Glen-Drake’s New Website and Blog

•November 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Glen-Drake’s famous Tite-Mark marking gauges

Glen-Drake Toolworks has just gone live with their excellent new website. Owner Kevin Drake is a discerning and demanding tool designer and manufacturer — and a good friend of mine for many years. Kevin always has a well-considered take on just about any topic, especially in the area of tool use, function, ergonomics and overall design. Unlike many tool manufacturers, Kevin takes the time to question tradition, and rather boldly re-imagines a tool: how it’s used, how it’s held, even going so far as to re-design the hammer from the ground up.

Glen-Drake’s Chisel Hammers

With all he has to offer woodworkers about tools and techniques I’m happy to direct you to his new blog, too. His latest entry on sharpening is spot on – he even graciously references my book, The Perfect Edge (thanks, Kevin!) And be sure to check his instructional YouTube videos. Kevin is extremely knowledgeable about working wood and is an excellent teacher. Plus, he promises more instructional videos to come!

Rob Porcaro on Chosera and Nagura

•October 28, 2014 • 1 Comment

Rob’s Diamond Nagura

I have taken advantage of Rob Porcaro’s expertise and generosity a couple of times (here and here) in the past and do so again today with impunity. Rob has three recent posts on his Heartwood blog that may be of interest to you, the sharpening literati.

Rob’s New Fave: Naniwa Chosera 10,000X

The first is about his love affair with his new Naniwa Chosera finishing stone — and who can blame him? The Chosera stones are well respected and somewhat famous for their excellent “feel”.

Nagura Questions

In his next entry he explores the mysteries of the nagura, a small, soft stone used to dress a waterstone and generate a slurry on the surface. As with so many sharpening tools and techniques the use of the nagura can be controversial (see page 73 of your copy of The Perfect Edge). Rob’s questions and answers go a long way to explain the fine points of final honing using a nagura stone.

Rob’s Diamond Nagura

In Rob’s most recent of the three posts he explores the ins and outs of using a 1200x diamond “stone” as a nagura. I think Rob’s on to something here. Maybe it’s time for Atoma and DMT to pay attention.

Thanks for sharing this with us, Rob. Good work!

Adam’s Hock block plane kit

•September 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Ron Hock:

My new best friend built his HOCK block plane kit. It looks like he did it all himself while his dad was busy with the camera. Great job, Adam! And thanks for all the great photos, Lawrence!

Originally posted on Midnight Woodworking:

Last weekend, Adam bought a block plane kit form Hock Tools, at the Woodworking in America market place. We finally had the time, this weekend, to put it together.

Clamping and drilling the body

Clamping and drilling the body

I tried to let Adam do as much of the work as possible, but I had to help a little. He started by assembling the rear and drilling locating holes. Next he cut the supplied dowel to make the locating pins.

Cutting the dowels

Cutting the dowels

After pinning the rear in place, he repeated the process with the front.

Pinning the back in place

Pinning the back in place

Then he marked the location of the opening in the middle. Once everything was located and marked, the instructions say to take it all apart and apply paste wax to the bottom and the inside surfaces to prevent glue squeeze-out from sticking. We ran into a slight problem getting everything apart at this…

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Trees with Meaning 2

•August 1, 2014 • 4 Comments

Monvrovia Oak

Before relocating to Fort Bragg, Linda and I lived in Monrovia, an older suburb in the foothills east of Los Angeles. We lived on Olive Street but few olive trees did. Instead Olive Street was lined with grand, old California Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia)We lived there for two years during which time we purchased a ten-year old Datsun 510 sedan. Great car, but it lived those ten years in the greater Los Angeles area. Which means the ambient ozone levels (along with hydrocarbons, aldehydes, and oxides of nitrogen) rendered the car’s gaskets and weatherstripping only vaguely rubbery.

We moved to Fort Bragg in October of 1981. Two things happened here that month. One was the propitious opening of James Krenov’s Fine Woodworking Program‘s shop at College of the Redwoods. The other was, the week we got here, it started to rain. And rain. And then it rained some more. Fort Bragg’s normal rainfall is in the 40-inch range. That year we were in for over 80-inches. We weren’t ready for that but we managed. And while the car ran like a trooper through it all, it leaked like a colander. At one point, when you applied the brakes, a small tsunami would start from the back seat floor and break like Makaha over the driver’s shoes.

