Saturday, 18 February 2017

Handworks Show May 2017, Not To Be Missed!


Handworks 2017 is only three months away, May 19th - 20th at Amana Colonies, near Cedar Rapids Iowa. It is the best hand tool woodworking show in the USA and not one to be missed, especially as it's been 2 years since the last one. Better still it's absolutely free.
http://handworks.co/
The queue in 2015 waiting for the doors to open on the fist day was huge, stretching all the way down the high street.

 Roy Underhill will be entertaining the crowds on the Saturday morning  and again entry is free, first come first served for the best view. He is a very funny man and a very knowledgeable woodworker.


Due to demand the show has expanded into five different halls with more demonstrators/ makers.


Jameel Abraham and his family have done all the organisation and their wonderful range of Benchcrafted  vices will all be there for you to try and buy. https://benchcrafted.com/


The event is more of a gathering of like minded tool makers, than a show. It is a non profit making event with all the participants promoting it via social media. As such it has a very friendly atmosphere with everyone freely sharing their tips, techniques and knowledge. It is also very hands on with lots of tools to try and buy.


Scott Meeks will have a full range of his excellent wooden planes.


Daed Toolworks showed a range of very tempting and beautifully made infill planes.


Konrad Sauer (Sauer and Steiner) will be making the trip down from Canada with his modern interpretation of infill design.


 .........and they don't come much sexier than this!


Blum Toolworks will have their unique planes on show.


 In addition to the show being free there are numerous excellent door prizes donated by many of the participants, all you have to do is register in advance http://handworks.co/
The Amana Colonies are a great attraction in their own right and well worth a days visit while you're there as well as entertaining other non woodworking members of you family who might want to make the trip.
Oh, and of course I nearly forgot, I'll be there demonstrating my range of dovetail guides, now stocked by Highland Woodworking. I may also have a few of my planes for sale.
Hope to see you there!


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Box Maker Phil Weber


Box maker Phil Weber has been making a living producing his wonderful small boxes for 41 years now. This will be his last year of making as he and his wife want a change, I think he's done his bit! He has a chapter in the excellent book New Masters of the Wooden Box.


A few years ago, when the exchange rate was a lot better than now, I bought three of Phil's boxes. The one below was featured on the back cover of Fine Woodworking.


This one has a lift off lid with ebony and spalted maple.


The last one is  simple box but with some lovely curves.


Phil has produced lots of new designs for his final year. If you want one of his fine boxes don't leave it too long!
https://weberboxes.com/

Monday, 13 February 2017

Alan Peters Walnut Box.


I made this small walnut chest a while ago with wood I bought from Alan Peters widow. The design was inspired by a chest he made and featured in Fine Woodworking.


I had put the chest to one side as the drawers needed final fitting as well as lining.


The drawers have a false back so that the whole thing is accessible without the risk of the drawer falling out, so simple!

Bringing in the rear prevented me from using dovetails so I used tiny tenons with contrasting wedges. The tenons are just 3.8 mm square (just over 1/8").


Using through dovetails, with contrasting ripple sycamore, was another of Alan's favourite techniques.

The wonderful figured walnut has continuous grain round the carcass and the rear panel is a book match of the top.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Credit to the Designer of the Ebony Chair


Following a request for more details on the ebony chair here is the original design by Angel Corso from Venezuela. You can see more of his wonderful work on his website https://www.behance.net/gallery/37909759/AROA-Chair-(AC214)
Just to add, Ross's beautiful copy was for his own consumption and not for sale or profit.


Saturday, 11 February 2017

Ebony Chair from Australia


Ross from Brisbane Australia sent me these pictures of his latest wonderful creation.


Creating these shapes is a lot of work, but to do it in ebony? He won't be doing another!
The shaping was done with HNT Gordon high angle shaves, wonderful tools, and finished with scrapers.                      http://hntgordon.com.au/gidgee-spoke-shaves.html


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

New Toy (sorry essential tool!)


I've acquired this rather nice pencil gauge from Low Fat Roubo (aka Derek Jones, editor of F&C magazine) http://www.lowfatroubo.co.uk/


It is beautifully made and finished which is no surprise as Derek used to earn his living as a cabinet maker as well as a French polisher. The woods are pear and bog oak, a nice contrast.


One end has a fine conical tip which can be easily and cheaply replaced (gramophone needle, ingenious!) This is great for marking along the grain without wandering.


And the other has a pencil which is threaded to a nice tight fit as well as being easy to adjust. The gauge comes with full instructions as well as two pencils, I've trimmed mine down to a manageable size. Derek is also taking orders for an equally useful cutting/ pencil gauge.
Derek posts regularly in Instagram under Low Fat Roubo and is well worth following. https://www.instagram.com/lowfatroubo/


Sunday, 5 February 2017

A Great Way to Reinforce Mitred Corners


A little while ago an Article by Neil Erasmus in the very good Australian Wood Review (AWR) magazine, showed an ingenious method of reinforcing mitred corners. I can't find my copy but I'm sure this is the cabinet he used them on, please correct me if I've got any of that wrong!
You can see some of Neil and Pam's great work here http://erasmusdesigns.com/index.php/furniture-all

His method involved joining two Dominoes at right angled which allowed the splines to be inserted in line with each board. I'm sure he used finger joints but I dovetailed mine.


The four sides of my box were cut square and the dominoes cut at the maximum depth the machine would allow.

They were then mitred on the table saw. The twelve Domino joints took just under an hour to do. They were then trimmed to length leaving a small glue gap at the bottom of the mortise.


The splines were glued into the two opposite sides making sure they went in all the way and then the other two sides were glued on.

This meant everything could be glued up at 90 degrees instead of being pulled together with band clamps, so avoiding the struggle of stopping the parts slipping or opening at the corners. It went together like a dream and the corners all lined up perfectly. I'll be doing an article for F&C on this box in the coming months with a few other good tips as well.


Friday, 3 February 2017

Dovetail Markers Finished


In-between other jobs, I've managed to finish off a batch of dovetail markers. I enjoy this close miniature work but it takes a lot of concentration and care to get clean dovetails. Each leg is just 45 mm (1 3/4") but they are just the right size for the job.


These are a one off and I'll be bringing them to Handworks in May.