Monthly Archives: November 2017

New product: “Milkman’s Bench” screws

In the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking, Chris Schwarz wrote an article about a portable workbench dubbed the “Milkman’s bench.”  It is designed to clamp to any solid surface and provides a full range of clamping options for most tasks in a compact package.  I built several following the plans with no changes other than adding jaw liner to the tail vice for plane making and found them to be perfectly suited for holding the plane billets in any position needed.  It’s compact size makes it easy to store and transport to demonstrations too. Chris wrote about his experience using this bench here.

It is a relatively easy project to make except for the wooden screws.  However, that just got a lot easier with the introduction of our new Acer-Ferrous wood screw set designed specifically for use on the Milkman’s bench.  The set includes two screws used in the twin screw area along the side of the bench and a single screw with a garter slot for use in the wagon vice.  These screws are made of hard maple and the threaded portion is 1 1/4″ diameter with 5 threads per inch.  The handles are octagonal in shape and provide plenty of grip for tightening. Width across the flats on the handles is 1 1/2″

The set of three screws is available for $85.  They can be purchased here.

Builders will still need to thread the holes for the screws but that is easily accomplished  using a 1 1/4″-5 tap available from the Beall Tool Company.

 

 

 

Screws shown with completed bench.

 

 

Complete bench with Acer-Ferrous screws installed.

Special Black Friday Offer!

Special Offer!.  From now until Nov 30th, we are offering shipping of $5 for tool orders over $100, and free shipping for orders over $150. Simply email us with your order request, and we will sent a PayPal invoice with the reduced shipping costs.  The invoice can be paid using any credit card. Beech billets excluded. Continental US only.   International sales shipping will be reduced $10 on orders over $150.

Seen below are a few of the tools available for this special offer.

Clockwise from lower left: American beech spill plane, bench hooks, pair of #8 hollow and rounds, 1/4″ side bead plane, spalted beech spill plane, and winding sticks.

Also available but not shown are the Acer-Ferrous Toolworks line of products, and our tapered irons and cap irons.

 

Restock of Bench Hooks & Spill Planes

Bench hooks are back in stock with both right and left hand available.  Made of soft maple, bench hooks are used for small sawing or paring jobs at the bench with no need for clamps.  More information about bench hooks can be found here.  Purchase here for $50 a pair

Also, we now have a variety of spill planes with different species and figure.  Sill planes are a tool lovers favorite and can rapidly produce large quantities of tapered wood shavings called spills that were used in colonial days to transfer a flame from the hearth to a candle or pipe. Moe about these unique planes can be found here.  In the store for purchase here.  Price ranges from $135 to $145, depending on wood species.

Bench hooks, foreground, in both left and right hand, and spill planes in a variety of woods.

Right and left hand bench hooks.

Cap Irons now available.

We are pleased to now offer cap irons to our line of tools.  Cap irons, or chip breakers, when used in conjunction with a cutting iron, are meant to control tear out in double iron planes. By setting the leading edge very close to the cutting edge, the shaving is forced into a tight curl that breaks the fibers before they can lift in front of the cutter, which is the primary cause of tear out.

We worked with contemporary double iron plane maker Steve Voigt, of Voigt Planes, when developing these cap irons.  Steve has done extensive research in double irons planes and has numerous articles and links on his site about the theory and use of cap irons.

Our cap irons are made of mild steel, and are not hardened.  The front has been formed with a bend to ensure tight contact against the cutting iron.  a smooth radius is machined onto the top surface and the tang is machined with decorative bevels similar to our tapered irons.  A threaded hole and screw are included.

Please note that a bevel will need to be honed onto the leading edge of these cap irons.  The leading edge is as machined; it has not been deburred.  We recommend the bevel to be .020″-.050″ wide, and at an angle of 50° or so.  This bevel is critical for the cap iron to work properly; too small and it won’t work. and to large and the plane will clog.  It is also critical that the leading edge be thoroughly deburred using medium and fine stones, followed by a strop.  Because the steel is soft, this burr can be persistent and will take some back and forth to remove it entirely. Keep the edge sharp during this process so shavings cannot jam under it.

Once the edge is dressed, it should not need any maintenance for years, if ever.  When planing resinous woods, resin can build up on the cap iron.  Simply remove with a rag dampened with mineral spirits or acetone.

Prices vary from $30 to $36.  They can be purchased here.

Three sizes available:  From left, 2 1/2″, 2″, and 1 3/4″

 

 

Leading edge showing bend to ensure good contact with the cutting iron.

 

Smooth radius machined on front. A bevel will need to be honed across the front.

Cap iron with screw, which is included.

 

Cap iron shown assembled with included screw to a tapered iron, sold separately,

Detail of included screw.