I discovered that the floor of that car (and others, I’m sure) had rubber drain plugs. I pulled them out, draining the passenger compartment of several gallons of captured precipitation.

That spring I needed the spare tire and discovered that I had overlooked draining the spare tire well. It too was aslosh with several inches of slightly rusty water that had been agitating in there for over six months.

Upon draining that pond I discovered an acorn that had fallen in from the tree in front of our house on Olive Street, 560 miles to the south.

What amazed me then and amazes me still is that the acorn had germinated. Now I’m not one to ignore such a blatant hint so I planted it in gallon pot. Like the redwood from Trees with Meaning 1, it grew. I potted it up. Grew some more. I planted it out along our driveway — yeah, that one in the photo. It’s now about 30-feet tall and 24-inches DBH. The utility company tree crew had to trim it out of their lines recently.

I grew an oak tree from an acorn. How cool is that? How old am I?!

Trees with Meaning 1

•July 31, 2014 • 6 Comments
Sam's Redwood

Sam’s Redwood

When our 26-year old son Sam was in the first grade, the first and second grade classes went on a field trip to the Georgia Pacific lumber mill here in Fort Bragg. Designed primarily for processing the huge logs typical of the Coastal Redwood Sequoia Sempervirens, this mill closed shop some years back, having too few trees left to warrant continued operation.

But twenty years ago the mill was busy with its last gasp, and the staff there was always happy to host the wee bairns for Fire Safety Day. On display for those innocent wide-eyes was a California Department of Forestry helicopter to gawk at, fire trucks, big bulldozers used in fire fighting and, of course, fire fighters galore, many of whom were dads, brother, uncles of some of the kids (small town!)

Add hot dogs and ice cream and you’ve got a pretty good day out of the classroom.

At that time, GP maintained an enormous greenhouse where they grew gazillions of redwoods from seed. The seeds were harvested by helicopter with a big can-thing with grabby fingers — a little like a crab trap for really big crabs. This was lowered by helicopter down over the tops of tall trees and, when lifted back up, would rake off thousands of redwood cones. With precious tall-tree seeds in them.

Those seeds would be planted and nurtured and used in reforesting clear-cut timberland. Or you could buy them for your own property; it was open to the public for retail sales. (A styrofoam “flat” with a hundred one-year seedlings sold for only $40!) Anyway, for Fire Safety Day each kid got a two year seedling to take home.

I used to go along to all the field trips — one of the great perks of self-employment! When Sam and I got home we planted his little redwood in a pot. It got bigger. Then we planted it in the ground where it continued to do so.

Sam’s two-year seedling is now about 45 feet tall and measures 15″ in diameter at “breast height” (which I learned on the field trip is how you measure tree diameter — DBH is Diameter at Breast Height.)

We have several of these “Trees with Meaning” on our three acres of this pretty planet. I’ll write about them from time to time.

How about you? Any trees in your life that deserve recognition?

Popular Woodworking Article about Ejler Hjorth-Westh

•June 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Ejler Hjorth-Westh greets the day

Ejler Hjorth-Westh greets the day    (click here to read an interview Linda did with Ejler in January)

If you subscribe to Sharp & to the Point, the Hock Tools newsletter, you probably know that my wife Linda Rosengarten is editor-in-chief, correspondent on the spot, interviewer, photograph archivist, etc. Linda also wrote an insightful and entertaining profile of furniture-maker, Ejler Hjorth-Westh for the August issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Many of you had a rare opportunity to experience Ejler’s teaching style at last year’s Woodworking in America where he lectured on chair design and construction.

Here's what to look for

Here’s what to look for

Linda did a wonderful job on this very readable article. We’ve received our copy in the mail so all you subscribers should have received yours already or will receive yours soon. The rest of you — head to your local newstand, bookstore or wherever fine magazines are sold to pick up your copy. And think about subscribing — PWW is a great magazine for all woodworkers.

New! Glen-Drake Saw Videos

•June 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Kevin Glen Drake has embarked on a series of very informative promotional videos about how saws work and how to use them. The first two videos are available now with more promised soon. Glen-Drake’s saw designs are carefully considered, bringing new features and functionality to the genre. Plus, fortunately for us, Kevin does an excellent job explaining how his saws solve various problems inherent in traditional saw design and techniques. Well done!

Subscribe to the Glen-Drake YouTube channel to stay informed.


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