Wednesday, 28 October 2015
Looking at E Bay I came across this excellent book about John Makepeace.
Out of print for 14 years it's an absolute bargain at £5.93 inc free postage!
I paid a lot more for my copy.
See the listing here http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Makepeace-Spirit-of-Adventure-in-Craft-and-Design-Makepeace-John-Hardback-/141798548107?hash=item2103da228b:g:1YUAAOSwAYtWGgrW
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
Just for a change I've decided to buy a work bench rather than making it and this one is special. It comes from Leif Karlsson in Sweden http://www.workbenches.se/en/index.php
It's made in the 'old way' just the same as when the company started over 100 years ago. Leif's father made James Krenovs bench and the company has supplied benches to The College of the Redwoods and Inside Passage, as well as many other well known woodworkers over the years. His benches are shown in The Work Bench Book.
Mine is one of the smaller sizes he builds at 160 cm long but this suits the way I work, preferring two smaller benches to one large one.
Apparently this is the last bench he is going to make which is a great shame. I will treasure it all the more for that.
Friday, 23 October 2015
So here it is all finished, about 8 hours work including grinding and sharpening the blade.
I've ordered some proper countersunk brass bolts to replace my home made efforts, but apart from that it turned out very well.
It is 6" long x 2" wide and 2" high with a 1 1/2" blade, bedded at 55 degrees.
I polished up the lever cap and screw head but I think a brushed finish may have been better.
The wood grain looks nice, especially with no glue line for the sides.
And the final test on some curly walnut.
Thursday, 22 October 2015
My mini smoother, shown above, was my most popular plane and there isn't much I could think of to improve either the design or the looks.
I'd been toying with the idea of making a version of my larger high angle smoother but in the style of the mini smoother. It's shown below with a lever cap from St James Bay Tools in the US, this was the wrong size but gave me an idea of how it might look.
I decided to make the plane the 'proper' way but excavating the cavity from the solid rather than using the laminating method, it took longer but not too much.
Here is the drawing of the lever cap and the piece of 3/8" thick brass which it was to be made from.
I have a cheap tapping set which works very well, I have used it a lot in wood to great effect.
I experimented with different pilot holes in the waste until I got the right size, 4.4 mm for the 4.8 mm thread (M5).
I threaded the locating pins for the lever cap using the drill press to get them vertical.
The finished pins ready to be cut down to size.
I used a spacer to get the required distance for the lever cap to work and used double sided tape to fix each part together and attach it to the bed ready for drilling the side holes.
It all worked fine and with the parts roughly shaped here is the result.
I will finish it off tomorrow if I don't get too many orders.
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Months ago I sent some tools to Holtwerken Magazine in Germany. I had forgotten all about it when this landed on my doorstep, a large A3 calendar for 2016, with beautifully shot and reproduced photographs. Translated it reads Workshop Moments 2016.
Here is my dovetail marking knife in action and below a fine Mitsukawa saw.
July has a very artistic display with my chisel hammer breaking up carved wooden ice cubes.
A Pax tenon saw in action.
and a fine thumb plane from Gerd Fritsche.
If you'd like to order your copy it is 19.90 Euros https://www.holzwerken.net/shop/buecher/kalender/werkstatt_momente_2016?cpg=TMHWB_0045
Friday, 9 October 2015
Jim, a friend of mine sent me these pictures of a chair he's just completed. I'd seen it taking shape a while back and the result is stunning. An enormous amount of work has gone into the laminating shaping and jointing involved, not a project for the feint hearted! He's planning to make three more to make up the set and I wish him the best of luck.
Tuesday, 6 October 2015
I met Tom recently at the European Woodworking Show and he kindly sent me these pictures of his Roubo bench build. He used the lamination method to make the mortise easier to chop and has done a nice clean job.
Below you can see the wedges being tested for a good tight fit.
He decided to add dovetailed end caps to both ends. This wasn't really necessary as he used full thickness wood for the top, but it looks very nice and has been well executed.
I don't think I've ever seen a leg chop that substantial, there isn't going to be much flex with this one!
And here he is with the finished bench complete with BenchCrafted Classic hardware. He looks very proud and so he should be!
Sunday, 4 October 2015
West Dean College still manages to take my breath away even after so many visits. Above is the view of the main entrance and below is the view looking out from the college, just a small part of the 2,000 acre estate.
Here is the outside of the main workshop with it's flint façade and manicured hedges.
Here are the eight students with their completed dovetailed boxes, it was a long two days but they all got there in the end and everyone was very pleased with their efforts and rightly so.
The next dovetail course is 6-8th May 2016 and I will post when the course is available to book on the West Dean College website.
By coincidence we were there at the same time as one of the shows they hold in the grounds, which was a bonus.
The 'Apple Affair' was well attended and the weather was very kind all weekend.
This little stand caught my eye with a fine selection of antique tools on display.
Thursday, 1 October 2015
Barry sent me these pictures of his spoon rack project which he completed after subscribing to Richard Maguires premium video series http://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/premium-videos/?doing_wp_cron=1443720238.2039699554443359375000
I caught up with Richard and Helen at the European Woodworking Show recently and this latest venture has proved more successful than they could have hoped for, it certainly beats building his monster work benches all the time! I've also heard nothing but good reports from customers about the videos so it seems well worth checking out. I thought the prices were very reasonable as well.
Below is Barry's version of my wall mounted tool cabinet featured in the August 2013 edition of F&C magazine (doesn't time fly!). He's gone for two doors and done a very nice job.
As the eagle eyed amongst you will see, Barry is also a good customer of mine!