I don’t know what it is, but every winter between Christmas and Valentines day my shop time always seems to go to almost zero. It’s like a perfect storm of holiday gatherings, office parties, and family visits. This year I embraced the storm and decided to try and knock out several of the little shop improvement projects that always seem to get put off the rest of the year.
After my last big project, I decided it was time to finally address the issues with my carriage stop. Originally I planed to use thumb screws to secure everything, but as I mentioned in the last video of the series, they didn’t provide enough clamping force. Since I was in a hurry to press the stop into service, I used set screws and a bolt instead. While this worked fine, it meant I always had to have an Allen key and wrench close by. So, shorty after Christmas I ordered some adjustable handles and modified them to fit the stop.
My father has had an extensive cooking knife collection for a long time, but for some reason he never purchased any sharpening stones. I thought some Arkansas stones would make an excellent Christmas gift this year, so I ordered him 3, soft, hard, & black. The stones were excellent, but the boxes they came in were less than desirable, so I decided to make some more appropriate ones.
After the honeymoon and vacation it took a little time to get back into the swing of thing, but I’m finally back in the grove and knocking out projects. This project was a quick one to help store & organize my new turning tools.
I’ve been very busy lately with the wedding and everything surrounding it, but I’ve still been able to squeeze in a little shop time here and there. Not wanting to start a large project, I’ve just been practicing with a set of turning tools I purchased. Since I’ve spent a decent amount of time using them, I thought now might be a good time to review them.
Shortly before I finished my bench grinder project, I ordered this Benjamins Best 8 piece set to practice grinding and turning with. I haven’t used HSS turning tools regularly in almost two decades, and the last time I did, I didn’t sharpen them myself (thanks dad). Thus I thought it would be prudent to learn to grind using an $80 set, instead of on individual tools that cost $100+.
The set & it’s case.
The final step to get the Baldor up and running was creating a proper base/stand. For years I’ve used the Harbor Fright model shown below. I’d love to make a stand like Doc made, but I just don’t have the time for that right now, maybe in the fall. Thus, to get by till I have time to make a more proper one, I made some upgrades to the Harbor Fright stand earlier this week.
The first step in the process, was to pick up a nice Douglas Fir 4×4 at the local big box store to make the top. I found a really nice 8 footer at Menard’s, that I cut into 4 pieces and then rough milled to size before laminating them together.