Saturday 30 August 2014

Dovetails from Norway.

A good customer from Norway sent me these shots of his first go with the dovetail guide (1:6) and saw.
All these pictures came back within two weeks of the tools arriving which is great to see.

He's done a great job on this dovetail alignment board and this is a good first project to get used to using the guide.

That looks a nice sturdy bench as well as some good quality tools. Looks like he needs a tidy up though!

Here's an attractive hall table with asymmetric drawers which look good and shows some thought went into the design.

And some very nice sets of half blind dovetails for the drawers.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

New Batch of Lignum Jack Planes.

I don't sell many of these planes which is a surprise as it's the best all rounder, good for smoothing, flattening and for using on the shooting board. It's also a good looker!
Weighing in at 3lbs it feels really nice in the hand.

I changed the front slightly giving it a more rounded feel which I like.
I made the mouths really tight on all three.
One is sold and two are available.

I had been fitting my name plate on the side, the only area that wasn't curved! But I've not been very comfortable with this so I've found a more discreet spot underneath the blade.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Dovetailing Course, Only two Spaces Left

Now I know we're still in August (although looking outside you wouldn't guess!) and the next dovetailing course is not until December, but if you were thinking of booking don't wait too long there are only 2 places left.

Here's the class from earlier this year, everyone finished their boxes in the two days and we had a great time!

The course runs form 5-7th December at the picturesque West Dean College and you can book on their website

Sunday 24 August 2014

Alan Peters Bowl

I bought this 12" diameter elm bowl by Alan Peters on E Bay last week. I was the only one to bid, where were you all! It dates from the early 1970's and was bought from the Oxford Gallery. There was no damage but it was in a pretty sorry state. It looked very dry and had a array of stains and scratches so I decided the best thing to do was to sand it back and re finish it.

I used the domed head attachment on my Kirjes pneumatic sander for the inside and the standard drum for the outside. This is a wonderful machine and gets a lot of use in my shop (I have two).

I sanded through to 220 grit which took about 15 minutes in all.
In keeping with Alan's approach I used an oil finish and here it is after the first flood coat.

Below is the final finish after four coats, allowing the wonderful rich colour of the elm to come through. A bit better than when it arrived!

Friday 22 August 2014

New Tools on Website.

At last I've managed to get enough shots together to make the trip to the photographer worth while.
Above is a new tool, the dovetail spline guide. It enables the slots for reinforcing splines on mitred corners to be cut dead accurately. One side is a double dovetail and the other cuts at 90 degrees. The design possibilities are endless!
 I'm not sure why the shot of the new ceramic water stones from Sigma Power has come up so small.

The 45 degree guide shown here against a mitred corner of a dovetail joint.

The magnetic honing guide sets you up perfectly for a 30 degree angle as well as square.
And below are my cabinet makers squares, a pleasure to use.
I'm planning another batch of You Tube videos in October which will show all of these products in use.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Interesting Timbers Wood Yard

Interesting Timbers is South of Bath in Somerset and well worth a visit. This was the first wood yard I had ever visited nearly 20 years ago and I remember coming back with a van full of quarter sawn oak.
Here's the owner Dave Simmons he doesn't look a day older than when we first met!

There's plenty of wood in the yard, this is a massive butt of cedar.

He has loads of timber in stock, all locally sourced and air dried which is nice.

Although everything is stacked high they are very obliging and will pull out boards wherever they are!
There is no minimum order which is also a good thing.

Oak butts in the yard awaiting sawing, they do a fair bit for timber framing.

I bought a large plank of elm, it had plenty of defects but will make loads of nice box lids/panels.
What I really wanted was this massive burr plank of sweet chestnut which is 10' long x 3" thick. It would have made three great table tops (or one Nakashima!) but it was still quite green and must have weighed a ton. My back won the day and the plank along with the rest of the log stayed put. For anyone with the strength energy and patience this would be a great buy.

Monday 18 August 2014

Celebration of Craftsmanship, On Now!

I visited the annual show at Cheltenham yesterday and the standard of the work was probably the best I've seen in all my years of coming here. It runs to 25th August and I would highly recommend a visit.
Jason Heap, the organiser, very kindly let me take these pictures, they are the pieces that caught my eye.
Above is a beautiful cabinet by Derek Elliot priced at £5,750.
Below is a wonderful use of a piece of warped burr elm by Suzanne Hodgson, £2,450.

The next two pieces were finely crafted by Steven Hampson who I met at the show. Both pieces took around two months of dedicated work to make and are priced at £7,000 and £6,000 respectively.

These two above and below are by Christine Meyer-Eaglestone. I find her marquetry work just stunning, a true artist. The large wall panel above is priced at £800 and was the only piece at the show that tempted me to get my wallet out, I resisted! The cabinet below was £2,100.

The simple but very effective chair is by Robin Furlong £1,150.

The chair below is by Waywood at £2,350.

This sideboard is immaculately crafted by Kevin Stamper and again I was totally taken by the artistic marquetry.

A shot with doors open. Priced at £10,800.

Below is a lovely steam bent ash chair by Andrew Lane priced at £2,000.

A nice chest of drawers By Sue Hyslop in oak and burr oak. The drawers fronts have been shaped and they have discreet finger pulls running down each side. £3,450

A very grand an imposing chair by Designer Creations, £2,800.

A good selection of boxes although none stood out as special in my view.

A very unusual wall mounted storage unit with intricate carving by Stephen O' Brien £3,000

And here is the star of the show, immaculately made by Cimitree and a real head turner.
It stands 7 or 8 feet tall and never mind the £60,000 price tag I'd like to see the house that could take this piece!

Well there we go, a snapshot of the show. My pictures don't do the pieces justice you really need to see them in the flesh, you have until the 25th August, you won't regret it!

Sunday 17 August 2014

New Tool. Magnetic Honing Guide.

Here's a new addition to my range, the design came from fellow woodworker Ben, my thanks to him for his simple yet very useful idea.
It's a magnetic honing guide which clamps on the back of your blade and gives you an exact 30 degree angle with the bubble centred.
It also registers a square edge with the side to side movement, very useful for narrow chisels and block plane blades.
There's a pair of magnets which hold things firm and there's a protective layer over the top which prevents damage to your tools. It measures 43mm long x 18 wide so it doesn't get in the way.

Here attached to the back of a plane blade. The idea is to use the guide to set the initial 30 degrees (and squareness) and then to proceed with your freehand sharpening as normal. As you move from one stone to the next you can easily reset the angle with total accuracy.
If you want to verify your freehand technique you can slow right down and watch the bubble to make sure you are on track.

The guide will span the hollow back of Japanese chisels, very useful.

It comes with a French fitted box and instructions. The cost is £19 and it's in stock now.
There will be a You Tube video out in the next 2-3 months.