"Modern Hand-Plane Design
and Manufacturing"

a Special Guest Chat with
with Guest Host Chris Schwarz

Tuesday, November 29, 2005
9:30 pm EST

Ellis Good evening everyone and welcome to the WoodCentral Chat Room for this very special guest chat with Tom Lie-Nielsen, planemaker extraordinaire. Our guest host tonight is Chris Schwarz, executive editor of Popular Woodworking magazine. Welcome Chris and Tom.
Chris_Schwarz Thanks Ellis
TLN Hi Ellis
Chris_Schwarz One quick administrative item: When asking or answering a question, could you please begin your statement with the name of the person you are addressing? (i.e. "Chris: I think you are entirely unsuited to run a magazine.") This really helps others follow the threads of conversation. Thanks.
Chris_Schwarz Sorry. I always have to say that.
Chris_Schwarz If you guys are ready....
pam Chris, you mean we're all allowed to talk as usual?
Chris_Schwarz Pam: Of course!
Chris_Schwarz With the Toolworks now almost 25 years old, you've seen a fair amount of the latest woodworking renaissance. Do you really think there is a growing interest in hand work, or does it just seem that way to the people who are so passionate about it?
TLN Chris: I think the interest in hand work is definitely growing. Hope it keeps on.
Chris_Schwarz Tom: I really do wonder at times about the level of interest.
Paul_Kierstead I think the internet has allowed a much larger community to get togather and ... mentor (or distract or ..) each other
TLN Right, Paul. It's much different than when I started out.
Chris_Schwarz Tom: You started out in a shed....
Chris_Schwarz On a blueberry farm, right?
Ellis Paul, I think of it as reinforcing each other ... or informing.
TLN Chris: Yes, on a blueberry farm. Very small shed. Cold.
Chris_Schwarz When you put out your first edge trimming plane, what was the reaction? To the tool. The price?
Stephen_Kirk Blueberry farming to making hand planes. There's gotta be a story in there somewhere.
Paul_in_NJ Tom, when will some of the tools I saw in the Brian Boggs be available?
pam Tom, were they organically grown blueberries?
Neal__San_Jose_ What tool was your first product?
TLN Pam: Organic indeed!
Chris_Schwarz Neal: It was the #95, I think.
TLN Neal: Our first tool was the #95
Stephen_Kirk What is the #95, for those of us rather new types?
Ellis A good start. Old Stanley 95s were in demand in those days.
TLN Chris: In the beginning, quality handtools were a much harder sell than they are today
Chris_Schwarz Stephen: Edge timming plane. Sorry.
Stephen_Kirk Ah, thanks.
Chris_Schwarz I find it interesting that you started with specialty planes. With skew mouths, those seem tricky.
TLN Chris: Yes, I didn't know any better.
Paul_Kierstead TLN: Why the 95? Of all the planes, this one (admittedly the LV ver) seems the weakest in terms of practical performance
Ellis Tom: That's the way great strides are made. :-)
Chris_Schwarz Paul: I kinda like the 95
TLN Paul: While I was at Garrett Wade I met a fellow named Ken Wisner who was making the edge plane and wanted to quit, so I started out with his help.
Neal__San_Jose_ Paul, I find the 95 (I have a Sanley) to be pretty useful.
Paul_Kierstead TLN: So you had a cast to start with?
Chris_Schwarz Paul: The 95 is always an eye-opener for power tool users, too.
Chris_Schwarz Paul: They don't like to sand edges with a pad sander or by hand.
TLN Paul: I had some tooling that Ken had developed, yes.
Neal__San_Jose_ What's your best seller? The Low Angle Block?
Paul_Kierstead Chris: I guess it might be me, but I have always found it difficult to get a really nice edge on long grain with a 95.
Paul_Kierstead Chris: (quality wise)
TLN Neal: Both of our Low Angle Block planes are best sellers.
Chris_Schwarz Paul: Well it won't *straighten* an edge.
MikeW Heck I use the LN 95s nearly every day. Work fine for simply squaring an edge--not jointing
pam And here I thought it was because you needed a 95 to trim blueberry trellises.
Chris_Schwarz Paul: But I can get a good *looking* edge.
Paul_Kierstead Chris: I knew I wrote that wrong: I mean a good finish.
TLN Chris: Yes it can if you clamp a straight edge to the board.
Chris_Schwarz Pam: Organic trellises?
pam Yep.
Neal__San_Jose_ My LAB is definitely my most used plane, so that makes sense.
TLN Pam: Well it is handy for that
Ellis Tom: When you developed your versions of the Stanley/Bailey line, how did you articulate the improvements you would make? Who or what guided your product development?
TLN Neal: The Low Angle planes are great for lots of things
hackel TLN:You'er using A-2 tool steel in your planes, have you looked at more wear resistant alloys suach as A-11 or CPM10V?
TLN Ellis: I wanted to try to minimize the weaknesses and maximize the strengths of the Bailey design, especially with respect to weight, thickness and quality of blade, backlash, and flatness tolerances.
