Sunday, March 25, 2007

Jack the lad....

Hi Folks
Finished off the Jack plane yesterday. I was pleased with how well this plane came together - either I was lucky or the Wood Gods were smiling..... ;)
I was interested to compare how it worked and felt next to my favourite wooden Jack. Pretty good feel, lightly than the original (which surprised me) but a good action. The wedge works real well, too. Just a light tap to lock it firmly in place. Nice!
The tool chest base unit is coming along, too. I bolted on the wheels earlier - riding around the workshop on top of it as a "weight test" was a success, I am pleased to say. Need to knock up three drawers (BIG ones!) and some moulding and then the workshop will magically grow larger. It certainly is good to have somewhere to keep things - the place becomes much less cluttered. And any help in that department is a good thing.......;)
Have a good week

Friday, March 23, 2007

So Where Has He Been?

I know, I know. Ten days with no blogging........ :(
I won't bore you with the excuses but I have been busy - Honest!
To the workshop......
I'm building a Jack Plane. A good old, traditional wooden Jack. But the thought of chiseling out the mortise for the throat left me cold, so, in the best lazy/chicken boy manner I went for lamination.
But of course, I had to try it with a twist! So I have used the Krenov style (two thin outer cheeks sandwiching the bed and toe blocks) but cut the abutments and throat out of the toe block in the traditional style. So now it is glued together it looks like I chiseled it out. Except I just spoiled things by letting you in on the secret..... ;)
I made the rear tote last night - had a lot of fun shaping and smoothing it using rasps. It is surprising how quickly you can work when you have the right tool for the job.
I still have to make the wedge and cut the mortise for the handle so expect to see some completed photo's (complete with "it works!" shavings - hopefully) on the weekend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In Colour.....

Well, here we are! In full "Philovision", for your viewing pleasure ;)
As it was a beautiful sunny day (yes, I even mowed the lawn!) I thought outside was the perfect venue for a photo shoot. Especially as I don't have a studio to take my shots in........
Take a little look here.......
So do you like? I'll take some more shots indoors to get the details but it looks pretty good. The drawer front is lagging behind a little in colour - the rest of the walnut has started to take on that deep glow. Yum!
The drawer action is pretty good for such a wide, narrow drawer. The runners work real good and the closure feature (which pulls the drawer closed over the last 30mm automatically) is a real delight. Everyone who has seen it in the flesh plays with the drawer a few times :)
Onto other things - I have lipped the MDF components of my tool chest base unit with solid walnut and stitched together the veneers ready to press. Should have something to show soon.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Walnut (again!!)

At last, the fluted table is complete!
But before you get too excited, no I don't have some lovely pictures to show you. Sorry - but I will soon!
Saturday saw me in the workshop applying the finishing touches to the table. I was surprised how much the table has changed in colour compared to the drawer front (which has only just received its first coats of oil) Black Walnut ages very nicely, and becomes even more beautiful with time. I was looking at my Maloof inspired chair which is a few years old now and the walnut is just georgous. Sigh......guess I better order some more walnut - and there's me moaning about the sapwood....... ;)
I've started work on the final part of my hand tool storage. I have already completed the tool chest and saw till sections - this will be the base unit (including wheels!) which will sit at the bottom. The chest will sit above with the saw till on top, giving a compact and classy looking unit. Pictures soon......
Have a good week,

Friday, March 09, 2007

Marking Gauge

Hi Folks
Been spending any spare time in the 'shop making a marking gauge. I know, I know - I don't need another marking gauge. But I bought some brass rod and tube that gave me an idea.......
So here is the Philly marking gauge MK I - not the prettiest thing but an interesting exercise. It needs to be a lot smaller and I may change the shape of the body for the next one (a bit too much Titemark!!) but it works nice. Good practise on the lathe(s) too! Just need to make a suitable cutter.
Thought I'd better get my act together with the fluted table so I have finished making the drawer, glued it up and fitted it. The runners are great, well worth the money and totally hidden. Result! The false front is receiving yet more coats of oil and will be fitted tonight. I also made up some brass adjustable feet to keep the bottom edge of the flutes just off the floor. They are a little delicate so it made sense to raise them a little.
I am pleased with the dovetail arrangement. I think I might use this a lot - what do you think?

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Hi Folks
The drawer is nearly finished. I veneered a panel for the bottom last night so will be able to assemble the drawer today. The final runner components arrived so I have no excuse!
I've also been working on a home made marking gauge. I epoxied the brass and wood pieces together last night so will be able to see how effective it is today. Pictures soon......
The oil finish on the table has been on there for a few days now. I love the way walnut seems to mellow out once the oil has penetrated. When you first wipe on the finish the wood looks a little excited and there is big variation in the shades and colours. But it now looks more "whole". There is still variation in colour but it just seems to blend together just right.
Does anyone else find this or are the Turps starting to get to me?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Week Excuse....

Hi Folks
I'm back - apologies for the week-long absence. Work has been busy and stressful...........
I have made some progress on the fluted table. The drawer is mostly done (the dovetails, anyway). I decided to use the Blum drawer slides on the table and have been awaiting a couple of parts before I could mount them. Hopefully tomorrow they will arrive and then I can get on with it!
I got a bit fancy with the dovetails. Not sure if I like it or not - need to live with them for a while. It was fun cutting them - I wish I would try and saw to the lines instead of chickening out and leaving some "paring room". I'm no Rob Cosman!
Also fitted a digital readout to my thickness planer. It works a treat (although I had to make up some brackets to mount it). I post some pictures soon.