Tidewater Woodworking GuildSite by LittleBizWebs.com President:Fran Foster, Vice President: Greg Guertin, Treasurer:Chris Zuchristian, Secretary: Don Newsome
My workshop is a sanctuary from the Coronavirus!
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What's In The Newsletter?
From the President ...
The world around us has changed during the past two months. We all were used to doing whatever we wanted to, within reason! We were able to meet as a guild and enjoy the comradery and learn new tricks of the trade. We now are faced with trying to figure out what then future holds for us. As you probably have seen and maybe experienced, the Internet is becoming the new connector for people. FaceTime, Zoom, FaceBook, Telemedicine and other mediums for seeing others without having to leave home is quickly becoming the way people get together.
Businesses, churches and others have stopped meeting in groups and are using this technology to conduct business and stay connected.
Since we are being told that social distancing will be the norm for the foreseeable future, we as a guild will have to create new ways to stay connected and carry on the tradition of providing worthwhile instruction and education. All of us need to step up and create the new "Guild" at least until it is safe to meet as in the past. So here is my challenge. Be willing to be a part of the solution. There are people in the guild that are technically astute and can help us through this ever evolving time in our lives. Reach out to any of the officers to offer suggestions. This is your guild. We cannot afford to let this virus take us down. Together, we can make our guild come alive during this time.
Keep It Within the Grain
Walnut Tree Harvest
The guild was blessed back in March with several walnut tree logs being donated to the organization by Bill Croneberger of Virginia Beach. Bill and his wife were doing extensive tree clearing on their property and rather than have the logs become fire wood, he reached out to the guild to see if we wanted them. After looking at the trees several months ago, Paul Garrity said the tree harvesting looked promising and we should proceed. His initial assessment of the logs was that they should produce about 300 board feet of lumber. Rain delayed getting Paul’s saw mill into the back yard of the Croneberger back yard for several weeks but he finally prevailed on March 30, 2020.
Please not that at that time we were still under voluntary stay at home orders from the governor and all total, including Paul, there were only 8 guild members at the harvest. Also, social distancing was mostly practiced except when it came time to move some very heavy logs. Later on that day the governor would place us under stay at home orders.
It was a cool chilly morning when we cut up the logs but the first log went through the saw just after 9:00 AM.
Paul Setting Up The Saw Mill The First Log Going Through The Saw Mill
Many thanks to the guild members who showed up just to help with the hard labor of moving logs and toting walnut slabs. Those 2” and 3” slabs that came out of the saw and were 13’ long were extremely wet and heavy, sometimes requiring 4 people to carry them off of the saw. All in all the harvest came to around 400 board feet of wood.
Guild Members Watching The Sawing Some Of The Walnut Slabs
There is still limited lumber available for sale. There are only 3 8/4 boards left and one has a lot of sapwood in it. There were also some very interesting 4/4 slabs that came off of the crotch of the tree but their drawback is that the tree was rotting in the center and they all have big splits up the center of the board. Currently the board are stacked in my garage and have been painted on the ends to prevent splitting and spacer between each slab to encourage drying. Every morning I wake up to the smell of walnut lumber filling the kitchen. It smells wonderful! If you are interested in some of the lumber please contact me, Gary Stephens, after the stay at home order is lifted.
Keen Kutter Planes
At the last yard sale I attended I picked up an old rusty plane that looked awful but seemed to be structurally sound. I bought it for $5.00 with the intent to restore it since l like restoring old planes, tools and saws. My first impression of the plane was that it was a Stanley Bailey plane but that was all I could tell with all of the rust and gunk covering the surface of the plane. After cleaning up the plane I found the markings “KK” on the plane iron and decided to investigate what the plane was all about. This led me to the Simmons Hardware company of St. Louis, MO.
The Simmons Hardware company was founded by Edward Campbell Simmons of Frederick, MD. In 1846 Edwards moved his family to St. Louis. In 1874 the Simmons Hardware Company was established. Edward successfully developed the Simmons Hardware Company into one of the most extensive corporations of its kind with divisions in Wichita, Sioux City, Ogden, Toledo, New York, Minneapolis and St. Louis. By 1900 their ware house space covered over 1,500,000 square feet. The company’s tool plants were in New Hampshire and its knife plant in New York was the largest in the US. The company's stock consisted of many items, including ammunition, knives, mincers, wires, and even dog collars. They defined their products saying, "If you can't eat it, and it don't pour or fold, its hardware". Their 1909 catalog had over 5,000 pages of hardware products!
Simmons Hardware marketed their line of planes under the Keen Kutter name and over the years had several different tool or plane makers produce planes for them. The Keen Kutter planes were so popular that people asked for them by name. For a few years just after the turn of the century they had Stanley make their planes based on Stanley's Bedrock plane design. These Stanley made planes were denoted as the K series. The K 4 1/2 and K 2 are the hardest to find of this type. These bedrock like planes date from shortly after the turn of the century and have all the same features of early Bedrocks including the bedrock milled frog and adjustment detail.