Neal__San_Jose_ What the LAB won't do, Rabbet Block will (I have both yours and an Ohio Tool)
TLN Hackel: Yes I have played with some of those alloys. My main concern is how difficult they are to sharpen. We settled on A2 as a good compromise, but tool steal choices is always a compromise.
Chris_Schwarz Tom: Do you find the weight of a bench plane (metal) to be a strength or a weakness?
Chris_Schwarz Hackel: CPM10V is tough stuff to sharpen with regular shop equipment. At least for me.
TLN Chris: I prefer a heavier tool than the Stanley for sure
MikeW Tom, at the recent woodworker's show in Portland OR, y'all had a panel saw in the booth I played with...any idea when it'll be released?
Chris_Schwarz Tom: And what do you think the weight provides. I'm not baiting (promise). I like to know what people think on this.
Stephen_Kirk Tom, with respect to your customers uses, do you find that many are strictly hand tool only, or do they fall into the "hybrid woodworker" category I've heard about that use power and hand tools.
TLN Mike: Thanks for asking. The answer is as soon as I can get somebody else trained to make more handles. I think I have found her.
MikeW TLN...great, thanks.
Chris_Schwarz MikeW: Thanks for asking my question. I've been annoying Tom about panel saws for too long.
TLN Chris: In a smoothing plane, 5 1/2, or even an 8, I think that the weight helps hold the tool to work and dampens vibrations.
lwilliams Is the panel saw blade tapered?
MikeW You're welcome Chris. But I had ulterior motives. Selfish person I am
TLN Stephen: I think more and more are falling into the hybrid catagory, which is my favorite.
TLN Chris: Keep annoying me. :-)
Chris_Schwarz Tom: No prob.
Tom MikeW, do you really need any more saws? :)
Chris_Schwarz lwilliams: I don't know how easy it would be to make a tapered sawblade.
Stephen_Kirk TLN - that's about where I am. I'll use a table saw and thickness planer, but I hate sanding, so I like planes. Less dust too!
TLN lwilliams: I don't think so. Taper-grinding a handsaw presents some serious challenges for us. My thinking is that with modern precision-rolled steal stock, the need for taper-grind is less than it used to be
Ellis I think A2 is tough to sharpen :-)
Ellis ...having grown up with sweetheart era irons.
Ellis I've been pestering you for years for the larger chisel sizes. Any movement in that direction?
MikeW Personally I like the weight Chris. I believe it helps especially in the exotics. Except the fine smoothing phase. A tissue thin shaving just doesn't require effort
TLN Ellis: Yes we hope to get the larger chisels out in the first half of next year, and quite frankly we've been behind on the regular sizes
MikeW Tom...yes, I need 'em all...Which is why I've decided to. Well, you know.
Chris_Schwarz MikeW: But I do think the weight does dampen vibration (IMHO).
TLN Ellis: Maybe you need some new stones
Ellis TLN: Just kidding. My Shaptons do a decent job. It just takes a lot longer than O-1.
pam So, Tom, you think the taper doesn't help all that much in easing the sawing task?
Tom MikeW, yes, I know and I'm looking forward to hearing how things go for you
MikeW Chris, agreed.
Chris_Schwarz MikeW: In fact, where I don't like weight is at the rough stock phase.
Stephen_Kirk Why not have the weight there Chris, I would think it would help push through the cuts?
Chris_Schwarz MikeW: That's where I like (gasp) wooden stock planes.
TLN Pam: I think taper does help. But I don't think it's essential. The prototype panel saws we are using work very nicely with a reasonable amount of set.
MikeW Chris: See, I do, which is why I converted a 5 1/4 to a scrub. Bubinga and rosewood need the umph.
Chris_Schwarz Stephen: Too much work. I have really wimpy arms I guess.
John_Jesseph Hi Tom, Chris, Ellis, and everyone, thanks for your time. Sorry if I have missed this, just curious if there are any chair-making tools coming up?
Jack_Diemer Are you still involved in designing the new tools?
William_OTC I also am wondering about the shaves in your new Boggs DVD. I couldn't wait for the travisher shave, so I went for the 100 1/2 model maker's plane.
TLN John: We do have some new spokeshaves and a travisher that we have been working on with Brian Boggs They should be out in the first half of next year
gbetit Travisher, like on the Boggs video?
TLN Jack: Yes I am, everyday
Chris_Schwarz Pam: Onthe panel saws, I've used the LN protos at shows and they do cut sweet compared to my tapered Disstons.
TLN William: How do you like the 100 1/2?
pam Tom: Will you have fairly wide kerfs (kerves?)?
ThomD Is LN still in the "garage" digs. That was a nice compact shop for what you were turning out.
TLN gbetit: yes, the one on the video
MikeW TLN. I agree. In small saws, taper is a marketing issue and does not truly affect the saw's performance.
pam Chris: thanks.
William_OTC Thomas, it's just fine. Afraid I can't add much to Chris' review.
TLN Pam: I think about .004" per side will work for both a crosscut and a fine rip. A coarser rip may need a little bit more
Chris_Schwarz William: The 100.5 is a winner. I'm waiting for the other curvatures.
