Fair Woodworking

June 4, 2012

A nearly forgotten tool

Filed under: Favorite tools — fairwoodworking @ 8:00 pm

One of the things I like about having a blog is that it’s a great way to weigh in on a number of topics, but it’s non invasive. I can’t push my thoughts on anyone that doesn’t choose to read it, and anyone that chooses to come back can only blame themselves.

What I really look forward to is going back and reading some of this stuff in five, ten, who knows even twenty years from now. I know I’ll read some stuff, and congratulate myself on what a funny guy I am. More often than not however, I know I’ll cringe in shame, and laugh at what a goofy moron I can be.

I see good times ahead…

But enough about me! I know I was going somewhere when I started, but yet again, I’ve gotten distracted.

When I first started down the “slippery slope”, buying one of every tool was in vogue. Owning more than one of a tool was highly praised, and there seemed to be little concern about really needing the tool, or even knowing how to use it, or even what it was!

Now with the writing of “The Anarchists Tool Chest” things have changed. Today, we look in awe and wonderment to the minimalist woodworker. We shun those that own “nice to have tools”, as we piously use our strictly “must have” tools.

I’ve always been game for a quick ride on a good bandwagon, so I had to find a “nice to have” tool that I could sacrifice to the gods.

As I rooted through my collection, I quickly came upon two planes that suited nicely. The problem is, I really like them. They are just darling little planes, and they fit so nicely in my hands. The knobs are sweet cocobolo upgrades, and before I bought them, I was told by many that I wouldn’t need them every day, but when I do, there is nothing better. That was years ago. I’ve had them handy all this time, blades sharpened and ready to go, but the promised need for them had never materialized.

I never resolved to become a true minimalist, but it’s good to prove to myself that I have the stones to pare down a little.

Yes, these two little guys have got to go.

Around this time, I was still working on my picture frame, and it was time to fit the glass into the frame. The problem was that somehow, the frame was too small for the glass. Just a little bit small, but enough to be a problem.

To solve it, I started trying to grind down the glass, but found that it would take forever. Then I grabbed a sharp chisel to try to widen the space in the frame.

Then I remembered that I still hadn’t gotten rid of my two “Nice To Have” planes.

I would have made a mess with a chisel, but a couple of swipes with the right tool…

The #98, and #99 Side rabbet planes by Lie-Nielsen are so rarely needed, that you will no doubt question your sanity for buying them at some point, but heed my words. When the glass does not fit, they are a need to have tool.

Another great option in side rabbet planes is made by Veritas, at a much lower price!

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