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.....