Sunday 30 April 2017

Great Customer Plane

Kevin sent me these pictures of a really nice plane he made using the shell of a old Stanley 110 and a blade and adjuster kit from Veritas.

He really pushed the boat out on the infills with snake wood and a box wood wedge.

It clearly works very well, no doubt a lot better than the original.

A nice way to use the snake wood maximising the small section and keeping the most figured part on show.

Kevin achieved a really tight mouth which is something the original non adjustable plane certainly wouldn't have had. I get the feeling this won't be the last he makes and I hope it has inspired some others to have a go as well.

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Oliver Sparks Cutting Knife

A short while back a did a post on a Norris cutting knife and included a link to a batch made by Oliver Sparks. You can see my post here

I ordered one of Oliver's knives which is beautifully made, here is a shot showing the difference in scale with the Norris. The OSM knife is just 4" long and 5/8" wide and fits really nicely in the hand.

Lovely rosewood.

The knife came with a spear point blade which is razor sharp. It also comes with a blank blade which I sharpened to the profile I'm used to using, with a bevel on each side of the blade. I find this profile is easier to use for marking both sides of dovetail pins and it's also a lot easier to sharpen.

Sharpening is done on the angled back rather than the fine bevels and this very quickly re establishes a fine point.
Oliver does everything in house and I'll leave you with a close up of the knurling.

Friday 21 April 2017

Rare Instrument Makers Plane.

I've had a request o show some pictures of a tiny instrument makers plane of mine, so I thought I'd share them.

It is just 1 5//8" long and unusually is dovetailed, a real one off.

It has a skewed mouth and was clearly made to be used. Thankfully it's been very well looked after.

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Nice Bookcase

Nathan sent me these pictures of a recent project, a nice bookcase in white oak and walnut. It was inspired by a mid century piece by the DrexelFurniture Co and designed by Stuart MacDonald.

It allows for books with different depths as well as heights and introduces curves to a item of furniture that's usually all straight lines.

Saturday 15 April 2017

Pippy Oak Box with Houndstooth Dovetails

Martin from the UK sent me these pictures of a very nice box he made with pippy oak and a walnut lid. He used my 1:6 dovetail guide with the Gyokucho 372 saw, a great combination. It was made to store paints and is a very nice present. There are plenty of pictures to enjoy.

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Oliver Sparks Thumb Plane.

When I returned from the Yandles show I had a nice surprise waiting. A beautiful thumb plane made by Oliver Sparks. 

I ordered this a while ago and Ollie's idea was to produce his interpretation of a rare Mathieson plane, I can't imagine the original was as nice as this.

There are curves and chamfers all round and that lever cap is just stunning.

This is a step up in size from the 'Slipper' plane I bought from Ollie, it's 6 1/2" wide and has a 1 1/2" wide blade, a perfect size for trimming and smoothing. This plane has been designated 'Aero'. The mouth is as tight as a gnats whisker!

Ollie made a batch of five in varying woods and metal and has two left. If you're interested the cost is £1800 and you can contact him via his website

Monday 10 April 2017

F&C Magazine, Article on Compound Dovetails

The latest edition of F&C is out now and has my article on the making of a compound angle dovetail box. This is the most complex box in the recent run of articles and my favourite.

There are five pages of detailed explanation as well as the usual very good exploded drawings and dimensions.

There is also a good four page feature on Australian tool maker Chris Vesper, he makes some wonderful tools and you can one of his sliding bevels being used in my article.

Funny man and great woodworker Roy Underhill is in the spotlight this month. I'm really looking forward to seeing him perform again at Handworks next month.

Sunday 9 April 2017

Yandles Show

This was 20th Yandles show amazing where time goes! The weather was wonderful and the show was very well attended on both days. Representing Classic Hand Tools rather than selling direct allowed me more time for demonstrating (and chatting!), here are the results of a mornings work.

As an update to the recent post on an upgraded adjuster for Lie Nielsen planes, Mark kindly brought in a plane with the adjuster fitted. He is very pleased with the ones he bought and it did work very well with no annoying lateral movement.

You can buy the adjusters from Robert Howard in Australia, apparently the service was very good.

Thursday 6 April 2017

Matthew Burt, Fine Furniture Maker.

Matthew Burt has long been one of my favourite furniture designers. His impressive new workshops are backed up by this shop, run by his wife Celia, all in the lovely Wiltshire village of Hindon just off the main A 303. I pass by on the way to the Yandles show so great to see what's new.

There are two well stocked rooms with all kinds of lovely modern pieces.
You can see more on their website

This is a fascinating new design, a wall mounted consul table. The half cone shape was made up from 16 tapered coopered oak staves, rounded after glue up and the top is a veneered cross section from across the trunk. It doesn't have any shrinkage cracks which must have been hard to achieve. the design is beautiful and simplicity at it's best.

This circular jewellery cabinet is one I've admired in the past, it has a turned barrel hinge and looks stunning in this tightly rippled olive ash.

Here is the interior revealed.

Here is the entrance to the third room (which doesn't exist) it gets me every time. It's a semi circular table fitted against a mirror, very clever.

Matthew makes some great chairs and I have long admired the Tricorn chair, here it is in hand stitched padded leather, very nice.

The solid wood seat on this version is very comfortable and supportive and nearly half the price of the hand stitched leather. I left the shop with this chair and it will take pride of place in my office.

The lovely village of Hindon is well worth a visit one it's own with a couple of nice pubs...

..... and of course a fine old church.