Wednesday 11 May 2016

The Benefits of Getting Older

It was my fiftieth birthdays last week Tuesday.

As I dread this section in life, I had to recognized that nothing is different from the day before.

So my question is what might be the benefits?

“Growing old is great – when you consider the alternative,” as the saying goes.
I started to read a bit and found an interesting fact. Getting older means less sweaty.
Someone found out that the sweat glands shrink and become less numerous as people get older.
That's pretty good for hand tool woodworking. Especially for tasks like resawing or dimensioning lumber by hand.
Can't await that day. In most cases I'm sweating like a ..... you know what I'm talking about, when I'm doing tasks like that.

Beside of that, having birthday is always nice. Especially if the wishers have a nice little gift for you.
And all of my beloved family and friends had one.

So I could unpack this very nice tool.

"Grathobel" - Dovetail Plane

I could not give it a try till now. As soon as I have got some results I will report about it.

Some more stuff to read and discover.

Understanding Mouldings

And because I was a good boy the last year I received a gift of myself.

The new LAP products

But guys, by all the concerns and dread I have. I'm glad that my beloved wife and myself are healthy.
That's the most important thing. The second thing is to be young at heart. Don't lose your humor, your childishness and your joy.

Getting Wiser

Getting older means getting wiser in some cases. After I thought a while about dog holes, their layout and if needed I came to a result.
I need some. Someone mentioned last time that I will need a planing stop. And that this will be a good starting point for the resulting layout. That make sense to me. So I started to make a little jig for drilling dog holes with a consistent spacing. And additionally a little block for drilling perpendicular.

Drilling dog holes - jig supported

Here are my first dog holes. I started directly with drilling one at the wrong place. Anyway, as I have defined the grid dimension I just drilled another one a the next position.

Leftmost, the "wrong" positioned one

The planing stop is self made too. We will see how long that will last.

Handmade planing stop in position

I'm very surprised how strong the hold of a hold fast can be, if the bench top is thick enough.

Hold fast in action

By the way, I don't know if you how that but you can exchange the shaft of the Veritas Fast-Action Hold- Down with a shorter one. This is originally for the Veritas Hold Down, but it will fit for the Fast-Action version too.

Fast-Action Hold-Down with shorter shaft

That will fit into my bench much better. In the case that I will need more clamping capacity I can just screw in the longer shaft.

Planing stop in action

Here you can see the planing stop already in action. I needed the planing stop first of all, because I have to dimension material for the drawers.

Wood preparation for bench drawers

Oh, it feels already so nice and intimate to work on the new bench.

Tool Restoration

Beside of that all, I think I mentioned that I've bought a set of auger bits on the flea market just a few weeks ago. Pretty rusty.....

Found this in a spare box

...but not as worth as I thought. It seemed that the bits were extremely rusty, like they were stored in a pretty wet environment. After the first strokes with the steel brush I recognized that they were not really rusty. I think they were treated with something which hardened over the time and together with some surface rust they looked like messed up. A bit of work with a steel brush and then some steel wool and I was done. A coat of oil and they all look good. And the best thing is they are near to unused.

Near to good condition

That was my last woodworking week. Not so much woodwork. But prepared with some essential details so that I can go further on.

Stay tuned!


  1. Stefan,

    Good on you, it is hard to find useable augers. Mine just barely meet the useable test.

    BTW, 50 isn't old yet but old will happen so fast you will wonder where the decades went.

    Congrats on finally becoming an adult.


    1. Hi Ken,
      you are right. I already found and bought some augers but not all of them turned out to be a good and usable one.
      Thanks for welcoming me in the circle of adults ;-)
      You know how to find the right words that one feel better :-))

      Talk soon,

  2. Hi Stefan,

    dann an dieser Stelle nochmal herzlichen Glückwunsch nachträglich. Wie schon selbst bemerkt, wünsche ich Dir beste Gesundheit für die nächsten 50.

    Take care,


    1. Hallo Jasper,
      danke für die Glückwünsche. Mal sehen wie die nächste Hälfte so wird.

      Viele Grüße

  3. Well I had bad things about getting older. But I must say, I have changed my mind after reading your blog and I guess what we think we become.