Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Blog Of The Year

So as another year draws to a close I just wanted to say a big "Thank You" to all my readers for popping by and reading my rantings. 2006 has been a great year-moving house, my daughter starting school, the "Big Bash" and numerous highs and lows.
I feel I could be a lot more productive and there has been a certain amount of frustration on my part-my day job has changed to a more physical, hands-on role which has left me physically and metally tired at the end of the day. But I have achieved a lot and when I sit back and consider my roles as Father, Husband, Woodworker, Band Member, Businessman, etc. it is a wonder I got anything done at all ;)
So-here's to 2007! Enjoy a glass of your favorite tipple on me!
And watch out-I aim to be "Mr. Organised" for 2007........
Best regards

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas To You All!

Hi Folks,
Yup, it's Christmas Eve and the Big Day is just hours away. My little girl is very excited (going to a long time getting her off to sleep tonight!) the wine is flowing and bad Christmas music is playing on the radio. So a Merry Christmas to all my fellow woodies, and thank you for popping by.
Best regards

Friday, December 22, 2006

Woodworking Competition

Hi Folks
Meant to mention this one earlier (not keeping it myself so I have a better chance of winning, honest!) Lumberjocks are holding a woodworking competition. If you've not taken a look at the Lumberjocks site yet do have a look, its a great place to share your projects!
All you have to do to enter the contest is to post one of your projects-simple! And there is no judge, as such-the winner is chosen by the most votes it receives from fellow members. There are prizes too!! Take a look here for details.
Good luck,


Brrrrrrrrr! All of a sudden the Great British Winter is here! Overnight the temperature has dropped below zero(ish) and it really FEELS like Winter. Why is it such a shock? It is the end of December, isn't it? ;)
Ventured out into the workshop. Checked thermometer, double checked thermometer and then checked the heater to find out why it was so flipping cold. Unplugged...........that explains a lot!!! So not a lot got done in the workshop. And I truly must replace the garage door ASAP-all the heat goes straight out through it. A project for after Xmas, though.
Some new tools have arrived (thank you Axminster sale!!!) A chop saw is not something I realy have much ise for but it will come in very handy at work. And it can live in the workshop when it isn't needed. Induction motor and a brake make for a very pleasant experience. Managed to sneak in some L-N card scrapers, too. Mine are a bit on the rusty side and they were conveniently priced.......;)
Meant to glue up some picture frames I made for a friend. Glue bottle says not below 10 degrees you won't. Maybe tomorrow-or I'll bring them into the house.
I've done a little updating of my website, hopefully it is getting better?
So a weekend of Xmas panic awaits before the big day. Enjoy,

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Xmas is coming.....

Managed to spend a little more quality time in the shop. Had to steal it, though! Xmas is a stressful time and the Wife is not the calmest of people ;) The thought of me in the workshop "playing" is disturbing to the Missus when there are pressies to be wrapped (and a million other things) . Luckily I have a mission-the "gift" project!
So I have been busy dovetailing a small box. And what fun it has been. Pretty much straightforward-a shock, I can tell you. It has been a while since I cut some dovetail but they came out well. Accurate layout and preperation is the key (and a little bit of luck). I also used a block of wood as a guide when chopping the baselines, a new one for me. I have seen this in Krenov's books and thought it a bit silly. But no, it certainly prevents the chisel pushing back through the line.
Another mate popped by for me to make some picture frames. Me and my big mouth ;) But two frames later, a happy mate! Somewhere in between I managed to stain the panels for the bathroom cabinet doors (remember that?) and a bit of sharpening. A nice pile of sharp planes and chisels. Definitely worth 15 minutes of your time.
Merry Christmas,

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Fun, fun, fun...

Watch out! Another Philly blog! Just when you thought it was safe to switch on your computer...;)
Had a productive little afternoon yesterday. Veneered up a couple of panels to complete the doors of the bathroom cabinet. The end is in sight (Thank goodness!) I do enjoy using my Airpress-such an amazingly simple and effective tool.
Also had a go at making a scratchawl. Came out well, and I had a couple of visitors at just the right time. Tony and Bill (Bean) had popped in after raiding Yandles woodmill of all their quality timbers. Bill was kind enough to demonstate his grinding method and made a cracking job on finishing off the tip of the awl. Cheers Bill! As a reward I let him rip down a board of Bubinga on the bandsaw-and boy, that was some tough timber!
Tony (as usual) went straight for the #9. Caught drooling on the shooting board again........It was interesting to compare notes on my prototype skew shooting plane. The grip thing just doesn't work and most people revert to the usual grip position. Back to the drawing board on that one, then ;)
Sadly the hours dissapeared and I had to kick them out of the workshop (the trip to Leicester is not a small one!) Thanks for coming by, Gents, let's do it again!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sweat Over