Chris_Schwarz Or did I misspeak?
William_OTC I got it first for backing out planks on a small dinghy I'm restoring. More curvatures!?! I'm in deep trouble, now.
pam Tom, so that's for a total of .008"?
MikeW TLN "A coarser rip may need a little bit more" only in softer wood where there is more fiber springback...
Ellis So you don't advocate burnishing that set as some people do with dovetail saws?
TLN Chris: You did not misspeak
Chris_Schwarz William: Have you tried it for seat blanks?
TLN Pam: .008" max
Chris_Schwarz Tom: Good!
John_Jesseph Chris: don't you think that tool is a bit small for seat blanks??
TLN Chris: We're planning a 1" and 2" side-to-side raidus as well as the 3" we started with
Chris_Schwarz Tom: I am glad to see you getting into chairmaking tools.
William_OTC Chris, no, I don't make that kind of chair, at least not yet. Mine have upholstered slip seats.
Chris_Schwarz John: The only part is has trouble with is at the very back.
Chris_Schwarz John: Of course I like a shallow saddle.
TLN Mike and Ellis: Yes, set definately needs to be adjusted to suit the wood
Chris_Schwarz John: The original curvature of the 100.5 gets back there, however, no problem.
TLN Chris: Anything else you'd like, like a draw knife?
gbetit I think the 100 1/2 is a little on the small side for seats.
Chris_Schwarz Tom: You're baiting me....
Chris_Schwarz Tom: An axe?
Ellis TLN: And panel saws have bigger clearance requirements than dovetail saws.
TLN Chris: Yup
TLN Ellis: For sure
Paul_Kierstead TLN: Saws, saws and some more saws
TLN Chris: are you axing me?
Chris_Schwarz Tom: Axing you nicely.
TLN Chris: Then maybe we will make an axe just for you
Ellis TLN: I've been in the market for a great drawknife for years.
John_Jesseph Chris: the shallow seats can be very comfortable, esp on Welsh chairs. I tend to make them deeper. I agree with Greg Betit, wish there was something a bit beefier plane-wise..
MikeW Master TLN. Thank you for doing the chat. Unfortunately I have 14 saws to go sharpen else I am going to make people unhappy with I bid you good night.
TLN Ellis: I have some ideas about making one that we need to prove out. But the design is very nice...
TLN MikeW: Goodnight, thanks for joining us
Ellis TLN I will be happy to hear your design parameters.
Chris_Schwarz Tom: Well I'm really glad that chirmaking tools are in the works.
Ellis There are schools of thought when it comes to drawknives.
gbetit TLN: Look at the old Kimballs.
TLN Ellis: What's your school of thought?
Chris_Schwarz Tom: Because I feel it's one of the next big things. Well, it really already is.
TLN gbetit: thank you I will
TLN Chris: what other tools do you have in mind for chairmaking?
Ellis I'm more of the carving mentality. Bevels both sides, curvature to the edge, easy to sharpen.
Chris_Schwarz Tom: Tapered reamers.
Chris_Schwarz Tom: You have just the setup to make them. Machine them, that is.
TLN Ellis: Yes. The design I have in mind is not stamped out of a piece of sheet metal.
John_Jesseph I think Chris is right, and there could be a big market for well thought out chair making tools
Tom Chris_S--why is it you feel chairmaking is the next big thing?
Chris_Schwarz Tom>: The class attendance. The sales numbers for chairmaking books we sell.
Jim_Shaver Good Evening All
Tom and by chairmaking are you speaking of post and rung or others?
TLN Chris: Yes. I'll take a look at that. Do you have any nice examples?
Chris_Schwarz TLN: The machined ones made by a machinst... name escapes me... help...
Paul_in_NJ TLN: I can't wait to see the travisher, it is one tool I never see on the old tools market. I think it will be a big seller for you.
Jim_Shaver TLN, I met you at Woodstock in 2003
TLN Chris: right. Name escapes me too now
John_Jesseph fred emhoff
Chris_Schwarz TLN: He's stopped making reamers and the spoon bits. Emhoff, yes.
TLN Paul: Thank you. The one we have is a completely non-traditional, works great. I can send you a picture if you'd like
Chris_Schwarz John: THANKS.
TLN Jim: Yes, i remember
gbetit he makes reamers, not the bits
TLN Chris: I didn't know that, I'll give him a call
John_Jesseph I think that type of reamer with a pilot would be nice
Tom Chris_S, are you familiar with the tools that Ernie Conover used to market? Those were some solid examples of chairmaking tools
Chris_Schwarz gbetit: I thought he also machined spoon bits "properly" ... at least that is what was shown me.
Jim_Shaver Are we talking about the reamers for making Windsor Chairs?
gbetit I've tried the piloted reamers- not a big deal IMO
Jack_Diemer How many Patents does your company have
John_Jesseph I think greg means he quit making them.
lwilliams TLN: How about a Frey brace and gimlet bits?
gbetit Jim, yes chair reamers
Chris_Schwarz Greg: He still makes the reamers? I have an order for one that's two years old...
