Sunday 27 July 2014


Over the weekend we went to a family friends 50th birthday party.
It was also my birthday but I don't like lots of fuss and attention and just as I thought I'd got away with it, I was presented with this beautifully made (and tasting!) cake. The four candles represented the difference in our ages, unfortunately I'm older than her.

The miniature chisels and planes were very well done and a lovely touch, thanks very much Theresa.

Sunday 20 July 2014

High Angle Smoothers

I'm just completing a batch of high angle smoothers in Lignum Vitae (Palo Santo). It's amazing how much this wood darkens on exposure to sunlight, you can see my jack plane which has gone a very very dark green. I love this plane, left straight off the band saw just as James Krenov advocated. I have always finished off the planes I sell, as I figured the natural look wouldn't sell too well!
I had a request for an unfinished one recently which was nice and the work saved also reduced the cost by £20.

Friday 18 July 2014

Wonderful English Walnut

I'm just starting to make a small coffee / side table from some lovely English Walnut. After trimming and flattening the board ended up 42" x 16" x 1 1/2" thick. There were knots and cracks on both sides which I filled and stabilised with a fair amount of Epoxy resin.
The shot below shows the first flood coat of oil which shows the beauty of this fine board. It would be nice to continue the hand rubbed oil finish but the epoxy will stand out as a shiny patch. So it will be finished with three coats of matt Osmo Hardwax oil which will build up and harmonise the sheen as well as providing good protection.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Projects From France

I was sent these pictures by Matthieu from France, a keen and accomplished woodworker.

He spent a week with famous box maker Peter Lloyd and you can see his influences in this nice oak box with wooden hinges.

A very simple but effective picture frame.

A very sturdy looking oak table with wedged rails and butterfly keys.

Thursday 10 July 2014

Mini Smoothers

I've just completed another batch of mini smoothers in Kingwood and tulipwood. For those of you waiting your planes are on their way.

There was some wonderful grain and it's a pleasure to work in these rare and beautiful timbers.

Sunday 6 July 2014

Latest Issue of F&C Magazine

Over the last two or three years the quality of the articles and the editorial input has generally declined in most woodworking magazines. But I'm very pleased to see that Furniture and Cabinetmaking has gone the other way, no doubt thanks to the hard work of it's editor Derek Jones. This months issue was one of the best I've read.
Kicking off with four pages of interesting news and events (sorry about the photos I can't seem to get them the right way up!)

I was interested to see David Wall from White Willow has entered the wooden hand plane market in the UK. His planes look very well made and comfortable to use, you can see them here

There was a review on my squares which is always nice to see.

An article on decorative dovetails by John Bullar was also very interesting and informative.

A fascinating 5 page profile of Neil and Pam Erasmus from Australia was great see, I've long been an admirer of their work.

Another dovetail article, this time seven pages on how to prepare, mark up and cut this fine hexagonal bowl. I think I would need a bit more time on my hands before attempting this one!

And finally a five page article on the T Norris and sons, the most famous of the infill plane makers of yesteryear, featuring some rare and beautiful planes from the Russell collection.

It's no surprise that sales of F&C are increasing strongly in the US and for anyone thinking of subscribing I would highly recommend it.

Friday 4 July 2014

Timberline Wood Yard Visit

Now I know I probably don't need any more timber but the lure of rare and beautiful wood is too much to resist! Below is a close up of some lovely mild grained Andaman Padauk, this stuff is unobtainable now so I couldn't resist it. The colour ranges from light to dark orange and tones down to a lovely rich red over time, somewhat different to its African cousin which starts very bright but quickly tones down to a dull grey. Bob at Timberline does have some more but he keeps it tucked away and it's not cheap!

Here's a small chunk of quarter sawn bog oak, 5,600 years old. It has a ripple running through and will make some wonderful boxes.

I also bought some boards of Indian laurel, again with a nice mild grain.This piece was unusually light in colour and has some lovely black lines running through, reminiscent of ziricote.

I was very pleased with my haul once the surfaces were revealed, now I just need to find the time to make some furniture!

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Nice Customer Box

Kevin recently came on my dovetailing course and it's great to see him getting straight on with some practice. Through dovetailing on this scale in oak requires some skill, helped along with some nice tools of course!

This is a fairly large box made with some lovely rippled oak (quite rare) and spalted beech panels.

There's a nice delicate finger recess and a pair of strong Brusso hinges for the lid.

Here's a shot of the work in progress showing a nice tool cabinet and good looking home made Moxon vice. With the other tools I can see, this is definitely a bench set up for some serious dovetailing!