Apologies for the delay-my camera socket has snapped off so I have been unable to download pics. And you want pictures, eh?
The sole sweating went well-doesn't look too pretty in the picture but a tight clean joint was made. I've filed off the excess material and it looks pukka. I'll be making some serious progress on this one over the next few days so hold tight for more pics.
Rob (Woodbloke) from the UK Workshop forum popped by Sunday afternoon. We had a lot of fun nattering and drinking tea. Thankfully he is as mad about woodworking (and handplanes!!) as me as we spent the hours trying out various tools. Thanks for bringing your Infill down, it was interesting to give it a whirl. I know have a few ideas for my future infill project ;)
I also have an other couple of mates popping by this afternoon as they pass by following a visit to Yandles. Looking forward to that!

Saturday, December 09, 2006


First up, please welcome back to the world of woodworking..........ME!

Managed to get a wee bit done today. The bathroom is nearly done, just two doors to finish. And I've run out of 6mm MDF to make the veneered panels so that can wait til tomorrow.

So I've been doing some work on the thumb plane.

Texts read like this. "Sweat the steel sole onto the casting." Easy then? Just sweat it on?

So what the heck does that mean??

Cue me, a spare hour, some solder and a Mapp gun.

After a few tries I have succesfully soldered the steel sole onto the bronze casting. It wasn't particular difficult it was just getting the right approach. Tin both pieces then heat and apply solder. Then put the sole onto the body and apply heat. Solder starts to melt, great. Except you really need to apply pressure to ensure a minimal film of solder. Oh, and to make sure the sole stays where it should be.

So a little filing remains to clean up the sole and then we can move onto nicer stuff.

Tomorrow on eof the UK Workshop members is popping by the workshop for the first time. Wish him well :)


Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Feeling

Nooo..Another week has gone by without blogging. Bumped into a Mate in B+Q yesterday and he said "you given up blogging? I keep checking and you haven't updated it".
So another embarressed apology. I have been busy and there have been some interesting developments this week.
First up, the bathroom. No it's not finished-but I'm darn close! This weekend will see it complete. And about time.....
Next, I had a visit from a certain woodwork magazine in the week. Expect my ugly mug on the cover if the January issue. And a certain tool chest, too ;)
I've given the workshop a major cleaning session and it look real good in there. Surprising how a tidy up seems to double the size of the place. I'm about to take some photo's of the 'shop so expect a little "Shop Tour" soon.
And thank goodness it's Friday!!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Hi Folks
Apologies for the absence-I'll save the lame excuses for another day ;)
So, first things first. I've solved my long running FTP problem with my website. Now updated and with (at last!!) the step-by-step pics for the tool chest. Remember that?? Pop on over to Philsville
for a look.
The bathroom saga is almost over. It has taken a month of my time, a major project. But it is looking good, so worth it. The cabinet is the final item and I am applying a finish as we speak. Kinda ;)
What else, you ask?
Metal. Yup, I have been influenced by the Dark Side and have invested in a metalwork lathe. And very interesting that has been too! So a fair bit of my spare time (and that hasn't been much!) has been spent learning my about my new toy.
Now I know what you are going to say-"He'll be making planes next". Yes, ahh, yes. Well the thumb plane is sat there looking at me with "that" look. I will be getting on with it real soon. Honest!
And I kid you not, I even started work on the "vintage" project, the "Shop Stool" yesterday! Do you remember the stool? It was my first project in my new workshop. And I got stumped over the steam bending, laminating hoop thing. Well, I'm going to finish it. If it kills me!!!!
As we move ever closer to the Xmas holidays and the end of another year I need to get myself back on track. Ready for a new year of making some cool projects.
And maybe buying the odd tool ;)
Be good

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Little Bit....

Got a couple of hours 'shop time last night. The Missus has decided that the bathroom cabinet is two inches too wide (even though I mocked up the cabinet from ply and she was very pleased with the dimensions before........) so as I haven't actually glued the cabinet together yet I thought it a good time to chop certain components down a bit. With that sorted I then went to do some ripping on the bandsaw.....
Now the power lead on my bandsaw is pretty short, about five foot long. One of my "to-do" items had been to replace it with a suitably longer cable. Also the saw has an electric brake on the motor to bring the blade to a standstill quickly. I've been meaning to adjust the "brake-time" to a slightly quicker one since I've had the thing so last night was "The Time"!!!
Quite an eye-opener stripping down expensive machinery. I was rather scared of messing up but the more I dissembled the more I enjoyed it. The saw now has huge amounts of suitable cable allowing me to move it to the other side of the shop if so desired. And the brake now stops the machine a couple of seconds earlier (althoug it still makes that annoying noise!!!)
You certainly can't beat doing some 'Shop Maintenance. You feel so much better after ,although I didn't get much actual work done;)

Monday, November 20, 2006

And More Work....

