No matter what I do I am always trying to improve . I am a cyclist and earlier this summer I noticed a that I was not performing as well on hills. I have a buddy who also struggles with hills but prefers to ride the flats and is content with not improving as a rider on hills. The solution was a simple one for, ride more hills! That is exactly what I did until I improved my ability to ride hills. So were am I going with this and exactly what does this have to do with woodworking. If you are like me, there are several aspects of woodworking that I would like to improve on and one them is my skills with hand tools. I claim to be a hybrid woodworker but until I can plane a board square and accomplish other hand tool oriented tasks, that calling myself a hybrid woodworker is not being honest with myself.
I have been reading a lot of Robert Wearing’s The Essential Woodworker lately and that in September I am going to focus on improving my hand planing skills. I have no intention of milling all my lumber by hand…yuck! I just want to be able to plane a board square and have confidence in my planing ability. I thought it might be fun to see if other woodworkers out there would be want to improve their hand planing skills along with me. I am going to practice different exercises during the course of the month like the one I wrote about here and share them on this blog. I encourage everyone to try them too.
Now what fun would it be if we only practiced hand planing skills, we have to put them to some use. My goal is to build a try square at the end of the month and true the edges by hand. Now I have no intention of making the entire try square by hand, just milling the pieces by hand then truing it. I will probably use the bandsaw roughing the material out and maybe for other joinery. Now to make a little more interesting, anyone who participates will be entered to win something. Not sure what that is yet but I will let you know when I figure it out. To qualify for the drawing you have to make a Try Square and submit a picture of it next to your hand plane. All pictures have to be in by September 30th and the winner will be selected at random on October 1st.
Hopefully there are some of you out their who want to join me in this challenge! Post comments if you are in.