Are You a Chisler? {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

Crafts persons and professionals use specialized tools to ply their trade everyday. In many cases the tool names have derived from some activity or the activity may have actually come from the name of the tool. No where is this trait more obvious, it seems, than among woodworkers. As a woodworker works through each day it must be difficult to not think about the way in which so many of his tools are represented in daily conversations or printed material.

One of the more common tools used is the wood chisel. This tool might be used by a rough carpenter who is building concrete forms for a roadway project. Perhaps some large piece of wood needs to be quickly and roughly removed. A few random strokes with a hammer and chisel and the job is done. At the same time the chisel in the hands of a cabinet maker who has properly sharpened the tool will remove paper thin slivers of wood in a very controlled manner. Would these workers be referred to as “chislers”? Not likely.

However every society has it’s fair share of persons who are often referred to as “chislers”. This is not a term of endearment. The common use of the term is to describe someone of unsavory personality. It is aimed at one who would scam you for cash. This person may not be known as a thief but as someone who uses underhanded techniques to scam you out of your cash.

Another tool that finds it way into the woodworkers toolbox from time to time is the hatchet. This is actually a small axe with a short handle similar to a hammer. The hatchet may be used by a person who builds chairs from green wood. It can easily work it’s way through smaller pieces of wood or may be used to sharpen an end of a surveying stake so it can be easily driven into the ground. Are these hatchet users actually “Hatchet Men? Not really.

However the term “Hatchet Man” is believed to have come from early New York Chinamen known as Tongs who fought each other with hatchet like weapons. Later it was used to identify organized crime members who were hired killers. In later years it described a member of an organization who would be charged with doing the dirty jobs such as notifying those who were being fired. “He was a “hatchet man” for the company”.

If you have worked wood for any length of time you have more than likely used an “old saw”. It does not take much imagination to picture this item. Usually a tool that has seen better days. It might be dull and rusty and have cracks in the handle. But others outside of the woodworking trade frequently also make use of “old saws”. An “old saw” is a long used phrase that in many cases has become a cliche. You have most likely used this tool yourself without realizing it. “You get what you pay for”, is in common phrase.

If you have occasion to sharpen that “old saw” you may find yourself thinking of the Sawtooth mountain range in Alaska or Idaho. In the case of this tool one who uses a saw such as those who laboriously sawed through logs with huge hand saws were known as sawyers. This was very difficult work and because of this there may not have ever been any “Old Sawyers”.

A tool worth mentioning even though it is not really a part of the woodworking trade and is not well known unless you are over 60 years of age is the “monkey wrench. This was an early form of adjustable wrench. Evidently those who used this tool were not very careful where they tossed it when finished with it because a very common phrase became known as “Throwing a monkey wrench into the operation”. It means to disrupt or destroy someones program.

The next time you reach for a wood file or other tool as described above, take a moment to reflect on all the ways that tool has been used in speech and print as well as a hand tool.



Source by Chet Hastings

Info About DeWalt 790 Radial Arm Saws {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

A radial arm saw is an old-fashioned woodworking tool that is still seen today. It is essentially a circular saw that is mounted on top of a horizontal arm, and slides back and forth in action. Mostly, radial saws are used for cross-cutting wood and cutting long pieces of stock to size; but many devices have saws that can pivot 90 degrees, making them a popular choice for splitting wood along the grains as well. They can also be adapted to perform traditional stationary woodworking operations, similarly to table saws, miter saws, drum sanders, disc sanders, shapers, and more.

Furthermore, the heads tilt for cutting bevels, while the pivoting arms rotate to cut miters. There is also an important piece called the yoke, which cradles the saw head (or motor) beneath the arm. Because of their versatility and handiness, they were a favored staple to many home woodworkers.

One of the most popular radial arm saw brands is known as DeWalt, and has been around for quite some time. In its prime, it was a top choice for many home woodworking enthusiasts for several decades. Continue reading to learn some interesting facts about DeWalt 790 Radial Arm Saws and some other common brands they manufactured.

DeWalt 790 Radial Arm Saw

The DeWalt 790 was invented over 98 years ago, back in 1923, by an American inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of DeWalt Tool Co. named Raymond DeWalt, who was from Bridgeton, New Jersey. In his day, DeWalt Tool Co. was one of the leading manufacturers of premium radial arm saws. Unfortunately, the introduction of the power miter saw in the 1970’s led the company to cease manufacturing for the US market in 1985. Although there are still several in operation today, these circular arm saws are mostly replaced by miter saws, which are smaller and more precise. On the other hand, they are not obsolete quite yet, as they are highly useful tools in the wood shop. And miter saws can’t make rip cuts.

