Friday, 12 March 2010

Scots Are Frugal,Not Mean

At first glance this might seem like just another ordinary bench grinder.Well,that is exactly what it is.In fact,this particular grinder is considerably simpler in structure than the machine I pulled out of the box.
Both tool rests & cowls have been removed,the coarse left hand wheel has been replaced by the finer right hand & the right hand spindle is left bare for attaching various accessories,faceplates for turning,sanding discs & my version of a jewellers texturing or Fibral mop.

It was reading the latest blog entry of Nick Carter on making your own abrasive buffing wheels for the Dremel that led me to publishing this post about my grinder & specifically my abrasive wheels.

Since I started working silver in earnest I have always prefered a matt or brushed finish,for me the form of an object can be lost if the surface is too shiny,you can't see the true shape.Not always but most of the time.I found that the quickest & easiest way to achieve this finish was to use one of these...Fantastic piece of kit,readily available,works on wood,metal,bone,only £4-6 each & fits directly onto the spindle of the grinder.
But wait....

5 years or so ago whilst enjoying an excursion to I discovered packs of 10 of the same material in rectangular sheet form,225mm x 145mm for the bargain price of £2.50.I knew all I needed was to make a simple mandrel to extend the M12 threaded nose of my grinder & for £7.50,the price of 3 packs,I would have 60 individual Fibral-like discs that could be sandwiched together to create 10 complete mops!

Ludicrous bargain!!!

Since then I have discovered the Chinese supermarket round the corner sells the exact same abrasive pads for an even more pocket friendly £2!!!


I'll finish this post with a few images of me renewing a worn out mop.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Shoulder Plane

After much ado here is my Boxwood,Blackwood,Mopane & Lignum Vitae shoulder plane.

I intended to make this plane 15mm wide but a moments distraction on the sander resulted in a width of 14.6mm,not a huge deal but enough to unleash some spectacularly colourful language & a small but steady stream of self flagellation.

She is constructed with slabs of Boxwood over a Mopane core with the Lignum Vitae sole rebated down the center to accept the Mopane & the Blackwood border is dovetailed into the ends.The blade is 3mm 0-1 tool steel honed to a single bevel of 25 degrees & the bed is angled at 28 degrees.

Like many of my projects she was started over a year ago,possibly close to 2,but I was put off completing her by how flexible she was once I had opened her mouth up.

However,I saw her sitting on the shelf this morning & thought,

"Hey,let's see if I can get her to make shavings..."

A couple of hours later,a new blade,cut,ground & heat treated,a wedge out of Lignum,cut & fitted & lo & behold the Mahogany shavings surrounding her are evidence of her worthiness.

Her blade is ground a whisper wider than her body,about 1/5th of a millimeter & she is 61mm high & 107.5mm long.

Although I'm satisfied with her performance I will be making subsequent planes with slightly smaller cut outs in their bodies to reduce some of that flexibility.

I've called her Bethsheby after one of Karens ancestors & one of the kittens we had to return because of my accursed alergies.