square has a Olienhout handle and Assegaai blade.



The brass-wood squares are still in production. I will add pictures in due course.

9/12/2013 – And here it is, the first of two, the other one will have to wait until next year. It has a Stinkhout handle and a 6 mm thick brass blade.