Hi Folks
Another week goes by.....
The bathroom is coming along well, the only tasks remaining are the flooring and the toilet/basin to install. Then the various finishing off bits....... I also managed to install an outside tap and power point so I can wash the cars down with the pressure cleaner without running a hose and power from right around the back of the house.
Woodwork has been slowish :( I have made a little progress on the bathroom cabinet (and yes that curly maple looks fantastic!) but the thumb plane has been sat there. I will make progress this week, honest! I did manage to veneer up some panels for the bathroom cabinet, though. I do like using the vacuum bag-simple and it works!
Other news-I have purchased a small metal lathe. Axminster supplied one of theirs and it is a beauty. Quite surprised by how easy it is to use, pics once I've actually made something ;)
Have a good week,

Friday, November 10, 2006

Work, Work, Work.

I've been a bit of a busy boy these last weeks, sadly not on the woodworking side of things:(
But I've still managed to do a little. First, the plane. Finished milling the bed and opened the mouth slightly. A little file work to sort out the curved surfaces and it looks good. Next job is to sweat on a steel sole.
The bathroom re-build is coming along. The walls have been plastered and painted and tiles purchased ready to be fitted. That looks like tomorrows job.......
I've also started making a cabinet for the bathroom. We have bought a "sit-on" handwash basin and the Boss has seen a design she likes in a magazine. Enter Philly, stage left. Maple is the timber of choice (I just happen to have a large pile of it in the 'shop) so last weekend saw the rumble of the thicknesser as I machined the roughsawn baords into something a little flatter. Found some beautiful curly/quilted boards amongst them so have to choose carefully where I use them.
Axminster Tools are holding a tool demo day this weekend but sadly I have been denied access by SWMBO. "Worried I might buy something" was the reason given ;)
Be good

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Hi Folks
Had a parcel arrive recently with some goodies. They are gunmetal plane castings. I bought a thumb plane, mitre plane and coffin smoother (Norris style). So you can tell what I've been doing.......
I've started work on the thumb plane to get me "into" it. The mill machine has seen some serious work and things are coming along well.
I'll post more pics as the plane progresses.
Cheers, Phil

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Some thoughts.....

Started work on our new bathroom today. For those of you who have had the pleasure of said bathroom, you'll understand why this work is urgently needed;)
Removed the suite, capped off the plumbing and removed the radiators. Then the fun part-stripping off the tiles from the walls, floor to ceiling on all four.
So I sit here on the sofa, exhausted and with numerous cuts and bruises. Though I'd share some experiences from the last week.

The tool chest. I'm pleased with how it turned out and have spent time arranging contents of the various drawers into some sort of order. Went to remove a chisel the other day and the drawer was jammed. Cursed a bit, used a knife instead and carried on with the job in hand. Next day, went to get a chisel, drawer was jammed, cursed and tried to open the drawer. Five minutes later the drawer is still jammed solid.removed all other drawers and then lifted the chest into the air and started shaking it around, trying to dislodge whichever tool was jamming. After almost destroying the chest shaking it I put it down and decided to use my brain. Close inspection showed that a 1/2 inch mortise chisel had rammed itself into the back of the drawer. The handle then prevented the drawer from opening. A hole drilled through the back if the drawer allowed me to tap the chisel free. How I laughed-imagine if I had dropped the chest. Explain that one away;)

I have borrowed an infill plane from a toolmaking buddy-the tool is only half made, all components machined up but no assembly started. There is a serious amount of hand work to be done before this tool will be ready. It reminded me of my woodworking-machining parts to size is easily achieved with machines but it is handwork that makes all the difference between a "kit of parts" and a finished piece of furniture. Regardless of discipline, hand tools (and skills!) are indispensible.

Made another interesting discovery. Sometimes you need to set yourself time limits to actual
ly achieve something. A certain project seemed to be taking a long time to complete. The Missus pops her head round the door and says "one hour and we need to go". I really wanted to complete the project so decided to get myself into gear. Set up router table, machine timber, rip, mitre, glue up. Project complete and within the time allowed. I could easily have spent three times longer to do the saem amount of work-with the power tools and jigs that seem to fill most peoples workshops there really is no excuse for not achieving results. After all-how can we justify that next tool purchase if we don't actually make anything?

Anyway, time for a glass of wine and an early night.
Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Saw Point....

