Friday, 27 February 2015

Customer Projects

Here's an interesting Moxon vice using Bristol levers which were bought from Tools for Working Wood. Instead of using the Bench Crafted kit with cast iron handles these have adjustable Bristol levers. They also sell the whole vice complete with the wood, but that takes all the fun out of it!
James prepared everything with hand tools, the only machine being used was the drill press. That's hard work but a great way to get used to your hand plane.
Below is the shared workshop James uses, which has a collection of varied trades and looks to be very sociable as well as a cost effective way of working.

Here's Kens pine tool chest with nice dovetailed corners and integrated wooden handles. The sides have been glued up from a number of pieces which is extra work but should give nice stable boards. Time to do the interior fitting out.

Monday, 23 February 2015

New Crosscut Sled.

First off using the table saw without a blade guard and riving knife (splitter) is illegal in commercial workshops in the UK. However as I work alone I can do as I please in the privacy of my own shop.
I will say though, I only use my table saw for crosscuts doing all my ripping on the bandsaw.
So with a high end table saw fitted with a rock solid sliding table why do I use a crosscut sled?
Firstly for a splinter free cut, to the both the left and right of the work as well as the rear.
Secondly it cuts dead square, the aluminium extruded fence on my Felder saw is very fiddly to set and once you tighten the knobs it flexes. The fence on my  planer thicknesser suffers from the same problem.
Thirdly it supports the work both sides of the blade which actually helps with safety as the off cut can be moved completely clear of the blade before removal.
Lastly it allows me to make cuts against a stop either side of the blade
None of this is new to woodworkers in the US.

Above is a shot of the adjustable support for the overhang from the sliding table.
Below you can see the zero clearance either side of the blade.

Although I've used a simple sled for a few years, there were two major improvements I wanted to make. Firstly I made it bigger, 3' to the left of the blade and 2' to the right with a 16' capacity. With anything greater than 3' I could use the telescopic arm and stop on the table saw fence taking it to 6'.
Secondly I was fed up of clamping on bits of wood as stops, then measuring, adjusting the clamp and so on until it was just right. So enter 'Flipstop'.

This is an industrial piece of equipment with a price to match but I've used it for many years on my drill press and it is superb Rock solid, easy to adjust and with no play whatsoever. The fence has elongated screw holes so you can adjust it until the scale reads absolutely spot on, no more tape measure! A pair of stops is very useful as you can retain a setting by flipping the stop arm out of the way. This is great when cutting box sides with continuous grain as you can alternate from one stop to the other as you work down the board. This will get plenty of use preparing the parts for the tool chest course in the summer for New English Workshop.

Here's my drill press setup, the stops are being borrowed on the table saw and are easy to swap over as needed, at £61.20 per stop I didn't feel like buying two more unless absolutely necessary!
So that just leaves me with the 'get out' that all the magazines over use over here, 'guards removed for clarity', what a load of b******s!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Countdown to Handworks, Iowa, USA 15-16th May 2015.

This unique hand tool event is approaching fast, yes less than 3 months to go so get planning!
Above is the eager crowd form the first event in 2013, waiting for the doors to open.
Below (in the middle) is the man responsible for organising the show, Jammel from Bench Crafted.

There'll be plenty of opportunity to try and buy a whole range of quality hand tools with not a router in sight, or earshot! I'll be at the show for the first time demonstrating my dovetail guides and showing my range of hand tools. I'll be meeting many of my customers for the first time and I'm really looking forward to it.

The magnificent Studley tool chest will also be on display in nearby Cedar Rapids, a rare opportunity to come face to face with this amazing piece. Details of this years show and Studley visit are here

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Alternative Moxon Vice.

After making my version of a Scandinavian bench I realised that it would be very easy to make a portable version of the shoulder vice, similar in use to the Moxon vice, where it can be added to a bench for a specific task, ie dovetailing. Rather than clamping it to the bench top it can be simply clamped in your existing vice. The wooden screw was made from one of those freely available kits you can buy and has a 1 1/2" thread with a 6 TPI thread. As it only has a travel of 3" this is easily fast enough.
A few years ago I bought a few lengths of 1 1/2" maple dowel and so no turning was required and the hub is also tapped for the thread and glued in with epoxy resin.

You can make the capacity to suit your needs, mine has a 10" jaw and here it's being used to clamp a 12" board .

The construction is from solid 4" beech with the jaw section being 6" to provide a means of clamping in  a vice.  Below you can see both sides of the jaw were lined in suede leather for a good grip. 
I cut a hole in the leather on the jaw plate to allow for the screw to be adjusted if ever necessary. 
You can also see the slot which keeps the jaw plate from spinning round as it's used.

Below you can see how it sits on the edge of the bench.

I rounded the corners to make it friendly to handle. I will be bringing it to the Tool Chest course for the New English Workshop in the summer, I'm sure it will get plenty of use!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

It's a Small World!

I've had a busy weekend as usual with tool orders and as I started packing, it struck me how many different countries there were amongst them. As well as the UK and of course the US (where most of my tools go) there was France, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Latvia (a first), Israel, Spain and Australia!
It's great to see hand tool woodworking is alive and kicking the world over!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Customer Infill Planes.

Kevin from the UK sent through these pictures of a couple of planes he's made. Not your normal infill planes as he's infilled wood into wood! The one above is castello boxwood and ebony with a comfortable looking all round shape.

This one has a spalted beech infill with figured mahogany sides and a steel sole. It has a damascus blade which seems to be bedded at a pretty high angle, at a guess 60 degrees.
That's a very nice chunk of snakewood!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Nice Customer Projects.

The first one is a pair of intriguing boxes made by Vipul from West Midlands UK. Looking like an envelope or handbag they have a screw 'button' and a sliding dovetail to remove the lid. Very imaginative!

The dovetail shown below is by George in AZ, USA, this was his first attempt with the 1:6 guide.

Lastly is a very nice dovetailed box in quarter sawn brown oak by Kevin in Gloucestershire UK.

The top is oak veneer and the banding is in snakewood. The lid is held with discreet stop hinges.

The base and lid have been lined carefully with brown leather.