Sunday 29 June 2014

Oouchi 3 mm Dovetail Chisel.

I've just received my latest batch of dovetail chisels from Mr Oouchi in Japan.
Due to a number of requests I now have in stock the 3 mm chisel which I am selling separately from the set, see my website. It's not a size I use very much but is ideal for getting into tight spaces such as the corners of half blind dovetail sockets. For those interested it comes with a warning, this is a delicate thing and must be handled with care, it is for paring and not prying or whacking with a hammer!
Mr Oouchi wasn't happy making such a delicate chisel and needed some persuasion. He has however done a fine job and it's a lovely thing to behold and use.

Friday 27 June 2014

Home Made Moxon Vice From Germany

Above is a link to a nice video on the making of a home made Moxon Vice. Unfortunately it is in German but is pretty self explanatory. It looks to me as if nuts were welded to a pair of weightlifting weights, very effective.
Below is another of Mike's videos showing the making of a nice pivot hinge dovetailed box using one of my dovetail guides with the 372 saw and a nicely home made alignment board.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Moxon Vice Fitted to a Workbench

A good customer sent me these pictures of his Moxon vice permanently installed in his work bench, as per my You Tube video.
He looks to have done a really nice job, even taking the time to recess the hexagonal nuts very neatly into the apron. Although the Benchcrafted Moxon vice is not intended to be installed permanently, as it does have some limitations for general use, mine gets plenty of use and I know Terry is pleased with his so far.

Monday 23 June 2014

Magazine Article on Dovetail Guides.

It's always nice to see a review of my tools although this one was beyond me. My German is non existant so I had to enlist the help of Mike, one of my German customers, who very kindly did a beautiful translation.

It reads, 'Most dovetail guides provide you with the correct angle for sawing, but the actual sawing is still left to the abilities of the individual woodworker. This is not the case with the coloured aluminium guides from David Barron. In the test shop of Holtzwerken we used the blue dovetail guide with th 1:7 angle, perfect for hardwood. David Barron's guides have two strong magnets which force the saw to the guide with a characteristic 'Klong' (I think we can all understand that one!) and these direct the saw along the guide. A replaceable plastic pad protects both the guide and the saw from damage.
We were pleased to see the guide kept the cuts straight, square and spot on every time. Also it reduces the need for time consuming marking out of the dovetails. The result of our test was that you get almost perfect dovetails, straight away.'

In Germany metal planes never really took over from wooden ones as elsewhere and there are a two of manufacturers still going strong. There were a couple of articles in the magazine on wooden planes and their use and the whole publication looked very interesting, if only I could speak German!

Friday 20 June 2014

Bob's Tool Box

My annual trip to Cornwall wouldn't be complete without a visit to Bob's Tool Box in Liskeard. Not so much a box as a row of three sheds crammed full of antique tools.

The Cornish flag is flying high and they are very proud of their county. Some would like independance from the rest of the UK, we'll see how Scotland gets on first!
I wonder what Bob's views on this are as a Scot living in Cornwall, I must ask him next year.

He's had a major tidy up since last year and the rows of planes looked very regimented.

Below is a till from the 1920's complete with working till roll mechanism and drawer bell, straight out of 'Open All Hours' but without the bite!

The corners were dovetailed and it was a very appealing box especially at £55.

In the end I stuck to what I know and bought a Spiers smoother and an unusually wide user made chariot plane in brass with a steel sole, I just need to find it a blade.

The last thing I bought was a chunk of 3" thick rosewood, after a bit of exploratory planing it looked like old growth Indian rosewood but I'll have to ask the other Bob at Timberline.

When I asked the price I was told it is priced by weight. Isn't it funny how the heaviest woods are priced by weight and not size! Anyway after a bit of haggling it was mine.

I was determined not to bore you all with pictures of the Cornish coast (they are never as good as being there anyway) but here is one which captures the essence, rugged rocks with white sands. This is Trebarwith Strand near Tintagel and it's reached down a long single track road. The sat nav summed it up showing a road going nowhere with open sea beyond, time to relax!

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Customers Humidor Project

A customer sent through these pictures of a humidor his son has just made. With no formal training I think he has done a wonderful job.