Hi Folks
Finally finished another saw handle. Well, not just any old handle....
This one was a right pain in the "you-know-what". Made from Pau Rosa it was coming along well. Then the handle split just above the bottom. No problem, I'll just glue it back. Then, like a fool, I dropped it. Split number two. After gluing it up again I finished shaping and sanding. Fit the blade, cut the mortise for the back, take it from the vice and there's a funny clink. Yup, another split.....
So, after finally gluing it back together it has held up long enough to finish it. And it looks real nice (I think). Feels real good1, too.
So at least I have a template for making a replacement (from a more "shake-free" piece of timber!!)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Tah Dah!

So, tool chest. Finished. Kinda.....
I've been distributing tools through out the drawers, trying to get a kind of order. Chisels, marking out, etc. The most used tools at the top, and so on. And big heavy stuff at the bottom. Still trying to decide on a method of holding the tools in place. I've made holders for the chisels but am still trying to find a suitable material so I can "french" in the rest of the tools.
Saw till...... tool chest-next, the lower mobile base-come-drawer unit. It needs to be pretty darn sturdy as the tool chest is quite a weight fully laden! Sadly this must wait as a bathroom re-furb is on the near horizon. Next weekend to be exact!! And various plumbing, tiling and flooring tasks await. Fun......;)
The skew plane MK II is still on the "to-do" list. Just need to find that extra bit of spare time. Maybe we could get together and bulk buy some? Say a couple of weeks each? Anyone know a website that we can order some from ;)
Making yet another saw handle. Inspired by the various exmaples on show at UK Workshop and from Sawmeister "The Wenz", out come some Pau Rosa for another go. Its looking good-just sanding and the mortise for the back to go. Those dense timbers are much easier to get a good finish on for this kind of work.
Enjoy the weekend,

Friday, October 13, 2006

Plane Damp

Hi Folks
Apologies for the late update. Where does the time go?? (answer-installing a new hard drive and Windows..........)
The Skew plane. Finally got the blade finished and filed the mouth open. In use it works well, the combination of weight, skew and sharp iron make for easy shooting. But the grip? Hmm......still not sure. I initially liked it, then hated it, then had doubts. After obtaining a second opinion I still have doubts. So I'll be making another one tomorrow;)
The tool chest is almost there. Just the base and some fin al fittin gof the drawers to do. The drawers-my new workshop needs a little work on the moisture front. As I have only been in there a few months I've not had any experience of winter life in the new 'shop. Relative humidity is about 85% at the moment, way too high. So most of the drawers are binding now. (Yes, worse than they were during the Big Bash, for those who had a fumble) So I need to sort out the main cause of the moisture, the double garage door. It has big gaps top and bottom. So I will be attaching brushes on the weekend to get things started. Also need to start the de-humidifier up. Then I can start tweaking the drawer fit.
Xmas is starting to loom on the horizon so thoughts turn to projects I can build for gifts. Any ideas, Folks?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fully Knobbled

Hi Folks
Finished off the knobs-hooray!! Don't know why they always fill me with fear, although I guess they do make or break a project. And please stop laughing at the back.........;)
Found a funny thing out when turning the rosewood. After shaping the piece and sanding it with 120 grit paper I burnished each piece using the bevel of a gouge. You know, rub the bevel but without actually cutting. This removed all fine sanding marks and brought it up to a polish. A little paste wax and they looked great. Not come across this before whilst turning. Mind you, I'm not the worlds most prolific turner........;)
Got a stinking cold at the moment. Sniffing and running. Not a lot of fun (although Dr. J Daniels is trying his best ....) but still was excited to get back in the 'shop.
Other stuff.........Some of you may be aware I've been playing with a design for a skew mouth plane for the shooting board. First (read "it looks ugly because I haven't shaped it") picture for your purusal. Pau Rosa, Krenov construction. The iron is a beast-1/4 inch thick O1.........More details to follow.
Cheers, Phil

Monday, October 02, 2006

Back to Work...

Where did the weekend go?? (again.....)
Half-way there with the knobs (couldn't resist fitting them) and I think they look pukka. An "advantage" of making your own on the lathe is that you can graduate them by size (without even trying!). So six more to make. Did I mention how much I love the rosewood? What a great timber-I burnished then completed knobs and waxed them whilst on the lathe. They just glow!
The inlay is a third done-a quick scrape to level out the first section looks embarressingly good. What a great way to dress up a piece!
Glued up the body for another plane-this one has a little twist to it. Photo's and details soon.....

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Knobs and Inlay

After a hectic week it was good to take it a bit easy today. Spent some time in the workshop but, as I was rather tired, didn't do too much. Tired PLUS tools EQUALS mistakes, raised blood pressure and accidents. Did a couple of jobs to keep my hand in, though ;)
The tool chest-remember that? Well, I've been making excuses over the handles for the drawers (a Philly stumbling block!). After making a few on the lathe I then bought some brass knobs to try. Nope, back to the lathe. Broke out some Rosewood I've been hoarding and started making the final versions. Gonna be o.k. I think-what do you think so far? The rosewood really is a pleasure to work and the smell is fantastic. Sigh.....

