Posts Tagged ‘walke moore tools’
Walke Moore Tools now has distribution of some of our tools through Tools for Working Wood. We’ve been a big fan of these guys for some time, their holdfasts are particularly noteworthy and they’re the only kind I use in my shop.
We’re back from our first Lie-Nielsen event. Being a guest demonstrator was a lot of fun and we were able to meet several enthusiastic woodworkers, many of whom follow us on instagram (@walkemooretools). It’s always nice to put real faces to the virtual identities shared through instagram, so thanks for making the effort to come see us.
In addition to the Lie-Nielsen staff, we were also able to meet several other woodworking professionals for the first time including Matt Kenney (from Fine Woodworking Mag), Christopher Schwarz, and the folks from Tools for Working Wood. Overall it was a great time and if you ever have a chance to attend a Lie-Nielsen event, I encourage you get there.
Whilst browsing the world-wide-web in relation to Walke Moore Tools, I came across a brief article in a language I didn’t recognize. I clicked on it and after google translated the text, I learned some interesting information about WMT I thought I should share.First: We are apparently making planes now. Second: I’m female. Third: We are “Wizards of New York” (I’m okay with that one). Fourth: We make saws and rulers. Fifth: We were upgraded from “Wizards of New York” to “Masters of America” (that might be too much pressure).
In all fairness I’m sure a few things were lost in translation, but I find it interesting that our small company is popping up online around the world after barely two years of being in business (I believe this was written in Montenegro based on the web extension). So thanks again for all the support, it means a lot to us.
For some time we have been considering various ways to clip our winding sticks together for storage purposes. Some traditional designs use a peg-in-hole method where one stick has two pegs protruding out of it and, you guessed it, the other stick has matching holes. Fit the pegs to the holes and the sticks hold each other reasonably well. We weren’t crazy about this design for two reasons: it’s not very attractive (in our opinion) and as the pegs and/or holes wear, their hold becomes less effective. We also considered some classy leather straps or end caps, but the added cost was a deterrent, as was the bulk it would add to an otherwise narrow set of sticks that would typically to be stored in a tool chest or on a shelf.
In the end, we designed our own method of holding the sticks together using rare earth magnets. Each stick gets a pair of magnets set just below the woods surface. The back of the hole is filled with a matching face-grain plug that typically goes unnoticed (unless you’re looking for it of course). The end result is a pair of winding sticks that looks as clean and beautiful as our standard pair, but put the faces together and they hold each other with just the right amount of force. (check out a brief video here)
WMT just returned from an action packed weekend in Winston-Salem, NC, which hosted Woodworking in America for 2014. This was our first show, but thanks to a strong presence from the Instagram woodworking community, it felt like we were old pros. We were located within a booth or two from several popular and/or up and coming tool makers who we’ve known through Instagram for some time, but were able to meet in person for the first time this weekend. (Check out their sites and their instagram profiles: Texas Heritage, Sterling Tool Works, Caleb James Planemaker, Peter Galbert, Scott Meeks Woodworks, & Plate 11 Bench Co)
We had a great time, met countless enthusiastic woodworkers (who were very gracious with their feedback on our tools), and drank some of the local brew (which was delicious). If you didn’t make it this year, try for next year. It’s worth the effort.
See you next year. -WMT
In just a few days WMT will be on the tool floor of Woodworking in America. This is our first public event with a fair amount of preparation leading up to this point, but we’re excited and will be sharing a booth with some other premium tool makers who are also relatively new to the woodworking world. We will be side-by-side with Sterling Tool Works and Texas Heritage Woodworks with several other makers very near by such as Blue Spruce Toolworks, Vesper Tools, Scott Meeks Woodworks, Plate 11 Bench Co. and the list goes on. So if you’re at the show be sure to stop over and say hi. We’ll have some tools available for sale at the show, other new tools and prototypes to try out and pre-order, and all unfilled orders placed at the show will ship for free. Hope to see you there.
