This past Sunday was the warmest December day we’ve had in my region for quite a long time. I decided that it would be a good day to get in some tool maintenance.
First and foremost was cleaning the workbench. I planed, scraped, and sanded the bench top, then gave the entire frame a light sanding as well, finishing it all off with a coat of linseed oil, which nicely darkened the bench and gave it a freshly-bathed look. Keeping with my theme of turning construction lumber into woodworking stock, I made a new end board from a 2×10 to tie the bench top to the tool tray and attached it with some screws (though I believe dowels would be better). I then turned my attention to some of my tools.
Last week I made a new “strop-block” for use with my chisels. So I decided to hone all of the bench chisels with the 8000 grit water stone and then strop them for good measure. Afterwards I gave them a light coating of tool oil, wrapped most of them in a tool roll, and symbolically put them away for the winter. My metal bench planes I also oiled and wrapped in cloths, with the exception of the #7 jointer. And while many of my edge tools are now “in-storage”, I may just break them out much sooner if this mild weather continues. In the meanwhile, I will continue to experiment with prepping construction lumber as well as sharpening methods.
With the weather so nice, and an actual warm breeze blowing through the garage, I decided to clean up and organize some of my electrical and carpentry tools as well. Generally, I try to keep my things neat and accessible, so it was more of just a straightening up than anything else.
During this brief clean up I came across a Swanson try square that I don’t remember purchasing or even using to be honest. It has to be at least a dozen years old and is nothing fancy. Still, I checked it against my little Starrett combination square and it was dead perpendicular. Just for the hell of it, I used the good old Pythagorean theorem (the 3, 4, 5 method for you landscapers and masons) just to double check, and sure enough it was right on the money. So I promptly hung it on my tool rack ready to be called upon. It will be a useful tool, in particular because I have been considering purchasing a “fancy” version for some time.
So if the weather holds, I the tools will come out of hibernation a lot sooner than normal. In any event, no matter what the winter holds I will be prepping stock as soon as the holiday season ends. When the weather breaks, and it comes time to build furniture again, this time I am going to be prepared for it.