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Old 01-27-2010, 01:40 PM
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Default Salute to Fred West

As with many of you, it has been my pleasure to follow Fred's contributions to this forum and to exchange email with him personally. Early this month he sent me a few pictures of some work that he had done and an explanation of why they were significant to him. Basically, they represented making use of hand tools in his work to an extent that he had not done before. I realize that there are many of you for who this is old hat, but as someone who totally misunderstood the role of hand tools when they started, I want to salute Fred for this (and many other things as well). I am attaching the pictures which he sent and his text describing what he did. The text is split because it is from two emails.

My best to all,
Guy

"I am sorry as I realized that I had not answered your question about the pictures. That is the front of a toy box that I making for a woman at my pharmacy. She wanted one for her granddaughter. The front is poplar and the reason I am so pleased with it is that other than the routing everything came from rough stock and was done all by hand. This included two of my Lie-Nielsen saws and all of my Marcou's. ) I have made raised panel doors many, many times with the tablesaw. jointer, planer and router but this was the first time with mostly hand tools. What a difference it has made in my expertise. I messed up one of the rails and was able to take completely rough stock and dimension it within an hour and a half. The rough stock was 6/4 so I was very pleased by being able to dimension it that quickly by hand."

and

" I have attached four pictures of the two rabbets I had to cut on the back of the face. I realized that I could not use a router without possibly breaking the two stiles. With the two panels being proud of the rest of the face I decided the best way to cut these rabbets by hand. I took my Titemark gauge and set the width to the exact thickness of the two pieces of plywood that would be fit into these rabbets. After marking out both of those I then set the depth at half of the thickness of the face or approx. 3/8" and marked that out as well. The next step was to take my 5/8" LN fishtail chisel and slightly cut out some wood heading into the line made by my Titemark. By doing this I was able to open up the line so that it was much easier to run the plane blade on the line. I had such a wonderful time doing this. Again it would have been much easier and faster using a dado blade setup on my tablesaw or using the router prior to putting the face together or even afterward I could have used my MFK700 and routed it out with little chance of breaking the stile. In order to cut the rabbet by hand I tried several different planes ranging from my Marcou VSP 40, Bridge City HP-7, LN Rabbet Block plane and the right handed LN Skew plane. Guy, I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed doing as much as I did by hand. It is not that big a deal except to me. Dan Bowdoin, on our board, does everything by hand and Philip, if he was still building his furniture, did quite a bit by hand as well. However, what this has done has made me enjoy what I am doing even more so then I had and from now on each project will be done more and more by hand."
Attached Thumbnails
salute-fred-west-01_23_10-001.jpg   salute-fred-west-01_23_10-002.jpg   salute-fred-west-01_23_10-003.jpg   salute-fred-west-01_23_10-004.jpg   salute-fred-west-01_12.25_10-001.jpg  

salute-fred-west-01_12.25_10-002.jpg  
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Salute to Fred West

SALUTE!


(I wonder if Fred picked up that old, copper color shoulder plane off ebay!?!)
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Salute to Fred West

Go Fred! It's nice to see someone posting something they've been building. It's been pretty slow here lately.

Even if it was something someone else was making...

I think Fred's favorite part of this build was when he screwed up a stile (or was it a rail?) and made a new one - by hand - lickety split! It's fun that he's acquiring the skills to use those beautiful hand tools well. We should all strive for that.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Salute to Fred West

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Originally Posted by Poto View Post

It's fun that he's acquiring the skills to use those beautiful hand tools well. We should all strive for that.
Fred and I were talking about this just yesterday, the ideal is probably for a new woodworker to become proficient with hand tools and then move on to power tools. I think most of us have done it the other way around.

It is fun to watch Fred and a few others around here completing projects almost enirely by hand. My goal is to acquire enough skill with both power and hand tools so that I can go the best way with whatever job is at hand.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Salute to Fred West

You're right, John - most of use began with power tools, and are learning hand tools. I think that makes some sense: when we began, we had to make things. The woodworking equivalent of changing a lightbulb. It needed to be done fast and accurately, and power tools are the way to go. But now that we've got that out of our systems (a little bit), we can appreciate the nuance of doing some things by hand. Not to mention the beauty of the tools. I think it takes a lot more skill to use a hand tool well than a power tool, and it requires more investment of time and experimentation. That's about where Fred is now. You won't catch him making built-in cabinets with hand tools. Yet...
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Salute to Fred West

It's very difficult to leave my Leigh dovetail jig, FMT and Domino "parked" and proceed with hand tools but oh so much more satisfying and relaxing when no motors are purring (whining?) ...
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:49 AM
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Default Re: Salute to Fred West

Quote:
Originally Posted by bentbeam View Post
As with many of you, it has been my pleasure to follow Fred's contributions to this forum and to exchange email with him personally. Early this month he sent me a few pictures of some work that he had done and an explanation of why they were significant to him. Basically, they represented making use of hand tools in his work to an extent that he had not done before. I realize that there are many of you for who this is old hat, but as someone who totally misunderstood the role of hand tools when they started, I want to salute Fred for this (and many other things as well). I am attaching the pictures which he sent and his text describing what he did. The text is split because it is from two emails.