John_Jesseph Greg: you didn't like those? who made them?
TLN Jack: None. The Stanley designs we work with usually had patents that expired long ago
Jack_Diemer Even on sharpening devices etc.
TLN larry: You know I like that Frey brace and gimlet bits
John_Jesseph I am going to break into larry william's shop and steal his gimlets.
gbetit I believe Fred E. stopped making the spoon bits, but he's still listed on windsor chair resources as making the reamers.
TiO I got a reamer from emhof this fall
Chris_Schwarz Greg: OK, I need to make a call. Thanks.
TLN John: :-)
Jim_Shaver Thanks gbetit...I took a class with John Robinson who makes them up here in Southern Ontario. All his tools were hand tools, he used a great deal of tools from one maker who is retiring
gbetit I bought a piloted reamer from The Windsor Institure.
John_Jesseph greg: was it made by fred?
Chris_Schwarz Greg: My reamer is a Clifton and gives me fits.
gbetit It was exactly the same as Fred Emhoff's with a 9/16 pilot
gbetit Not Fred. Someone they contracted to.
Chris_Schwarz TLN: How about that chamfer plane? Any news?
John_Jesseph I guess the pilot assumes your hole was correct in the first place.
gbetit Chris: a spoon reamer? I never could get one to work
Chris_Schwarz Greg: Same.
TLN Chris: No firm news, but I hope the chamfer plane will be one of our 25th Anniversary tools next year
gbetit Chris: get an emhoff! tremendous revelation.
Chris_Schwarz TLN: Any other special plans for 25 you can share? Reduced insurance premiums?
Chris_Schwarz Greg: Will do.
Paul_Kierstead having just received a Record 044 in the mail today and seeing how well it works, one would think there might be a market for it.
John_Jesseph Chris, I'll lend you one of mine. I have two.
TLN Chris: I am thinking of a 4 1/2 in bronze
Chris_Schwarz TLN: Sweet.
pam Tom, why bronze?
Miami TLN - Is the chamfer going to be a Stanley 72, or something else?
Chris_Schwarz TLN: Paul has a really good point. What's your take on joinery planes?
TLN Pam: I've had some requests and I think it'd make a lovely one-time anniversary tool
Chris_in_MO Glad to hear we are talking planes, I just recieved a bailey #6 from ebay and can't wait to tune er up
Chris_Schwarz TLN: Fillisters.... plows.... dados.
TLN Miami: yes, we are working with the 72. It's a complicated plane, but quite interesting
pam Tom, why not gold? Or silver? What is the metal for a 25th anniversary?
Paul_Kierstead Chris, TLN: Yes please!
John_Jesseph how about luthier's tools??
Jim_Shaver TLN, I was at the woodstock show this year and Rob was featuring rasps from a French company, is this a tool that LN will be selling as part of it's collection in the new year?
Chris_Schwarz Pam: It's silver. Or feathers.
TLN Pam: Silver. Maybe we'll use white bronze :-)
pam Cool.
Chris_Schwarz Jim: I think Rob is carring Aurious.
TLN Jim: Maybe. They are very nice rasps
Jim_Shaver Yes Chris, that was it, they looked awesome, any feedback on quality ?
Chris_Schwarz Jim: I have a few. I would not part with them.
Ellis I love mine.
David_B They're simply the best, Jim. Wish I could afford even more.
William_OTC Jim, I think Joel (Tools for Working Wood) carries the Auriou rasps.
TLN John: I have some ideas for some Luthier's tools. Anything particular you are looking for?
Miami I love the Auriou hand rasps, anyone tried their rotary rasps?
pam OTOH, it would be nice to first cover tools that aren't readily available.
Chris_Schwarz Jim: The handles (mine at least) need work.
Jim_Shaver They worked very wellI tried them on a piece of cherry and maple, clean and nice cuts
Ellis Far better than a 49 or 50. Tom, are you getting into hand-cut rasps?
TLN Pam: suggestions
TLN Ellis: No!
Ellis You wouldn't kid an old pal, right?
John_Jesseph TLN: fine finger planes. purfling cutter. violin clamps.
pam Tom, several suggestions have been made tonight, such as Frey braces, gimlet bits, quality reamers, etc.
Chris_Schwarz Pam: Are you referring to luthier's tools or something else? Missed it...
pam ...the Record small plows..
TLN John: Yes. Have you seen an F-hole cutter?
Jim_Shaver TLN, how extensive is your company's work into looking at the ergonomics of your tools vs making them look like the older tradional tools?
pam Chris, yes, instrument maker tools would be nice.
TLN Pam: Thanks. Actually the Record small plows are at the top of my list
Chris_Schwarz Pam: I think the 043 could be improved in some ways.
Miami TLN - I second the purfling cutter ....
John_Jesseph TLN: yes, that too!
Chris_Schwarz Tom: Can you improve shaving ejection on the 043?
William_OTC TLN, since you now have a source for hophornbeam (ironwood), how about a carver's mallet? I've about given up on finding stock to turn my own.