After that I started to glue in the inlay on the chest top. A real nice touch, I can see me using inlay a lot in the future! Almost looks like I know what I'm doing.
Enjoy the weekend,

Monday, September 25, 2006

Suck and Blow

Managed to do some serious testing of the cyclone on the weekend. Good news.....Bads news.......
First-it works! It works very well. With my able assistant Waka, we fed about a cubic foot of assorted chipping, shaving and fine dust into the inlet. Check the bin and we have lots-check the newly fitted clear sack on the extractor? A very small amount of very fine dust, probably a teaspoonful;) A success!
To take advantage of the cyclone you really need to duct out the workshop with piework and blast gates. And maybe build a lean-to outside the workshop to hold the cyclone and extractor (after all, you need about 2 square meters of floor space). After much measuring and planning, I'm just not ready to "commit" to a final position for each machine (I just keep re-arranging stuff!) And the Missus is not happy about me building little workshop extensions.......;)
So, there you go. A design that works, is pretty easy to build and costs very little. If you require the plans just give me a shout.
I also made some more moulding for the tool chest-got to use my moulding planes again. What fun little planes-have you noticed how certain tools are a joy to use?? I then used biscuits to join them to the top. Biscuit jointer, MDF and shop vac blaring. Not quite so joyful as the planes....;)
I have some fancy inlay I plan to fit to the top-my first time, so wish me luck.
Have a good week

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tah Dah!

So here we are-a nice picture of the finished replacement saw handles. They look alright and feel great (the small rip tenon is a fave-cuts great!!)
I forgot how much I hate sanding curvy stuff. The walnut was a pain (surprise!), the maple a lot easier.
Mike, I have even more respect for your skills. To do this every day you deserve some kind of award! Respect!!
I plan to finish off the tool chest this weekend. Which probably puts the kiss of death on that idea ;)
We'll see...


Just a quick one for Nick W, a tease really.
Here's a picture of my "mini-cyclone", all ready for a weekend of testing and tweaking.
I'll report back soon.....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

And Another......

Spurred on by the success of the walnut handle here's another in maple. I found the maple a lot easier to work (the walnut was a bit soft in places making it difficult to get it clean and sharp). I cut the slot last night and mortised out for the back-might experiment with a little stain before applying the finish. Or not, I'll see how much time I get ;)
Tested the cyclone yesterday-it works!!! Need to sort out hook-up of hoses and sort any leaks and it will be time for a proper go. I'm intrigued!
Mrs P entered the workshop, stage left. "What are you doing now??" "It's a replacement handle for a saw" replies Philly. "And what the hell is that huge cone thing??". "It's a cyclone dust extractor" says a slightly nervous Philly. "Great to see you're working on important things that need to be done" says Mrs P, with sarky, venom filled voice. Thankfully she then retreated from the workshop (exit stage left) and I returned to the current task-and ignoring my "To-Do" list.
And the moral of this story?
If you complete tasks on the "To-Do" list then more will magically appear. To prevent this make sure you mostly work on trivial projects and "essential" shop items ;)
cheers, Philly

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dust Sucks.

Spent some more time shaping and sanding the new saw handle-it looks and FEELS a lot better. Some final sanding and I'll get a finish on it. I also have a larger tenon saw waiting stage left for the same treatment. Thanks to Alf for posting the "Sawcollectors Anonymous" stuff-great/terrible reading ;)
I'm also working on a cyclone dust collector-there has been a lot of discussion on the UK Workshop forum recently and I happened upon a set of plans. I'm about 85% of the way through the build so will report back on it's, A: usefulness, or B: its time wasting abilities ;) As my machinery is now in its (kinda) final positions have been toying with the idea of ducting in the dust extraction instead of wheeling it from machine to machine. Or just not using it.........;)
Waka came by the shop yesterday to borrow the band saw. I was shocked he still hasn't bought the Festool one ;)
Have a good week,

Friday, September 15, 2006

Get A Handle On It....

Just about recovered from the "Big Bash". It was such a great day plans are already being made for next years. Had a very physical week at work (not quite what I was expecting) so I'm glad it's Friday.
Picked up a nice little Tyzack tenon saw yesterday. Brass back, straight as a die, nasty handle. So last night while cleaning it up, Bingo! I'll make a new handle. Thanks to Mike W for his step by step photo's, it made life a lot easier. Another hour or so and it should be done.
Spent most of my workshop time this week (when not doing chores for the Missus to keep her sweet) cleaning up the workshop. It looks really good out there now, and a hell of a lot bigger than last weekend ;)
Need to turn up the knobs for my tool chest and then I can think about a stand for it. What do you lot think-a stand or a mobile base/lower chest?

