Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tools For Sale

Forgive me whilst I figure out this temporary tool monger thing.

Instead of posting one tool at a time and stretching this out forever, I've decided to create a dedicated page for selling tools and just make a post when I update it with a new shovel full of toys.

Today I put up several good ones, so grab them fast before they go away. As always the first person to send an email to me gets it. More pictures and information is listed ON THIS PAGE RIGHT HERE.

Up for sale this time!.

Stanley No. 3

Disston 12" No. 2 Back Saw filed rip

Panel Gauge

Sargent 418 Fore Plane
Wooden Coffin Smoother
 I've also listed price reductions in a couple tools I've already listed Read down to the bottom of the page to see the new deals.

Again go see these tools ON THIS PAGE RIGHT HERE!

Thank you again for looking and buying to support my Mission. Want to learn more about my mission you can read about it HERE.

Ratione et Passionis

SOLD: Sargent VBM 414C Corrugated Jack Plane

Sorry, this tool has been sold.

FOR SALE: Sargent VBM 414C corrugated jack plane PRICE REDUCED

There are firsts you will remember always, your first love, your fist kiss, your first car, and for me anyway, your first jack plane. This was it, a Sargent VBM jack plane and it worked well for me until I gathered the guts to clean up and rehab my wife's grandfather's Stanley No.5. Since then this poor bugger has sat sad on the shelf and he needs to be put back to work. VBM stands for Very Best Material and was a stamp used on their tools from 1909 - 1918 (According to HERE)

There are some apologies here.

First there is a stamp under the frog that reads 409, this could mean the frog is harlequin, but as I was doing some research on this plane tonight and read that the 409 and the 414 frogs were the same size and the company would place use either size to finish up production runs. You can choose, in the end, the plane is a worker so it shouldn't matter.

Second is the shape of the handles. They came to me broken and wrapped in friction tape. I stripped the tape off the rear tote and glued and repaired it the best I could. The rear tote mismatched a little in the glue up and the top horn is broken and missing. However I have used this plane for hours of planing and never had it bother my hand one bit. The repair has been very solid.

The front knob must have been split in two at one point and repaired with glue and a friction tape wrap around the narrow bottom. I've never done anything to fix or change this knob, it's always worked fine for me.

It has been completely scrubbed free of grime, grit, and rust. There is some pitting and staining from it's obviously hard life but what else is to be expected from a hundred year old plane.

This plane is obviously not the prettiest girl in the bar, but she sure does know how to cook. There's life left in the blade and a little more tuning would make her run sweet. But because she's not a looker, I'm making it a bargain and selling it plane for THIS PLANE HAS BEEN SOLD. $30.00  $10.00 USD plus shipping costs. It will go to the first person to send an email to and tell me you want it, please mention the plane in your email.

Why am I selling some of my tools off? You can read why in my post HERE

Thanks for looking.

Ratione et Passionis

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bucket List

Project bucket lists are a subject that gets broached by woodworkers and bloggers from time to time. It is a good exercise to go through and though I've started a post about my list several different times, I haven't published any of those posts because they always seem, well, cliché.

But I was paging through my sketchbook / journal the other day and came across the last bucket list version I'd written a couple years ago and I was amused to see how I felt about the things I had on the list. I try to limit the list to ten entries, only for my sanity's sake if nothing else, and there were things on that list I had accomplished and some things that had changed.

That was enough to get me off the cliche train and writing another post, this one may even get published.

First the thing I was happy about was scratching a couple things off the list. A traditional tool chest has been on that list for a long time, it was good to mark that done. I also could remove 17th Century carved bible box from the list, several times over.

The other one I'm scratching off the list is a spice chest. I was a little hesitant because the one I'm working on is still in process, but I've finally worked my way through the design block I was having with the foot section and I'm ready to begin moving forward again, a soon as the weather warms a little and I get another carved box finished I promised for a benefit.

Life is full of roadblocks, but I guess that would be one reason why you'd write a thing like a bucket list.

In the end the things that amazed me more than what I had finished was the things that had changed on my personal priority list. I've changed and I've grown as a woodworker over the last couple years, and if I'm honest I just don't have a passion to build "that piece" any longer. If that's the case then it doesn't really belong on the list.

Casualties of passion included a Queen Anne Highboy, and a Federal Card Table. I think these made it on the list to start with because they are the kind of "high end" builds that you are supposed to want to build. I'm just not up for falling into that keeping up with the Jones's kind of stuff anymore.

