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    Keeping planes slick

    Here's Paul Sellers' method for keeping his planes, saws and chisels slick and lubricated.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npKo1y2e8RI

    It seems like a project but once its built it looks like a good addition to the bench.

    Most every time I am in the shop I am using wooden planes, metal body planes, spokeshaves and chisels. From my first lesson on how to use these tools, I was introduced to the can of paste wax the boss bought for me as my "kick in the a$$ and get to work" gift. Looking around last night at the bench area in the shop I saw 3 cans in various locations. I really like wax and I use it often. My sons shake their heads and tell me I should spray silicone on the tools but that's not for me.

    I don't know if I can make the changeover to oil but the concept is the same and it does improve the performance of the tooling in a way you can feel and its a good feeling. I'm not trying to be overly romantic here but keeping those friction surfaces slick does make things a little better.



    Dedicated toothing plane that gets heavy use on figured veneer-- lots of wax here


    My go to scrub plane for working pine seats. Very fast and light weight.





    Can you see the yellow and red can? Wax stored after a day of cutting dovetails.



    Finishing off 54 of these ribs with a spoke shave is tedious. A little nicer with a sharp blade and a slick shave.




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    Re: Keeping planes slick

    Dan, Paste wax is good and it helps to protect from corrosion, but I use canning wax or candle stubs to keep the plane soles slick. Candles are priced right and they’re easy to apply while planing.

    When did silicone contamination of finishes go away? I never allow the stuff anywhere near wood.

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    Re: Keeping planes slick

    I made a beeswax/turpentine blend that ended up too stiff for finishing wood, but is perfect for slicking up tools. I find it easier to apply evenly than straight wax, and less messy and longer lasting than oil.

    Side note, I like that bench Dan. Are the legs 4x4 posts? I scored a couple free oak slabs and now I need an undercarriage, wondering if 4x4's will work well enough to save the trouble of laminating up 3x5 SYP legs.

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    Re: Keeping planes slick

    For planes and saws is paraffin ok? Picked up some from a canning section in a store and I like it because it's like a bar of soap, when I can remember to use it.

    For tablesaw/planar beds I've been using a can of pastewax. Discovered that if I refresh the planar before each use my problems with snipe almost complete go away.

    For my workbench top I have a beeswax/turp blend that I slather around for glue ups. Gives me a flat surface to glue to and a few whacks with a mallet knocks em loose and it smells great, lol.

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    Re: Keeping planes slick

    Quote Originally Posted by zapdafish View Post
    For planes and saws is paraffin ok?
    That's what I use.

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    Re: Keeping planes slick

    I use paraffin on my planes. I've never heard of using wax on chisels, guess I'll have to try.

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    Re: Keeping planes slick

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyR View Post
    I use paraffin on my planes. I've never heard of using wax on chisels, guess I'll have to try.
    When I was doing mortises 6-7 hours/day in oak beams, my can of wax was right next to me. It works. Unlike the planes it seems to hang a good bit. With timber-framing beams the oak and hemlock was green. Back in 1971 a 2" slick was 100 bucks. That was near a weeks pay.

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    Re: Keeping planes slick

    I've tried the camella oil & it doesn't work as well as parafin wax.

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    Re: Keeping planes slick

    Side note, I like that bench Dan. Are the legs 4x4 posts? I scored a couple free oak slabs and now I need an undercarriage, wondering if 4x4's will work well enough to save the trouble of laminating up 3x5 SYP legs.[/QUOTE]


    Joe here's the background on this bench.

    My youngest son worked in a shop that built bar tops and bench tops with every imaginable wood in the world. As you can imagine the off cut waste was a benefit for him to cobb together some really nice stuff and save it from the dumpster. On a trip to Durham, he filled his wagon with oak, hickory, and some other dry hardwoods. All wood for the undercarriage.

    My son built the bench top with double rows of CNC dog holes bored. The top is just under 3" thick hard wood of several species. I don't have a scale that goes over 250lbs but I do have a 300 plus lb anvil in the shop. With my bench to on end and the anvil on the other end of two steel bars I use a 3" pipe in the middle to make a see-saw with the pipe as the fulcrum. The anvil went up like my grandaughter when I sit on the swing. So I can only guess?? I know its over 300lbs. What's the point? The heavier the better. I can not stress that enough for planing,carving and hand working wood.

    This is my 4th bench and hopefully my last. Your interest in the undercarriage is important and its based largely on what vise set up you will use. I tend to lean toward the traditional European bench for a right hander. I like metal vises with wooden jaws/faces that I can unscrew and resurface or replace without major surgery. I am rough on my face vise and this is where I do 80 percent of my work.





    The legs are various woods laminated carefully with mortise slots in position. On the top of the leg I used a simple bridal joint as you can see. The undercarriage bolts to the top. I do not like the wedge legs and prefer the ridged leg stretcher build as I am thinking I will be here and not moving like I did in the past??


    I put ledgers on the leg stiles to set my shelf boards on. I don't use draws and prefer my planes and things I use often to be right below the bench top. This is all personal stuff and not a "right or wrong" description.



    Cheap bead boards from HD 70 percent off pine works well for holding planes.




    Joining top to the carriage in the photos above and below.








    If you laminate carefully your mortise width and height will be uniform. Lets say the mortise is 7/8w x 4" L. Now I cut my tenon board to the mortise size. It slips in all the mortises like butter. Build up the stretchers top, sides and bottom and you're done.








    Notice the foot pads? I cut those for 1/2 elevation. Once the bench is bolted up and the bench top is attached you can shore up any wiggle and get the entire bench dead plumb if that is important in your work. It is a joy to build and level chairs with a perfectly flat bench top that is plumb level.


    This is where a chairmaker does all of the final alignment work. It takes all of the headscratching out.. well most of it.












    I know that the Gallery is down so I can not refer you to my bench folder. Hopefully all these photos will give you some thoughts. For the others-- sorry to bore you but its something to look at.

    later

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