Thursday, January 31, 2008
Had a busy week making planes - lots of planes :) Just finished a jointer for a customer who already has five of my planes - 24 inches long, razee style in Goncalo Alves. Kingwood strike button to add a little bling and a 6mm iron. Also made two more "Black Beauties" in Santos Rosewood - such a beautiful timber. And I'm working on the metal parts for my first moving Fillester - pics soon!
Anyway, the reason for listing some of this weeks delights is to quickly sidestep the lack of progress on the "Inphil" thumb plane. I've milled out the mouth and chosen a nice piece of rosewood for the woody bits but that's as far as I've got. And I need to make the parts for the adjuster. Seems like I have a metalwork day ahead of me!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
As you know, we woodies are constantly on the lookout for good sources of timber. Preferably ones that no-one else knows about...... ;)
Waka and I visited a new saw mill today near Andover, Goulden Hardwoods. Only a small mill, but some interesting timber. And a lot of fun turning over piles of boards to see what we could find. The owner, Paul, was very helpful and the prices very pleasant. If you are anywhere near it is certainly worth calling by!
I came away with some quartered Beech (some 5 inch thick!!) and some beautiful 3 inch English Walnut. And a small piece of Apple - sadly a little spongy, but we'll see.
Now I just need to wait a while for the timber to dry down to a suitable level. The waiting game......;)
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I’ve been playing around with dovetails – in metal this time. Since I’ve been spending lots of time in the workshop I thought I would sneak the odd minute here and there for some fun. I tried a couple of test runs and they turned out well so thought I’d attempt something larger. And here we go – a thumb plane. I’ve just cleaned the dovetails up after peening and it looks pretty good – it’s amazing how they appear from the bruised and bulbous mass of hammered metal.
Now – don’t get excited. I’m not turning into an Infill maker – filing out dovetails is really tedious. But it has been a good exercise. And you can never have too many skills ;)
Tomorrow, Waka and I are visiting a new sawmill. I’m quite excited about this – sounds like they may have some very interesting timber. I’ll report back tomorrow with the facts!
Sunday, January 13, 2008
First up - apologies for the double - video posting yesterday. Had trouble getting Blogger to respond but it seems it caught up later- I've removed the offending post.
Remember the Hand Tool Event at West Dean College I mentioned a couple of months ago?
Well there are some updated details on Classic Hand Tools web site - sounds like it will be an excellent event! Put it in your diary now!!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Finished another little video - this one is making a raised panel with one of my planes.
Here's the vid.....
Also, in shock "not plane related" news, I've been re-finishing a guitar of mine. It is a Fender Telecaster that I've had for years - it has a horrible butterscotch finish that was one part plastic, one part toffee. You could just about make out there was wood under the finish - but only just. One day I chipped the varnish off the corner and it revealed some delightful grain figuring. So I continued to pick away at the varnish until it was bare - and it was beautiful!
So I have now sanded the finish completely off and replaced it with an oil finish. The figure is spectacular! I have just got to re-assemble the guitar and I'll take some more photo's.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Had a busy couple of days making "you-know-whats" and one thing that stuck in my mind was how repetition makes you quicker. Repeating the same operations makes things quicker, more accurate and with less chance of making a mistake. Of course, there comes a point where the brain starts drifting off so I try and keep mixing things up to keep the concentration. I find having three jobs on the go at a time works!
Almost completed a smoother in Santos Rosewood. And boy, it really looks GOOD! Going to be hard packing this one off out the door - it looks really handsome. I have a little more finishing to do and I'll post some completed pictures tomorrow.
Spent some "quality" time sharpening a float today - not the most fun thing to do but worth it for the shocking difference a sharp tool makes. And to add insult to injury I needed to re-grind the primary bevel on my Veritas LAJ today - needed a whole lot of grinding. And that's how I noticed the Tormek needed the wheel truing. Sharpening and shop maintenance never goes away........ :)
Friday, January 04, 2008
Was very excited to see one of my planes reviewed on the Popular Woodworking Blog by Chris Schwarz. He is also reviewing the Mini Panel Raiser plane in the next (Feb 2008) issue of the magazine.
I was expecting to see the review appear but it was still a big shock to see it. Thanks Chris!
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
First of all - Happy New Year to all you Folks out there reading this! Its amazing how quickly time flies by, so.....
First up - Operation Norris. Remember the rusty old Norris I was going to restore? Well, to kickstart the year I have made some progress. Sadly, the rosewood I put aside for the infills was half an inch too short for the tote. After much head scratching I had to use something else - so Bubinga it is. I have made the replacement tote and two side sections and I'm shaping the front bun at the moment. Once the woodwork is done I can concentrate on the metalwork side of things. The adjuster mechanism will be a challenge, but hey, its a new year!
I am finally going to start building the new porch for the house, too. I had a new path and step built to the front of the house and the bad weather has put me behind with construction. I have loads of gorgeous European Oak sat in the workshop ready to be broken down. Stay tuned.
I've also had some great plane ideas over the holidays and shall be turning them into reality in the coming weeks. Can't beat Xmas t.v. to get the old brain daydreaming....... ;)