Chris_Schwarz ITom: I like the way the wooden plows clear.... and they clear onto the bench.
TLN William: We've had a hard time getting stock large enough for a mallet so far, but I would like to do that if we can
pam Chris, the first time I used the Records I was amazed at how fast they cut. I haven't even bought a wooden plow, and you know how much I prefer wooden planes.
gbetit William, Dave Sawyer gave me a hunk-- want enough for a mallet?
Chris_Schwarz Pam: I do really like the 043 and 044s, but both seem to clog easily. Any tips?
Chuck Holy cats! This is the fullest I've ever seen this joint
TLN Chris,
Chris_Schwarz Pam: I've polished parts and shifted my hands....
John_Jesseph TLN: for that matter, GEWA used to sell a nice set of peg shavers for violins, would be another good idea of something that needs improvement
TLN Chris, we will have to figure that part out.
pam Chris, I'll have to pay attention to what I do next time. I haven't had a clogging problem.
William_OTC Greg: Yes!
TLN John, thanks, I will chek GEWA's out
gbetit OK, we'll connect on email.
Chris_Schwarz Pam: Please do, about 3/4 through a drawer side I have to stop to clear the chips.
pam Chris, I don't get chips, but long shavings.
Jim_Shaver I like Shavings
Chris_Schwarz Pam: I also am talking about shvaings. Yes. Thick ones. I use chips generically. I should be more precise.
pam Chris, have you tried plowing backwards.
Chris_Schwarz Pam: I start at the far end of the board -- backwards from a bench plane. Like a moulding plane.
Chris_Schwarz Pam: Is that backwards?
pam Chris, yes.
Miami TLN - Will you be carrying Glen-Drake's new dovetail 'system'? (kerf cutter, feeler gauges, oddly toothed saw, etc.)
Chris_Schwarz Pam: Then I do it backwards. Same with fillisters and dados.
pam Tom, I think another tool that would be handy is an old style saw set, simple handle with slots.
Paul_Kierstead Chris: In my playing with my 044, I also managed to clog it a few times, especially on the short strokes at the beginning
TLN Miami: I worked with his new system and for the present prefer to try to teach people correct handtool techinques. What do you think of it?
Chris_Schwarz Paul: Glad I'm not alone.
TLN Pam: Yes I'd like to make a good saw set. Have you used the kind with slots?
Paul_Kierstead Chris: The 'cap' is angled to eject the shavings, but is quite far from the leading edge of the blade, so the short ones don't seem to get curled out
Miami TLN - I was very impressed with what he could do with it 'straight off the saw' ...
pam Tom, no I haven't, just saw a couple on ebay, thinking about trying one.
Chris_in_MO I am new to hand tools, Does each saw need a special saw set or will one set work on a few different saw?
pam Tom, I do know I dislike the hammer style.
Miami But didn't have enough time with it to see how steep its learning curve would be.
Chris_Schwarz Chris: Generally, one saw set will handle several saws.
Chris_in_MO Good to know thanks Chris
TLN Miami: Yes, it is impressive. But it seems a bit too complicated. I've seen some pretty nice work done without those aids
TLN Pam: let me know if you dod try one please
pam Tom, sure will.
Miami TLN - re Glen-drake 'system,' I wonder if his saw pattern alone might make sense?
Joe_Rogers Type hereTLN: hope this wasn't asked earlier but how long is the lead time on your chisels now
Haakon Tom. I joined the discussion a bit late so this might have been covered. Do you have any plans for introducing a rabbet plane like the 078 or 289. What about a dado plane?
Miami (He uses a saw with teeth only on the center 80% of the blade, for starting cuts smoother.)
TLN Miami: It's very interesting to be sure. It just seems unneccesary, at least the part with the untoothed section to guild the saw
Ellis TLN: There is a lot to be said about variable pitch. I'd be curious about that.
TLN Joe: Still several months, but we're making really good progress and I hope that after Christmas our production will be in full swing. Thank you for asking.
Chris_Schwarz TLN and Ellis: I've been using a variable pitch saw for a few months now.
Chris_Schwarz It's a converted Lie-Nielsen. I think I prefer one size of teeth.
TLN Haakon: I'd very much like to do one or both of those tools. I'm not sure that means next year.
William_OTC Haakon, Tom's 140 works pretty well as a rabbet plane. It has a fence, just no depth stop.
TLN Chris and Ellis: I love variable pitch
Ellis TLN: so there is a possible item on the horizon...
pam All, what is variable pitch?
TLN Chris: I'd like to try a combination rip crosscut
Chris_Schwarz Pam: Small teeth at the toe... larger teeth in the center.
Joe_Rogers TLN: could variable pitch become an option on your saws?
Chris_Schwarz TLN: Well that's something I'd like to see. Have you talked to Carl Bilderback?
TLN Joe: Well, they are not at all easy to make, but I am becoming more interested in them, yes
TLN Chris: No, but I will
Ellis Pam: On a bandsaw blade it means each tooth spacing is random, within limits.
pam Tom, I read somewhere that there wasn't that much difference between ripping and crossing given kiln dried woods.