My best to all,
Guy

"I am sorry as I realized that I had not answered your question about the pictures. That is the front of a toy box that I making for a woman at my pharmacy. She wanted one for her granddaughter. The front is poplar and the reason I am so pleased with it is that other than the routing everything came from rough stock and was done all by hand. This included two of my Lie-Nielsen saws and all of my Marcou's. ) I have made raised panel doors many, many times with the tablesaw. jointer, planer and router but this was the first time with mostly hand tools. What a difference it has made in my expertise. I messed up one of the rails and was able to take completely rough stock and dimension it within an hour and a half. The rough stock was 6/4 so I was very pleased by being able to dimension it that quickly by hand."

and

" I have attached four pictures of the two rabbets I had to cut on the back of the face. I realized that I could not use a router without possibly breaking the two stiles. With the two panels being proud of the rest of the face I decided the best way to cut these rabbets by hand. I took my Titemark gauge and set the width to the exact thickness of the two pieces of plywood that would be fit into these rabbets. After marking out both of those I then set the depth at half of the thickness of the face or approx. 3/8" and marked that out as well. The next step was to take my 5/8" LN fishtail chisel and slightly cut out some wood heading into the line made by my Titemark. By doing this I was able to open up the line so that it was much easier to run the plane blade on the line. I had such a wonderful time doing this. Again it would have been much easier and faster using a dado blade setup on my tablesaw or using the router prior to putting the face together or even afterward I could have used my MFK700 and routed it out with little chance of breaking the stile. In order to cut the rabbet by hand I tried several different planes ranging from my Marcou VSP 40, Bridge City HP-7, LN Rabbet Block plane and the right handed LN Skew plane. Guy, I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed doing as much as I did by hand. It is not that big a deal except to me. Dan Bowdoin, on our board, does everything by hand and Philip, if he was still building his furniture, did quite a bit by hand as well. However, what this has done has made me enjoy what I am doing even more so then I had and from now on each project will be done more and more by hand."
Guy,

Thank you so much even though this is quite embarrassing. It is a silly little tool box that with power tools I could have easily whipped it out. So many of you are far superior to me in hand tool work but I have never enjoyed a project as much as this one simply because of the extensive hand tool work. I have also read "The Joiner and Cabinetmaker" that Chris Schwarz and Joel Moskowitz brought back to the market and then added so much of them to it as well. It is a story of an apprenticed woodworker and the three projects that he has to make entirely by hand. Chris went ahead and also made each project and I am just starting the first project which is called The Packing Box. I now have all of the correct tools and am ready to dive in. This will be my first time using cut nails and clinching them. If there is any interest I will post my progress on it as well.

Guy, thank you again.

Fred
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Kapex, OF2200,Domino,TS 75, Trion PS 300, RO 150, RO 90, ETS 150/5, ETS 150/3, DTS 400, RS 400, LS 130, RS 2, Deltex 93, RAS 115, CT 33, CT 22, CT 26 CT Midi, OF 1400, MFK 700, C 12, LR 32 3, Shinex, MFT/3s, 3 MFT 1080s, WCR 1000, UG-KA-SET, 10 Sysports, 2 Walko's, Marcou's J20A, S20A, M12, S45, S55A, VSP 40, Brese 650-55J, Sauer & Steiner XSNo.4, SS Jointer, A5 Desert Ironwood and #4 Damascus, Knew Concepts 8 inch Fretsaw, Knew Concepts 5 inch Titanium Fretsaw, Hammer K3 48x48, Hammer A3 31
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:51 AM
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Default Re: Salute to Fred West

Quote:
Originally Posted by FredWest View Post
Guy,

Thank you so much even though this is quite embarrassing. It is a silly little tool box that with power tools I could have easily whipped it out. So many of you are far superior to me in hand tool work but I have never enjoyed a project as much as this one simply because of the extensive hand tool work. I have also read "The Joiner and Cabinetmaker" that Chris Schwarz and Joel Moskowitz brought back to the market and then added so much of them to it as well. It is a story of an apprenticed woodworker and the three projects that he has to make entirely by hand. Chris went ahead and also made each project and I am just starting the first project which is called The Packing Box. I now have all of the correct tools and am ready to dive in. This will be my first time using cut nails and clinching them. If there is any interest I will post my progress on it as well.

Guy, thank you again.

Fred
Of course! With pictures!
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:51 AM
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Default Re: Salute to Fred West

Quote:
Originally Posted by RONWEN View Post
SALUTE!


(I wonder if Fred picked up that old, copper color shoulder plane off ebay!?!)
Ron,

I was wandering through a local junkyard and accidentally kicked this. It looked like it might be of interest so I picked it up and wow, it is really, okay.

Fred
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: Salute to Fred West

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poto View Post
Go Fred! It's nice to see someone posting something they've been building. It's been pretty slow here lately.

Even if it was something someone else was making...

I think Fred's favorite part of this build was when he screwed up a stile (or was it a rail?) and made a new one - by hand - lickety split! It's fun that he's acquiring the skills to use those beautiful hand tools well. We should all strive for that.
Pooptydoopty,

That was my favorite part and of course I was slicking my hair back with some spit and then went at it lickety split.

Fred
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Kapex, OF2200,Domino,TS 75, Trion PS 300, RO 150, RO 90, ETS 150/5, ETS 150/3, DTS 400, RS 400, LS 130, RS 2, Deltex 93, RAS 115, CT 33, CT 22, CT 26 CT Midi, OF 1400, MFK 700, C 12, LR 32 3, Shinex, MFT/3s, 3 MFT 1080s, WCR 1000, UG-KA-SET, 10 Sysports, 2 Walko's, Marcou's J20A, S20A, M12, S45, S55A, VSP 40, Brese 650-55J, Sauer & Steiner XSNo.4, SS Jointer, A5 Desert Ironwood and #4 Damascus, Knew Concepts 8 inch Fretsaw, Knew Concepts 5 inch Titanium Fretsaw, Hammer K3 48x48, Hammer A3 31
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