The DeWalt Wonder Worker was the original radial arm saw, but many more were introduced in the following years. These include:

The DeWalt 1030

The DeWalt 730 10″

The DeWalt 740 10″ PowerShop

The DeWalt 790 12″ Deluxe

Additional Brands:

Craftsman 10″ with LaserTrac

Drawbacks

These outdated circular arm saws are still sold new today, but they do have some drawbacks according to many woodworkers. Not only are they quite expensive, they take up quite a bit of space compared to smaller miter saws. They are also not easy to transport. These factors can certainly sway a buyer’s decision.



Source by Sarahbeth Kluzinski

Woodworking Hammers {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

Regardless of the type, virtually all hammers are similar in construction. This simple tool consists of a handle and head, and depending on the type of handle, one or more wedges to keep the head secured. Wood handles typically have three wedges: one wood and two metals. The wood wedge spreads the sides of the tenon to grip the head, and the metal wedges help distribute the pressure evenly.

Metal handles are often forged along with the head and therefore will never loosen. Composite handles (fiberglass or other plastic composition) are usually secured to the head with high-grade epoxy. Although these have much less chance of loosening compared to a wood handle, they can break free from the head under heavy use.

Claw Hammers

When most folks envision a hammer, they think of a claw hammer. And many believe a claw hammer is a claw hammer, right? Not true. There many different kinds of claws hammers available. For the most part, they can be divided into two types: those with curved claws, and those with straight claws. Curved-claw hammers are by far the most common, and they are particularly adept at removing nails. Straight-claw hammers are more common in construction work, where the straighter claws are commonly used to pry parts apart. What a straight-claw hammer gains in demolition work, it loses in nail-pulling efficiency.

But there’s more to claw hammers than the curve of the claw. The weight and handle will also have a huge impact on how well the hammer performs. Weights range from a delicate 7 ounces up to a beefy 28 ounces; the most common is 16 ounces. Heavier hammers are mostly used in construction by experienced framers, who can drive a 16d nail into a 2-by in two or three strokes. A heavy hammer will drive nails faster, but it will also wear you out faster; these industrial-strength tools are best left to professionals.

Even experienced woodworkers tend to hold a hammer with a weak grip. The most common mistake is to choke up on the handle as if it were a baseball bat. And just as with a baseball bat, this will rob the hammer of any power, greatly reducing its ability to drive a nail. Some might say that this affords better control; but without power, the hammer is useless. It’s better to learn to control the hammer with the proper grip.

Handshake grip

To get the maximum mechanical advantage from a hammer, you need to grip the handle near the end. Place the end of the handle in the meaty part of your palm, and wrap your fingers around the handle. Stay away from a white-knuckle grip, as this will only tire your hand. For less power and a bit more control, position the handle just below the palm, and grip. This takes the hammer out of alignment with your arm and shoulder, but you may find it more comfortable.

Warrington Hammers

I have a couple of different sizes of Warrington hammers in my tool chest. These lighter-weight hammers are ideal for driving in finish nails and small brads. Instead of a claw, a Warrington hammer has a small, wedge-shaped cross peen that makes it especially useful for driving in brads. The cross peen is a real finger-saver when working with short, small brads. Why? Because the cross peen will actually fit between my fingers to start the brad. Once it’s started, I flip the hammer to use the flat face to drive in the brad. Another unique feature of this tool is the faces called “side strikes” on the sides of the hammer that let you drive nails in tight spaces.

Warrington hammers are available in four different weights: 31/2, 6, 10, and 12 ounces. I have a 6- and a 10-ounce hammer, and with these I can comfortably handle most tasks. There’s something odd about these hammers: The end of the cross peen is either ground or cast to come to a point instead of being flat. This actually makes it difficult to start a brad, as the point will glance off the head of the brad. Try filing the point flat to make the tool a lot more usable.

Ball-Peen Hammers

Even though most of the work I do is in wood, I often find use for a ball-peen hammer. A ball-peen hammer is handy when I do need to work with metal – a material I often incorporates into jigs and fixtures. I also use a ball-peen hammer – when I work with the metal hardware I install in many projects. A ball-peen hammer (sometimes called an engineer’s hammer) has a standard flat face on one end and some type of peen on the other.

Japanese Hammers

The first time I picked up a Japanese hammer, I knew I had to have one. Its compact head and sturdy handle gave it balance I’d never found in a Western hammer. The types of Japanese hammers you’ll most likely find useful in your shop are the chisel hammers and the plane-adjusting hammers.

