Friday 31 January 2014

Sauer and Steiner K7 Plane.

A little while ago I ordered a plane from Konrad, it's all steel with a desert ironwood infill. He has been kind enough to send me photos of the progress which seems to be going quickly.
You can see examples of the finished plane here

I'll leave you to enjoy the photos, I think it's going to look nice!

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Chris Schwarz Teaching in the UK.

The New English Workshop has been set up by Derek Jones, editor of Furniture and Cabinetmaking magazine
It aims up to promote and encourage traditional methods of working as well as educating and training to the highest level. And what better way to start than by recruiting hand tool junkie Chris Schwarz from the US to teach two courses.
The first will be a 5 five days course on making the Anarchists Tool Chest at a very reasonable £595 + materials. It has more than 100 dovetails so not for beginners or the faint hearted!
The second course will be making the Dutch tool chest over 2 days and is priced at £295 + materials.

I will be playing my part in this venture and I've donated one of my Lignum smoothers as my part towards the kitting out the tool chest which Chris will be making. This will be auctioned off at the end with the proceeds going towards the cause. Their Blog has just started which should be well worth following

Sunday 26 January 2014

Jefferson Bookcase from Down Under.

A customer from Sydney Australia kindly sent me these pictures of his Jefferson style bookcase. It's made from Kauri pine and was inspired by the one Jameel Abraham built.

There were 144 dovetails and my 1:6 guide proved very useful. There was a lot work and skill went into getting such crisp joints especially those gap free mitres. Well done David.

Friday 24 January 2014

New Boxes for Magnetic Guides

I'm always looking to improve as well as streamline my tools and processes. Here's my smart new boxes professionally printed for use with all my magnetic guides.
The sharp eyed may have spotted a column for a 45 degree guide, this should be available in the next 8 weeks in time for the show at Yandles. There's also a blank column for any future guides I haven't yet thought of (well actually there are a couple at the design stage, more of that later in the year).
And here's what 2,000 of them looks like in the middle of our hallway, being guarded by one of our terriers!

Monday 20 January 2014

Customer Project From Australia

Here's a bright box from a good customer in Australia. Loosely based on my tool box project this one is to store competition medals for an archery enthusiast.

The book matched panel is black bean which is particularly effective. The carcass in camphor laurel.

The super fine dovetail are very well done and he obviously prefers leaving the base line in which is no bad thing. The bridle joints look good and this is a great joint for keeping the lid flat over time.
Well done Stuart!

Saturday 18 January 2014

Tool Box from Germany

Thomas, a good customer from Germany, sent me these pictures of a tool box he has just made. He based the design on the article I did for F&C magazine except his is a bit taller. It's made from nice quarter sawn oak and has a flamed oak veneered panel.

The dovetails look nice and crisp courtesy of my 1:6 dovetail guide and the trays are a nice piston fit just like the ones in my You Tube video. The down side of trays that glide slowly down on a cushion of air is that they take just as much time to pull out and with a lot more effort! I have a 1" diameter hole in the bottom of my trays which is positioned under one of my planes, this is easily exposed making removal of the tray a lot easier. Well done Thomas, a tool box to be proud of.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Japanese Chisels for Dovetailing, Sneak Preview.

For the past few months I've been working to get a set of Japanese chisels produced which are ideal for dovetailing, and here they are! They have been forged by master blacksmith Ouchi who is renowned for making professional quality chisels from the finest white paper steel (hardened to Rc 65).
I am selling a set of four (6,9,12 and 18 mm) including a heavy duty tool roll for £255.

The sides are angled at 15 degrees and come down to a clean edge which is perfect for getting right into the corners of dovetails. The handles are boxwood with the core running down the centre for maximum stability.

The main bevel is ground at a shallow 25 degrees so that the tip can be honed at 30 degrees. The shallow angle helps avoid the base line being compressed as the waste is being removed.

The backs have been beautifully prepared ready for a lick on a fine stone.

Now I know Japanese 'dovetail' chisels are widely available but don't be fooled by the name, as I was about 15 years ago. The word 'dovetail' refers to their shape and not their intended purpose, they still have square edges the same as other Japanese chisels. I ground the edges down on my old set and they work great, although the dovetail shape makes them awkward to use in a honing guide.
So there we have it, at last a set of fine Japanese chisels designed to meet the needs of Western dovetailers. They are not cheap but are in line with other premium chisel brands and that wonderful steel..........!
They'll be on my website in a couple of weeks and I'll be making a You Tube video in the next 2 months.

Monday 13 January 2014

Buck Rogers Plane Has Landed!

Ever since I saw this 'Buck Rogers' plane by Millers Falls in the Hand Plane Book, I wanted one. Not usually seen outside the US and even then not common, one popped up on E Bay a couple of weeks ago and I had to have it!

It's in very good condition retaining nearly all the chrome and paint work with no rust or pitting and a nearly full length iron.

The styling is typical of the period with Tenite moulded handles and an oversized adjuster wheel.

The Bailey style adjuster (the only one worth having) is incorporated within the frog in order to retain the clean lines. The frog and the handles are all one casting which makes for a very solid set up.

The lever cap is a substantial thing with a hinged lower section similar to Clifton although it's not removable. The blade was made shorter than normal to stay within the confines of the design.
It was advertised as the worlds best plane which is perhaps stretching a bit, but there is much to commend it. It has a 2" wide blade and is certainly more substantial than a Stanley No 4. On the digital kitchen scales (don't tell the wife) it weighs exactly 4lbs, surely another part of the well planned design.

This is my favourite bit the rounded front end. Solid steel, polished but not chromed, great stuff.

Saturday 11 January 2014

The Worlds Best Block Plane!

Yes Karl Holtey has released a new plane and it's a cracker! Let's get the price out of the way first, it's £5,160 + vat. A friend of mine owns this one and I was privileged to be allowed to have a go with it.
The 983 has been engineered to unbelievable standards and the finish is immaculate. It combines brushed and polished stainless steel with a very comfortable knob. This one is in a whacky acrylic but it is also available in wood for the less brave.

The blade is 1 1/2" wide and the plane is very heavy and a treat to use. It planed this masser birch effortlessly with not a hint of tear out.

The plane disassembled showing the Norris style adjuster and the lever cap milled from a solid lump of stainless steel.

My friend has a few Holtey planes including this 98 panel which was made in very small numbers. The panel version of the No 98 smoother is a more versatile plane and one I would love to own.

An even more impressive plane is this 22" jointer, there's not much this can't take on, assuming you've got the strength to get it going!

The rosewood handles are a joy to behold!
If you want to see more of Karls work please

Friday 10 January 2014

Dovetailing Course Full!!

I've done a few courses at West Dean College, but I've never had one fill up in just three weeks!
The course is limited to eight students which is a nice number and just about the maximum I can juggle at one time!
Thank you to all those who have signed up and I look forward to meeting you in May.

Thursday 9 January 2014

Home Made Moxon Vice.

Norman sent me some pictures of his home made Moxon vice. He bought the screws and nuts and made the handles. He's very pleased with the performance and it certainly looks a robust vice!

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Customer Projects from around the World.

I always like it when customers send me photos of their work, so keep them coming! The shot above is from Mike of Germany, this was his first go at dovetails with the guide and 372 saw and he's done a great job!

This is copy of my chisel hammer from an article I wrote for F&C magazine. It took Robert, from the UK, a few hours to complete but he was very pleased with the result. The walnut handle looks nice.

The rest of the pictures are from Roger in Mexico, a talented and obviously very active woodworker.   I like the money box in the last picture the best.