Removing some things meant adding some things on and I put some real thought into the new list and why I should want to build what's there. I limited my self to a selection of ten, but I'm listing them in no specific order. Without making you wait further, here's the Oldwolf Workshop Woodworking Bucket List:

10. A Joined Stool - I'd really like to do this right and split the stock from a the log. Chair making seems as magical to me as slight of hand seems to a seven year old. This project seems like a gateway into that world.

9. A Pembroke Table with Queen Anne Cabriolet Legs and Ball and Claw Feet - Pretty specific I know but this project remain because it would give me work on several different woodworking techniques I want to challenge myself with, including engineering drop leaves and rule joints, making wooden hinges for the legs to swing out, making cabriolet legs, and carving ball and claw feet. That's a lot of sawdusty goodness packed into one bite sized crunch.

8. A William and Mary Tea Table - I love William and Mary furniture and I've always wanted a to build a tea table. This was the project that just couldn't come off the list.

7. Campaign Chest with a Secretary Top Drawer - Yes, just like the one Chris Schwarz built for Popular Woodworking. I've loved these pieces for years and something like this has always been on my list.

6. A Nautical Desk - I've also seen these listed as a ship captains desk. They are wonderful takes on campaign furniture and a great example of cleverly fitting a ton of storage into a small space. Lots of places to fit and find secret drawers and compartments as well.

5. Windsor Chair or better Rocker - Again, chair making seems magical to me and the light weight but strong Windsor chair appears to be the pinnacle of those endeavors. How could you not strive to make one. I won't try and tackle it for many, many years. I have a lot of things already in front of me that have to take precedence, but that's what a bucket list is for.

4. A 17th Century Carved, Joined Chest - Again, I really want to do this right and get this stock right from the log, but I think it should come as no surprise to anyone who reads my words regularly that this is on here.

3. A Queen Anne Secretary - A while ago I bought a book called "English Furniture 1550 - 1760" by Geoffrey Wills. I'll admit I haven't read much of it but I pick it up and page through the pictures quite often, but the first time I did that I came across a piece I fell in love with and knew it belonged on this list.

2. A Kubbestol - This is a chair dug out from a solid log. It's a piece of folk furniture that, as I understand it, hails from Norway, Sweden and Northern Europe. They are often carved on almost all of their surfaces. I saw one in a museum a while back and just the sheer effort and skill that went into its creation and the uniqueness in it's spirit told me I have to build one. I haven't worked out the logistics of it yet, but I think about this piece often.

1. A 17th Century Joined Table - This table is part of the Chipstone Collection and I got to see it in person at the Milwaukee Museum of Art about a year ago and it is just a great piece. I was captivated in a heartbeat and I must have snapped fifty pictures of it to try and capture it's essence so I could try and replicate it later.

There you have it, and now that I've gotten this little bit of cliche out of my system, I can only sit back and hope it warms up a little bit here in Wisconsin so I can waddle my way back out to the shop and you can read about real sawdust making again.

Ratione et Passionis

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Importance of Shop Routines

Routines are an important part of life. Sometimes they get a bad rep because they are associated with burn out or being "stuck in a rut" but in reality routines are important. They become a practiced way of carrying out the day so that things run smoothly and, very important in the shop, safely.

In the end, I've come to believe that routines are the stepping stones to the stage of work we'd like to call mastery.

I started thinking about this the other morning as I was getting into my shop. his time of year the first thing I do is fire up my little kerosene heater and the fan that circulates the heat around the shop. Then I work my way through a couple little housekeeping things I do every time.

I sweep in the morning, First thing every morning when I come to the shop. It isn't glamorous, and usually it certainly isn't photograph worthy, (though I do like watching the different colors of shavings from different species of wood mingle together) but its a necessity to my work in the shop.

I get more out of sweeping than just a cleaner shop floor. It's a simple way to pass a few minutes and start to get my head in the game. It's an activity that doesn't take a lot of concentration and I can begin to think my way through the order of things I plan to accomplish that day.

I work out of a tool chest during the day, when Chris Schwarz was starting to sell the idea of working out of a tool chest he shot a video titled "How To Use A Tool Chest" and you might think that unloading my bench planes, chisels, mallets and marking tools might be the next step for me, but its not.

I just don't like hauling out everything in the morning and putting it all away at the end of the day. As the day progresses I pull out the tools I need for a task, and when it's time to change tasks, I clean and put away those tools and pull out what's next. It makes my clean up at the end of the day quicker if I'm only cleaning up tools from one task and not the whole day.

One thing I'm not great at is planing my shop days by task. I have a project on the bench and an order of attack to finish it from start to end, but I'm weak on saying things like, "on day four I will dovetail the three drawers and glue them up." For me the process is a little more organic.

