Tuesday 29 October 2013

Article in Furniture and Cabinetmaking Magazine.

The latest issue of F&C is out and it has a nice article on my wall cabinet in ash.

The exploded drawing is up to the usual high standard and very useful for anyone wishing to reproduce the piece. Derek Jones the editor is happy to e mail a PDF of the article to anyone from overseas who is interested.

In another article it was nice to see a picture of Derek using one of my 1:8 dovetail guides, great publicity!

He did a pretty good job on these London pattern skinny dovetails.

There is a an article on the best of the pieces at this years Celebration of Craftsmanship, some pretty impressive stuff.

 This desk top tambour by Charles Thompson won the 'best use of British timber' award with some wonderfully figured walnut. I liked the modern take on a traditional piece, if only he'd added the middle pin to the dovetails on the drawers. (or am I being old fashioned?)

Sunday 27 October 2013

1:6 Dovetails Guides back in Stock

I've been waiting for a delivery of 1:6 guides, which thankfully arrived on Friday. Although I'm having the guides manufactured there's still a fair amount of work to finish them off and package them.

The name badges were a bit of a tight fit and needed some 'persuasion'. I used the prototype for a new hammer to send them home without damage to the badge.
You can see the prototype hammer next to the lovely one given to me by Richard Wile http://richard-wile.blogspot.co.uk/
My version will have a rectangular handle for good registration in the hand and a replaceable wooden insert in one end. Watch this space.

Thursday 24 October 2013

New Planes in Solid Lignum Vitae

To date I've been making most of my planes with a Lignum Vitae sole. From now on I'm going to be making the high angle smoother, 9" smoother and jack plane from solid Lignum and I've just completed a batch. It is a wonderful wood, very oily, extremely hard wearing and very heavy, the perfect plane making wood. It's also very attractive in a manly way.

Here are the high angled smoothers. I made a batch of 4 for the European Woodworking Show to see how they went down, I sold them all and came away with back orders.

The 9" smoothers are longer wider and quite a bit heavier, although they may not appear so in the photos. The one in the front has a touch of sapwood which I always try to include if possible.

The jack planes have a real weight to them and feel great in the hand.

All the blanks are made from quarter sawn timber to minimise movement in service, I also like the look. This one was bang on the quarter.

The reversing grain picks up through the planer although it responds well to machine sanding, that is until it clogs the abrasive, which doesn't take long!

All the planes are now branded with my stainless steel name badge. There are so many curves on my planes there weren't too many options as to where this could go. Although the Lignum costs more to buy, I'll be holding the prices (for now!).

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Customer Projects From The Netherlands.

Here's a quirky and very practical bookcase made by Ed from the Netherlands, made form larch it is simple to make and yet effective. It has adjustable shelving and arranged as shown above it uses gravity to stop any of the books falling over.

Here's Ed version of my chisel tool box featured in one of my You Tube videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jKf35y5GfrY
It houses his Lie Nielsen chisels with spaces left for future purchases, always a good idea.
The scollops allow easy and safe selection.

It's made of maple and the dovetails are nicely cut.

Lastly a little box to take a burning stick, we call them 'a smelly' in our house. The box catches the ash.
Thanks to Ed for sharing his projects.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Full Size Wooden Bicycle

One of my friends is into antiques and he regularly gets interesting pieces. This is a full sized Raleigh bike made by an enthusiast in the 1970's and with the exception of the bolts holding the wheels on it is made entirely of wood. I'm pretty sure it's elm and it has developed a nice honey colour over time.
I would guess this would have taken 1,000 hours of dedicated work.

The saddle has a beautifully worked Brooks badge which is also made from wood.

The detail is excellent right down to the brakes and dynamo.

The famous Brooks sprung saddle is faithfully reproduced, the company is still going strong today with a cult following http://www.brooksengland.com/

Thursday 17 October 2013

Wonderful Puppets and Marionettes

At the European Woodworking Show I saw the work of Lenka, she is young and very talented.
She makes marionettes and glove puppets with wonderfully carved faces and hands. I couldn't resist and ordered this happy clown.

The clothing was equally well made.

What I really admire is the way the carving is left straight from the tool with no sanding, quick skilful and confident. If you want to see more of her work http://www.praguemarionette.com/ Have a look right at the bottom of the gallery page at 'Witch' my favourite.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Ancient Tools From the Mary Rose.

We visited the new Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth today. The war ship Mary Rose was commissioned by Henry VIII in 1510 and sunk in the Solent in 1545, so everything in the museum dates from between these dates. The table above is a well used butchers block with through tenons.

There were a large number of carpentry tools found showing just how important wood was in those days.
I can't remember the last time I saw a plane dating from the early 1500's at the David Stanley auctions.
These moulding planes look very comfortable.

A marking gauge, gimlets and large mallet.

Saws and a brace, the metal parts have long since corroded away.

There were lots of wooden chests, the more robust ones such as this one were nicely dovetailed at the corners.

Here is the skeleton of the ships dog, a well suited breed for catching rats. Next to him is a folding backgammon board.

More chests.

The tree below shows how important the master carpenter was on board ship.

The carpentry shop was sited on the upper deck, another sign of importance.

Here's Nelson's HMS Victory, we'll save that for another day.

Finally the obligatory photograph next to Henry VIII, he was a big lad!