This will be a good day!

Well, today shall prove to be a good day, the weather is pretty mild for Wisconsin this time of year, hovering around the 20 degree mark, and so it's fairly tolerable within the shop. was able to take the handles that I roughed out last night and start to form them into something comfortable and ergonomic. I got an early start even, :)  that's around 11 am here :) and within about an hour and a half I had the open handle done. I longed to straighten the edges by using a belt sander. but there is always set up time when dealing with a piece like this. I opted to stick with the path I already set last night and keep to the hand tools.

I used a large woodwrights rasp, and a couple of smaller profile rasps I picked up a few years ago, to even out the areas where the coping saw did not cut square, Which was actually quite a bit. . . nothing more than a few degrees of tip and I wonder if this is the nature of the tool a bit, or if it's more my technique. I guess we'll see over time but at the moment I'm gonna call it fifty-fifty. Christopher Schwartz over at popular woodworking magazine has been beating on coping saws in his recent blogs and I'm afraid my coping saws are guilty of the same faults he was finding unsatisfactory in his, mostly not being able to place enough tension on the blade to keep it directly in line, they all seem to waiver. For now my take is that's how it's gonna be . . . and sometimes you've just gotta play the course, sand traps, water hazards and all. I'm confident things will improve over time, could be things like a bandsaw have just spoiled me a wee bit. (naw, not possible!)

After rasping everything to rough shapes and curves like I wanted,, I then smoothed over the work with a card scraper and some sandpaper for areas difficult to work the scraper in. One of those small profile rasps has a smoothing file side to it and that worked awesome to sharpen up some of the valleys between curves.

Anyways, today is just a matter of settling in and doing the work, the open handle is done with shaping, ready for the kerf cut to accept the saw and the irvets to hold the sawblade in place. The "D" handle is in the vice right now. I touched on it a bit before deciding to take a break, come inside, eat lunch, warm up, and knock out a post of the progress. Just to finish out a couple "action" pics of me working away, I really like the one using the card scraper, it's neat to see the reflection bounce off the scraper and get captured by the camera.

I will probably post more later today, until then . . .


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