Chairmaking Diversions: First, Become a Toolmaker

I’ve never aspired to be a toolmaker, although I did have fun with the tool or two that I’ve made from scratch (a mallet and, uhm, well… okay just one tool made from scratch). My workbench can be considered a tool, and I did make that, but as far as making a saw, or plane, or marking gauges, etc. etc. there’s just not much allure to me.

Necessity. Now *that’s* a motivator.

Having dedicated some quality time on the interwebz reading up on tapered and ‘bung hole’ reamers, I’ve come to the realization making my own reamer is more likely to get me what I need in terms of reamed holes. It’s the old story about the guy walking into the hardware store, proclaiming “I need a drill.” Well, he doesn’t need a drill, he needs a hole. I don’t want a reamer, but I want what a reamer can do.

None other than Jennie Alexander recommends shop-made as the way to go, and Roy Underhill demonstrates one while recreating a Shakespearian stick chair in an online episode I came across in my research. That’s good enough for me. For specifics, a Jennie Alexander webpage includes build tips and a recommendation to use apple wood. I have some of that stickered and ready to go! She also says the angles of compass saws are spot on for application in a shop-made reamer. I have more than a couple of those saws in the shop, so a donor won’t be hard to come by. It’s a noble purpose, after all.

Oh, and the tool that goes with the reamer is called a “rounder plane” per St. Roy, and the reamer is used in the making of it (a matched pair, if you will). So I need to make more than one thing now?

So for now, I’m not a chairmaker, but a toolmaker. *sigh* More to come!

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