Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thoughts and Lessons About NTS

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here, a little tired from working today along with the gloomy grey weather, but highly energized about tomorrow's to-do list!  What a day, and I'm glad to spend a little of it with you.

It's been a fun week, making this grandfather-style wall clock, especially since I'm learning a lot about hand tools and what I am actually able to accomplish even when learning on the fly.  There is no better experience than trial by fire... unless that fire happens to be anywhere near wood, but just work with me here on it for a moment.

If you've been following this blog, you've probably seen some of the cool tools I've used -- like a saber saw, a jig tabletop workstation, and a vintage electric pad sander.  And while they're fantastic tools, don't get me wrong, there's one tool I've been itching to take for a test-drive... wood chisels.

Well, today I really worked out with them, pushed them and did some great stuff.  I learned why there's a flat side and a beveled side to them (and that the beveled side isn't just to make it fuel-efficient), plus how to etch sides of the areas where you're going to dig out wood, as well as how snugly the wood slabs can fit into the grooved slots.  It was really, really fun and extremely productive.

I don't have any photos today to show off, but there will be at least 2 or 3 tomorrow.  But there is one thing I mentioned yesterday, about the coping saw and why I like it...

While a saber saw is amazing at cutting wood, it's not 100% guaranteed to cut exactly the inside-depth or straightness you might need, especially if you're notching a piece of wood to slide into a slot with a flush front.  But with a coping saw, the cut itself is pretty close to 1/32" wide, and can give you the cleanest, sharpest edges you could hope for, as well as turn on a pin's thickness.  Which makes it a perfect tool to do dovetailing with, either squared or angled.

I did use a saber saw originally when I cut the slabs, but I cleaned up the notches beautifully.  And they work well with the slots in the vertical wall pieces, so I think this will finish by Saturday if I account for staining and varnishing time (which is probably not going to be quick, if the weather doesn't have sun in the next day or so).

By the way, I wanted to remind you that I will be hitting the St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church's Kris Kringle Festival (Booth 73, right across from the main hall) in Belleview, FL on December 1st from 8AM-2PM.  If the response to our various wall clocks and other stuff is positive, we might be hitting Renninger's in Mount Dora, FL sometime around mid-month and once a month after that.  But I will keep you posted on how that goes.  If you need more info or details, email me at and I'll throw it to you.

In the meantime, stay awesome and have a great Happy Hour.  Until next time........

-Nick The Stitch

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