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From Fine Woodworking's Tools & Shops, Issue #181

Doug Stowe

The free-flowing, irregularly shaped top on Stowe's planing bench (20-3/4 in. deep by 67 in. long by 37-/4 in. tall) was salvaged from an 8/4 walnut plank resting in his barn. Choked with wandering pith and pocked with checks and decay, the plank was unsuitable for fine furniture, so Stowe cut away the defects and retained the irregular edges created in that process. The gaps in the assembled top are handy spots to locate clamps. After applying the finish (linseed oil, Danish oil, and paste wax), Stowe and his wife christened the bench with a candlelight dinner, complete with fine wine, fancy tableware, and good friends.

Michael Guy

Guy made a version of this heirloom marking gauge for each of his children. What's amazing is that he crafted each one in about four hours. The 3-in.-dia. body is made from scraps of cocobolo and has wear strips made from bronze tubing. The scale is dovetailed into the bronze beam, and the cutters are made from high-speed steel. The finish is Watco Danish Oil and beeswax.

John E. DeGirolamo

In making this left-handed veneer saw, DeGirolamo's first obstacle was the blade design. A standard veneer-saw blade has two holes, countersunk on one side, to accommodate the screws that secure it to the handle. To use these holes yet make the blade suitable for his lefty saw, he had to recut the teeth in the opposite direction -- a straightforward but laborious task. For a comfortable grip, he made the hard-maple handle 1-1/4 in. dia. and carved an indentation for his index finger. The saw, which is 9 in. long, is finished with lacquer.

Brian Buckner

With this marking gauge and infill miter plane, Buckner demonstrates his mastery of both wood- and metalworking skills. Several years ago, while browsing the tables at a local flea market, he came across a marking gauge with a threaded post. The thrifty maker of that tool, which Buckner assumed was salvaged from an old screw-arm plow plane, realized the precision offered by the threaded post. Buckner's threaded marking gauge (2-1/2 in. wide by 7-3/8 in. long with a 3/4-in.-dia. post), made of highly figured cocobolo, is surprisingly sensitive: One-eighth turn of the fence equals 0.02 in. of travel. Buckner's infill miter plane (2 in. wide by 8 in. long by 2-5/8 in. tall) is based on one of Stewart Spiers' early "improved pattern" miter planes. The sides of the plane, made from patterned steel (two dissimilar steels forged together), were acid-etched to create the striking grainlike appearance. The sole is made from O1 tool steel, the lever cap is hand-filed from naval brass bar stock, and the infill wood is Nigerian ebony. The wood finish on both tools is French polish.

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