29 April 2008

The Wood from Hell...and Plan B

After a bit of frantic fitting and sanding, the back panel for the Elm Cabinet II is almost done. It's been finished with a couple of coats of matt Osmo-PolyX which is so easy to apply it has to be experienced to be believed. On top of that tonight will go a good application of my favourite Alna teak wax which has a beautiful soft, pasty constituency...polish off with a soft duster and then into the carcase with a few dabs of glue just to hold it in place. I fitted it the other night and it looked rather good which in part makes up for the absolute nightmare that it's been to make...even the slithers that were glued on the long sides blend in quite well and can hardly be seen.
Pete's coming round this Saturday to help me sort out the leaky workshop. I've got all the materials to hand so with a bit of luck and a following wind the repair to the end of the 'shop ought to go according to plan...if not there's always Plan B.
I'm really looking forward to another trip out at the end of May, this time to West Dean College in Chichester where there will be a hand-tools event hosted by CHT. Lots of the guys from UKW will be there so it promises to be a fun-filled day...might even have a chance to play with some more Philly planes and as David Charlesworth will also be in attendance, I think I'll take him along a little bit of the Wood from Hell. Light the blue touchpaper and stand back!

23 April 2008

More Articles

A while ago I sent in an article to F&C on making wooden planes...this was how I made 'Big Woodie' and others in the workshop that are similar. Since that piece was submitted there's been a change in the 'seat of power' at F&C and I wasn't sure whether the plane article was needed. However, having just 'phoned Michael Huntley (the new editor) he's confirmed that it will be published in the August issue so I'm going to look forward to that one...I think I can see the purchase of a LN No9 Iron Mitre looming on the horizon, unless SWIMBO's got other plans for my money.
In conversation with him he's also very interested in the Elm Cabinet II ...think I'll maybe just gloss over the problems I've had with the back panel, though it looks like it's going to be quite good when it finally goes into the cabinet. He also gave me one or two tips on the way he would like copy written which I found very useful so I'll try and bear that in mind when fingers hit the keyboard later on.

21 April 2008

The Return

SWIMBO has now returned from colder and windier climes having arrived at Brize Norton at about 0930 she got back just in time for coffee. The decorating has been finished for about a week now and my efforts got the official 'nod of approval' so I'm fairly chuffed at the moment...the only unfortunate casualty was that I broke one of the glass doors in the bookcase so will have to get some more made which is going to set me back about £70 or so.

On a different topic I had a very surreal day in Egham on Sunday as it was a 30th reunion for my old college. It was very, very strange to see old friends that I hadn't seen for 30 years... also to walk around the grounds and visit all my old haunts on the site

The back panel of the Elm Cabinet II is now nearing completion and I'll need to sort out another couple of coats of finish on it before it's ready to go into the carcase. I haven't been able to do much on it recently as I've had the decorating to do but hopefully that will change now so I'll be able to get back into the 'shop.

13 April 2008


Had a great day out yesterday at Yandles. Pete and Paul together with Wanlock Dod (Pete's son-in-law) turned up at my place at about 10.00am and after a quick brew we all bundled into the Landy and trundled off down the A303 to the show. We seemed to gravitate this time to the Phillyplane stand for some odd reason, don't know why that should be... seemed to be a focal point for all the UKW forum members.
Philly's planes provided much practical 'hands on' experience and it was also very pleasant to meet David Charlesworth, though not for the first time. I won't say anything about the first time which was at the last Axminster show when he had a very small embarrassing moment with a LN chisel, so I won't say anything more about it save that it entailed a trip to the local hospital!
It was great also to meet Martin and Mike Reilly again as well as Tony Sutton who I hadn't met and of course there was also Escudo (Tony) from the wilds of Norfolk...great to meet everyone.
I intended to try and get hold of a couple of lumps of Elm but there wasn't anything suitable so I ended up with two decent bits of quarter sawn oak that I'll use for drawer sides. I've been looking for some time for anything decent and it's quite hard to find so I was pleased that I managed to find a couple of good bits. I also had a delve into an oddments box of African Blackwood and managed to find a little bit which ought to provide enough for a couple of marking knife handles. I also picked up a bit of African Ebony for a few more octagonal chisel handles should the need arise a later date...it's not as though I'm a collector of tools, but you never know.
All in all, a really fabulous day out with the lads.

05 April 2008

Tunnel Light

The mammoth decorating job (for me anyway) of sorting out the decoration of the lounge is almost done. Yesterday and the day before I put laid the new laminate floor which went down without mishap and does, I have to say, look rather posh. Today I've been making up the new skirting boards to go over the top and finishing them with a couple of coats of acrylic varnish. I could have kept the old ones in place on the wall but then I would have had to use that revolting little bit of quadrant moulding to cover the expansion gap 'twixt laminate and skirt....yuk!!! All being well then the new skirting boards should be up tomorrow and then I'll have to fit the curtain poles ready for some new drapes later on.
SWIMBO had a small lump sum pension pay out today from a really grotty job that she had (I worked as well at the same factory) several years ago and she decided that she wanted a new flat screen telly and DVD recorder to go in the newly decorated lounge...so today that's what she's got! A 32" Panasonic LXD700, 160Gb HDDVD recorder, HDMI cable and tilt/swivel wall mounted bracket are now residing in the lounge awaiting the truly glorious moment when I can emerge into the light at the end of a very long tunnel, install the new TV system and finally say that the decorating is done...and better still, it'll be done before the SWIMBO's return from distant climes. Winner!