The timber is still moist to the touch and heavy, probably about 28% moisture, but it will be easier to cut in this condition and will dry quickly with a smaller cross-section. It is time to rough-cut the components. You may remember that I have already selected and prepared pieces for the main members – the back legs. All this hand-work makes you think of efficiency in a way that you may never have thought of it before. If you have ever cycled around the countryside and taken a wrong t...
Leaving the tool chest for a moment; we go back a few years to the Domesday Book and 1086 and an interesting fact – 13 saws were recorded in the kingdom, bowsaws were common at the time so what kind of saws were these? Probably not sawmills; mills are mentioned aplenty and millponds too but they were agricultural mills. These are probably pitsaws, a gruelling job for two men; one of them in the pit and the other steering the two-handed saw and balancing on the level tree-trunk as they r...
Many of you probably cut dovetails with power tools & jigs —and so do I. But for some projects, I really prefer cutting them by hand and I never tire of learning how to do it better. That’s what took me on one of my recent video “treks” (journeys), where I filmed the segment I’ve posted here — this time to the shop of master cabinetmaker Craig Vandall Stevens. In this two-part series, Craig (who studied under James Krenov) uses only a saw, chisel, and several sh...
“Maybe he was a pattern maker”. Alexander, my oldest son, is an engineer and was looking at the collection of gouge chisels as I put their tray back in the chest. I was wondering why Mr Wake had so many gouge chisels and whether that was a clue to his job. All the tools in this chest are marked “C Wake” but I know nothing else about him, except for what I can guess from the chest and its contents. “You just want to show off your collection of tools, that’s why you’re doing these arti...
This is a short blog, I hope, to show some work I was able to get built this week in the shop for a commissioned project. - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - - This tool is a Rounding Jack used to trim the brims of hats, and will be used by a discerning hat maker. In this exciting development, I have comp...
You may be wondering when I am going to stop daydreaming and get on with making a chair. The short movie that I produced to accompany this entry provides a ‘short-cut’ to the main action! It’s just that I know that some people are going to ask “What’s the point in making furniture by hand?” and I think that it’s difficult to explain, I certainly can’t put it in a sentence. I have read entire books by people who have tried to answer this question ( e.g. David Pye – “Th...
The “Island” is the land that accompanies Lethenty Mill. It stretches from its widest part at the Mill to its narrowest about half a mile up the Lochter Burn. It used to be very important to the Mill; water was collected in a long narrow channel leading to a dam near the Mill, and it could be released into a variety of channels under and around the Mill which were arranged to feed the water to the two water wheels or back into the water course (the Lochter) if the system was full and li...
Realizing that the story and photos of this walking cane project are decidedly Christian in content, if you are offended by such things, you should read another Blog. This project is a cane that I was commissioned to build, which tells the story of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and will be used to talk about the customer’s faith as he uses the symbols to tell the story. I hope that if you are offended by the content, that you will at least enjoy the woodworking process that is...
Hey guys! Taking advantage of the long weekend here in Canada, (so this was last weekend) I made a better base for my dremel. I was taking it apart to see why it was squeaking (trapped sawdust) when the idea hit me – drill the existing screw holes all the way through the body, and get a longer screw to hold the dremel together (like the old screws) and hold the dremel to the base. Well, I didn’t have a screw quite that long and thin, but I did have some short screws of the correct diameter. S...
Hello fellow Lumber Jocks! I’m starting a little blog series on my work-in-progress DIY lathe. In short, I want to build a lathe to turn a few pens, without spending ~$60 some on specifically pen turning materials and ~$200 on a lathe. So, I want to try turning. I’ve always considered myself a handyman-esque person, and I had that urge to build! The tipping point was when I found a few blogs such as AfriGadget, StreetUse and Future Perfect. Their owners travel a lot, and they notice ingenu...
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