Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Wonderful Roubo Bench with Benchcrafted Hardware.


Matt Estlea sent me these pictures of his Roubo work bench, constructed using the method of joinery demonstrated in my YouTube video 'Roubo Work Bench Made Easy'. A number of people have made benches using this method but this is the best I've seen yet.


It was made as student project at Rycotewood College and I've no doubt he will score very highly as well as having a great bench to take forward in his woodworking career.


The Benchcrafted hardware for both the leg and tail vice has been carefully installed and works like a dream.

Matt produced a series of videos on the making of his fine bench and you can view them below, they are well worth watching.


Friday, 14 July 2017

Hampton Court Palace


Last weekend we visited Hampton Court Palace as well as the flower show for our 25th wedding anniversary and had a great time. The sheer scale and magnificence of this palace is hard to capture with my (lack of) camera skills.


One of a number of internal courtyards and below one of the views of the equally impressive gardens stretching out in every direction.

Huge tromp l'oil  painting on the wooden walls of the main staircase.


In the kitchens were numerous original tables of similar design.

A large sliding dovetail keeping the top flat and secure as well as allowing safe seasonal movement.


This was supported by a single massive leg and foot joined with draw bored tenons.


A massive oak table (below) with single length boards was very impressive, particularly considering they had no machinery in those days.


It was interesting to see the top and been veneered many years ago presumably to cover a very worn top surface. When I say veneer it was more than 1/4" thick!


In the wine cellar lots of old oak barrels which were hooped with wooden staves. I didn't get a chance to ask about these. Were they added wet and tightened up as they dried?


On a very warm day this very helpful young man had the unenviable job of constantly turning the spit roasted joint for 4 hours! By turning the joint the juices never got a chance to leave the meat and the drip tray below was dry. He explained this was the true way to roast meat and that when we 'roast' a joint in the oven we are really just baking it. And yes after all his efforts he did get first pickings of the delicious juicy joint!

Quarter sawn oak panelling was everywhere in the palace, used for it's stability in these thin sections.


The beauty of booked matched quarter sawn panels was also fully exploited.



There were rooms full of this intricate linen fold carving


Needless to say if you have never been to Hampton Court Palace it is well worth a visit. If you want to do the house and gardens it's a full days trip, if not two.


Monday, 10 July 2017

Wall Mounted Tool Cabinet


Ben from the US sent me these pictures of his wall mounted tools cabinet which is nearing completion. He has cut some very neat dovetails using the magnetic guide as well as some clean looking sliding dovetails.

Ben has chosen three butt hinges per side which will manage the doors well, especially as they are going to be storing his lighter tools.


Ben also has a website http://schmolzewoodworks.com/ where shows the process of making this fine bench plus many other interesting projects.


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Furniture and Cabinet Making Magazine August 2017


The latest edition of F&C is now on the shelves. It follows Fine Woodworking in it's retro, understated cover layout and looks very professional.



I've done an article on the twisted dovetail showing the method in detail. It's not as difficult as it may look, unless of course you want to emulate Theo Cook's wonderful version, see above.


The American theme continues with a good article on plane maker Matt Bickford.


An very interesting article on adding curved platens to a belt sander.


And part three of 'stack marking'. Maybe I'm missing something here, but in all three articles I'm left thinking this seems a great way of making a simple task complicated! Anyone else any thoughts?


Monday, 3 July 2017

Nice Dovetailed Box.


Luther from the US sent me these pictures of his version of one of my boxes. This is the one we make on the two day dovetailing course I teach.


It's made from walnut and western maple and has 1:6 angled dovetails.


He has inlayed a small circle to indicated where to tilt the lid.


The mitred lining can be seen, which dips at one end show the method of opening.
Luther said he very much enjoyed making the box and he should be proud of the result.


Friday, 30 June 2017

John Makepeace New Book


Following the visit to John's fine house he did a talk the next day to a packed audience. The main purpose of the talk was to launch his new book detailing the work and careers of the people that passed through Parnham. It reads like a 'who's who' of the furniture making world, although many of the students branched out into other disciplines such as architecture. I haven't read the whole thing yet but it's a truly fascinating book, and I highly recommend buying a copy on it's imminent release. John very kindly signed my copy, a true gentleman.
  

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

John Makepeace Visit.


On Sunday I visited John Makepeace's beautiful house in Beaminster Dorset. This was what he has downsized to!

John himself was on hand all afternoon to generously discuss his pieces on display as well as any other questions.

This is a painted version of his Knot Chair.


A very simple and modern chair which was very comfortable, yes you were allowed to sit on them.


His famous layered chair which revealed the coloured layers as it was carefully shaped.


A pretty one in sycamore and bleached burr elm.


John made many pieces combining wood and metal, I prefer the all wooden ones.


This is a detailed shot of a magnificent burr oak side table, about 7' long and 2' wide made from a single board of solid burr.

The fruit table below is whimsical and beautifully made, as were all the pieces.


A chair with a cast aluminium seat and a lovely blanket chest/ seat in rippled sycamore.


The chair below was my favourite in yew, very organic.


A cosy seat for two.

Some of the pieces on display were for sale and I heard John telling someone this pair of Zebra cabinets were available for £65,000! They didn't seem fazed although they weren't being loaded into their car when they left.

The gardens were equally as impressive as the house.


A great way to spend a couple of hours.