Am I the only one???

Tom M

Well-known member
Forum activity has been down lately, so I thought I would post this picture with a little background.

My woodworking friend/mentor was visiting this past summer, and we always spend time in the shop talking about tools and techniques. But one day I had a little project I needed to do for work (I could do it in a half hour, less time than the paperwork to get it done in the model shop...) So while I was working away, Bob picked up a block plane and not satisfied with the edge, started to sharpen it. Now I've sharpened many blades, but never really felt confident. Bob had that plane cutting like magic in minutes using only one Arkansas stone that I have (unknown origin or grade.)  After I was done with my work project, we sharpened a couple more plane blades -awesome.

Later in the summer I started making cabinets for our master bathroom. The poplar I was using for the face frames was not working well - moving a lot after cutting, binding while cutting on the table saw, etc. I was constantly going back to my joiner to get a straight edge, until I realized I was not getting a straight edge off the joiner (side story: found root cause and fixed it with simple setting jig:

So I pulled out my Stanley #8. I decided to start by sharpening the blade, and using the technique Bob had shown me I had it cutting thin shavings with a glass-like finish in minutes and. I was able to easily straighten the edges of my face frame members for final sizing.

So now the point of this post: I was planing 3/4" wide x 5 ft. long boards. Straight grain, and rolling beautiful long shavings.  So of course I have to stop and call for my wife to come down and video  the shaving coming off the blade.  And then I had to carefully (slowly) make some shavings that didn't pop out of the plane's throat and twist - so I could take them to work and show them to people and look at them all day.

Am I the only one???


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I cannot remember if if it is in one of James Krenov's books or if I read it elsewhere...
The story of the Japanese carpenter's apprentice who, to show his parents that he was doing well, simply sent home a single, very long shaving.   You are not only not the only one, you are part of a long tradition in the relationship between the human and the tree.  PSP