Sunday, 30 August 2015

Wonderful Dovetail Alignment Board!

These pictures were sent by Charlie in Washington of his very fancy dovetail alignment board.
The woods are Peruvian walnut, yellow heart and sapele and apparently it works very well.
I guessed this was the result of using a Leigh dovetail jig but it was cut by hand with the exception of the yellow heart which was cut on the band saw.
You can see the project on Charlie's Blog
There are two more posts on it within his Blog.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Lovely Wooden Camera

A talented customer in the UK made this spalted beech pinhole camera. Not only is it a beautiful thing but it works as well! The picture shown at the bottom was taken with it.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

More Fun With the Shooting Board!

 I decided it was about time prepared the stock for the dovetailing course. Instead of the usual 9 or 10 sets I thought it would a good idea to prep enough for the next three courses!

It seems a shame to throw all these lovely shavings in the bin!
Below are all the carcass parts dimensioned ans shot square and clean. I've stood them on end to allow air circulation overnight, so that if there is any movement it should be even. Tomorrow I will rout the groove for the base as well as prepare the stock for the lid, base and linings.

Here's what we'll be making in the two day course, except it will be in contrasting walnut and sycamore.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Veritas Shooting Board Plane

Before I talk about my new toy, I'm glad to see the 2" screw box featured in yesterdays post has been sold. I hope it's gone to a good home.
Having used Bern's Veritas Shooting board plane on the tool chest course recently I had to get myself one. Like Bern I bought mine from Dieter Schmid in Germany the delivered price was well over £100 less than Axminster Power Tools, shame on them!

I made myself a shooting board from bits of plywood I had knocking around and fitted a fence and side rail made from Ebony which should wear very well. I was going to go to the trouble of making both adjustable but there was enough play in the screws to enable minor movement which should do for a few years. I fitted the runway with the ultra low friction tape I use on my magnetic guides.

I cleaned up over 100 pieces of end grain walnut and beech and the high carbon O1 blade was still taking full shavings. After a while the handle made my hand a bit sore, so I switched to my more usual grip over the top of the blade. This was more comfortable than it may look.

I made the board longer than most I've seen, so I could also use it for the long grain of my box sides. At 27" it can easily take an 18-20" board. I did find the far corner a bit uncomfortable so I cut off the corner, see below. Loosing a few pounds would probably have worked just as well!

I've also made myself a 45 degree shooting board, again after using Bern's on the course. Plans for this are available in Bob Wearing's fine little book.

I went to the trouble of making the fence adjustable on this one, it works very well.
For those of you coming on the Dovetailing course at West Dean College in October I will have the plane and both shooting boards with me and they will get plenty of use!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Large Antique 2" Screw Box set for Sale, a Bargain!

 Large 2" screw box for sale on the Second Hand Tools, very rare to see them in larger sizes. website an absolute bargain at £58. I would have snapped it up if I didn't already have one.
It seems to be all complete even with it's keeper and looks to have had very little use.
The woodworm can be easily treated/stabilised.
This is a great website to keep an eye on, Jerry regularly gets nice old tools and charges very fair prices.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Sigma Power Water Stones Back in Stock

After an eight month gap I now have a limited number of the  superb Sigma Power stones in stock.
As usual first come first served!

I've also found the time to make another batch of cutting gauges, so I'll have these at the European Woodworking Show in September, a show not to be missed!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Tool Chest That Sucks!

Simon called in to my workshop to pick up a tool and brought his tool chest from the course. Whilst he had completed the lid and both trays on the course, he still needed to refine the fit of the lid to give a soft close. The fit was so good that the lid could be let go from any height without banging and yet still close nicely. What I wasn't expecting was the sharp suck of air as the lid was opened again, it would make any builder or plumber proud!!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Customer Projects From France.

Here are some shots of two sideboards made by Matthieu from France.
I very much like the way he has used plenty of curves whilst keeping all the joinery at 90 degrees.
The cabinet above is from oak with walnut panels.

He's also not been afraid to use wood I would normally use to keep warm (shame on me!). Above woodworm is clearly visible and below he's turned a crack into a feature with well fitted butterfly keys. The rustic style of the pieces suits this very well.

The second cabinet is made from ash.

Saturday, 8 August 2015


My wife wanted an extra table to nest under one I made a few years ago. It was very simple, made from one piece of nice quarter sawn oak and mitred at the corners. I used Dominoes to strengthen the mitres and I checked to make sure they didn't go too far. The trouble was I was a bit enthusiastic with hammering them home and end up with one breaking out the other side.
It was too big to just fill so I decided to use a patch. I band sawed a 4 mm thick slice from an off cut and used a diamond shape which blends in much better than a circle or square.

Having cut the diamond I created a slight bevel on the underside with a block plane on the shooting board. Two thickness's of masking tape provided the angle.

The underside of the patch was knifed and the waste removed with my trusty Makita laminate trimmer, a very useful tool.

This can be used very delicately to get surprisingly close to the knife lines.

Cleaned up with a sharp chisel, ready for gluing in. The taper on the patch should leave tight seamless edges, in theory!

Flushing off the patch with a high angle smoother.

A nice clean finish which my wife hopefully won't notice!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Special Edition Chisel Hammers, First come first Served!

A while back a made a number of chisel hammers with English Walnut handles see post here
I saw a couple of these again on the tool chest course and it reminded me how nice they looked. So I decided to make some more this time using Kingwood and Italian Olive.

I was saving this wood for making my mini smoothers but now I've stopped making them this seemed a great alternative use. Kingwood is now almost impossible to get hold of and is a rare and beautiful rosewood. Highly popular in the Georgian periods in England and France it has an SG of 1.2 and has real weight in the hand. The normal ash handle weighs 65 gr whereas the Kingwood weighs 105 gr and the olive 100 gr. This adds about 10% to the overall weight of the chisel hammer.
Kingwood retains it's colour over time, unlike flashy cocobolo which soon turns very dark.
Each hammer below is numbered and priced, sorry about my photography they look much better in the flesh. As usual first come first served!

                                                              No1 (above) £40 ($62)

                                                                     No 2 £40 ($62)

                                                                    No 3 £40 ($62)

                                                                     No 4 £40 ($62)

                                                                    No 5 £40 ($62)

                                                                   No 6 £40 ($62)

                                                                     No 7 £35 ($54)

                                                                       No 8 £35 ($54)

                                                                    No 9 £35 ($54)

And for those of you who want the standard handle, the rippled ash ones at £32 ($49) aren't too shabby either!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Alan Peters Table on E Bay

I have a number of Alan Peters pieces and am always on the look out for more. This has come up on E Bay and whilst the mixture of aluminium, wood and leather is not to my taste, it's a great piece nonetheless.

It's only a small table, 18" high by 30" diameter, but would be both functional as well as collectable and a good investment.

You can see the E Bay listing here
The price is a little hopeful compared to recent auction prices but it would be worth a reasonable offer. PLEASE NOTE THIS TABLE IS BEING OFFERED AGAIN ON E BAY 11.10.15 AT A MUCH REDUCED PRICE.