Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Festival Of The Tree

Hi Folks
It's that time of the year again - time for the "Festival of the Tree" at Westonbirt Arboretum. This is a wonderful event in a beautiful setting- every possible wood related discipline is represented and there's tons of things for the family to do while you drool over the hand tools!
This will be my third year demonstrating at this show and I'm real excited this year to be demonstrating Lie-Nielsen tools. I'll also have a display of my own planes present, so don't panic.
If you are attending make sure you come by my bench and say "Hi"!

On another note, I have actually finished a project I've been working on for the last few months. It's an electric guitar - a Gibson SG replica. She's come out pretty well - I've put step-by-step on my Philsville site for you to see how she was constructed.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Coffin Smoother Upgraded

Hi Folks
One of the things I like about my job is the chance to make more than one of an item - when I build projects for the home they are usually one-offs and I never get to make them again (without the mistakes!). But over these last few years I've made many hundreds of planes - I'm pleased to say that I am still improving and refining them. And I'd like to introduce the latest refinements to my "Coffin Smoother" plane.
With the popularity of my "Classic Smoother" model I've been wanting to bring my Coffin smoother into line with its traditional looks and chamfers. So I've subtly altered the shape and added interesting period details to it. And after much testing (by myself and dozens of eager volunteers at shows) I'm pleased to say it has made the plane not only more handsome but much more comfortable to use - the flare of the body fits the hand perfectly!
I've also upgraded the iron to a full 4mm thick high carbon steel - its a BIG iron without being ridiculous. And you notice it in use - the iron doesn't even blink on even the gnarliest of timbers. The iron is also now 50mm wide (about 2 inches) making it the perfect smoother for your workshop.

So I hope you like the upgrades to this model - its not just some "go-faster" stripes added to spruce it up. Its a ground-up improvement that builds on the lessons I've learned from building planes. And did I mention she's a handsome looking plane, too!



P.s. And no, it's not called a "coffin smoother" because it was used to plane coffins - the name refers to the coffin shaped curves of the sole!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Back To It..

HI Folks

Since my return from the States I've been back at the bench, beavering away at the batch of planes. I've also had some interesting ideas for new models, and will be showing some prototypes over the next few weeks.

First up - a customer wanted me to build him a smoother using an old toothing blade that he supplied. I was quite happy to do this and was looking forward to using it - while at the Lie-Nielsen factory I had opportunity to use their #62 with a toothed blade to flatten some gnarly stock.
I'm pleased to say it came out very nicely and hope to introduce my own toothing plane model in the near future.

I've also shipped another of my flagship model, the PPA5. This one again in African Blackwood, a beautiful and dense timber. I am now out of any suitable large pieces of this timber, so if anyone knows of a UK supplier I would be very grateful.

The "Festival Of The Tree" at Westonbirt is help at the end of August - I'll there over the four days demonstrating my planes and also giving a talk in the Masterclass tent. So if you are attending please drop on by and say hello!