Monday, 24 October 2016
We've been hard at work trying to get the house sorted after the move. I now have an office all to myself and that's given me a chance to display most of my box collection.
Above are two boxes by my favourite current designer maker Matthew Burt, have a look at his website http://www.matthewburt.com/
A small two drawer chest by Alan Peters along with another one from Matthew.
A bowl by Alan Peters and a desk box by Peter Lloyd http://finehardwoodboxes.com/
Three boxes by American Phil Weber https://weberboxes.com/
A couple of small ones by John Makepeace and below a highly rippled sycamore box by Peter Lloyd.
Friday, 14 October 2016
Saturday, 8 October 2016
A few weeks ago I was looking at vices to make another work bench. As the three benches I already have, included a Bench Crafted leg vice and two benches with shoulder vices, I wondered if there was a traditional face vice that was worth using. The Ulmia face vice in the Dictum catalogue made some very bold claims about not wracking wherever wood was clamped. Although this vice is sold separately I decided just to buy one of their benches rather than make my own. At just under £1,000 (+ vat) delivered from Germany it seemed very good value.
Three weeks after ordering it arrived, assembly was easy and the base was rock solid despite only having the two stretchers.
The vice did indeed clamp solidly without wracking on both outer sides. The single guide bar passes through a long very tight fitting bushing and I guess this is why the vice doesn't rack. In the excellent instructions there is also the facility to adjust the vice if wracking occurs with wear and use. One of the other things that attracted me was the 5 1/4"gap between the screw and the guide bar, clear down to the floor. This meant a lot of vertical clamping for dovetailing could be done without putting any strain on the vice.
Although I don't normally use a tail vice this bench came with a very nice one. There is zero play and it stayed level through its full extension. As with the front vice it can be adjusted for wear. The bench comes with four massive aluminium dogs which are 30 mm diameter, not much good for use with other accessories, but will certainly do the job! The whole bench gave the impression of being massive, not in size, but in construction. This small 5' bench weighs in at 100kg (220 lbs). They also make a 2 m long version (6' 6") which is only another £115 and is no doubt more popular but I just didn't have the room.
Ulmia have always had a very good reputation and it's great to see they keeping up their standards.
I was a little surprised to see the top was constructed from shorter lengths of beech instead of full length staves but it is beautifully made and came dead flat with a nice surface finish.
Time will tell how this bench performs but I suspect it will be a pleasure to use.
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
Nathan from the US sent me these pictures of a beautiful walnut sofa table he made, the design is by Matt Cremona. He managed to buy 1,000 board feet (about 80 cube for those in the UK) of the stuff at a very good price, lucky man!
He has used the fine timber very sensitively and the nice finish is Minwax wipe on poly.
The banding and the drawer sides are quartered butternut.
Nathan is saving the wood for special pieces and he has certainly created one here.
Saturday, 1 October 2016
Monday, 26 September 2016
Rod from California sent me this picture and made these very nice comments,
I am really excited that your guide has made a very difficult process much less daunting. I have to admit I was a bit sceptical but all doubts have been brushed aside. My first attempts were cut with a Veritas dovetail saw since I already owned one. Not 100% happy with my results, I ordered the Japanese saw you recommend and I am very impressed with it. Here is a sample of my latest attempt:
Thanks also for all of your YouTube videos demonstrating how cutting dovetails can be achieved by most anyone willing to give it a go! Take care.
Below is the very first dovetails cut by Michael from Melbourne, most impressive! If you can nail it in 3/4" stock then smaller dovetails will be a piece of cake.
Sunday, 25 September 2016
A good customer from Barcelona sent me these pictures of his latest project. This really was built by hand as German has no machinery in his workshop. It took 200 hours to complete.
The drawers are a piston fit, it's always best if possible to design drawers to be longer than they are wide as this makes it easier to achieve.
A nicely fitted panel and some very clean dovetails. I can see he has left the baseline showing which may offend some, but I'm happy either way especially in an open grained timber such as this white oak.
The legs for the stand have been beautifully shaped in black walnut.
A workshop essential, a non marring dead blow mallet, great for encouraging dovetails to seat.
The HNT Gordon spoke shave in action, a great tools and the best spoke shave on the market for working hard woods.
.........and if you were wondering it's purpose, it's a sewing chest.