Sunday 19 July 2015
New English Tool Chest Course Complete!
After five full on days here is everyone proudly showing their results, all 17 of them. Some finished the chest as well as both the piston fit trays and the others weren't far behind.
A special thank you must go to Steve Hopper the head of department at Bridgwater College http://www.bridgwater.ac.uk/ who made all this possible. Not only did his team and students machine up all the timber, but Steve took nearly three weeks of unpaid leave to supervise this week as well as the week coming. My thanks also go to Bob who worked tirelessly to keep the work moving through the machine parts of the course.
With Chris Schwarz running the course next door and staying at the same hotel as many of us, the evening's entertainment was also taken care of. He seems to know all there is to know about styles and construction techniques and old English and European furniture. Asked about coffins, of all things, he has apparently has made a couple and gave us a detailed description of the Lancashire Toe Pincher! You get what I mean.
A few students decided to cut their dovetails without the aid of my magnetic guide, most regretted it in such thick timber but Bernard (Bern) did a flawless job with his new Skelton saw http://skeltonsaws.co.uk/ He was also one of those who finished his chest and piston fit trays.
At least half the participants had never cut dovetails by hand before which I found a little disconcerting at the start but everyone managed and some did a remarkably clean job.
Derek Jones was helping out most of the week and the loan of two Karl Holtey planes http://www.holteyplanes.com/ was greatly appreciated by many in the class. Here's Geoffrey with a Holtey thumb plane.
Simon happily shooting away with one of my Lignum jack planes. He was particularly generous with his time and help to many of the others in the class.
The box sides were planed and sanded up prior to the lid being separated.
The boxes below are ready to be separated with a hand saw, the initial cuts were made on the router table to ensure everything lined up.
Below is Bern's mitre shooting board which was used for the friction fit mitred lining. He enjoys making jigs and it showed, this one was immaculately made and dead accurate. It was made from Bob Wearing's plans.
And here's Bern enjoying the other Holtey a No 10 mitre plane, leaving behind a flawless surface and a pile of fluffy shavings.
As a diversion on a coffee break, Derek produced a wonderful quarter scale anarchists tool chest made by Mario Terenzi. The detail on the chest was incredible down to minute hand cut dovetails, it is a real tour de force.
In addition to the chest there were some superbly made and fully functional tool also made by Mario.