Jim's Favorite Things

We frequently get asked what Jim uses around the shop, so I will do my best to include many of the items here.  Some, but not all, of these links of these contain affiliate links and we may be compensated. We only include things on this page we actually use and highly recommend.

Thanks, Katherine


It's true -- Jim can rarely be seen without this on his head.  Now that he is getting older, and the close up vision is on it's way out, he wears them in the shop, to see the computer or his phone, and to read.  Highly recommended. Five stars.


The Scotch-Brite is used all around the shop, but is very useful in gun finishing for getting that final look on the metal surfaces. The Mirka sandpaper has an adhesive back which is useful to stick on a backer-block for getting the wood and metal surfaces to the desired appearance.


Trans-Tint dye-stains are incredibly useful and versatile for adjusting the color on your stock. Dyes can be added directly to water-based finishes and solvents or mixed with alcohol. Even though you are "technically" not supposed to mix this with oil since it is a water-based product, Jim ignores that fact and puts some finish on a rag, dips it in trans-tint, and forces it to mix on the stock as part of the finishing process. 


Here is a link to a half-round file 


Jim uses this when he isn't using Laurel Mountain Forge Permalyn Sealer. With the Tried and True, for the first coat he cuts in 50% with turpentine and then subsequent coats he uses it full strength. Be sure to use very thin coats (wipe off excess) and let it dry between coats thoroughly. If it can get sunlight while drying, it will speed it up dramatically.

Lock Lubrication


Krytox is great for lubrication for high pressure areas in the lock, specifically the tumbler/mainspring rubbing location on locks without links.  Our Round-Faced English Lock doesn't have a link and we use Krytox on this lock when assemble it. It is also good for the frizzen toe where the frizzen rubs against the mainspring in the Round Faced English Lock.  This isn't as important for the Ketland Lock since it has a roller and a link and doesn't rub.

CA Glue


Jim uses the Stick Fast medium CA glue around the shop. The black Starbond is useful for filling voids in walnut wood. The accelerator makes all the difference.