Winding Sticks out of stock

Due to the recent blog post by Chris Schwarz on the Poplar Woodworking web site, there has been a surge in sales of winding sticks and current stock is depleted.  We will be making more, but it could be a couple of months before completion.  Signing up for our newsletter will allow anyone interested to know when they are again in stock as soon as it happens.  Thank you all for your support and patience.

 

Knockdown Roubo Bench Construction Details

With the recent upgrade of the knock down Roubo workbench, there have been requests to learn more about the construction details used.  There are many ways to build a bench, so here was the criteria I needed in this one:

  1. The primary purpose was and is to display our line of tools, and provide a work space for their demonstration.  It needed good work holding ability, and stability was important.  This also meant it had to have enough weight to keep it in place regardless of the type of floor it was setting on.
  2. It needed to be portable enough to fit into a car, along with all the other items traveling along to the shows.
  3.  It needed to be attractive and also have traditional workbench appearance and function.

The Roubo style of bench is my favorite.  My original bench is in this style and has been serving my needs very well.  I was familiar with the construction techniques and felt it would be a simple job to carry this into the knock down bench.

To a large degree, the wood determined the size of the bench.  I had two Honey Locust beams, one 12″ x 12″, and the other 6″ x 12″, both 8′ long, cut into 3″ thick planks.  The top is made of one 12″ and one 6″ plank glued together to make an 18″ wide top.  Leg lengths were cut off these planks so it finished out at a little over 5′ long.

The legs are about 5 1/2″ x 3″, and are as small as I would want to go. Stretchers are resawn, and are about 5 1/2″ x 1 3/8″.  Having a tall stretcher is more is more important than width to prevent wracking.

The bench breaks down into five basic components, plus the shelf.  There are two leg assemblies which consist of one front and one back leg plus stretchers.  One assembly also includes the leg vice.  These each have a top stretcher to add rigidity and allow for securing the top in place.  This top stretcher is not as tall to allow for lag screws to pass through into the top. (I used Spax brand screws.)  The front leg is mortised into the top with 1″ tall x 1″ thick.  I wanted something substantial because the leg vise is exerting pressure against the top and needed to be solid.  Interestingly, I have found that there is no need to screw the top in place; it stays put just with the tenons.

Bench with top removed. Note holes for lag screws.

Tenon on front of leg.

The stretchers are assembled with draw bored pins;  two per tenon on the lower stretcher and one for each top  stretcher.  These were made of white oak.

Stretcher with draw bored pins. Also note the bolt hole counter bored for a 3/8″ bolt.

The long stretchers are assembled with short tenons and bed bolts, purchased from Lee Valley tools.  I modified the bolts by tapping a hole in the end and inserting a machine screw to serve as a handle when assembling.  The holes in the legs are counter bored and also are offset to the inside of the stretchers.  That way. the hole for the barrel nut did not go through the stretcher, and it looks nicer.  However, I did glue a block to the inside of the stretchers to add material since the hole is so close to the edge.  These blocks also serve the purpose of supporting the shelf.

Stretcher joint showing the offset hole and added block on the stretcher.

Assembled leg joint. Note the machine screw that serves as a handle on the barrel nut when assembling the joint.

When I added the Acer-Fererous screw and Benchcrafted criss cross, I could no longer use the bed bolt in the vice leg.  I am going to try it without it and see how it does.  This may need to be rectified in some way in the future, but we will see. Also, the nut was screwed to the leg using two lag screws.

Nut mounted to the back of the vice leg.

All in all, this bench has worked out very well.  I also use it for demonstrations and find it can be used for vigorous work without any trouble.  The top is the heaviest part, and probably weights somewhere around 60 to 70 lbs, which is manageable.  And it is very compact and fast to set up.  I am quite pleased.

Disassembled leg assemblies and stretchers.

 

 

Knockdown Roubo Bench

This small Roubo style work bench was built several years ago for use at woodworking events away from the home shop.  Primarily it is the show bench used to display and demonstrate the Red Rose Reproductions line of tools.  With a top size of 60″ x 18″, it is small enough to be portable, yet big enough for serious work.  It will easily break down into five pieces:  The top, two leg assemblies, and the two long stretchers.  While perfectly adequate for shows, I decided to do some upgrading.  Pictured here is the bench as originally made in front of the larger permanent bench that stays in the shop.

Knock down Roubo bench as originally built.