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Big Bash (and how I survived)

It's all over! And what a day it was......
The UK Workshop Big Bash turned out to be quite an event. Imagine thirty slightly crazed wood-heads squeezed into your workshop. Yeah, it was fun!!!!!
First, though, a confession. Friday night a few members wanted to go out for a curry. Sadly, this then led to the local pub. When they threw us out certain (un-named) members then retired to the workshop with a Mr Jack Daniels until 3am.......I was a little "rattled" Satirday morning. So apologies if I looked a mess and was wondering around a bit dazed. ;)
But it was a great day-to actually put faces to names, chat freely (no typing involved!!!) and get your hands on some tools was a truly enjoyable experience. I can tell this is going to be at least an annual event.
Dave L has kindly posted some pictures here.
So a big thank you to all that could come along, especially our guest demonstrators who did a marvelous job. Alf, Chas and Tony-I salute you!
Now I have to go. I have some more jobs to do for the Missus. The "making up" process might be taking a long time ;)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Nearly There!!!

Well Folks, the day of reckoning is almost here. I hope to pop by the Yandles Woodworking show lunchtime then it's race back home time to prepare for tomorrows "UK Workshop Big Bash".
Original response was a little, uh, muted. That has transformed into slight "woodworkers madness" and I have woodies preparing to travel from all over the country. Even Cornwall ;)
The tool chest is very nearly complete. The fitting out of the drawers is going to take some time and I've been turning handle shapes to see which is the favorite.
I'll report back tomorrow night with a report.
Wish me luck,

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crazy Weekend

Ouch-Where did the weekend go?
Yup, another crazy weekend. And no, that doesn't mean I was out partying...;)
With the UK Workshop Big Bash only a few days away this was my last real chance to have a clean up of the workshop. I borrowed a van from work to remove the unsightliest items (the heavy downpours of rain really helped when loading!) spent a while vacuuming up shavings, dust and small animals and generally doing "good stuff". Then I thought I'd do a little woodwork. Back to square one.........;)
The tool chest. All twelve drawers are now done, I veneered a board for the top (just some solid walnut to trim and mould the edges) and I've started fitting out the drawers to hold the tools. Made a new face for the router table fence and a few other "tuits" and felt a lot happier.
The Big Bash is going to be a full house-looks like around 30 tool heads will be arriving. Going to need a few more t-shirts. And food. And I may need to hire security to search everyone when they leave.....;)
Have a good week

Monday, August 28, 2006

Quick on the Drawer.....

Another long weekend over. Where did it go?
Gardening, that's the answer........ ;(
O.k., so I did manage to scrape a little workshop time. The tool chest is coming along well. Five out of twelve drawer are complete and fitted. Each needs a little fitting and fettling to ensure a nice fit and action and twelve drawers is a lot. I didn't really think about that when designing it. But it looks good and that's what counts. The sides are joined to the fronts with sliding dovetails. The front is rebated for the drawer bottom which is also the drawer runners. The sides and back sit on the bottom, the whole thing is glued up and voila. Light, pretty and strong. Just a bit fiddly ;)
Need to get the drawers finished before I think about making the top and bottom mouldings. And then the "frenching" in of the tools will begin.
With the UK Workshop Big Bash approaching (OMG, only two weeks left!!!) I was hoping to clean the workshop up a bit. Maybe sharpen a few tools, you know. Instead I turfed the front lawn. So at least it will look nice when you turn up, even if the 'shop is a state ;)
Squeezed in a little planemaking when the Missus wasn't looking. I seem to be "clicking" now and I'm banging through planes at an almost impressive rate. Don't think I'll be giving up the day job, though;)
Have a good week,

Monday, August 21, 2006

MD cough, cough, F

So MDF. Yes it's flat, cheap and doesn't move. But why does it fill your workshop with a fine evil dust that leaves no surface untouched? Regardless of the lengths you go to with extraction?
Yes, you've guessed it, I've had the pleasure of using MDF again. It seemed like such a good idea at the time.....;)
The tool chest is coming on great guns-drawer runners made up and fitted, drawer components all machined up and even got the vacuum bag out and veneered the drawer fronts in some fancy veneer. Some sliding dovetails to do and this project will be coming together well.It will be nice to have somewhere to put the hand tools safely. My lovely new workshop is getting badly cluttered so this is a much needed project.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Interview with the Woodbutcher

