That’s it for June, look out for July’s Tool of the Month!
Welcome to June’s Tool of the Month post! This month a super fast look at a handy tool everybody has used.... the calculator!
There really isn’t very much to say about the calculator only that it is very helpful in the workshop for working out all kinds of things from joint layout to converting cutting lists into cubic feet. No matter how good at maths you are a calculator is always worth having!
That’s it for June, look out for July’s Tool of the Month!
Welcome to May’s blog post! This month I’ll continue to show the different types of sharpening system I use in the workshop. This time it’s a little look at ‘scary sharpening’.
‘Scary Sharpening’ uses abrasive sheets mounted to a flat surface instead of using individual sharpening stones, this is one of the most affordable sharpening systems available these days and it is the system I’ve been using most over the last few years (I was a bit late to the scary sharp scene).
Unlike water or oil stones this sharpening system never has to be re-flattened due to the flat surface being constant, float glass is the most common surface used but you can also use a bit of mdf or granite. I’ve got one of these... https://www.axminster.co.uk/veritas-glass-lapping-plate-476783
To stop the glass sliding around I use a cheap bath anti slip mat from Tescos!
The abrasive films seem to last quite a long time and when they are worn out you simply peel them off and stick a fresh sheet down. I’ve been using the sheets from Workshop Heaven https://www.workshopheaven.com/hand-tools/sharpening-tools/scary-sharpening.html
This system works well free-hand or with a honing guide, just have to be a little careful not to tear the abrasive with the blade, but that’s pretty simple once you get used to it.
Most of my one to one tuition students find this system perfect for getting started due to its simplicity and low cost.
Look out for next months Tool of the Month!
Welcome to April’s Tool of the Month, this month a brief look at Awls....
The Awl is a sharp pointed tool with either a round or square shaft. They are generally used for marking holes or scratching lines in timber.
I use mine to accurately mark out holes as the point leaves behind a fine indent which helps guide the drill bit at the start.
That’s all for April, look out for May’s post about scary sharpening in a couple of weeks!
Welcome to the first blog post of 2019!
A short one this month, the scale ruler..
What is a scale ruler and what is it used for?
A scale ruler is very similar to a standard ruler just with extra numbers and scales for each measurement ratio.
It’s used to convert measurements/dimensions into a smaller size that’s easier to show on a small plan (designing a house for example).
I use a scale ruler every time I design a piece of furniture and use the metric 1:10 and 1:5 scale most often.
1:10 scale turns 10mm (1 cm) into 100mm (10cm)
1:5 scale turns 10mm (1 cm) into 50mm (5cm)
That’s all for January, look out for next months Tool!
Welcome to September’s Tool of the Month!
Following on from last month, a quick look at another type of Diamond Stone.
These are diamond sharpening cards, they are small credit card size (80mm by 50mm) diamond plates which are extremely handy in the workshop!
I use mine to sharpen penknives, router cutters and drill bits as these cards are small enough to get to those hard to reach areas!
Welcome to April’s Tool of the Month blog post!
This month I’ll have a quick look at a tiny Japanese chamfer plane.
This little tool is designed to produce repeatable 3mm chamfers on the edges of timber, being Japanese it’s a bit different to the typical types of planes seen here in the west.
In Japan carpenters often work sitting or kneeing on the ground rather than standing at a workbench, to make this practice easier their saws and planes are designed to be pulled towards the user rather than pushed away like they are here in the west.
Another difference is they are still mainly made from wood!
This little plane wasn’t very expensive (£15-£20) but it’s very useful and if I only have a few edges to chamfer it’s far quicker than setting up a router!
That’s all for April, look out for May’s post soon.
Welcome to March’s edition of Tool of the Month! This month I’ll give a brief overview of the Veritas Cabinet Scraper.
A card scraper is a very simple tool that can be used to remove dried glue and flatten inlays but sharpened carefully it can deal with awkward grain far far better than a bench plane!
The tool in the photos is the next step up from the basic card scraper, the card is held in the metal body which stops your fingers getting burnt when the card gets hot! The flat sole also means you can scrape right up to the edge of the workpiece without worrying about the card catching the edge.
There is a screw on the back of the tool which allows you to increase or decrease the amount of flex in the blade, this effectively governs the depth of cut!
Thats all for now, look out for April’s blog post in a few weeks!
Welcome to the final Tool of the Month blog post for 2017!
This month it's a very quick look at a tool that’s always in the pocket of my work jeans!
In the 1890’s the Swiss army adopted a new pocket knife, this knife contained a blade, can opener and a screwdriver for stripping and reassembling the army’s rifle. This would become the original Swiss Army knife, today there are many versions with countless combinations of tools, some useful some simply as a gimmick!
The knife that lives in my pocket at work is the Spartan model made by Victorinox, it is one of the most basic versions made. It has two blades, screwdrivers, bottle opener, corkscrew, punch, toothpick and tweezers.
The two most used functions are the main blade for opening boxes and sharpening pencils and the tweezers which are brilliant for removing splinters!
That’s it for this months blog and 2017!
Happy New Year 🎊
Welcome to November’s Tool of the Month blog post, this month it’s a quick look at the rebate block plane!
The rebate block plane is a combination of block plane and shoulder plane. It is basically a regular low angle block plane with a fixed mouth and open sides allowing for a wider blade that extends the full width of the body, just like a shoulder plane (see December 2016’s blog post).
This is a very handy tool for cleaning up raised and fielded panels and large tenons as the width of the tool makes skimming wide surfaces quick and easy.
For working across the grain this particular model has two little cutting discs called ‘nickers’ recessed into the sides of the plane, these can be set to score the surface before the blade cuts which helps prevent splintering!
My plane was made by Lie Nielsen in the USA, other similar planes are available from Veritas and Quangsheng.
One thing that you have to be mindful of with these planes is that due to the open sides the tool can flex if the blade is tightened down to much, so careful setting is a must for accurate work!
Thats all for November, look out for December’s Tool of the Month post!
Welcome to October's Tool of the Month blog post! This month I'll look at socket bevel edged chisels!
The socket chisel is not a particularly common type of chisel these days due to the more complex design and therefore cost when compared to the more common tang chisels.
The difference between tang and socket chisels is how the handle is attached to the blade. A tang chisel has a pointed metal tang formed on the opposite end of the blade, this is embedded into the handle, whereas a socket chisel handle has a cone shaped end that fits snugly inside the socket formed on the opposite end of the blade.
The disadvantage of a tang chisel is that the pointed tang can act like a wedge and split the handle when repeatedly struck excessively with a mallet, this doesn’t happen with the socket chisels. Though occasionally the handles on socket chisels can come loose due to the wood shrinking as part of natural seasonal movement, however a sharp tap and they will be tight again!
My socket chisels are made by American company Lie Nielsen Tool-Works and are based on an old Stanley design. The blades are made from A2 steel which takes and holds a good edge. The sides of the blades are very finely ground which make them brilliant for working on very fine joints.
That’s all for October, look out for November’s blog post in a few weeks time.
Happy Halloween 🎃
Welcome to my blog!
Here you can see what I have been up to in the workshop, gain an insight into my work and some of the many tools I use to make each piece of bespoke furniture.