Friday March 11th 1864 was a day much like any other day for Thomas Wilkinson. He and his partner Robert Howden had been working hard at the Ebenezer Steel Works in Sheffield, where they traded under the name of Drabble and Sanderson. They’d built up quite a reputation for their files and edge tools and in particular their saws, such as this 14” 12TPI backsaw, filed rip. Thomas locked up for the night and prepared himself for the short walk to his lodgings at a hou...
Once your stock is at a working dimension (4 square and final length for the rails an inch overlong for the legs) it’s time to start laying out the joints that will create the base for your table. The joinery used for a good table is a haunched mortise & tenon. There are several great alternatives…but this is a good starting point. For furniture it is important to think of the end result early on. Take a moment to arrange the pieces on your bench so you know at a glance whe...
Aimed at those new to saw sharpening, this instructional video is 2 1/4 hours long and covers the theory, the tools and the practice of sharpening western saws. You get to look over my shoulder as I sharpen four saws – two backsaws and two hand saws. I’ll explain the saw sharpening process and how you apply it to different scenarios. I really hope you find it useful. As to the production quality, I’ve done the best I could. I had to record it outside, so there is a bi...
Making the Workbench with Paul Sellers If the video below is not working please use this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru2ZiNsWek This replicates my personal workbench, one I have used and preferred over all others for, well, actually, half a century. Let’s talk briefly about benches and specifically working workbenches and not images of what a bench should be. Anyone can build any bench type they like, regardless of whether it works well or not, is big and clunky and la...
I don’t mind admitting that sash saws confuse me. I’m not talking about the word ‘sash’. Obviously in days gone by, this type/size of backsaw was used to make sash windows and the name stuck. What confuses me is whether it is the length of the saw that defines it as a sash saw or the way it is filed. When I’m confused about hand tools, I turn to the people I respect in the hand tool world and when it comes to saws those people are Joel Moskowitz, Matt Cianci, and Mark Harrell. The excerpt...
I did a trade for some woodwork with a guy who had a garage full of lumber and several nice hand tools. Most of the lumber was Oak. I don’t really like working with Oak. But I thought it would be perfect for a bench, and there was enough of it. I got lots of different lengths and widths. Most of it was 3/4”. I forgot to take a “before” photo of the stack but here is a sample: Now I intend to make a nice, sturdy bench, but its going to be more functional than ...
Well the rain finally stopped today and the sun came out. Looking out on my garden, the squirrels were making the most of it. I sat and watched this youngster somersaulting around the garden, before settling on a branch to devour his morning pine cone. Following his lead, I took the opportunity to get outside and sharpen another saw. Next up is the W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner No.120. Fourteen inches long with a .030” thick plate and an extra heavy spine. This is by far the heaviest ba...
Here’s another practice version of a “Real Asian Style” table. I tried to use traditional Chinese joinery (or at least what I think would be traditional Chinese joinery). Design is as simple as I could possible think of, not waisted as it really should be, no moldings. Material are a few 2×4’s that probably don’t quite have the right proportions. At this stage for me it is really about learning the joinery so I did not bother preparing the stock. I got...
Winters been long and without a shop, or a job to keep me busy I have had a lot of time to revisit all the woodworking magazine and books that I own. not to long ago on one of my sleepless night I ran across a article in a Fine Woodworking book on Proven Shop Tips by Jim Richey based on their methods of work section of their magazine. It was an article on a home made wooden scraper plane by Brady C Blake from Redwood Miss, and based on his ideas I came up with a version of my own, I plan o...
This was the first saw I bought off ebay. I can’t remember how much I paid, but it wasn’t much. The seller only posted one dark grainy photo, so I didn’t really know what I was getting and at that time I didn’t know what to look for anyway. When it arrived and I removed the wrapping, I literally had goosebumps. I couldn’t get over how beautiful the hand-made tote was. More than once I’ve drifted off into dreamland imagining the work this saw has performed d...
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