Ellis I have not seen it on a handsaw.
Chuck Doesn't ring a bell Miami
Chris_Schwarz TLN: Carl is very keen on an old patented tooth configuration. Cuts smooth both ways. Real smooth.
pam Thanks, Ellis, why do you like that? Smoother cuts?
Paul_Kierstead TLN: Oh, a practical question: Last year I bought a set of LN Chisels with Cherry handles (from rob), I see now they are not recommended for striking. Now I could turn some, but is that not for hard striking (i.e. mortising) or even light striking
TLN Pam: I think the difference is less than people generally assume, especially for joinery
Chris_Schwarz Ellis: I could be wrong but the variable pitch was generally a user mod.
gbetit Good night everyone- gotta wake up the chickens tomorrow morning. Thanks TLN! Greg- out
Ellis Pam: It takes the resonance out of a cut and renders it smooth as silk.
Ellis Chris: I'm sure it was.
TLN Paul: Why don't you use them for striking and if you have a problem I will replace them for you
pam Ellis, that's pretty cool.
John_Jesseph TLN speaking of variable pitch, jogged my memory to ask about floats...
Paul_Kierstead TLN: Ok, a deal :) I don't mortise with them or anything anyway, but find control is often better with a mallet instead of trying to push too hard.
TLN John: Thanks for asking, we're working on some and I hope they will be out by the first of the year
William_OTC Variable pitch is a serendipitous result of hand sharpening.
Ellis Pam, TLN: It is great for resawing, ala a Lenox Tri-Master blade, but at hand tool speeds, I'm not sure that resonance is a big issue. I'd like to see what it does for smoothness of cut.
TLN Paul: they are made to be used :-)
Paul_Kierstead And BTW, they are absolutely fantastic chisels. You should make more... lol.
John_Jesseph TLN: any skewed floats? I have some of the standard C and W ones...
TLN William: :-)
Chris_Schwarz John: They are sweet, too. I was allowed to use a proto over the summer. It was astonishing as a shaping tool.
Chris_Schwarz John, I want one for arm bows.
TLN John: I'd like to get the straight ones out first, but yes
Paul_Kierstead TLN: Oddly enough, I had been striking them, only noticed the note recently; When I didn't know, it wasn't a problem.... (as is often the case)
pam Ellis, I'll try for variable pitch on the next bandsaw blade I buy, thanks.
Chris_Schwarz William: Interesting point. Hand cut rasps are supposed to cut smoother because they are slightly random.
Chris_Schwarz William: Its the machine-made ones that seem to "stutter."
John_Jesseph Chris: I use my floats for all sorts of things. Great tools...
pam Chris, but the teeth on a rasp are normally the same height. How about on a hand saw blade?
William_OTC Chris: The difference is for saws it's time domain; for rasps, it's space domain.
Ellis Chris: Sounds like a theme here. Random cutting patterns.
Miami William - for rasps it's both, yes?
Chuck As a manufacturer I can only imagine the product liability insurance. I just learned it yesterday
Chris_Schwarz Pam: I don't know if small irregularities matter too much. I know that big ones do.
William_OTC OK, Chris, you're right. Rasps also have a time domain problem. I never noticed it because I only use hand cut ones. :^)
Chris_Schwarz Ellis: Random cutting patterns sounds like some bad days in my shop.
pam Chris, it doesn't help much on a hand saw if half the teeth don't touch the wood.
Miami Aren't the Nicholson 49 and 50 either hand- or somehow quasi-randomly cut?
Chris_Schwarz Pam: I think that usually most teeth touch the wood even when they're a little off because the point of contact is so small.
William_OTC Miami, yes they are. I figured it was so the next tooth doesn't follow the previous one. Auriou rasps are also.
Chris_Schwarz Pam: It's not like a plane with a sole.
John_Hoffman Chris, good to know since I jammed the teeth of my saw into the metal fence brace tonight.
Chris_in_MO I purchased two old Disstons at an auction the last week and am really happy with them I cant wait to touch up the teeth just a bit
Miami TLN, that's one tool I like a lot that's hard to find new - large size (16-20") rasps and files. The long strokes on wood make some jobs easy.
Chris_Schwarz John: Nice.
pam Chris, the point of contact isn't all that small. Let's say you're sawing and the saw is moving from a low tooth to a high tooth, it would be a jagged action that may even be arm jarring.
TLN Miami: I'll check into it
Joe_Rogers Pam: jointing a saw will fix that
pam Joe, that's true, but then wouldn't you lose some of the variable pitch?
John_Jesseph pam, wouldn't it be variable tooth spacing and gullet depth with the teeth all at the same height?
Paul_Kierstead William: Time and space domain. LOL, first I heard telecom terminology applied to that....
Chris_Schwarz Pam: I think you're right in a coarse tooth configuration. I just haven't had much of a problem with my hand-sharpened saws (my hand, not good)
Ellis Pam, to whatever extent the set was different on those teeth, it could lead to wandering or pulling, but I would think mostly a slightly rougher cut. I've seen and used too many oddly sharpened saws to think that I would really appreciate the difference.
pam John, I don't know.