Chisel hammers

Chisel hammers may have one of two head styles: barrel or flat. The flat type are more common and are usually made of high-quality tool steel and then tempered to produce a tough, durable head. Since both faces are identical, the balance is near perfect. Some woodworkers prefer the barrel head-style chisel hammer; they feel that this more-compact design centers the weight closer to the handle, so they have greater control.

These stubby heads are usually tempered so they’re soft on the inside and hard on the inside. The theory is that this type of tempering reduces head “bounce.”

Plane-adjusting hammers

Plane-adjusting hammers can be identified by their thin, slender heads and brightly polished finish. Because of the degree of finish, these hammers are intended for use only on planes to adjust the cutters. Granted, you could use a different hammer for this task, but the face will probably be dinged or dented; these marks will transfer to the wood body of the plane – not a good way to treat a valuable tool.



Source by Ted Willson

How to Build a Cheap Guardrail for Your Driveway {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

Many driveways have an area that require some type of safety guard rail to prevent vehicles from sliding off the driveway in inclement weather or maybe just a driver error. Metal guard rails can be quite expensive and require a pounder (Sterling) truck to set the guardrail posts. With some sweat and a lot of effort you can construct a guardrail for almost no money. Power and telephone companies continually replace their poles on a regular basis. This may be simply an upgrade to a pole to carry new transformers or to raise a section of wires for vehicle traffic and so on.

These companies need to pay to have these old poles disposed of and that’s where you step in. Contact your local power or telephone company and ask where they store the damaged or old poles and tell them you would like to have a few. They will in almost all cases be glad to get rid of them. It saves them money. You of course cannot carry full sized poles so you will need a chain saw with some old worn chains to cut the poles into manageable six foot long sections. Please notice I said old worn chains for your saw. Sharpen them before you cut but be prepared to discard them when your done cutting the poles. Power poles are usually full of hidden nails from your neighbors posting their garage sale signs but are also littered with screws, pins and all kinds of metallic items. Each and every metal piece is death to a chain saw chain. You can or course visually scan for these items before you cut but the concealed ones are the problem. Make sure you wear heavy work gloves when handling these poles as there will be splinters galore and any sharp objects will tend not to cut or stab you as easily. Be careful while you work and always wear eye and ear protection well.

A guardrail will need a post every six or eight feet and of course at any point where the guardrail turns a corner. A straight twenty four foot guardrail with post at six foot centers would need five posts. Also a reminder that power poles are coated with creosote so wear old clothes when handling them. You will also need the longest pieces you can handle for a top rail. A top rail will provide much better protection but just plain posts close enough together can also provide very good protection. With all the pole and rail pieces now at home, lay out the centers of each post. Remember to measure from the starting edge of the first post and not the center line. Intermediate posts are measured to center line and the last post is the far edge away from the first post.

Here’s where you need to decide if you want to dig the holes for the poles yourself or hire someone with a auger truck to do it for you. Your labor is free but very time consuming, the auger truck is quick and easy but costs some cash. If your short on time or help, the auger truck may be a good investment. With the holes dug, set your starting post. Once in the correct position check to assure the post sticks a minimum of two feet above finished grade. Back fill the post tamping the material in place as you go. Now move on to the rest of the posts making sure each one is on the proper center line and height.

A good trick here is if your guardrail is in a straight line, set the first and last posts first. Place a nail in the center of these two posts and string a line between them. You now have a quick guide to both center lines and heights of all the intermediate posts without having to measure each one. Once all the posts are in place let them sit for a few days and hopefully some rainfall will come to further settle the soil around the posts. If you have a water source close by, a good soaking of the back fill soils will hasten the settlement process along nicely. Cleanup around your posts removing all rocks and excess spoils and perhaps toss down some grass seed to restore the area. It is much easier to do this before the top rail is placed. Raking under the rail and climbing back and forth over it wears out really quickly.

Once ready for your top rail, place the top rail alongside the posts on the ground with one end over hanging the first post a few inches. Mark the top tail for both sides of the all the post locations. Once marked, you must carefully notch out a two inch deep slot to receive the post top once the rail is set on top of the posts. Try to be as neat as you can but you are cutting with chainsaw. A half inch wider notch is no big deal. Place the cut top rail onto the posts. I use sixty penny galvanized landscaping spikes to fasten the to rail to the posts. You may want to pre-drill the holes in the top rail and you will need at least a five pound lump hammer. Two spikes in each post should be sufficient. Once all the rail is in place you can either simply let it weather naturally or add a new coat of stain or sealant.



Source by Peter Ackerson