The first design improvement was to add a wood screw from Acer-Ferrous, a product we sell here on our web site.  This makes it easy for interested parties to actually try out these beautiful screws, and see how well they operate.  The one installed has a walnut hub to match the walnut chop.  Also, the Benchcrafted criss-cross  was added to keep the vice jaw parallel, and make the screw operate more smoothly.  The criss-cross supports the weight of the chop, so there is no binding on the screw.  Because of this addition, a new thicker chop had to be made to accommodate the deep mortise that the criss-cross retracts into.  Fortunately the leg of the bench was big enough for both the criss-cross and the large hole needed to accommodate the screw.  The Acer-Ferrous brass garter was also added to the face of the chop mounted at a 45 degree angle.  The garters function is to attach the chop to the screw so they move in tandem when opening the vice.

New leg vice with Benchcrafted criss-cross and Acer-Ferrous wood screw.

Also added was a shelf, which will be much appreciated during shows to store tools for quick retrieval.  It will help keep the bench top from becoming cluttered during demonstrations.  It was constructed from a single piece of walnut, and simply lays in place atop the cleats on the ends of the long stretchers.  Very quick to set in place.

Shelf set in place.

Another detail was the toothed planing stop from Black Bear Forge.  This will add a traditional work holding technique from the past, and will be welcome during woodworking demonstrations and woodworking classes.  It is a quick and simple way to secure a work piece for hand planing.  The vice jaws were lined with a product from Benchcrafted called crubber.    It is a gasket material made from natural rubber and cork, and looks to be a good method of adding grip and a measure of protection to the work piece being held in the vice.

Planing stop from Black Bear Forge, and jaws lined with crubber from Benchcrafted.

All in all, this looks to be a positive improvement to our show bench.  Be sure to check it out when seeing us at woodworking shows!

Finished bench.

New Spill Planes

A new batch of spill planes is has been completed, and there are several in the store. This run has, in addition to the spalted maple and black cherry, includes several in European Beech.  Each plane has been sharpened and test cut, and is ready to use right out of the box.  Most of these will be going to Handworks next week and will be offered for sale.  I do not have a stand there, but will have them at Sterling Tool Works booth.  I hope to be there myself on Friday, so please stop by to say hi.

Spill planes with test cut spills

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

 

 

 

Side Bead Planes now in Store

We currently have a restock of improved side bead planes in the store.  These are available in bead sizes of 1/8″, 3/16″, and 1/4″.  It should be mentioned that our sizing is a measurement of the bead itself, and that the actual profile, including the quirk, is about 1/32″ wider than the bead size.  Thus the 1/8 is 5/32″ wide, the 3/16 is 7/32″, and the 1/4 is 9/32″.  More information about the side beads can be found here.

From left 1/8″, 3/16″, and 1/4″

Taking Orders for Side Beads

We are currently taking orders for side bead planes, the construction of which are now under way.  These will be offered in three sizes:  1/8″, 3/16″. and 1/4″.  Constructed of quarter sawn American Beech, with tapered O-1 tool steel irons, each plane is sharpened and test cut, and is ready to go right out of the box.  Expected delivery will be approximately the end of April.  Price is $275 each, plus shipping.  If interested, contact us and we will reserve any sizes you wish.  Payment will be due upon completion.  Quantities are limited to 8 planes in each size.

For more information about our side beads, click here.

Heels are stamped with sizes

The Cock Bead Plane

The cock bead plane is used to cut cock beading for drawer surrounds, either stuck onto the case sides of applied to rabbets cut into the drawer fronts.  Often found on period furniture, it provides both a visual detail to the drawer as well as protection to  veneered fronts, since the bead covers the edges of the drawer.  The cock bead differs from a side bead in a couple of ways:  There is no fence or depth stop, and the plane will also cut a fillet next to the bead, which is necessary when the beading is applied to the case itself.  When beading drawer dividers, both edges would receive a bead, and the material  between the beads will also be removed with this plane.  On the case sides, where only the inside edges get the bead,  the fillet will allow room for a conventional bench plane to be used to remove the remaining material on the outside edges.  Also, the iron tends to be bedded at a higher pitch because they are used going both directions and will encounter situations of working against the grain.  The plane we are producing was patterned after an original, is bedded at 60 degrees, and is only 7″ in length, making it extremely light weight and nimble to use.  Quartersawn American Beech is the wood of choice.   The bead is boxed using persimmon cut on a bias to match the bed angle of the iron.

The first run was small to test the market, and, judging by the interest, most likely these will be produced again in the future.  Price is $250.

Currently out of stock.  To learn when the next run will be made, and have first opportunity to reserve a plane, sign up for the Red Rose Reproductions Newsletter.

Below are some pointers for using the cock bead plane.

Cock Bead Plane

a comparison of the 7″ long cock bead plane  with a standard 10″ long 3/16″ side bead plane.

