Tuesday, 25 December 2018
I wish all of you a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
These pictures sent in by Robert from Toronto are of a fine tool chest based upon a design by Michael Pekovich. The case is ash with beech edging and tool holders, olive wood for the small drawers and African blackwood handles. It's a Christmas present for his lucky son (tools not included!)
Thursday, 20 December 2018
I've designed a small single drawer chest for a three day course next year. I'm going through the making process to make sure the project is challenging, whilst still being able to be completed within three days. Above are the two book matched olive ash boards which have been band sawn and allowed to settle.
Shooting the edges, note the marks 'up' and 'down' referring to the way each board is planed to ensure a nice flat result.
With accurate planing, the only clamps needed are stretched masking tape. This is much better than using ordinary clamps which could easily warp the thin board.
With the parts for the carcass planed and cut square it was time to introduce a minute taper to the carcass by planing the ends of the top and rail with fine stop shavings. The taper will be helpful in achieving a piston fit drawer which is the goal of this project.
Verifying the taper shows that the front of the cabinet will be 0.15 mm narrower than the rear.
Using a template for marking out the 17 dovetails on the top corners. There are no end pins and an extra wide gap on one end was left for shaping the curved front which will be done later.
Here's my dovetailing kit, you'll notice the Optivisor loupe (with a no3 lens) which is invaluable for working on a small scale.
Here's the carcass glued up showing the through wedged tenons for the rail. These were quite time consuming and I think these may need to be omitted for the course.
The curve for the front was marked out and rough cut on the band saw before being refined on a disc sander. The table was set dead square to ensure an even finish and a light touch was needed, disc sanders can remove material fast!
The drawer parts were then all shot into their respective openings before cutting the half blind dovetails. The extra thick lap will be cut down to a nice thin one when the drawer is curved to match the carcass.
Monday, 26 November 2018
At last the work on the Alan Peters sideboard is finished. The doors now close, the drawers slide smoothly, the rear leg has been repaired, the dents have been steamed out, the scratches removed and the whole thing refinished with five coats of Skelton Peacock Oil.
The recycled Cuban mahogany came up really nicely with the initial deep red colour settling down to a lovely rich red brown.
When it first came in the Honduran mahogany was the same faded colour as the Cuban mahogany and it is great to see the subtle contrast which would have been apparent when new. The sideboard will be going to auction next year, I'll update with progress on this.
Monday, 19 November 2018
I was chatting to Chris, a very pleasant young man at the Harrogate show and after a while he asked if I wanted to see some pictures of a recently completed project. I was amazed.
Ostensibly a rectangular table and stool, has been designed with lots of subtle curves, angles and chamfers which all work to create a piece that's beautiful. The more you look, the more little details are discovered.
Chris has been 'on the tools' for 17 years and was introduced to woodworking at 7 years old. He's currently working at Cubby Construction in Carlisle and is looking to build up this bespoke side of the business.
The 'Nakashima' butterfly keys were added to wood which had been carefully split part way.
The double curves on the legs have an animal grace.
The stretchers were bent by laminating thin strips of ash, Chris then added a veneer of ash to cover the glue lines.
The stretchers were then shrouded in Wenge to match the dovetail keys.
The rear was treated with the same attention to detail with a wenge veneer on the back of the mirrors.
Friday, 16 November 2018
Before the doors opened at the Harrogate Show, I popped round to see Shane and Jaq Skelton who had a fine display of saws as well as good stocks of their new Peacock Oil range.
Shane pulled out a very posh bag which contained my new London Fine Carcass saw. It was a long wait but well worth it!
The handle is Andaman Padouk, which I bought a few years ago from Alan Peters widow, it has a lovely glow and was bang on quarter sawn.
Although not made for dovetailing, I had a quick go at the end of the show, once the saw got started it took just two strokes to cut those tails.
Thursday, 15 November 2018
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
I received a copy of this book today as a thanks for my very small contribution, the last image on the last page! This is an update on the two previous versions published in 1993 and 2003 and while it's hardly encyclopaedic in size it does cover most of the fundamental techniques of woodworking with plenty of quality photos and clear text.
At the back is 46 pages showing some very fine work. The table above in burr brown oak by Scott Woyka is a favourite of mine.
A beautiful veneered box by Christine Meyer Eagleston.
A wonderful piece by John Makepeace.
And lastly my humble offering, a dovetailed box with curved ends.
Sunday, 4 November 2018
The plane making course is now fully booked. I'm also running the course the following weekend 9th 10th March to cope with demand, this too is now full. I'm really looking forward to it!
Thursday, 1 November 2018
My plane making course is now available to book, please see my website for details.
This is the plane we will be making, a very useful 13" jack plane fitted with a top quality Ron Hock blade and chip breaker. The woods are brown oak with a Lignum Vitae sole and a bog oak cross pin. Great for smoothing, flattening and for using on the shooting board.
Monday, 29 October 2018
The owner of the sideboard sent me these pictures of another two pieces she owns. The little stool has been very well used, but it's been built to take it. The last one of these I saw come up at auction fetched well over £1,000
This side table would have cost far more at the time and certainly would have taken a lot longer to make, but now the style makes it less desirable which is a shame.
Both pieces are appreciated and get well used, which is nice to hear.