Chris_Schwarz Tom: I think you can see the people here want saws.
William_OTC Paul, I'm an ex-telecom engineer with CS degree.
Ellis But who knows?
pam Chris, I'm just wondering how the variablity would be manifested.
TLN Chris: Yes and so do you
John_Hoffman Pam: I just got a great saw from Pete Taran but I jointed the teeth before filing them.
Ellis Pam: Tip spacing.
Chuck Do you guys all really do that much sawing by hand ?
John_Jesseph pam, that's what I think of, so all the tips of the teeth are at the same height,
pam John, as I would expect.
pam Ellis, thanks. Is that how the bandsaw blade is variable?
Joe_Rogers Chuck: I do ...It's much more quiet.
John_Hoffman TLN: Don't foget to call if you come this way, I owe you one.
Miami Chuck, I'd say not all of us habitually rip 8-foot boards, but our guest sells hand tools ...
Chris_in_MO I have been learning to hand cut dovetails, and then there is the occasional crosscut but I do the ripping on a table saw
TLN Pam: The variable pitch saw Chris is talking about as the points of the teeth at the same hieght, but starts at about 14 points at the tip and is about 10 points closer to the handle
TLN John, thank you
pam Tom, that's pretty much how Japanese saws are normally made.
TLN Pam: Right and it works very well on a western saw
pam But the hand made ones are also tapered.
Joe_Rogers Chris: :-) no, small house!
pam Tom, I think your straight-handled dovetail saw is just about perfect, works as well or better as my Japanese dozuki.
FrankD Pam some machine made ones are tapered too
TLN Pam: I think we can make a really good saw without a taper
TLN Pam: thank you!
Miami TLN, any questions for your clientele here?
Chris_Schwarz I am curious as to how the Japanese taper their saws.
Chris_Schwarz In thickness, that is.
pam Frank, I didn't know that.
Chris_Schwarz Grainding? Rolling?
TLN Miami: Yes. What do you like best about handtools?
pam Chris, they're tapered via judicious application of a sen, which looks a lot like a long handled scraper.
John_Jesseph chris: scraping??
John_Jesseph pam beat me to it
Chris_Schwarz Fascinating. I did not know that. I should have.
Chuck Like I said, after finding out how much product liability insurance is here in America, I'm surprised anyone makes anything in the US
TLN Chuck: you're right...
pam Yeah, John, but the sen are very special scrapers, thick, tamahagane, etc.
William_OTC TLN: Control! I control them. They do not control me. They help me understand the wood, instead of just forcing it to do what the tool wants.
Chris_Schwarz Tom: I hope we can continute to make things here in the U.S.
Miami TLN, I was first drawn by the visible marks of hand work, and only later decided that shavings beat dust ...
pam Well, the way to make your point about the cost of insurance is to stop buying it.
Chris_Schwarz I'm not a nationalist. But I like making things. And so I think others in this country must like making "things" too.
Ellis William: I'm with you. Also, they leave such beautiful surfaces when properly sharpened.
John_Jesseph william, i am sure you learn a lot more about the wood you are working with when using hand tools, lots of feedback
TLN Chris: that's the $64 question right now, and I hope we can too. We have a lot of people working in our shop and take a great deal of pride in what they do
Chris_in_MO TLN, I have started out on power equipment but have been learning to do more and more hand work as most in these parts aren't into the "hand made" details
John_Hoffman TLN: I like working the wood rather than machining the wood, with a lot of noise and dust if that makes any sense.
TLN John: makes a lot of sense to me
Joe_Rogers TLN: I appreciate the inherent beauty of well executed hand tools.
FrankD machine operator vs woodoworker (the feeling, not the product)
John_Hoffman FrankD: exactly
Ellis TLN: There are demographic trends to watch, and financial concerns. It's laudable that you have managed to put out these tools at a price people are willing to pay and still maintain the level of quality that you have.
Chuck They just sell the stuff Norm, they don't make it
TLN Ellis: Thank you. The demographic trend is a very interesting one. It is not cheap to manufacture in the US
Chris_Schwarz Ellis and TLN: I think that's the only way to go. I think either you have to go for the "best" or aim at the bottom these days.
Ellis At some point, it gets down to the workmanship of risk vs certainty, too. That's a dimension that interests me.
Ellis I would like to think that people are interested in becoming more skilled.
Chris_in_MO I wonder where we would be if Henry Ford thought about all the liability issues when he started mass producing the automobile
TLN Chris: I really wouldn't want to make tools that I wasn't proud of
Ellis That is a great part of the reward of woodworking for me.
John_Jesseph thanks everyone, way past my bed time!!
Joe_Rogers Chris S: a lot of big mfg companys are at the bottom
Miami I would think that, with the baby boomer bulge retiring in the next 15 years, L-N is demographically well placed!
Chris_Schwarz Joe: Agreed. The "middle" is fast disappearing in some segments. Drills.
Chris_Schwarz Miami: True.
Ellis Right, Miami. That is a good topic for the messageboards sometime soon.