The problem with more organic is there are times where I will lose a detail from one day to another. So I will make my own to do list, especially as I approach the ending stages of a piece where all the little details that are juggling in the air have to come together in the right order and when I miss a detail, I tend to say bad words.

That way the next day in the shop, after I finish my sweeping, I can review my list and start making sawdust all over again.

Ratione et Passionis

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SOLD: Stanley No. 45 Plane.

Sorry, this plane has been sold!

FOR SALE: Stanley no. 45 plane.

I picked this one up on eBay a long time ago as I was searching for my prince charming of plow planes. It's a beautiful plane with all the scrolling and over the top decoration. It's taunted me for a long time sitting on the shelf as I refused to find the time to clean it up. In truth I was waiting for the opportunity to find some blades first. When I got it, it only came with one 1/4" beading blade, and that blade is still there.

I'll admit I don't know a whole lot about this plane. I never got it running to really figure it out. To my eyes all the screws, wing-nuts, and knobs on this complicated contraption are present and accounted for. If there's any other questions, or anything you don't see in the pictures, hit me with an email and I'll do my best to answer.

Since it's already a No. 45, that sounds like a good number to me, that's a little less than what I picked it up for but I'd like it to find a home that will take care of it. So I am selling this plane for $45.00 USD plus shipping costs with insurance. It will go to the first person to send an email to and tell me you want it, please mention the plane in your email.

Why am I selling some of my tools off? You can read why in my post HERE

Thanks for looking.

Ratione et Passionis

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What An Amazing Experience!

Several years ago I left my job as a surgical technologist and stepped into the field of academia. I went to work at an area technical college and taught surgical technology, both in the classroom and on the clinical site. As I was leaving the OR, many people repeated an old line, "You know, those who can't do the job, teach the job."

After I had a while to think about those exchanges, I came to realize how much of an asshole thing that is to say. I spent two years teaching a job that I have been successful at before, and once I left teaching and returned to the OR's, I maintained my abilities and mastery. Consequently I left because I found I could make the same salary and work less total hours, thus more time with my wife and children.

Never the less, I just spent three days witnessing that old asshole line be proven wrong, again. Thanks to proximity and friendship I was invited to Mark Harrell's new Bad Axe Tool Works shop to learn some techniques in saw sharpening and assembly. Mark's saws are fantastic and everyone knows that, (If you didn't know that you can read what I wrote about them HERE, and HERE, and HERE and if you don't believe me, you can look almost anywhere else where luddites toil and type)

And Yes Virginia, he can teach saw sharpening too.

I don't want to dive into specifics, this post would read like the Old Testament if I tried to recap two days of Mark's patient instruction, followed by the open house ceremony for his new shop. Instead let me hit the highlights.

1. "New Friends" For me getting to meet a couple of Mark's regular "Bad Axe Commandos" and fellow sawdust swingers and talk shop, wood, and saws for three days was incredible. In addition getting to know the guys who work for Mark in the shop was equally enjoyable. A great group of people to hang out with.

2. "Walk like an Egyptian" is a great mnemonic for keeping track of where you need to drop the file in your saw line.

3. "Brush the file, assess the facet you made, and follow through on that muscle memory" helps you get the actual sharpening correct, No wood block guides, no paper with lines to hypnotize you. Just learning what the tooth should look like, and using your eyes and your file to make it so. It sounds intimidating I know, but like many things, it's simpler than you think, maybe too simple.

4. The "Acme Automatic Saw Filing Machine" is incredibly @#$%ing cool. Mark let me play a while on this beast of a toy and man did I have fun. It makes me want to get one for myself.

If you are sorry you missed a good time. If you're feeling left out in the cold with no saw love to light your candle. If you too want to have a chance to learn to sharpen saws in a Bad Axe way, then despair not. Mark intends to turn this experiment into a regular class, and teach it as often as four times a year. As of right now I believe he's planning the first paid classes for June of this year. Keep an eye on his website Bad Axe Tool Works for future news, or better yet follow him on FaceBook and get updated regularly on what he's up to.

Thank you Mark for a great experience.

Ratione et Passionis

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

SOLD: Auburn Tool Co. Plow Plane & Three Blades

Sorry this plane has been SOLD, 

FOR SALE: Auburn Tool Co. Plow Plane and Three Plane Blades PRICE REDUCED

This is a clean wooden plow plane from the Auburn Tool Co. from Auburn NY. I am interested in changing to the Veritas plow plane so this one is on it's way out. I purchased it at an antique store late last year for $120.00 with one 1/4" plane blade and I have since picked up a couple other blades that fit, another 1/4" and a 1/2" wide.

