Tuesday, 31 March 2015
If anyone is interested I have some planes for sale on E Bay this week.
Lie Nielsen No2 above and nice Bedrock 604 below.
A rare Marples smoother in nice condition.
An almost unused Marples M4.
And a nice Mathieson smoother from the 1890's with no cracks or damage.
Auction finishes Sunday night.
Sunday, 29 March 2015
Thursday, 26 March 2015
Michael sent me these pictures, he is a member of the Cooroora Woodworking Club in Cooroy in Queensland Australia. The club has its own saw mill and above you can see a board being lifted off after being cut. It looks like an Alaska type saw with a pair of guide rails to keep it running true, particularly useful on the initial cut. They get most of their wood donated by the council so it's effectively free timber, I wish we had a club like that around here!
Here are a couple of nice projects made from the proceeds of the saw mill.
Saturday, 21 March 2015
This is one of the two main international auctions held each year and is well worth a visit. As usual the catalogue is crammed full of goodies including some very rare gunmetal Norris planes, out of my league!
There are also about 25 stands in the hall selling a wide variety of tools with plenty of bargains to be had. I will have one of these stands selling a few planes from my personal collection as well as my piston fit oak toolbox featured in my YouTube video above, price £300.
Also for sale in the auction is the anarchists tool chest made by Chris Schwarz at his teaching course in 2014. The chest comes full of tools kindly donated by numerous toolmakers around the world with a total value of £5,400, (excluding the chest). The guide price is £3-5,000 for the lot.
This is a charity lot with the entire proceeds going to the furniture crafts courses at Warwickshire College where the course was held.
This will be a great auction and well worth the trip!
Monday, 16 March 2015
I know this is an emotive subject, if you talk to Chris Schwarz or Richard McGuire they will advocate a low bench height of around 33". But most everyone else I know prefers a higher bench and that includes me. I've made benches from 37" - 39" high over the years and have settled on 37" as my ideal height, I can hand plane comfortably as well as cut dovetails and I can sit at the bench with my knees under like a desk. Interestingly an article comparing benches in Fine Woodworking a while back also found the most comfortable working height was 37", I think this was on a Lie Nielsen bench.
I was reading Alan Peters great book the other night when I came across his views on the ideal work bench.
In his words, 'The illustration shows what I consider to be the ideal cabinetmakers bench, European in pattern. If you decide to make your own, do research the best height for you - all purchased benches appear to have been designed for midgets, or rather they are based on traditional patterns for chopping mortises and for hours of heavy hand planing. My four purchased benches sit more or less permanently on 6" blocks to eliminate backache'.
By my reckoning this meant all the benches in his shop were about 38" high and Alan was by no means a tall man.
So with my hat thrown into the ring in favour of higher benches, I'll leave you with some shots from his great book. Although written in 1984 it is still mostly very relevant and still in print 31 years later. If you don't have a copy in your woodworking collection, get one!
Friday, 13 March 2015
A good customer kindly brought this video to my attention, that shaving has to be a bout 9" wide!
Whilst we all get excited about wonderful shavings in the West, it's interesting to see that the spectators seemed more interested in the surface left behind, which of course is the whole purpose of planing. Anyway give yourself 90 seconds to enjoy this.
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
Monday, 9 March 2015
A good customer let me know this plane is being advertised on E Bay. From the look of the picture of the bevel it hasn't been used which is a shame. It was made about 2 years ago and is from quarter sawn rose bubinga with a lignun vitae sole (it's not Tulipwood as advertised!) It's up for £130 or best offer, so there's a bargain to be had!
Link here http://www.ebay.com/itm/121590364667?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&fromMakeTrack=true
Saturday, 7 March 2015
Stuart, a good customer, sent me these pictures of his recently completed tool chest made form the F&C article and a very nice job he's done too.
The shot below of the interior was very accurate and shows how well everything fits whilst remaining easily accessible.
He's sub divided the base with a well fitted interior.
Stuart managed to achieve both the piston fit tray as well as the soft close lid.
Here's a jack plane made from rock hard Ziricote a rare, expensive and beautiful timber. The blade and mechanism were from Veritas, made for the purpose.
The rear has been kept nice and low which gives a better 'feel' and the crook provides blade support.
And to finish a dinky little plane is lignum vitae, which will probably prove more useful than it may look.
Wednesday, 4 March 2015
I've bought myself a new Jet spindle moulder (shaper). It comes with two router bit collets which is very useful, as for my scale of work I doubt I'll be using the spindle. The adjustment up is very precise and miles better than my upturned router and the large flat cast iron top is great. The split fence and hold downs work very well for larger cutters and it handles this with ease. The spindle only runs at 8,000 rpm maximum and smaller cutters are not recommended, although in practice if you are careful and don't try to go too deep it works fine and you certainly don't get any burning.
For more precise work requiring stops I made myself a wooden fence and attached the remaining piece of Flip Stop channel left over from the cross cut sled. The stops are easily transferred from one to the other so there's no need to buy extras, just as well at £130 a pair!
The fence is attached to the cast iron top with a pair of Magjigs which work really well. You just position the fence then turn the knobs and it is held rock solid.
A 40 mm diameter hole is required and luckily I have just this size in one of those cheap 'gold' forstner bit sets, although it didn't like the plywood much. The instructions call for a 3/4" mm deep hole so that the metal protrudes slightly, I made mine a perfect depth so as not to through the fence off square. Good quality multiply can be easily planed to thickness although it may not look to pretty.
Here is the fence and Flip Stops in action being used to rout the hinge recess for one of Andrew Crawford's Smart Hinges.
These need to be done very precisely with both stops being exactly the same distance from the cutter, any deviation from this will be doubled and result in a poor fit. Being able to flip from one stop to the other is great, especially if you are doing a small batch of boxes as here. I will be bringing this fence to the tool chest course in the summer, with 18 boxes to do it will be a great time saver.
I've first used the Magjigs when the appeared here some years ago. I made my resaw fence for the bandsaw using two and they have stood the test of time very well, I highly recommend them, for cast cast iron tables of course!
Sunday, 1 March 2015
My next dovetail course is available to book now. I know it might seem a long way off but these tend to fill quite quickly, the cost is £250 including materials for the weekend. www.westdean.org.uk
It is suitable for intermediate woodworkers rather than complete beginners and everyone will go home with a completed box with a tilt top lid. Topics covered are dovetails (of course!) as well as mitred box linings, leather base and tool sharpening with lots of use of the shooting board.
Below are some of the courses I've taught as well as pictures of the College and gardens, a great place to relax after a hard days dovetailing!