Monday, November 28, 2005

Hand Tools

Hmm......Hand tools. I love 'em, buy 'em, hoard 'em. Even use 'em. And the more I work wood the more I use, enjoy and (amazingly) get better with them. Indeed, they are the reason that my woodwork has reached such heady (hah!) heights. If I had to rely on power tools alone my projects would be nowhere near as well made and finished.
Am I giving up power tools? You are joking! Deep sawing, ripping, thicknessing-these are hard, physical tasks that machines make easy. The age of apprentices is over-power tools are the new apprentices! But, (taking this analogy further) the Master craftsman would then take the boards that had been produced via a lot of sweat and would carry out the fine joinery work himself. And this, my friends, is where hand tools come in. They bring precision and finese to the bench. A swipe from a smoothing plane and the wood shines-no belt sander needed here! Joinery planes, chisels and fine saws to cut joints. And as well as performing so exquisitely they feel wonderful in the hand. You can FEEL what is happening, building an intimate relationship with your tools and also your chosen material, wood.
So I reside somewhere between Galootsville and Normtown. The best of both worlds? Maybe...

Tool rant over-the cabinet is so nearly, nearly finished. The cutouts for the wine bottles need to be made and I've started pre-finishing some of the components before glue-up. Don't start me off on glue-ups.......;)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Good Wood

Managed to fit the base to the cabinet today. It now looks complete-will fit the rails on the weekend and then I can glue it up.
Also receieved my copy of Good Woodworking today-the Maloof chair got 10 pages! I'm pleased, although a little disapointed with the pics. Dark green background, dark brown chair..,:( My pics came out o.k., but you can't mess up with workshop pics too much. Guess it is difficult to really show a piece of furniture off in a picture-it is something that needs to be seen in person. Nevermind, can't moan. Much ;)
Also placed a little hand saw order today-sorry Mike, I've gone for the Canuck!

Monday, November 21, 2005


The website problem has been resolved, a little progress made on the cabinet and it's COLD!
Funny how a bit of frost puts you off venturing into the workshop. It's not THAT cold in there, but it's not exactly sweltering either....
Just heard that the "Maloof" chair is in the new Good Woodworking magazine. 10 pages!! Nice!
I've spent some time thinking about stackable tool cases to store the hand tools in. My current wall-mounted set-up is fine but if I need to move the tools, say to a new workshop, it will be a hassle packing them away. So some quality time has been spent in Sketchup coming up with suitable (read "capable of being picked up by one person when full") design. Watch this space ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Doh! DOH!

Yes, the sound of Homer style progress......
Haven't been able to update my website all week. Problems at "their" end thought I. Seems I've been entering the FTP address slightly wrong. DOH! :{
Finished the back of the cabinet off today. Well nearly. Yes, another "Doh" moment. Was cutting the final shoulder on the final panel. Job done. Well it would of been if I had registered the piece FULLY against the fence instead of 10mm off it..........Needless to say, the glue is now setting on the replacement edge of the panel. Amazing how its always the last cut.
Regular service should be returning soon;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Back To It

So it's Wednesday. That means three days of work to sap the mind and body.
Well that's my excuse for not doing too much on the drinks cabinet;)
Seriously, I've pretty much completed the back. Fitted two rails top and bottom to hold the panels (its another panel back), raised three panels of London Plane on the RT and fitted them. A couple of cherry stiles to finish and that's the back. I think a panel back gives a real "quality" feel to a cabinet and doesn't take that much work. Although a piece of ply nailed on works just as well......;)
Just got to work out what to do with the "floor". Grain "front to back" or "left to right". Not got a lot of cherry left, that's all.
And I'm still thinking about the handles. So you lot weren't joking when you said I had to work it out myself?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sliding Doors

Here's a woodworking hint-if you have a delicate operation to perform don't go out for a heavy drinking session the night before! ;)
Yeah, the band played a Motorbike Rally Saturday night and the bar was free. I had one or two......
Made some great progress withthe doors though, today.(as promised, Mike) Mortise and tenons cut, grooves routed, panels sized, rasied and fitted. AND I cut the grooves to guide the sliding door and cut the matching tongues in the doors. And fitted them too! So have a look and see what you think......
Did I mention I shaped the legs?? A kind of cabriole shape, I think it's gonna work out nice.
I am really enjoying this project, the cherry is so nice to work. And I even got to use a plane on the curved legs, too! (compass plane, doesn't get out of the case often!)
So I need ideas for handles for the doors. Always get stuck on the handles........

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Now That Was Fun!

The Axminster show was a blast! It was great to meet up with friends new and old (and to put faces to names). Spent most of the day chatting instead of shopping........ Bought a few nik-naks for the workshop-saw, chisel, beading tool, etc. Nothing crazy (or too expensive)
Spent some quality time in the shop this weekend. Legs are carved, doors almost finished, stock for the back ready. Just the "floor" to work out and this piece is going to be finished. Maybe.......

Here's a link to my Tool Show Report. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Christmas comes early......

Tomorrow is the big day!!!!!!
Yes-the Axminster Tools 2005 show at Exeter. I am REALLY looking forward to this. Ticket is bought and in my wallet, some cash has been withdrawn and is safely stowed and credit cards primed and ready.
It will be great to meet up with my internet Chums-certainly is easier in person ;) Looking forward to seeing the "Overseas Contingent", too (Rob Lee and TLN especially).
On the drinks cabinet front progress is slow but steady. Had to re-do some panels for the doors as I didn't like the grain pattern. It's easier to do this know than tear my hair out every time I see the completed project..........
Anyway, fitted the side panels today. Need to fit the back and floor then I can make the doors. I'm enjoying this one!
I'll report back on the show tomorrow night.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sleep On It

How come when you WANT to get in the workshop the world comspires to keep you out?
Yes, its been one of those weeks......
Zero progress has been made since the weekend, my daughter has been ill (can you say "sleepless nights") and work has been busy, sending me around the country......
So not a lot has to update. Mind you, I thought this project was coming along a little too quickly....
On a different topic, don't you love Windows?? The most recent MS updates have now made certain websites impossible to access. Wasted plenty of time trying every possible tweak but my web-mail and certain secure sites (can you say Paypal and my bank) are now totally out of reach. Any ideas?? (bar buying a Mac.....)