Tool chest is coming along. I finished the dovetailed rails, top and bottom. And cut the rebates for the back (thank you #78). So it is slowly coming together. My daughter is out for the day on Saturday so a day of workshop fun is on the horizon. Might even make progress on the shop stool.........or not ;)
I was asked to do an interview for the splendid "Lumberjocks" site. It is Here , but I warn you, there are pictures of me so wear your safety glasses.
Have a good week,

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Risky Business

Made some more progress with the new tool chest project. Finished fitting the floating panels in the ends and decided to add some beads to liven the design up a little. Out comes the #66...
Came out well but was left with a deeper understanding of the "workmanship of risk" thing ;)
I could of put a beading bit in the router, buzz buzz and all done. Probably no fear of tear out and a perfect result almost guaranteed. But by using a scratch stock it only takes one slip and you can ruin a component. You certainly get your technique down quick ;)
Has it made any difference to the result? Don't know, but I certainly will feel a little prouder of my work every time I see those beads.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Lots of Shavings

Spent some time making the panels for the tool chest. Ripped some walnut down on the bandsaw before the daughter went to bed so I could make some shavings after dark. And what fun that was! Have a look.....
Using just hand tools to flatten and then thickness the four panels was an enjoyable process, especially as it went so smoothly. Sharp irons make life a lot easier, too. It is surprising just how accurate you can thickness stock (although I'm sure I could hear the De-Walt sniggering to itself in the background)
My drummer phoned in ill today so no band rehearsal this week-guess that means more shop time?? ;)
Though you might want to see the drill press cabinet I've been putting together. I've made it with mainly scraps and left-overs so it hasn't really cost anything. But it is very handy for the metal work-beats getting filings stuck to your bench! And somewhere to put the fan (an essential shop accessory!)
Have a good week,

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Always Finish A Project Before Starting Another

(Or "Philly Needs Shooting")
A busy weekend painting and putting together garden furniture has mostly kept me away from my workshop. Well, I keep venturing in there but they keep dragging me back out ;)
Built a drawer for the drill press/grinding staion. With full extension runners and being 7 1/2 inch deep, I certainly have made a lot of clutter disappear. Very useful-I'll make one more drawer for good measure.
Meant to have another go at laminating the back for the shop stool. But that would of meant making a former to fit in the vacuum bag (Hey, I have one so why not use it!) and I could'nt face a third session on this component. So spent some quality time breaking down the piece of box wood into strips. Just in case they come in handy, you know. And then spent some time restoring a side bead to working order. And then, and yeah I know I'm naughty, broke down some walnut to make the tool chest I've been meaning to start. I need somewhere to keep the hand tools (the old tool racks that hung on the wall are no more) and I made plans for this whilst on holiday in June. The rails and stile for the end panels are made up, M+T's cut and just the panels to make. Having completed plans makes a project somewhat easier, huh?
So I plan to finish the stool sometime this month. Or face Alf's laughter at the UK Workshop Big Bash in early Spetember........ ;)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wooden Treasure

Update time-I gave in and laminated the hoop back for the stool. Am I happy now? No....
There are a couple of areas where the laminates haven't been pressed together tight enough whilst the glue set. Darn. Come the weekend I think I'll have another go. Or burn the thing ;)
Happened to be working near my favorite sawmill today. Came away with some little treasures. A smashing 2 inch board of quartersawn English oak, a very pretty (and I don't know how no-one had snapped it up before me) board of ripple sycamore and some more beech (labelled "2nd" quality due to some streaks of colour. quartered again) I don't really need more timber but they were just too nice to leave. And to top it off, some boxwood. Might just come in handy for the planemaking.
Another hard week at work has meant little time for wood related fun but the weekend is looming.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Split My Sides

Howdy Folks!
Been a busy week at work which has left me a chomping at the bit for some workshop time. And today has been a good day. The Missus and little Sophie have been at a birthday party all day leaving me, sob sob, all alone in the workshop ;)
So to business.....
First job-finish the forth moulding plane off. I also had a mass blade temper session. So that concludes pair number two. I also received some letter punches from Tilgear so the planes now have their size and my initials adorning thier ends. So professional............NOT ;)
Next up-steam bending the back for my shop stool project. Not such a success. Three tries and all split out on me. An hour and a half in the steamer for 3/4 inch material should of been plenty (according to all the books I've read) Looks like I'll be laminating up the back, then :( Turned up the remaining spindles so this one is coming on well.
And just for fun (and to keep Norm happy) I've started a drill press/sharpening station. A spare worktop from the day job inspired this project and some MDF and the biscuit jointer pushed it over the edge. Hopefully this will be finished tomorrow, pics to follow.
Time for a quick glass of wine-have a good weekend all!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Weekend Over

Hi Folks
Didn't get as much done this weekend as I had planned-seems last week drained me more than I realised. Still, managed to complete another hollow. And the shop stool is sit-on-able (if not exactly comfortable yet) Oh, and I wasted an hour of so making a chair devil. Yes Alf, it is catching ;)
I've had hassle getting my website up to date. I usually do this from my office but I seem to be spending most ofmy time out on the road so the website was looking a bit sad. After hours of messing around I now have transferred it to my home PC so I can do updates from there. So now have added the moulding plane step-by-steps for your enjoyment.
Have a good week,

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A "Panel" of Jointers?

