Monday 29 April 2013

Nice Toolbox.

I always like to see projects inspired by my work and this is a fine toolbox in ash and sapele with a wenge pull.

A nicely divided lift out tray, which I'm assured is a good piston fit.

It is on display in Yandles gallery with a price tag of £1,000 which is very reasonable for the amount of work involved.
Below is a nicely shaped handle, comfortable and no bigger than needed to do the job.                        Well done Shelton and thanks for sending in the pictures.

Saturday 27 April 2013

The Best Drill Press Table

Over the years I've had 2 or three different set up for the drill press, the last was an Axminster table with fence and stops. It was cheap and rubbish, I was being lazy! I've had this system for about 3 years and I should have done it from the start. At the heart is the Flip stop system which costs a fortune but worth every penny
It is accurate, robust and works like a dream. You can even hold a piece between two stops and there is no play whatsoever.

The table was made from 2 pieces of multiply 3/4" and 1/2", instead of routing the groove for the two fence channels I simply cut the top 1/2" board and assembled the top around the grooves. The table measure 40" x 24" and is solid as a rock.

My drill press is an old Free standing Meddings which was bought very cheaply as it was three phase, it is very solid and accurate. It's not the heaviest machine in my workshop but it was of the most awkward to get in.

To overcome the lack of three phase I bought a phase converter (or should that inverter?) which cost as much as the drill press but works very well. The nice thing about this is the variable speed control, so much easier than changing belts (who ever does that?!)

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Making Shooting Boards

I'll be teaching a weekend course 'success with bench planes' at West Dean College
This is the first time I've run this course so I need to get things ready. Here's a stack of long shooting boards ready for action.

Add on mitre guides for pictures frames and box sides also had to be made from good quality multi ply.

This is the picture frame attachment in use.

This is the 'donkeys ear' attachment for shooting box sides.

The shooting board being used to true up an edge with an antique Stanley No 6 fitted with a Hock blade.

My version of the 'hot dog' handle which makes things more comfortable.
The course runs from the 10th - 12th May, 7 booked, 3 more places left.

Monday 22 April 2013

Dovetail Alignment Board Project

A recent customer wasted no time in putting my tools to good use. Making a dovetail alignment board is a great first project to get used to my magnetic guide, if you leave the board over length and things don't go quite to plan you can always cut off the joint and have another go. Much better than launching straight into a nice piece and regretting it.
Thanks for the picture Lawrence and good luck with your woodworking!

Friday 19 April 2013

Customer Project From OZ

Now I know they breed them tough in Australia but this is bordering on masochism!
This chunky turntable surround was dovetailed in River Red Gum, one of those hard as concrete Oz timbers. He used my guide for the dovetails although it's really designed for more delicate work.
Considering the timber and the thickness used, he's done a fine job, just glad it wasn't me!!

Tuesday 16 April 2013

New Article F&C Magazine

The latest Furniture and Cabinet Making is out with an article on my Oak bench. The cover shows the technique I used for wedged tenons which I was shown at the Barnsley Workshops.
That furry thing to the right is one of our dogs letting me know it's time for a walk.

The bench was too big for my photographers studio, hence the poor quality picture. I must learn how to take better photos

The board for the curved top came from this 8' board of figured oak, it weighed a ton!

These pictures show the angled saw cuts and the trial fitted wedges. The wedges are carefully made to fit the angle of the flared mortice perfectly.

Here's the result, a strong as well as good looking joint.

Saturday 13 April 2013

Antique Japanese Planes on E Bay.

A couple of weeks ago I posted on tuning up this Japanese plane purchased on E Bay from 'the Japan blade'.  For anyone interested he has got a dozen or so planes for sale on E Bay right now.  

All the planes are 60+ years old but they have never been used. The dai don't seem this old and they naturally need tuning up to fit the blade and chip breaker. The planes I have bought from Alex have been excellent and I would highly recommend buying any of these planes while you have the chance.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

A Fine Tool Box!

I love making tool boxes and this is one I would be proud of. It's made by Richard Wile and you can have a look at his blog for some very interesting projects
Richard is using one of my magnetic guides for the dovetails.

Here's a shot with the first coats of finish applied and below is the finished box complete with graduated iron knobs. I like the tasteful use of the cherry sapwood.

The contents certainly do the box justice with some fine Bridge City marking tools.

The plane drawer has one of my mini smoothers which is in exalted company, I can spot a Holtey high angle smoother as well as an original by James Krenov, great stuff!

Saturday 6 April 2013

Yandles Show, a Good One!

It's always nice to see planes made after reading my articles in F&C magazine. This was a nice pair, the left one has a Ron Hock blade and the other has an old blade bedded at 57 degrees.

David Charlesworth called by for a chat. He recommends my dovetail guide and was rather taken with my high angle spoke shave. He has some space left on his Summer courses, Hartland is a lovely place to visit, particularly in the Summertime.

Bridgwater College is one of the best colleges in the country for budding cabinet makers, thanks in no small part to Steven Hopper (the one on the right wearing the furry hat). That hat never came off all weekend!  He worked for the late, great Alan Peters for many years, you can't get much better qualified than that.

This box with hand cut dovetails has a lift off lid with very delicate chamfers, allowing just enough room for finger tips, a nice touch.

A more advanced piece incorporating lots of hand skills.

Next to me at the show was James Mursell, a very nice man who makes fine Windsor chairs, they are very comfortable as you can see! He also teaches highly rated chair making classes at his work shops and West Dean College. James produces a range of very efficiently shaves which are great tools and good sellers.
Despite the cold weather this was a very well attended show and good for business, although I'm not sure the ice cream van man did so well!

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Loading For Yandles Show

 Yandles Spring show is this Friday and Saturday and I've spent this evening getting things ready. All this lot (including the bench) squeezes into my estate car (station wagon). I also get in my stand and stool, thank goodness the trestle tables are provided! Although I take about £6,000 worth of stock there always seems to be some tool that sells out.
These stacking storage boxes make transportation easier and safer. I have about 25 in the workshop and they're a great space saver, they're not so great when the tool you want is in the bottom box.
The weather has been unseasonally cold, I'm hoping it's going to pick up a bit as my stand is in one of the marquees. Demonstrating dovetails with frozen fingers is not much fun!