Chuck I would like to become more skilled, but the housing industry doesn't allow it; eveything is about being fast now days, not about quality
Ellis How are the workbenches coming along, Tom?
Norman TLN well I have to hand it to you. You sort of began the "wave" or return to hand tools in the past 20 years or so.. There wasn't much variety pre-LN.
TLN Ellis: We have a small group of people working on benches. We've worked out most of the details. We plan to make our own hardware after the first of the year, not being happy with what I have been able to buy. our production will be small, but it's going to be steady. And they are beautiful
Joe_Rogers Chris S,
TLN Norman: Thank you. It's nice to have as many options as we have today.
Chris_Schwarz TLN: And the benches are needed in the market.
Ellis TLN: Great. I'll be looking forward to the production model.
pam Well, Jack is yelling for food, see you guys, it's been fun.
Joe_Rogers Chris S,Ellis, TLN: I would like to thank you guys for supporting this section of the woodworking population. You guys are all great.
Ellis You bet, Pam. See ya.
TLN Ellis:
Chris_Schwarz Pam: Don't be a stranger.
TLN Good night Pam
Al_P. TLN: Is there a Stanley 71 in the near future? Can you talk about what new tools are in the pipeline?
TLN AI_P: Yes, we are working on two router planes, a 5/8 shoulder plane, bullnose planes, and more chisels for starters
Chris_Schwarz TLN: Perhaps crank-neck chisels?
Chris_Schwarz TLN: My list gets soooo long somedays.
Joe_Rogers TLN: Parers
TLN Chris: Not until I get the bigger sizes done
TLN Chris: I know. My list is pretty long too. :-)
Chris_Schwarz TLN: I really like the longer handle you've begun offering. It's almost like a paring chisel in a lot of ways.
William_OTC Joe, Tom figured that one out. He just puts a longer handle on his bench chisels. Instant paring chisel.
Ellis I want a nice big paring slick. Are you working with laminated steels?
Miami <-- Just had a whole set of old Buck crank gouges stolen ...
TLN Joe: Long-bladed paring chisels? Our new long handle makes our current chisels into a rather nice parer
TLN Ellis: Geeze! We are not working with laminated steels at this time, but when it gets into the really big sizes that makes some sense
Ellis TLN: You bet.
Chris_Schwarz Ellis: Then he'll have to hire some Japanese blacksmiths!
Ellis I can see it now...
RobertJ I'm sorry, but I think the long handle is, um, ungainly looking--Sorry Tom. Any chance selling unhandled ones? or do you now?
William_OTC TLN, I agree. Joe, The important thing about a paring chisel is the finger tip control at the end of the handle, not more steel.
Miami TLN - Yes, actually a long-handle is going to be my first foray with your chisels - are they wait-listed too?
TLN Robert: sure, I'll sell you a unhandled chisel. E-mail me privately later
RobertJ OK--thanks!
TLN Miami: I'm afraid so. Delivery should be in January though
Paul_Kierstead here is what I want: You sent a scaled CAD drawing of a blade, you get back a hardened blade of that shape. Bit of automated machining, it should be, that would be me in heaven
TLN Paul: We do make a lot of custom blades. I'd be happy to take a look at what you want
Paul_Kierstead Really? I had no idea.... I will.
William_OTC No, just an observation that we are creatures of habit, and often unwilling to accept that which is not familiar.
RobertJ Both companies have a place. I own tools from both. Both good companies.
Joe_Rogers William OTC: true that!
Chris_Schwarz Hey all, It's late and some us have to convert more people to the dark side tomorrow....
Miami "creatures of habit ... not familiar" ... Now, some are just ugly! Some good ones!
Ellis Amen, William. And the older we get (speaking for myself), the less adventurous we get.
Chris_Schwarz I've got some random-orbit sander user groups coming in in the a.m.....
TLN Chris: Bet you can't wait
Chris_Schwarz Interventions can be fun.
Miami OK, g'night all, thanks TLN ... Clay C in Miami
John_Hoffman Yeah and I have to go to work to make money to buy the No 8
William_OTC Ungainly is in the eye of the beholder. I think it is best that it works well.
Chris_Schwarz I'd like to thank Tom for taking an evening out for us.
TLN and everyone, thank you
Norman Chris..maybe you can stage a power failure to help in the dark side conversion :-)
Chris_in_MO It has been very educational. Thanks, TLN.
Chris_Schwarz Or we can give away candles and breeches with a subscription.
Ellis See ya, Thomas.
FrankD thanks TLC and hosts
Stephen_Kirk Thanks for the time TLN!
Paul_in_NJ TLN: Thanks for making the hard to find tools. Good night everyone.
Paul_Kierstead Thank you, Chris and TLN (and the room!)
Alan_B Thanks for comming by TLN - nice chat
William_OTC Thanks for the time, Thomas
Paul_Kierstead Great time
Ellis Okay, folks. I'm outta here. Thank you for a really wonderful chat.
Norman Thanks TLN and all
Neal__San_Jose_ Thanks TLN
don_m Thanks Chris & TLN
TLN Thank you everyone and good night!