Thursday, 30 October 2014

First Time Hand Cut Dovetails from the US.

Joel from Chicago sent me this picture of his great first attempt with the guide, indeed his first attempt without a machine! His comments are below.

'Having finally figured out the basic principle of putting the saw against the line, and using your excellent guide, I got this joint together straight from the saw. I was pretty amazed let me tell you!
Before long I'll be able to get rid of my router table and Incra jig. Nice as they both are using hand tools is much more rewarding, undoubtedly because the challenge is much greater. And I'll keep all my fingers too. Probably.
By the way I love the fit and finish of your jig, I'm sure I'll enjoy using it for many years or until the cat hides it'.

Thank you joel, I think we all have a 'cat' like that!

Monday, 27 October 2014

New English Workshop Tool Chest Course

So for those of you who have already booked and those thinking about it, here is what you will be making.

This one is in olive ash with a piston fit tray and soft close lid. Apart from dovetailing (lots of it!) the techniques used include use of the shooting board (again lots!) as well as hinge fitting.

The chisel storage is a tray within a tray which can be angled towards you or........

....removed completely if that's all that's needed.

Here's the discreet finger recess, now who says woodworking isn't sexy?!
An article on the making of this chest, with all the dimensions etc will be published in the Feb 2015 issue (out in Jan) of Furniture and Cabinet Making Magazine.
If you are thinking of booking the course, I know July seems a long way away, it's filling up fast so don't leave it too long!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Cocobolo Smoother

Here are some pics of Jims first wooden hand plane. He's been on a couple of my courses and has devoured David Finck's fine book on making hand planes.

Here are the sides separated on the bandsaw and below is the blade bed being cleaned up with a sharp block plane.

A very well cleaned up bed, flat and square.

Here's the cross pin with the shoulders cut on the table saw ready for the round tenons to be formed with an 8 mm plug cutter.

The plane after glue up, next to a kingwood mini smoother.

And this is it complete, a lovely smoother in Cocobolo.

For anyone who is interested in having a go themselves I will be teaching a course on making a wooden hand plane at West Dean College from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd May 2015.

Friday, 24 October 2014

New Tool Prototype

This is something I've been meaning to make for some time, a small mallet from solid Lignum Vitae

Instead of the traditional design, I've used the bulbous teardrop handle from my chisel hammer and kept the overall length quite short.

It feels great in the hand, like a smooth pebble with attitude!
The crude mock up in beech and ash, fairly dense native hardwoods, weighs in at just under 6 oz, whereas the lignum version weighs 12 oz, amazing stuff!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Nice Customer Project from the US.

Matt from Maine sent me these shots of the first project he made with the tools he recently purchased.
The curvy cloud shaped mirror is stack laminated for strength and ease of construction and it must have taken a while to make.

The curves contrast well with the intersecting rectangular box with nicely dovetailed corners.
Keep the projects coming, it's great to see!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Customer projects

First we have a very nice little box made for one of mini smoothers bought at the last Yandles show. Adam's wife and mother said it should be admired rather than used so this is a great compromise, returning it to it's little box after a work out!

The alignment board above was Lawrences first project with the guide. As I suggest in my video he left the legs over long in case things didn't go right at the first attempt, which they didn't. However his second attempt looks bang on, very impressive!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Great Old Work Benches on E Bay.

I was browsing through E Bay when I came accross this supplier of old work benches

He's selling them for £400 to £500 each as antique displays for large houses but some of them would be far better off returned to their original use. The Scandinavian style is a great bench particularly for dovetailing. I have a version on the drawing board at the moment, but I'm not sure when I'll have time to build it!

This one here caught my eye, well past it's best, but have you ever seen a tail vice that big?!