Hip to be square

I completed a project for Christmas on time, and on budget (free – the cherry I had been saving), however it did not turn out quite like I would have liked. Part of the reason for that is because I skipped a couple of steps, but I also think that my tools are not as finely tuned as they should be.

The square dividers I cut were not square – that’s a big problem. To help correct that, I think I’m going to use some of my Christmas funds to buy a Woodpecker 1281 square. I’ll be able to set my jointer fence, my miter saw, the MFT and other things nice and square. Shortly after, I think I will invest in one of their straightedges as well.

I think I have a chip in my jointer blades, and it’s about time I replace the blades anyway, and set up the jointer as best I can. I haven’t done it since I got it, not in a thorough manner, and I’ve set the tables on the floor a couple of times trying to get the base on. I can’t really tell, but the knives on the planer might need to be flipped already as well. I got a ridge on a couple of pieces I prepped, and it seemed like both machines might have done it.

I am going to be investing in my sharpening this year as well. Scary Sharp has worked decently well, but I’m ready to step up to stones. I will be buying a plate and keep using low-grit paper for getting things flat. But I’ll be using much higher grit stones to put a nice edge on my chisels and plane blades. Speaking of the planes, I might revisit how flat the soles are, and I may upgrade the blades at some point. The more I can do with hand tools, the less I will have to sand. I will make a portable little sharpening station I can store somewhere.

I know I can’t output the kind of work I would like to until I can get some good, basic joints going. This is my main goal for 2015.

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