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Offsite Resource Links
This page contains some links to woodworking related sites that I have found useful over the years. To get you started, The Electronic Neanderthal is a great source of old tool related info on the web. It is probably the best jumping off point for those looking for old tools resources. For a variety of old tool info, Tony Seo's The Joiner's Bench is also a nice source. One of the first things you want to do if you work with handtools is get together a good workbench. There are several pages on the web with good info and links to still further sites about woodworking workbenches. Two worth mentioning are: www.workbenchdesign.net and www.holzwerken.de/bauplaene.phtml .
The Oldtools Listserve
I know many of the folks who love oldtools from the internet through the Oldtools listserve, which is still going strong. You can find sign-up information at: http://ruckus.law.cornell.edu/mailman/listinfo/oldtools . I don't post there as much as I used to a dozen years of so ago, but it is one of the best places to go to get a question answered. People on the list have all sorts of handtool knowledge and interest and many are eager to help. When I was active on the list I got to be pretty good friends with several of the members. And, early on the Chicago area members organized a get together which has become the mostly annual Galootapalooza , held each year in the Chicago area in August. If you want to know why it gets the name check out the link, which is hosted by Russ Allen, mentioned in more detail below. You might also look at Wes Groot's information at www.galootapalooza.org who has more information about past events and also makes some nice belt buckles and related items at his forge in Chicago.
Tool Merchant to the Stars
If you want to get in touch with a great all around old tool merchant, contact Patrick Leach at Superior Toolworks. He is a great source of original old tools, and of recently manufactured (by Superior Tool) tools of vintage style and functionality. I myself have one of his marking knives and one of his tilt plates for Emmert Patternmaking Vices to replace the same on vices missing the original plates. (To see one in action follow the link from my projects page to my workbench page.) Patrick's classic Blood and Gore at the Superior tool site is the best all around source of information on Stanley planes on the web. In its original form when posted on the rec.woodworking newsgroup it helped generate the increased internet interest in old tools.
If you have old tools or new tools at some point you have to learn to sharpen them.
ScrapersOne of the tools people have the most trouble with is scrapers and scraper planes, not because it is intrinsically hard, but because people have a lot of wrong ideas and don't understand that scrapers cut in a different way than a normal plane. At one time the go to source for scraper sharpening info on the internet was Ralph Brendler's page. Unfortunately he let it go away. Fortunately, however, the wayback machine has archives of old web pages and you can find Ralph's scraper page archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20050204102324/www.brendlers.net/oldtools/ . Click the "Woodworking" link on the top right.
There's lots on the web about sharpening plane blades. If you go to the archive for the OldTools list you can search it for some of the more heated debates about methods. Some people like old fashioned oil stones, some like water stones, some like the ScarySharp method of using different grits of sandpaper on a plate of glass. Some folks like jigs, others like to do it freehand. The truth is that most all of them work, though some will work better for you than others. I've had success and failures with all of them. The one thing that you need to know is that you can't really get a good edge fresh from a grinder without further honing, though Todd Herli does have a nice electric stropping method that works well for a lot of folks. A Google search or a search of the OldTools list might provide some details, but I don't have a link. Jeff Gorman, who writes for various British magazines also used to post some great info on his website and to the OldTools list. Searching for his posts should also be worth it, though again I don't have a specific link. One link I do have is to Ron Hock, who makes high quality plane blades in California and his site has info on sharpening at www.hocktools.com/Sharpen.htm . He also displays some of his wares on the rest of the site.
Pete Taran has a good primer on sharpening saws at www.vintagesaws.com/library/primer/sharp.html . He's also got some nice saws for sale and lots more info on his other pages that you can find from that one. And Tom Law has an article on saw sharpening at wkfinetools . For years Tom was known for the sharpening he did for people at a very good price. This page shows you how he did it.
Emmert Vise Info
Speaking of Emmerts, Russ Allen has some information on mounting an Emmert Clone on his site at: http://www.nonesuchtools.com/pmkr/emmert101.htm . He's also got lots of other information about woodworking, patternmaking and foundry work on the site. The URL is http://www.nonesuchtools.com . A long long time ago John Gunterman put up some information on his site about mounting Emmerts. The site has not changed in years, but you can still find the remnants at John Gunterman's "Shavings" Homepage . It has the instructions for mounting the later second model Emmert on a workbench, as well as some other nice workbench related stuff. For that matter, there are also some useful photos of an emmert turtleback on a bench on my workbenches page , also reachable from my woodworking page via the link to my projects.
Speaking of sites that may or may not be around anymore, Gary Johns' homepage has been hosted by GeoCities just like my site was until recently. But Yahoo! is now pulling the plug on GeoCities and I'm not sure where Gary's site is going to go. In the meantime you can click the link and see if it still works.
A Fine Millers Falls Resource
Randy Roeder, has created a very nice Millers Falls Homepage, an educational site dedicated to the tools of the Millers Falls company. While not as widely used as Stanley tools, Millers Falls made some nice tools and Randy's site has the best info on those tools that I know of on the web. Miller's Falls eventuall bought out the Goodell Pratt Co. I have a partial reproduction of the Goodell Pratt catalogue on my oldtools page, linked through the sidebar.
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