27 December 2010

Oriental slope

The 'Secret Santa' present I made some time ago was well received in Germany and if you recollect, it was posted in Bruges earlier in the month. It was fairly straight forward to make, but made much easier as I had an ECE scrub under the bench and a very tatty book by Charles Haywood from 1951 or thereabouts with plans for all sorts of woodworking tools. The main body is a standard laminated affair in mahogany with the horn doweled in place...that was quite fun to make. The sole is a piece of the 'wood from hell' and is the first time that I've used it for anything in anger...apart from giving lumps of it to friends to play with. Being a kindly soul, it's interesting to watch their reaction when they attempt to plane it! Philly provided the 6mm thick O1 blade and very kindly ground it to a perfect curve.

I received one or two very acceptable presents which will allow me to slide a little further down the Oriental slope of slipperiness, one being an excellent Ryoba saw from Gareth, then a Japanese marking gauge from Megan and finally a pair of books from SWIMBO, one of which is 'Japanese Woodworking Tools' by Toshio Odate.

I'd been after this book for some time and it's already been useful as when I had a look at the marking gauge, I noticed that the blade is deliberately skewed by around 5deg, which I initially thought was a manufacturing defect...not so apparently as it's done deliberately to draw the stem tight against the wood when it's used. If I like the design when I try it out in the 'shop, I'll probably make one or two others. The second book is the final JK tome...I have all the others so this will make a little bit of pleasant reading in the New Year.

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