The earliest “KK” series planes are Bailey style and made by Ohio Tools. The “KK” series also included Ohio Tools Made Transitionals. The “K” series are rebranded Stanley Bedrocks made by the Stanley Tool Company from 1913 and later. The “K” series include Stanley made transitionsals.
Keen Kutter “K” Series Logo Keen Kutter “KK” Series Logo
If you are interested in these planes go to e-bay and do a search on Keen Kutter planes.
On Your Next Visit To The Dentist ….
You might wonder what this has to do with woodworking but your dentist might have some very useful tools in their office that you can use in your shop and they are free! These great tools are the instruments that the dental hygienist uses to pick away the plaque on your teeth while cleaning your teeth. Both my dentist and the dental hygienist know about my passion for woodworking and several years ago they gave me some of the dental picks that they use to clean my teeth but they have outgrown their practical use in the dental office and have been regulated to the throw-a-way box.
These dental picks are great for getting into very tight quarters like scraping glue out of a corner joint or using them with a shop towel to get stain out of tight quarters. I recently restored this old antique clock that had been sitting in my shop for years. After breaking the clock down to its individual parts and sanding the surface I needed help with some of the carvings on the clock face. Master chip carver, Jim Francis, helped me clean out the carvings. To make the carvings pop I used the dental tools to apply stain to each one of the carvings. This saved a lot of clean-up work
Dental tools are also very good at getting small parts out of very tight quarters that you have accidentally dropped. The next time you are at your dentist, ask them if they have any dental picks that they no longer need and are going to throw away.
Glue Clamp Storage Ideas
Our Vice President, Greg Guertin, submitted the following pictures and drawings of his new glue clamp storage.
Greg’s clamp storage was built in his shop. On the other hand, I elected years ago to purchase my glue clamp storage rack. It works extremely well but when it comes time to roll it out of the way it is like pushing a Mac truck sideways. It goes where it wants too! I also end up storing my 6’ glue clamps on the wall just like Greg’s.
Front View Of My Store Bought Rack Rear View Of My Store Bought Rack
Understanding the Condensation in Our Workshops
It is that time of the year again ... pretty cool at night and starting to "warm up" during the day. If we have a cool night and your shop temperatures go up and down with the outdoor temperatures, all that is needed is a southerly warm and humid breeze and you'll have instant condensation on your equipment in your shop. Of course those that are made with some iron in them like your table saw, band saw, and jointer will start to rust! So if you want to avoid this problem, add a little heat to the shop to bring the equipment temperature slightly above the environmental temperature. Condensation cannot form on surfaces that are warmer. There are multiple ways to accomplish this.
Now if you want the more technical side of condensation....
What do condensation and the understanding of humidity have to do with woodworking anyway? Well, if you’ve ever gone out to your workshop and found droplets of moisture all over your equipment’s metal surfaces with rust forming right in front of your eyes, you probably had your day’s events rearranged while gaining control of the “rusting situation” on the workshop equipment.
Yes, water is the most unique substance on the face of the earth. As a matter of fact, it is the only substance that is present on earth as a liquid, as a solid, and as a gas. So, there are water molecules present in the atmosphere all the time. This water vapor is referred to as humidity. Specific humidity is the amount of water that is being held between the air molecules. It is interesting to note that for every 11 degrees increase in Fahrenheit temperature, the capacity of air to hold water vapor doubles! Now, the amount of water vapor compared to the carrying capacity of a gas (air) is called relative humidity.
So, if the relative humidity gets to 100%, the air is saturated for that temperature. Now if your shop equipment is a few degrees cooler than the air temperature that is 100% saturated with water vapor, condensation occurs on the cooler surfaces of your shop equipment. Then, the chemical reaction between the iron in your shop equipment and the oxygen in the water creates iron oxide … or rust.
What can you do? Well, here is where the understanding part comes in. For the high humidity air to “condense” on your shop equipment, the shop equipment must be cooler for the air to release the excess moisture at that cooler temperature. So if you can increase the temperature of your shop equipment above the temperature of the saturated air around it, the water vapor cannot condense on it. Placing a simple 100-watt “drop light” under the equipment (yes it has to be “on”) can raise the temperature enough to preclude condensation. This will always work however it is not always practical. For those of us without shop heaters, there is a simple method that will minimize the effects of condensation. Covering the bare metal surfaces with a coat of wax will not change the laws of physics but it will keep the oxygen in the moisture away from the iron in that band saw table thus minimizing the reaction that causes rust.
So, warmer days are on the way as spring arrives in March each year. This warmer air will have a greater capacity to carry moisture. So now is the time to add a little heat to the shop and rub down those metal surfaces with some quad ought (0000) steel wool and apply a fresh coat of paste wax. You will also note another significant benefit to this waxing application. It will reduce the sliding friction and allows the wood slide over the surfaces much more easily, yielding better control of the work piece. Better control means safer operations and that is always important. Wishing you all the best in maintaining your woodshop tools and equipment.