Saturday 29 July 2017

Work Benches on E Bay

Here's a reasonable condition Sjobergs work bench for collection only in the Cheshire area. The machinists vice needs taking off but it's included in the auction. It's not been entered in the right category on E Bay so hasn't had any bids yet. If you get it for anywhere near the £100 starting price you've got a real bargain.

The above bench is very similar although the maker is not listed. It looks in better condition and he will ship anywhere in the UK for £18. The only downside there is plenty of interest. Check out here,

Friday 28 July 2017

Tudor Manor House

We've spent a few days away in West Dorset and for my 57th birthday we visited Athelhampton House which dates back to 1485.

This oak panelling in a less grand part of the house shows the crude tool marks but has survived well.

A wonderful early four poster bed and blanket chest and below a closer look at the fine detail.

The house was extended over the centuries and obviously the interior with it. This linen fold wall panelling dates from the 1800's.
 And although this floor was from the 20th C you can see the trouble they have gone to stay sympathetic to the house. These magnificent quarter sawn oak boards are 8" wide!

This enormously solid front door does date back to 1485 and was the entrance to the main hall.

This doorway (as well as the alarmingly short beds) demonstrates just how short people were in those days, I wonder how tall we'll be in another 500 years?

Sunday 23 July 2017

Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design Exhibition 2017

This excellent exhibition runs from 19th - 28th August at its usual venue in Cheltenham.
For all furniture lovers it is well worth the trip and a great day out.

I'm pleased to be showing a number of my boxes, including this jewellery box as well as the little walnut four drawer chest you can see in the background.
I'll also have a couple of planes there for sale including this small smoother in rippled ash and brown oak.

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Wonderful Roubo Bench with Benchcrafted Hardware.

Matt Estlea sent me these pictures of his Roubo work bench, constructed using the method of joinery demonstrated in my YouTube video 'Roubo Work Bench Made Easy'. A number of people have made benches using this method but this is the best I've seen yet.

It was made as student project at Rycotewood College and I've no doubt he will score very highly as well as having a great bench to take forward in his woodworking career.

The Benchcrafted hardware for both the leg and tail vice has been carefully installed and works like a dream.

Matt produced a series of videos on the making of his fine bench and you can view them below, they are well worth watching.

Friday 14 July 2017

Hampton Court Palace

Last weekend we visited Hampton Court Palace as well as the flower show for our 25th wedding anniversary and had a great time. The sheer scale and magnificence of this palace is hard to capture with my (lack of) camera skills.

One of a number of internal courtyards and below one of the views of the equally impressive gardens stretching out in every direction.

Huge tromp l'oil  painting on the wooden walls of the main staircase.

In the kitchens were numerous original tables of similar design.

A large sliding dovetail keeping the top flat and secure as well as allowing safe seasonal movement.

This was supported by a single massive leg and foot joined with draw bored tenons.

A massive oak table (below) with single length boards was very impressive, particularly considering they had no machinery in those days.

It was interesting to see the top and been veneered many years ago presumably to cover a very worn top surface. When I say veneer it was more than 1/4" thick!

In the wine cellar lots of old oak barrels which were hooped with wooden staves. I didn't get a chance to ask about these. Were they added wet and tightened up as they dried?

On a very warm day this very helpful young man had the unenviable job of constantly turning the spit roasted joint for 4 hours! By turning the joint the juices never got a chance to leave the meat and the drip tray below was dry. He explained this was the true way to roast meat and that when we 'roast' a joint in the oven we are really just baking it. And yes after all his efforts he did get first pickings of the delicious juicy joint!

Quarter sawn oak panelling was everywhere in the palace, used for it's stability in these thin sections.

The beauty of booked matched quarter sawn panels was also fully exploited.

There were rooms full of this intricate linen fold carving

Needless to say if you have never been to Hampton Court Palace it is well worth a visit. If you want to do the house and gardens it's a full days trip, if not two.

Monday 10 July 2017

Wall Mounted Tool Cabinet

Ben from the US sent me these pictures of his wall mounted tools cabinet which is nearing completion. He has cut some very neat dovetails using the magnetic guide as well as some clean looking sliding dovetails.

Ben has chosen three butt hinges per side which will manage the doors well, especially as they are going to be storing his lighter tools.

Ben also has a website where shows the process of making this fine bench plus many other interesting projects.

Thursday 6 July 2017

Furniture and Cabinet Making Magazine August 2017

The latest edition of F&C is now on the shelves. It follows Fine Woodworking in it's retro, understated cover layout and looks very professional.

I've done an article on the twisted dovetail showing the method in detail. It's not as difficult as it may look, unless of course you want to emulate Theo Cook's wonderful version, see above.

The American theme continues with a good article on plane maker Matt Bickford.

An very interesting article on adding curved platens to a belt sander.

And part three of 'stack marking'. Maybe I'm missing something here, but in all three articles I'm left thinking this seems a great way of making a simple task complicated! Anyone else any thoughts?

Monday 3 July 2017

Nice Dovetailed Box.

Luther from the US sent me these pictures of his version of one of my boxes. This is the one we make on the two day dovetailing course I teach.

It's made from walnut and western maple and has 1:6 angled dovetails.

He has inlayed a small circle to indicated where to tilt the lid.

The mitred lining can be seen, which dips at one end show the method of opening.
Luther said he very much enjoyed making the box and he should be proud of the result.