The box has been sympathetically veneered in Indian rosewood and lipped in African blackwood.
The lining is the traditional Spanish cedar and he has fitted a humidity kit.
The hinges are made by Brusso.

The only thing left to do is beef up the cigar collection!

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Massive Wooden Screws

We've just come back from a week in Italy. On a particularly hot day we sought some relief in a very nice air conditioned museum on the making of olive oil. This massive wooden screw was at least 6" diameter, I wonder what that wood look like in a work bench!
This was used for the pressing of olive pulp to extract the oil.

There were wooden screw everywhere. They had an old press still working powered by water which was fascinating to watch.

We stayed in Bardolino on the shores of Lake Garda and had a very relaxing time. I can highly recommend this area, the scenery is stunning, the food and wine were lovely and it wasn't too touristy or expensive to eat out. The weather averaged 30 degrees and we didn't see a drop of rain.
Seems like a distant memory............

Tuesday 10 June 2014

More Customer Projects!

These boxes were made by Lawrence from Northern Ireland using the 372 saw and 1:6 guide. He's done a great job and I know is very pleased with the sharpness they have helped him to achieve.

Here's a dovetail alignment board from Kent in the US, this time made without the assistance of a magnetic guide, obviously an experienced dovetailer. The width is 8" which suits his scale of work.

The material is quarter sawn walnut which should be nice and stable. The fence is maple and is screwed in place which allows for adjustment in the future if required.

The dovetail angle looks about 1:4, not the easiest of angles to dovetail cleanly, especially in hard wood, nice job.

Monday 9 June 2014

Ring Holders With Andrew Crawford

A fews years ago I spent a couple of days with boxmaker Andrew Crawford learning how he lined his superb boxes. One of the areas I always struggled with was creating neat ring holders.
The starting point was 1.5 mm (1/16") MDF with the top corners radiused on the disc sander.

Next 1/2" wide 3M doubled sided tape was applied to each side, followed by folding a strip of 1/8" thick foam over the top edge. Excess foam was trimmed from the bottom and sides, but not around the radius.

Spray adhesive was then applied ready for the pig suede lining which cut to size beforehand, leaving about 1/2" over at each end.

This was carefully trimmed as shown below.

The ends were folded first and stuck with latex glue, it reminds me of a mouse!

The flap is then folded over the radiused corner without pulling too tight and again glued with latex.

The resulting sausages are then simply friction fitted into a space which is about 75% smaller. In this case I went for two rows which needed three of the sausages.

Things worked out very neatly and my ring holders have been great ever since. In fact the whole two days I spent in his workshop was an invaluable experience.
Andrew takes many courses throughout the year I can highly recommend them.

Friday 6 June 2014

Dovetail Alignment Board

Here's a very solid looking dovetail alignment board made by Terry who attended the recent course dovetailing. The oak is clearly bang on quarter sawn as you can see the medullary rays which means this should remain both stable and flat over the years. The low fence is all you need to register timber of any thickness and does not get in the way.
I do not like shipping the ones I make as they are both bulky and heavy. I had a request yesterday to ship one flat packed to Australia, but this does not get over the weight cost.
This is a great first project when you finish one of my guides and I would rather everyone made their own rather than buy them from me.

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Dovetailing Course at West Dean, Available to Book Now!

With one weekend dovetailing course just ended, the next one is available to book now. It's on the 5th - 7th December 2014 at the wonderful West Dean College and can be booked here
If you are thinking about coming, don't leave it too late as the last course was booked up inside 4 weeks.
The course is priced at £239 (£227 if you book on line). It includes all materials as well dinner on the first night and lunch on the next two days as well as plenty of tea and coffee. You'll come away with a fine dovetailed box and a couple of pounds heavier!

Here's the class of 2012 with their boxes.

The 2011 class looking pleased, I think!

This years class who did very well in just two days.

These are the boxes from this year, all complete with their tilting spalted beech lids.

Although the course involves making a dovetailed box it is actually a lesson in working accurately with razor sharp tools. This will hopefully lift those attending to another level for all their woodworking.

Sunday 1 June 2014

Customer Project Fron Canada

A good customer from Canada sent me these pictures of his latest project, a pair of bedside cabinets.
I particularly like the drawer pulls reminiscent of Alan Peters and James Krenov.
The dovetails were very cleanly executed.