Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Getting There

Sorry about the tardy blogging-I shall save making excuses, here's the update.
The saw till is coming on well. I have dovetailed the carcass, fitted the floor, made the frame and panel lid and am starting on fitting out the till for the saws. Another few days and it should be done-just need to source some suitable brass hardware.
Broke in my new router table on this project. It is performing really well and I'm glad I made the effort. The router lift facility of the Trend T11 is so cool-it makes me wonder why it's taken so long to be "invented"!
I'm working away from home again so it'll be the weekend before I can get the till finished-until then, friends.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A WW Weekend

I've started on my next project-Hurrah, I hear you say? ;)
It's a saw till to hold my ever increasing pile of hand saws. Black walnut is the timber of choice, with a dovetailed carcase and a frame and panel lid. It will be fully fitted to hold the saws comfortably (although that part of construction is still in the planning stage) and have a locking lid (to keep the Missus from "borrowing" them for Ebay!!) WIP pics to follow soon.
Went to Ally Pally Woodworking Exhibition yesterday-a fun day out apart from the atrocious traffic :(
Met up with Dave L, Gav and Les Mahon from the UK Workshop team as well as chatting with the usual WW scene Superstars (Terry Smart, Martin Brown and Mark Ramuz). The show wasn't as much fun as last year-the sponser going bust a month ago can't of helped on that front..... I will miss Axminster this year. See you all at Yandles in April!
Oops-forgot to mention the Airpress I picked up on the way out. Anyone got any veneer going cheap??

Monday, February 13, 2006


As I start worrying about how I'm going to move my workshop I have re-built my router table. My last one was, shall we say, a bit big. Weighed a flipping ton, too! Very useful Norm style R/T with drawers, dust extraction, go faster stripes, etc. The new one is a little stripped down (in comparision) The table top was bought at last years Axminster show-a beauty by Woodhaven with ally fence and fine adjuster, a phenolic router plate with levellers and a mitre gauge slot. How much?? £50..........;)
Using my Trend T11 and a NVR switch I think I have a nifty little table-and one that I can pick up on my own! I'll let you know how it works out.
On another note, I'm in "between project hell". The UK Workshop competition is on my mind, as was a dining room suite. That can wait 'til after the move, now. Hmm, what to do.....

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Four on the Floor

As you may know, I've now made four boxes. Time to stop, I think ;)
It is surprising how much faster you get when you make more than one of a project. Also, the mistakes drop away quickly. I seem to make most of the boo-boo's on the first one-after that I'm pretty good. So maybe it is a good idea to make multiples of a project? I remember reading that Norm Abrams makes two of each project-the first one he builds works out the construction details. The second (the one he builds on the show) incorporates the lessons he learnt on the first one.
Now I'm not suggesting you set up production of whatever project you are building, but when you consider the amount of time spent making jigs, setting up machines, etc, it kinda makes sense to run enough parts to make a second one. I'm hoping this means the dining room suite I have to build soon will not be as long winded as I think it could be ;)
On another note-I am moving!!! Fear not, the New Dorset Workshop is only moving a couple of miles up the road. But it will be detached from the house, so hopefully nocturnal woodworking will be back on the menu! Stay tuned.........

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Gone All Skewish...

Box numero two is nearly done-just need to chop the lid off and line it. A coat of oil has given it a nice sheen. You notice the 140 nonchalently sat in the pic? It's not just a gloat there is a story...
After wiping the oil on the box last night I thought I'd do a little sharpening. Block plane, bullnose, ah! What about the 140? That wicked skew means it'll probably be freehand (as I can't be bothered to find Derek's mkII settings). Swipe, swipe. Yes, done myself proud. Wipe the blade down and oil it, put the blade back in the body. Well, nearly. I dropped it about three inches before I made it, putting three lovely dings in the edge........... Not the kinda dings you hone out. Sometimes you wish you just left well alone.
The Woodkateers Axminster trip went well. The chaps all had a good time, we also popped to a nearby village called (and I'm not making this up) Beer. There's a little antique shop that Martin knew that sells tools. Not a bad selection, but I left with two dozen old copies of Fine Woodworking (some dated 1984!!) 75p each? Done! We had to sample the local speciality after that.
Oh, and Waka spent a fortune that day. But whats new? ;)