Wednesday 21 June 2017

Back to the making!

I had to have a break from blogging for a while.

My day job required my full attention and commitment.

I can't really remember when my last post was.
And what it was about.

The last weeks to month have been hard times. The company I am working for is in a process, which in modern usage is a so called digital transformation. On one hand it's a good thing. A huge enterprise with a long history and strong hierarchical structures is starting to change. Changing to empowering employees, requesting personal responsibility now, structuring in products instead of departments and finally support all this by electronic processes.
Being one of the product managers for one of our IT products required a lot of dedication the last weeks.
This all led into being home late and not finding shop time. And if I found some time I was tired.
Additionally I didn't found the time to read, or even comment my favorite blogs from my woodworking mates all over the world. My apologizes. It's not that I don't like your blogs any longer.

Nevertheless I would like to share the little things I could do.

Some Finds

Parts of my rare free time I spent together with my wife on flea markets. The season is not that good. Some of the bigger events have fallen through because of bad weather conditions.
On the other hand I strongly believe that my search has become more specific.
All that said I would like to share two finds with you.
The first little rascal I have found is this one......

ECE Primus jack

Yeah guys, this is an ECE Primus jack plane with blade fine adjustment.
A few month ago I have discovered a nos Steiner on the well known auction platform. I had it on the watch list for a longer while and one day it was sold to someone else.
I was a bit disappointed because my plan was to contact the seller if the plane wasn't sold again and to try some negotiations. But as mentioned, all of the sudden it was sold.
It turned out that this was a good thing just a few days later. Because at our next flea market visit I saw this one standing on one of the tables. And you will not believe it. The owner of the booth have been a few girls selling everything they have found at home in the basement, the garage and who else knows where else. We haggled a bit about the price. I did not want to exaggerate. They should be rewarded for standing the whole day on the market.
Nevertheless the price I've paid was far away from what the internet seller would like to have.
The plane I have bought is close to never really have been used. I would say the blade wasn't sharpened once. The iron is a bit rusty but that is only surface rust and can be removed with a bit of sanding.
The plane wandered straight into the plane drawer. As I will take it out for overhaul I'll keep you updated.

The second was this one......

Ulmia NOS jack

Another day, another flea market. Already on the way back to the car park after an unsuccessful visit there was a booth of a tool seller. Always not good. These guys know what they sell and even more they know the prices. But the luck was shining on me. This guy was not convinced by hand tools and just wanted to get rid of it.
So it came that I'm now owner of a more or less brand new but at least unused ULMIA jack plane.


The plane is in complete unused condition. I've got the package and the original instruction.
But although the plane is unused the blade has got a small nick.
I haven't decided yet, what I will do with this one.

Project Work

Do you remember? I wrote about my new sharpening experiences a while ago.
Meanwhile the Norton oil stone arrived and I have used it a few times. More about this in a dedicated post. But I was asking me where to store it. Not a good idea to ask yourself something. Because you often get an answer. Often enough this means additional effort, a new project, a side project, however you will call it.

Here is what happened in my part of the world......

Stone box blank

It went over to this.....

Some shaping

The Balcony Bench

I made good progress with the balcony bench at the beginning of the project.  Actually it stagnates.
Making 30 mortices is one thing. But cutting and fitting 30 tenons is another animal.

15 of 30 tenons laid out

After a while.....

First dry run

It came out that one of the slats was short. However that happened.

One slat shorter than the others

Instead of shortening the 14 others, I made a new one. And now it looks like this.....

All slats fitted

The Blog

My blog layout bothers me since a while. I invested some time to make the best out of the possibilities Blogger offers. But modern blog pages do look different nowadays.

It seems that new options came up at Blogger and I started some design drafts. Here is the first sneak peek of the new blog layout.

Well then, that's it pretty much.
I'll have a few days of now and will try to relax a bit. After gathering new power I hope I will be back at making and writing.

Hope you are all well guys. Looking forward to read from you all soon.

Stay tuned!


  1. The bench is looking incredibly good. I am amazed at the determination to do that many mortises and tenons.
    The cover for the oil stone also looks great.


    1. Hi Jonas,
      Thanks for the kind words. I have thought about it for a while. It seems that this kind of back rests are done by making a groove in top and lower rail and to fill the gaps with filler strips. I didn't found that very attractive. But now I know why this method is used somehow more often. ��

  2. Hi Stefan,

    Thx for the update. I am also from NRW (near Münster), but I am struggling to find good flea markets ;-) Do you have any recommendations for me? If you're near the NL border I can recommend the yearly market at ducotools ( Only old handtools with a bias for Stanley...

    1. Hi there (who ever you are),
      Thanks for the hint. Glad to know that someone out of my area is reading my Blog.
      In Duisburg are three different monthly flea markets at different locations (Wedau, Mühlenweide, Rheinpark). All of them are worth to be visited.
      I' m usually looking for the smaller ones were families are selling there stuff and try to avoid flea markets with a lot of professional sellers.
      Drop me a line if you are searching for something special. I'm selling the one or other tool.

  3. Hi Stefan,
    Good luck with the transformation in 'your' company.
    You got PRIMUS- great! You got to do a follow up and maybe a comparison... please

    May I suggest -for the blog makeover- to add a follow blog by e-mail. Somehow every now and then I don't get the notification for your new posts.

    1. Olá António,
      Thanks for the wishes. I believe this transformation will make its way. This ornthat direction.
      To make a comparison is a good idea. I will do one as soon as the primus is ready to rumble.
      And thanks again for your request about following via mail. In the past I've made the follow me function by myself. But in the future I may better trust an online solution.
      I will see what I can do.
      All the best,

  4. Good to hear from you again, Stefan. Nice find on the planes - you just have to keep looking sometimes. When you least expect it, there it is!

    The bench is looking really sharp. Can't wait to see the rest.

    1. Hi Matt,
      Thanks for the kind words about the bench. My wife can't wait to see the rest too. ;-)
      You are quite right. The problem is that one is always searching for something and not being patient enough.

  5. Welcome back Stefan :-)
    Yes, much better to make a new longer slat than shorten all the others :-)
    That ECE Primus is a great plane, LV used to carry them, in the 90s, it uses a one of a kind adjust mechanism, pretty funky...
    ULMIA is the same company as ECE, isnt it ??

    That bench look sharp and the decorative edge on top of the oil stone box is perfect, well done!!

    Bob, glad you are back

    1. Hi Bob,
      Great to read from you.
      Luckily I had some material over. Unfortunately I had a lot of stuff with defects like huge nuts, cracks and resin biles.
      No, ECE and Ulmia are different companies. But they have got more or less the same range of planes. And as there is nothing in Germany which hasn't to follow a standard so it came that there is an industrial norm for planes. Due to this they have got pretty much the same specifications.

      Stefan, hoping that you are well.

  6. Ok yes we are all fine, Bob, Jean and Rudy :-)

    Ah the Germans and their standardization, DIN... :-) Should had known.
    I have long thought they were one and the same, thanks for the clarification. That also explained, why most Germans planes all pretty well look like the other guys...

    Bob, beating back a retreat under the sun full force attack :-)

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