Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Xmas

Just a quick post to say "Merry Xmas" to you all!
Looking forward to a relaxing week ahead-and I wish the same to yourselves.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Ahh. It certainly is nice when you finish a project. No nagging urge to get in the workshop, not even to clean the place up. Is it just me or have you noticed what a mess the workshop becomes the closer a project comes to completion? I had the Woodkateers round the other weekend and was thoroughly embaressed by the state of the place. (although the Chaps were even more impressed that I could complete ANYTHING in such a messy shop)
So what next?
Well Xmas is WAY too close. Some serious shopping to do. Darn....
And I have some picture frames to knock for a Chum. And a display cabinet for another to finish. So I guess I should get those done. Like now......

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Finally Got A Handle On It

Well, here it is. Finally finished (kinda) the cherry cabinet today. Tried out some handle designs and came up with this. Many thanks for all the help on this front (you know who you are-NOT!) Just joking ;)
Guess you wanna hear about my last second cock-up?? Yes?
I'm fitting the top with buttons, all pre-drilled and tested so they don't go through the top. Take a look at the back edge and think "be nice to take 10mm off here". Well, took it off on the tablesaur and then a quick swipe with a block plane. Tearout, both directions. So, as its too big to hold and plane with a bench plane I put it in the vice and prop a bit of timber under the other end. Mid stroke and BANG the support falls out and the top smacks into the floor on the one end! Also leaves a nice deep scratch from the vice face.
I'm currently re-finishing the top.......

Durable Knowledge

Hi Folks,
Was reading some Krenov in the bath last night (as you do) and read this little section. As it made me feel all warm inside I thought I'd share it with you.

"So the things we picked up stayed with some of us. They went far back, to Gimson, the Barnsleys, and other quiet craftsmen. And they are timeless. With this start, and during years of working alone, I learned more about the flexibility of such durable knowledge. And I became certain of this: Knowledge like this is no-ones property; it abhors ego. We learn, we share, someone else carries these things on, and on. Their meaning only seems to change and be warped by fashions and whims.
For a surprising number of craftsmen, even today, the inherent simplicity and integrity of our craft remains-to be rediscovered and enjoyed."

For me, this sums up our craft. The discovery of truths, the realisation that all problems have been encountered and solved hundreds of years before, it makes me proud (and not so alone in the workshop) to be part of it.
I hope you feel the same.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sticky Situation

It's glue up time......
Now this should be straight forward. I've dry fitted and assembled all joints. Pre-finished all components so I can easily remove any glue squeeze-out without staining the timbers. Glue, brush, clamps, water, cloths at the ready. Quickly apply the glue and assemble the parts. THEY NEVER GO TOGETHER AGAIN WITHOUT A FIGHT!!!!
Try and stay calm, loosen the clamps, tap with the rubber mallet (gently, don't want to dent anything), start sweating, tap a little more, feel panic rising, tap, remove clamps, disassemble, try again, etc, etc, etc.
Why is it so difficult? Or is it just me??
Maybe it's just psychological ;)
Anyway-completion is getting closer by the second.......

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Well BLO Me.....

I'm up to my elbows in boiled linseed oil at the moment. I'm determined to use this as the finish for my cherry cabinet. On the test samples the BLO looked the nicest, giving a lovely satin look to the cherry. Also darkened the colour a lot, a good thing on freshly planed cherry.
The first coat was thined 50/50 with pure turpentine and I've rubbed two more full strength coats on since. The colour change is quite amazing!
Hopefully I'll start gluing up tomorrow night (I'm working away at the moment so play time is limited) and have the thing done on the weekend. Ah! The sweet smell of a completed project!
Also been knocking up some "sample joints" in beech/walnut to go with a magazine article (hopefully) in the offing. There's just not enough time in the day...... ;)

The Woodkateers

First-the cabinet. I'm rubbing BLO into the unassembled parts at the moment. Coming along nice and it sure is exciting seeing the grain pop. Hopefully I will have finished the glue up by the weekend. Once I've done the handles.......
Secondly-had a Woodkateer-get-together at my place on the weekend! It is so nice to actually meet up in person and have a natter (and play with the latest aquisitions!!). Hopefully everyone learned a little something too. Just need to get Mike a cheap return ticket for the next one.... ;)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Sight for Saw Eyes

This ones for you, Mike!
The Adria crosscut small tenon saw turned up today-and it is a beaut! It is just the right size-not too big, not too small. Comfortable and nicely weighted. That pretty Bubinga handle fits my hand spot on. I am amazed how well it cuts-and how cleanly. Knock out........
Guess I have no excuse for that "hand tool only" project, now ;)
I have arranged my back saws in a pretty pile for your delectation- Spehar rip tenon, Adria x-cut tenon, L-N rip dovetail and L-N x-cut dovetail.
Now that's almost gloatable...........;)