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JOEL Joel's Blog

Handworks, The Work Magazine Reprint Project Smoother, & Gramercy Tools in Japan


Handworks, The Work Magazine Reprint Project Smoother, & Gramercy Tools in Japan  4In less than two weeks we are off to Amana Iowa and the 2013 Handworks Show. Thanks to Jameel for organizing the event and making it happen. For the first time in a long time we are doing a show and bringing inventory for cash and carry sales. We will have all the Gramercy Tools stuff with us, plus a lot of new things to offer. I'll be at the show and I am looking forward to seeing lots of old friends and making lots of new ones. Click here for details about the show, See you there!

In other news, over a year ago in the Work Magazine Reprint Project number 5, there was a plan for making an iron, or infill smoothing plane. Basically you were supposed to make a pattern, cast the plane and go from there. The article pointed out that a group of people could easily get together, make one set of patterns and get them cast by a local Foundry.

The group of people was the WoodNet hand tool forum, and James Conrad took on the job of making the castings. The local foundry turned out to be in Connecticut, and after some trial and error my set of casting recently showed up. They are beautiful and worth the wait. James deserves a real pat on the back for not just producing nice clean castings, but also thin walled 19th century style castings that are exactly what the doctor ordered. The thin wall, which is hard to do, hard to keep flat, and hard to keep from warping makes for a lighter more elegant plane. In addition to the plane body James also produced a nice cast lever cap and a lever cap screw. There is some, but not a lot, of filing to do, but I think the hardest task will be drilling the pivots on the lever cap.

If you are interested in giving the project a whack, James has set up a company Sturnella Toolworks and is now taking orders for sets of casting at a very reasonable price (we have no connection with them except as a happy customer). Earlier in the year Ron Hock produced a set of single irons for the plane and I think he is planning to make a bunch more for the next group of kit builders.

I am really pleased as punch to see a positive result from the Work Magazine Reprint Project. It's been running for over a year and every week I learn something. The current issue starts off with an article by David Denning, but the article on bricklaying got my attention first. The sculpture article I know will interest a lot of people. The carving article on page 125 hits the spot for me. It's the next level up for carving for me and I will give it whack soon. I'm (slowly) building the screen secretary in issue 10, I've cracked a few tool puzzles that I have had during the year, and we are seeing more and more people find the magazine of use. Download a couple of copies, skim them, there is always at least one article of interest, no matter if your interests are in furniture, photography, machine work, printing, or cycling.

In a final bit of news Gramercy Tools are now stocked in the Nepenthes stores in Japan. If you recall during last winter we had a pop-up store in Manhattan at the flagship store for Nepenthes and they liked it so much they decided to offer our tools in Japan. We are totally honored by all the attention. The stores are located in Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo.
Join the conversation
05/14/2013 David Llewellyn
I'm curious to see how you decide to tap the pivot holes. thanks
05/15/2013 Mr.James
Thanks for keeping me informed friends at TFWW. This alloy special casting has been on my back-burner since 1979,which means I'm very slow to the draw and at last we-all can get the tools we want with out selling the farm. Several bodies are on my June to-do list.
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