The Slightly Confused Woodworker

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Tremont cut nails.

Tremont cut nails.



“You have enemies? Good! That means you have stood up for something, sometime in your life!”

A few weeks back I detailed in a post a bit of money I obtained to spend guilt-free on some tools. I am here to tell you that I made good on that promise. Today I received the final tool from my Christmas in springtime tool splurge. It is especially a pleasant moment for me because all of the tools/hardware I purchased were hand tools and traditional items. So all of you out there who think I am some kind of enemy to traditional woodworking everywhere can sleep easy for at least tonight knowing that I also work in a traditional way at least some of the time; I just don’t spend my entire blog time blowing my horn about it. In actuality I didn’t spend much money, it was somewhere around $100. The rest of the money, coupled with a check I received today courtesy of the fine folks who run Popular Woodworking magazine for another tip I submitted, will be put towards the Hand Tool School woodworking course I am soon to be signing up for. With the money I have left over I think I am going to purchase a rip saw. Yes, that is a “traditional” woodworking tool as well. Sometimes I surprise even myself!

First thing I ordered with my mad money was Tremont cut nails from Lee Valley. I got an assortment of sizes when they were running a free shipping promo a few weeks back. I suppose I could have ordered them directly from Tremont, but they weren’t offering free shipping. I also picked up a Woodriver knife-style marking guage from my local Woodcraft store. The last thing I ordered, which came in today, was a traditional “egg-beater” style drill. To the delight of hippies, anarchists, traditionalists, cheapskates, and tool purists everywhere I ordered an old, used Stanley from ebay. The seller assured me that it was clean and in excellent working order. For $30 including free shipping I took a chance and it was well worth it. The tool is in great shape, aside from some peeling paint. Their isn’t a hint of rust, which was my main worry. The teeth on the gears are all chip-free, the chuck works nice and smooth, and the drill has just the right amount of slop in it to be one of those perfectly broken in tools that you love to own. The only thing I may do to it is sand the handle down and rub in a few coats of linseed oil. I think I made out alright for just one Benjamin.

After all is said and done I have just over $300 left for my guilt-free shopping spree. That will leave me enough to pay for the Hand Tool School, and possibly a Pax rip-saw, or maybe a Hock jointer iron+cap that I will need for a wood jointer plane project that I will get to hopefully sometime before the summer, or I could put the rest towards a plough plane, or a new table saw blade. I’m not sure yet, but right now I’m leaning towards the rip-saw. The next project I will be working on, a new top for my workbench, I already have the material for mostly. It’s funny how things work out; in the beginning of the year I was in woodworking despair, now I have so much going on that I need to find time to fit it all in.



  1. Jeff Branch says:

    That is awesome! I am interested in knowing how you like the cut nails. I have never used them but was think of them for a future project.

    • billlattpa says:

      Part of me wants to make the drawers with them rather than dovetails. I might compromise and dovetail the front of the drawer box and nail the back. I have to check into that and see if it’s feasible.

      • Jeff Branch says:

        The bedside table we have has nailed sides into a rabbeted drawer face (I used glue as well). It has held up for close to 20 years, just sayin’ – IMHO nothing wrong with nails, as long as the drawer slides well.

      • billlattpa says:

        Nailing it in such a way that allows the drawer to slide freely would be the key. Even if I don’t nail the drawer I may make a holder for my hand planes using the cut nails, just to give them a go. Thanks.

  2. Jonas Jensen says:

    The Pax saw you are mentioning, is that one from Flinn Garlick of England?
    I own a Pax dovetail saw, and it is sweet. The handle could be better though, but all in all I am pleased with the saw. The toothing is a lot finer that on similar American saws, so you might want to check that before ordering the rip saw.

    • billlattpa says:

      Thanks for the advice. If I go with the Pax it would be my first panel saw filed to rip. My dovetail saw is obviously a rip saw as well as a tenon saw I have. But I’ve never owned a rip saw that wasn’t a backsaw before so it would be my first experience with one. I’ve seen and held the Lie Nielsen at one of their hand tool shows but it is double the cost of the Pax. I don’t mind spending the extra money if I have it, so if I happen to come into a little extra cash I may go with the LN. Thanks.

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