16 March 2014

The bloke.co.uk

I'm going to dip a toe into the slightly dubious world of craft fairs and to that end I've got a couple of gigs booked this year.  The first is in July and the next at Christmas, both to be held at the Guildhall in Salisbury.

I've no idea if anything I make will sell, but as part of the promotional aspect, it's been suggested that I have some business cards printed so that they can be given out at the events.  SWIMBO thought it would also be good idea to have my website details on the cards as well so a couple of weeks ago we nipped down to PC World and bought a package for less than £30 which enabled her (note 'her'…not me) to build a fairly respectable, four page site.  It's not uber-comprehensive, but there's enough information given for anybody interested to make further enquiries…I hope.

At last…a 'bona fida' sawdust producer!

11 March 2014

Anarchy and the Angle

A curious and interesting title for this entry, n'est pas?  Let me expound further.

I'm currently around two thirds the way through my signed, genuine, cotton pickin', geetar plucking', USA copy of Schwarz's tome, 'The Anarchist's Toolchest' and if you haven't dipped an eyeball into it over your breakfast muesli, then I strongly suggest you do.

It's a good and amusing read, even making allowances for the dang Americanisms that pepper the plot.  I agree with the man on around 98% of his observations, bearing in mind that we as woodworkers are all odd buggers and as such, approach the craft in different directions.

In the section on tools he mentions the ubiquitous scraper plane as being a desirable addition to the chest and in particular, the tried and tested No. 80, updated in recent years to a much superior (in my view at least) version by Lee Valley.  In the same breath, Schwarz also notes that an unnamed, large scraper plane is a more or less a complete pain in the arris to set up…the blade is straight and if not bowed or curved, the corner will dig infuriatingly into the job.

He also mentions that part of the issue with this unnamed, large scraper plane is setting the correct angle for the blade and on both counts, Schwarz is correct.

Not being a plane collector in any way shape or form, I happen, by the merest chance to own both of these scraper planes and knowing that the Veritas No. 80 is set correctly, I wondered how to replicate the angle in the LN 112.  The answer is, as always, very simple.

Place the LN 112 at the far edge of the bench and undo the adjusting screws then grab the LV 80 and place side by side with the 112.  On bended knee, squint across the two planes as you would do a pair of winding sticks and twiddle the LN 112 screws until the blade is parallel with the LV 80.

A swift test on a gash bit of oak showed that with the correct angle, the LN is a vastly different tool to use.  All I need to work out now is how to put a gentle curve on the blade at the corners to stop it digging in...

03 March 2014

Oh no…not ANOTHER box!

Back in the summer last year, I had a bit of spare cash and decided to splash out on some more timber to replace my somewhat depleted stocks.  Apart from buying some prime, clean, straight boards of English walnut, a couple of big slabs of elm and a rather tasty chunk of burr elm, I managed to persuade the proprietor (with a little bit of arm tweaking) to part with this uber-sexy, quite spectacular lump of Turkish walnut which was eventually destined to end up as a shotgun stock.

With some very careful planning and even more careful cutting, there was just enough material to make a small jewellery box with a Krenovian style panelled lid.  One of the dovetail corners is shown below:

…with the box dry assembled, also shown below.  The arrows indicate the two surfaces where the lid will sit, so it's vital that these are 'out of wind' or not twisted when the box is glued.

The components for the lid have been cut and I intend to joint them tomorrow with 5mm Doms but again, as with all the current projects, this one is going to come to a grinding, shuddering, halt as I don't have a router table to sort out the grooves for the panel.  That said, I ought to be able to sort out the interior tray from the odds n'sods that have been left over.

I'm now puzzling though, how to make one of those squishy things to hold rings…dare say I'll get it sorted somehow.