Many have asked what Winding Sticks are, how they’re used, and why we are making them. In short, winding sticks locate and exaggerate twist in a board so a woodworker can plane it flat. Hand planes alone do a great job of automatically (with proper technique) flattening a board in its width and (within reason) its length. Twist, however, typically requires a little more feedback, especially on long boards. That’s where winding sticks come in. Place the sticks at either end of a board (inlay facing in on both sticks), then sight over the top of one stick and compare the inlay on the other. If the sticks are parallel the inlay will be evenly exposed at both ends. If more inlay is visible on one side than the other, the sticks are not parallel and twist is present. To demonstrate, here’s a typical example of how I use winding sticks and what beneficial features we’ve incorporated into the sticks we sell.
The board I am flattening is an air-dried piece of cherry, 4′ long and a little over 6″ wide. It came with excessive twist (more than I would expect from a decent lumber dealer), but this board was free from a friend who had a tree come down and milled it into boards. Here’s what I was dealing with:
Notice on that last picture that sticks are showing the near-left-to-far-right corners of the board are higher than the near-right-to-far-left corners. This tells me where to focus my planing efforts. Another point to make is winding sticks not only locate the twist, they exaggerate it. How much? That depends on the length of your sticks and the width of your board. These sticks are 24″ long and the board is about 6″ wide, so the sticks are exaggerating the twist by roughly 4x in this case. If I think there’s 1/2″ height change in the sticks over their 24″ length, I would expect there to be about 1/8″ twist in the actual board across its width. We are offering three standard sizes, 18″, 24″, and 30″. I tend to like sticks that are 2x-4x the width of board I’m working. Less than 2x works (and for wide surfaces like a table you may not have a choice, who really owns 8′ long sticks after all?) you just won’t get the exaggeration effect that makes spotting twist easier. Too much length is usually not a problem (though excessive exaggeration of twist can leave you chasing your tail), but storing and maintaining sticks much over 30″ can be a hassle in itself. So when choosing sticks, think about the typical width of board you work on, multiply by 2x-4x and see where you land. We also offer a couple wood options. This is purely a decision based on looks and what you think will be easier to see in your shop: light wood with dark inlay or dark wood with light inlay.
Moving on, I now begin the planing process. This “process” is obviously a huge area of confusion (especially beginners who think they know nothing) and a huge area of debate (especially for seasoned workers who think they know everything).
Since this post is not about how to plane, I’ll just say you should start with a jack, taking heavy shavings (maybe 0.010″+). Plane until all the rough, off-the-mill marks are gone. Do your best to get things as flat and twist-free as possible before switching tools. The biggest mistake for beginners is switching tools too early. You may feel like you’re making progress faster because you moved to the next tool in the series, but if you weren’t done with the jack, you just added a lot of time to your jointer. When you are done with the jack, move to the jointer for final flattening, checking your progress periodically with your straight-edge and winding sticks. Finish off with a few passes from a smoother to leave a clean surface and you’re done. The video below is a rushed, but entertaining demonstration of the procedure.
So how do you know when your board is truly done? I check for three things. Is the board flat over its length? Is it flat across its width (checking several locations)? Is the twist removed (proven by parallel winding sticks)? When all three of those criteria are met, you have a flat board.
So there you have it, that face is now flat and work can begin on the opposite face and edges. If winding sticks are new to you I hope their value is evident when flattening boards by hand. They can be made as simply or extravagant as you like and any two parallel sticks will do the job. They can be metal, wood, or something else entirely. They can also make a great project for beginners. We sell them because not everyone has the time or interest in making tools, they’d prefer to make furniture with their time. Others have simply never heard of winding sticks before, so whether we’re selling you a pair or simply exposing you to their existence, we hope more woodworkers will add them to their collection.
Have a great day (preferably in your shop) -WMT
Note: depending when you’re reading this, our winding sticks may not be listed on the website for sale. We are shooting to have the website updated between Feb-Mar of 2014. Until then, you can have your name put on the waiting list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org