Wednesday, 27 May 2015
After a long gap my new squares are available at last. The production has been at lot harder than anyone imagined and even now I only have limited stocks. There have been a number of small changes made, the most obvious being they are now made in three sizes, 2", 4" and 6". This was requested by a number of you but I've had requests for other sizes since, it has to stop somewhere!
The guides are now silver anodised and the name badge is engraved rather than a glued in plate.
Replacing the bar are titanium studs, which give just two or three touch points, reducing the chances of the square being thrown off by fluff or debris.
They are nicely balanced and will sit happily on an edge and of course they are dead square both inside and out. The 2" is £16, the 4" is £22 and the 6" is £28.
Friday, 22 May 2015
I recently sent some products to Raf Nathan for evaluation. He writes for the Australian Wood Review magazine AWR (it's amazing how so much time can be spent thinking up a title only to have it shortened to something meaningless!) Anyway the AWR magazine is excellent, I've been an overseas subscriber for nearly 10 years and although in only comes out 4 times a year is well worth waiting for.
This video by Raf shows the use of my 90 degree guide along with the Veritas versions and is nicely done. He'll be reviewing my dovetail guide shortly in the magazine (hopefully in a little more depth!).
I'll have had reviews done in all three UK magazines as well as Germany, Canada and now Australia. I think it's about time a US magazine does a review, especially as that's where most of my tools are sold. I'll have to work on it.
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
In the last year my tool sales have doubled, so something has to give. I took my last six bench planes to Handworks and they were gone in a few hours. I won't be making any more.
In the past seven years I've made about 800 planes, it's a shame it has to end.
But all is not lost. I've long been an admirer and user of the HNT Gordon planes from Australia and a few months ago I started selling their spokeshaves and shoulder planes. I now have in stock their palm smoother which is a very handy little plane for small areas and rounding edges. Some of the stock features beautifully figured gidgee, first come first served! Price £99.
I also have on order their high angle block plane and jack plane which should be here in a few weeks.
Saturday, 16 May 2015
This was the best, show I've ever been to. Customers and tool makers were really looking forward to it and from all I've heard it didn't disappoint from either side.
Jameel Abraham (and his family) deserve a special thanks for all the time and effort put into organising the show, let's hope they'll be another.
The tool chest shown was made by Chris Schwarz, but the hard part was immaculately done by Jameel, a very talented woodworker.
On a personal note, I couldn't have done the show justice without the use of a good bench and what a fine one it was. Provided by Mark Hicks from Plate 11 http://plate11.com/
Mark had a great show as well, selling all but one of the benches he had there.
And finally many thanks to Brian Buckner for the excellent BBQ as well as tirelessly running around making sure everything ran sweetly. See y'all next time!
Although everyone was expecting a good show, no one really knew.......I arrived an hour before the doors opened and this was what greeted me!
Below you can see the queue stretching down the main street.
This show was full of fine plane makers. I was sharing a booth with Phil Edwards (Mr laid back), he was still setting up when the doors opened!
Across was Konrad Sauer, it was good to meet him again and he had a fine selection of planes.
The K13 and the K18 shown below were the stars of the show for me, they felt nice, worked wonderfully and those looks are to die for!
Scott Meeks was opposite me with a good selection of his sculptural wooden planes.
Daed Toolworks had some very fine planes which also caught my eye.
Also opposite me was Wayne Anderson with some real beauties.
Blum planes are unusual in the blade and adjustment design and they have just been granted a patent for the system. I'm looking forward to giving these a try tomorrow.
And finally the highlight of my day. A customer came to thank me for helping him transform his dovetailing and woodworking with my tools and videos. He had brought a special pack of six beers with him as a gift, very touching and gratefully received!
Friday, 15 May 2015
Yesterday was spent setting up at Handworks, what normally takes me a hour took eight, the other exhibitors are a very friendly bunch! Above is my neighbour Dave Jeske of Blue Spruce who did wonders for both our stands with some makeshift lighting.
Below is another neighbour Chris Vesper with a good selection of his wonderful tools.
It's the morning of the show now and I'm really looking forward to it, my YouTube videos passed the 1 million views overnight, so I'm hoping that's a good omen!
In the evening was the much awaited private viewing of the Studley tool chest and bench.
Here's a shot of his superb bench and below the equally well finished back.
For me the bench was as impressive as the tool chest, with wonderful proportions and vices to match.
There was a no touch policy which was understandable, but they had a replica bench with a good selection of vices from the era for everyone to play with.
The main attraction was the chest. It was bigger than I imagined and the no touch policy was reinforced with the whole thing being encased in a perspex viewing box. Here's Roy Underhill giving it very close scrutiny.
A wonderful thing and a privilege to have seen it in the flesh.
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
I've just completed a set of four dovetailed boxes which have been on and off my bench for a while.
They are what I would class as a desk box about 14" wide. This is an ideal size for jewellery, remote controls, stationary, pens, glasses, mobiles etc, a great all rounder.
I decided to use a single wood for the sides along with the burr of the same wood for the solid panel.
The first one shown here is brown oak, a favourite wood of mine.
All the boxes bottoms were fitted with padded pig suede and then lined in wood to gives a soft close to the lid. The two oak boxes were in bottle green with aromatic cedar of Lebanon linings.
The oak box, which all along I thought was going to be my favourite, now I'm not sure!
Below is in American walnut with a lovely claro walnut panel.
The final box is English walnut with some fantastic grain in the burr panel.
I seem to sell a lot of my boxes to woodworkers, so if anyone wants one they are £475 ($715) plus shipping each.
Cedar of Lebanon lining with a padded burgundy pig suede base.