Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Finishing the Walnut Chest

So here is the little walnut chest with it's last coat of finish applied.

That walnut is gorgeous with it's brown, grey, salmon and black streaks.

Getting a great finish on walnut is not easy. A matt surface which suits ash and oak so well doesn't look good at all. A shiny surface is easy to achieve with shellac, but it shows up every scratch and I'm not keen on the high gloss look.
If I had used an oil finish on the bare wood it would have highlighted the big contrast in the colours and again this would not have shown the walnut at it's best.

So here is my finish formula. Two coats of hand rubbed Melamine Lacquer to seal the grain and preserve the colours followed by two coats of Osmo Polyx Oil Matt which leaves a dull but well protected surface. To finish and build a nice tactile sheen, I've applied three coats of Auro oil wax which I buffed up after each coat.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Article in F&C Magazine

The latest F&C magazine has landed and my project is on the front cover.

It's a small chest of drawers made from rippled chestnut with plenty of half blind dovetails.

There are a few tips on cutting, shaping and gluing up curves as well creating piston fit drawers.

Derek Jones, the editor, has produced a nice article on his Japanese style tool box, he also runs course on making this box.

There's a good article on cutting veneers on the band saw.

Vic Tesolin shows how to make a sturdy Tudor style bench.

...and there's plenty more to enjoy. Next month features fantastic sunrise dovetails by Theo Cook, check out his video on YouTube if you haven't seen it already.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Miller Shoulder Plane.

I collect planes made by George Miller (working from 1890 - 1914) and when I saw this one for sale I snapped it up. It has an ebony infill and the rare 'rhino horn' protrusion, which is undamaged. This was the first time I've seen this feature in the flesh.

Like all Miller planes it has a nice tight mouth and is very heavy, weighing in at 1700 gr (almost 4lb).
The rhino horn can be used for a wider front grip......

....but I think it is more likely to help it to be used one handed.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Cold Weather

Here on the South coast of the UK we hardly see a frost and it's been 5 years since we've seen a snow flake. But it's been so cold that even the fountain started to freeze.

Then came the snow, I think it's time to turn the pump off!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

James Krenov's Bench

Here are some shots of James Krenov's work bench, If only it could talk!
You can see the full Blog post here

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Finishing off the Base of the Chest

The underside will be the least seen of the outside surfaces but still needs care and thought. To give the chest a little lift, I stuck on this 5 mm thick piece of matching walnut. It was about 75% of the area of the base so as not to be visible. I chamfered the edges with the excellent little Philip Marcou chamfer plane.

To prevent the base sliding around and getting unsightly scratches I added four leather bumpers. Rather than buy the felt ones which are too thick, I used some nice brown leather and double sided tape. This way I can choose the colour, thickness and size and they're a lot cheaper too!

Monday, 26 February 2018

Inlaying Name Plaque

When I ordered these little stainless steel name plaques I had planned to make a router template to inlay them in my work. However due to their small dimensions they are all slightly different in size and therefore need to be individually fitted. To ensure a tight fit I filed a small inside chamfer to each edge so that when I marked round with a sharp knife, it was a fraction undersize. A dab of double sided tape on the back prevented it slipping. I routed very close to the knife lines with my excellent little Makita trim router and carefully chiselled back to the lines and squared off the corners. A bit of persuasion with the rounded handle of my chisel hammer finished the job.
Forgot to say if anyone is interested the company is Blue Badger Branding.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Chris Becksvoort Router Bit

Here is the back panel to the walnut chest showing a nice even reveal. I've had this Becksvoort router bit for years and I use it on all my panels. It has a 22 degree angle instead of the usual 90 degrees which requires more care but the results are worth it.

They are available from Lee Valley.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Comfortable Shooting with Lie Nielsen No 7

I bought this plane recently mainly to shoot the edges of longer pieces. After only a few strokes it starts to be uncomfortable, so I made my own rough and ready side handle or 'hot dog'. It's just a piece of maple with a tight fitting slot and the edges rounded.

In use it allows me to hold the plane and apply sideways as well as forward pressure in relative comfort. The position of my hand with the palm behind the blade and the fore finger ahead of it allows me to apply pressure at the start of the cut at the front and the finish of the cut to the rear. This helps prevent rounding of the edge.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Alan Peters No 7 Bedrock Plane for Sale

A unique opportunity to buy Alan Peters No 7 plane. He used this plane all the time, even for small work and it comes with a letter of authenticity from his wife Laura.

The plane itself is an early Bedrock 607 from around 1900 but has a later lever cap, blade and front knob. These were no doubt replaced by Alan to improve performance and the plane should certainly work very well. You can see the E Bay listing here.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

David Barron Bench for Sale.

Here's a small but very sturdy little bench I made a while ago being sold by a friend of mine. It measures 42" wide x 24" deep x 37" high and would make an ideal bench for a small workshop or as a second bench. The base was made from 4" square pine (I don't remember painting it that colour!) and the top is 2 1/2" solid beech. The two bench stops can be used in the multiple holes and making it ideal for hand planning. The low stretcher and relatively high top means you can work sitting down with your knees under, great for chopping out dovetails.

The wooden leg vice has a massive 2 1/2" diameter wooden screw (also made by me) which is a pleasure to use. You can see the E Bay listing here.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Sjobergs Bench on E Bay, Excellent Condition

Here is a classic cabinet makers work bench made a few years but in 'as new' condition, you can still see the factory planer marks on the top. This is not the lightweight 3' 6" version but their full sized model . The top (excluding vices) is 1500 mm long x 435 wide (655 at the vice end). In my view this is a much better bench than their current Elite model and offered at a fraction of the price, offers on £450.
The E Bay listing is poor with pictures upside down and very little detail on the description, I gained this info from corresponding with the seller, who seemed very genuine. It's located in SW London.
If you need a bench of this size it's one not to be missed!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Drawer Fitting

I've been able to spend a little more time on the walnut chest and with the drawers glued up it was time to carefully fit each drawer. I made a nice tight drawer support from 1" ply, to ensure the thin sides were fully supported and didn't flex during planning, higher angle planes with a super tight mouth were needed to avoid tear out on the highly figured sides.

When I get close to the required fit I use sandpaper for final tuning, it's amazing how easy it is to go too far!

The drawers are fitted from the rear, this should enter quite easily as the rear is a shade wider than the front, see previous posts for the process.

The fit at this stage makes sure the drawer can come out of the front but still binds a little at the rear. Final fitting will be done with the drawer bottoms in place.

The walnut is looking gorgeous, I can't wait to get some finish on!