This plane has dings in the body from it's life span but both screw arms are straight and the setting knobs are functional and reliable. The depth gauge is functional and reliable as well. I am suspicious the plane wedge is a replacement piece, maybe from a different plane because it fits very tight, but this can be remedied if you care to. It is a good user grade plane.

Again it comes with two 1/4" blades and one 1/2" blade, only one of the 1/4" blades (the one that came with the plane) has been sharpened and used by me, they will all require sharpening/honing.

I am selling this plane for SOLD  $120.00 USD  $80.00 USD plus shipping costs. It will go to the first person to send an email to and tell me you want it. (be sure to mention the plane in your email)

Why am I selling this plane, you can read why in my post HERE. Thanks for looking.

Ratione et Passionis

SOLD: Miller Falls No. 90B Smoothing Plane

Thanks for looking, Sorry, this plane has been sold.

FOR SALE: One Miller Falls No. 90B Smoothing Plane.

This one has been cleaned and scrubbed free of the rust coat it had when I picked it up, I used it for a while until a Stanley No. 4 came into my life. It has been a while since I've used it so the blade will need to be sharpened / honed.

Apologies are some pitting from the rust and I find the lever cap release to be stiff. There are other dings from it's lifetime but nothing that I found affected the way it worked. This plane is a fine, user grade plane. I paid 45.00 for this plane when I found it in the wild.

I am selling this plane is $45.00 USD plus shipping costs with optional insurance. It will go to the first person to send an email to and tell me you want it. (be sure to mention the plane in your email)

Why am I selling this plane, you can read why in my post HERE. Thanks for looking.

Ratione et Passionis

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Starting The New Year.

This time of year its standard blogging practice to write a post where one either looks back at the year past or forward to the promises of the future. To be sure 2012 was a very trying year in my neck of the woods between surgeries and housing issues, but I refuse to recap the good, bad, and ugly and burden you with the reading of it.

Towards the end of this last year I had an exciting experience, unfortunately I am sworn to secrecy about it, but the fact that it happened caused me to rethink a lot about what I do and how I do it. It made me think more about where I want to be as I move forward in my sawdust and writing adventures. I want the opportunity to sit at that table more and more often as time goes on.

Hmmm.... a little cryptic huh?
I know.
My apologies, let's move on.

The bottom line is I have two woodworking books trapped in my head and they are struggling to get out. One is a straight forward concept, the other is a little more esoteric and research based. Both need some financial support to get off the ground, there will be new equipment and travel expenses involved and that leaves me with several choices.

I could try and secure a loan, but I have been trying to shed myself of debt lately and gathering more moss is contrary to the more independent life I'm fighting for.

I could start to leverage the traffic I get here by selling myself to a variety of sponsors until I'm wearing a shop apron that looks like a NASCAR entry and every other blog post is a review or announcement of some tool or event. I've considered advertisement here for a long time and to be honest I cannot get my head into it, it's not that I feel as pure about it as Chris Schwarz, but there is an integrity and independence issue with me. Some how all that advertiser/sponsor stuff just doesn't feel right in my gut. I don't want to waste my time and yours selling you someone else's crap stuff.

I could continue like I am and push a little from my bi-weekly paychecks into the game. After all is said and done there just isn't that much left and this process would take me forever, I would lose patience with things and be no farther along in a decade than I am now. This really won't stop along the way, my flesh is all the way into this game, this choice just isn't enough to be realistic.

None of these are perfectly acceptable, instead I'm going for a combination of two other ideas.

First I am going to start to shed the excess tool baggage that's hanging around my neck. Over the next several weeks and maybe through out the year I am going to be posting tools up here on the blog for sale. These will be items I've picked up as I've grown as a woodworker. In some cases I've found that I didn't need the tool or I've found a tool that just works better for me. Some will be rehabbed, some will be as I found them.

In all the cases I will only be asking what I paid for them myself, plus shipping costs. The first person to email me will get the chance to buy the item.

The second part of the plan is simpler yet, for both of us. I ask YOU for help in supporting my dream.

I'm including a new Paypal "Donate" button in this blog post and on the sidebar of the blog and I'm hoping you will see it as a way to give help push me along this path. There are other ways to raise money for projects like this on the internet, but to handle everything here feels like the best way to start getting the ball rolling. As my way of saying thanks I will include the name of everyone who donates on a special dedication page of both books.

I'm looking forward to this new year, I hope you are too. Thank you for your readership and your supporting me in this endeavor.

Ratione et Passionis.