John M. Whelan, in his book The Wooden Plane, Its History Form, and Function,  says this of the cock bead plane:

“It is a molding plane with a semicircular groove in the sole. The iron matches and has horizontal cutting extensions on either side.”

I sharpened the iron in this way, and with some experimenting, I found that it was very difficult, if not impossible, to end up with a bead precisely at the edge of the board. Starting the cut was difficult without any fence or other guide.  The bead tended to either run off the board, or leave a fillet on the outside edge.  Next, the blade  was sharpened so that it faded into the corner of the bead on the blind side, and the horizontal extension on that side was ground back so it could not cut.  Now, to start the cut, the plane is tilted, and the semicircular groove served as a guide.  Shown below is the sequence I have found to cut very well.

First, draw some hash marks across the work piece with a pencil to gauge your progress.  Start the cut with the plane tilted slightly away from the work piece; just enough to allow the groove to act as a fence.  Take a couple of passes at this angle.  Placing your thumb on top of the plane in front of the wedge, with your fingers riding underneath against the stock. gives good control of the plane.

Starting the cut with the plane tilted slightly away from the work piece.  Note the pencil lines to gauge progress.

Once a track is established, gradually bring the plane into the vertical position over the next several passes. Once the plane is vertical, the fillet will be across to the escapement side of the plane.  It is important to hold the plane as perpendicular to the stock so the fillet will be flat.  Also, keep the plane against the outside edge of the stock to ensure the bead does not run off the side.

Over the next several passes, bring the plane into the vertical position.

As the plane progresses, keep an eye on the top of the bead.  There is no depth stop, so use the pencil lines to know when to stop. One they disappear, full depth has been reached.  Often, abbreviated length cuts are necessary to keep the depth even.

 

Full depth has been reached.

Once the first side is completed, flip the stock around and repeat the process on the second side.  This becomes a bit more tricky, as you will need to watch both the bead depth and fillet depth in the center.  Leaning the plane a bit either way can help blend the center.  Most likely, there will be some tracks, which can be removes with a narrow scraper that fits into the space between the beads. In the photo below, both the bead and fillet are close to completion.  Note the pencil line on the bead.

Second side bead nearly complete.

Finished beading.  Note the tracks that should be scraped out with a narrow scraper.

Cutting a bead on 3/16″ stock for applied cock beading is pretty straight forward.  Make a pass with the plane tilted first to one side, then the other, to break the corners.  Then plane straight down until the full profile is formed, keeping the plane pushed against the blind side.

When cutting either profile, keep the shavings from accumulating in the throat of the plane.  Thin narrow shavings have little beam strength, and can clog the plane.  Pull them clear after each pass.

The cock bead plane, with sampled of both applied (left) and stuck beading. (right)

 


Newsletter now available

As a means to inform customers of upcoming products and offers, we are now offering the Red Rose Reproductions Newsletter.  This newsletter will be an occasional occurrence, only issued when there is news about soon to be offered tools, and will not clutter your inbox with junk.  It is designed to give you, a valued subscriber, a first chance to reserve a copy of sometimes limited tools.  Sign up now to be one of the first to know what is coming!

Below is a screenshot of part of the first newsletter we published.


Acer Ferrous Toolworks Garters

Paul Peters, of Acer Ferrous Toolworks, has developed additional components for the leg vice wood screw.   The garter, which is used to attach the wood screw to the chop (movable jaw) of the vice, is now available.  This allows the chop to move in conjunction with the hub of the screw when opening the vice.  There is no need to pull the chop open by hand.  The garters are 4″ square, and are split in half to allow for installation around the screw.  Thickness is 3/8″ for the aluminum and 1/4″ for the brass, and will slip into the grove at the base of the screw hub. (The groove is sized for the proper garter.)  Four countersunk screw holes, and supplied screws, are all that is needed for installation.  The garter can be oriented either  square or in a diamond position, as shown.

Acer Ferrous wood vice screw with brass garter and prototype handle.

Garters is available in either solid brass, which can be purchased here, or in aluminum with a black anodized finish, available here.  Both come with matching screws.

Brass Garter with brass screws.

 

Aluminum garter with black anodize finish and screws.

 

 

Spill Planes again in the Store

The current run of spill planes is now available for purchase in our store.  There are three wood options;  American Beech, Black Cherry, and Maple, with some light figure and/or spalting.  All are priced at $135, plus shipping. For more details about the spill plane, click here.

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Spill planes in Beech, Cherry, and Spalted Maple

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Spill Plane in black cherry.

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Spill Plane in American Beech

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Spill Plane in Spalted Maple