Quick update, Blog-buddies!
Work has been hectic this week so no more planes have been made (yet!) Had a sharpen and play with the Rutlands jointer. Hmm..... Sole is still unacceptably convex so planing is difficult. And the tote is very uncomfortable .[oh-oh, I'm sounding like "you-know-who";)] Also the wedge only supports the iron (well, chipbreaker) for the first inch or so. They then part company heading off in different directions. Sigh....well what did we expect for the money? I'll do a tune-up on the weekend and see how it performs.
Stool news-finally drilled the mortises in the seat for the legs. Compound angles are fun, right? Needless to say I chickened out and used a jig on the drill press........
The heat continues to sap my will to do anything (combined with busy workdays) but I am eager to get make some progress this weekend. I even have the beech ready for the next pair of planes.
And I hope the picture of the jointers was of use??
Be good,

Sunday, July 16, 2006

What A Pair

First things first. I am a muppet when it comes to computers (and other stuff...) Apologies to all who posted comments-I accidentally clicked a box I shouldn't have in the control panel and it took an expert to put me straight. Thanks Alf ;)
So, I have completed the matching round! A pair of moulding planes! Also had to make a planemakers float today to make things a little easier. That was fun ;) Now for some answers....
Tool steel? 01 from Tilgear, about £10 for 2 inch x 18 inch, 1/8th thick. Enough for at least 6 irons and some floats.
Side beads? One step at a time, but nothing is ruled out. Pack some just in-case ;)
The Rutlands jointer has moved around some more-checked it today and the sole has straightened out some. I'll give it a week and check again. The mouth is still damn big though!
A project in mind for the moulding planes Mike? Not as such, but I'm sure most projects will find them a benefit.
So I need a to knock out a few more of these. I found the angled mortise the most difficult to make-it gets pretty tight as you reach the bottom. Oh, and did I mention the only power tools used were the drill press and table saw? I'm slowly building up some muscle ;)
Got a busy week ahead at work but the advantage of working with hand tools is the lower noise levels mean I can get lots of work done in the evening.
have a good week,

Saturday, July 15, 2006

One Down....

The hollow is finished!! Yes, the Workshop Gods smiled upon me today as I finished shaping and heat treating the iron and did the final details on the body. All tested and tweaked and a couple of coats of oil. And yes, it works!
So tomorrows work is to finish the matching round-the iron is roughed out ready to shape and the body needs the mortise tidying. Hopefully it should be easy to finish (especially as the sole will be shaped by the hollow I just built!).
Not made any more progress on the chair today but what did you expect? Miracles? ;)
Cheers, Philly

Steel Yourself....

O.k., that was a terrible pun. Sorry ;)
The tool steel arrived (along with plenty of hacksaw blades) and the first iron has been cut out, filed down and profiled. I've been working away the last few days so there has been minimal progress-but today is Saturday! Time to break out the Mapp gun......
Some bad news on the cheap beech planes from Rutlands-I bought the jointer and it was a little disappointing (even at the price). The mouth is WIIIIIDE open (like about 1/2 an inch) and the sole is terribly convex. It's going to take some flattening before i can use it. On the up side I liked the iron and chipbreaker, a nice fat piece of steel. I'll report back once I've spent some time fettling.
The sun is shining so get out there and enjoy yourselves!

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Answer is Plane

So I was a little too obvious? Damn ;)
Yup, moulding planes. Why, you ask??
I've been trawling the car boot sales, house clearance shops and Tool shops in the (futile, it seems) search for hollows and rounds, even the odd side bead. They used to be ten a penny, I was told. "Yeah, I had a box full of 'em-threw them out, they never sold". Those kind of comments. Oh yes, the old tool shops have 'em. And what a price they charge.........
So, an idea. Why not make my own? And so you see pair number one. That big board of spalted beech in the workshop is enough for dozens of planes. But the irons?? Trawl the shops and car boot sales? Nah, gonna try my hand at metalwork. It has been a long time but how hard can it be?? And you can stop laughing at the back.............;)
Some sheets of tool steel (oil quench) are in the mail to me-should be here Wednesday. I'll make the wedges tonight and then I can get the hacksaw out. I'll post some more pics soon (unless I burn the worlshop down).