Down the Pan…

This very morning, I was expecting to be driving in to the city of Bristol in order to collect a pack of 1¼in long coarse-thread pocket hole screws with washer heads, so that I could join some 18mm MDF later on today (I’m planning to make a short rip fence for my saw bench). A quick Google search yesterday afternoon to determine the store location revealed that they ceased trading at the beginning of February!

Pan Tools in Bedminster – sadly, no longer trading.

We’re talking about Pan Tools; a name that’s been synonymous with power tool purchases in this city for several years.

Continue reading “Down the Pan…”

Stained or Tainted?

This photo shows the top surface of an Arts and Crafts-style TV stand that I designed and made back in 2008 (it was also published in British Woodworking magazine in June of that year). I’ve just bought myself a new flat-screen TV (belated birthday present) to replace the big, old bulky one I had before. If you look closely, you’ll be able to see where heat emissions from the old ‘picture box’ fought their way through the Danish oil finish (three coats, as I remember it) to create this ‘stained’ effect. Maybe ‘tainting‘ of the finish is a better term?

Wood Stained or Oil Tainted?

Just thought it may be of interest. Perhaps oil finishes aren’t the best for this type of furniture?

But, they’re so easy to apply…

It shouldn’t be an issue with my new TV though, as that sits on its own stand – if you want to see what I bought, see this post on my other blog.

Thanks for reading.

Workbench Recap

Back in the Summer of 2009, I built ‘my own’ workbench from British beech and briefly documented the build process on my previous blog, over on the UKworkshop site. Sadly, this function of the site is no longer available, even to viewers – which is a shame, as I used to see a fair amount of traffic coming through to this blog from there… 😉 For the not-too-distant future, I’m considering a couple more upgrades for my ‘bench, which would basically involve splitting the top in two (so that I could centralise the tool well) and fit a wagon vice on one end; all as detailed in the brand-new issue of British Woodworking magazine. For a preview on that article, if you haven’t seen this issue, take a look at Nick Gibbs’ blog. In the mean time, I thought I’d keep you entertained with a second look (for some) of how it all went together. Of course, for those of you who haven’t seen this ‘bench before, I hope there’s something you can take away from it all.

It all started when I flattened my car following a routine trip to Interesting Timbers

Continue reading “Workbench Recap”

Mmmmm… Maple!

Last week, I received a surprise visit form Nick Gibbs (editor of British Woodworking magazine), not long after I’d finished an early shift at work. Nick was (sort of) passing by and wanted to hand-over this odd length of what he believes to be “ripple maple” (…or is it fiddleback sycamore?!).

Whatever species it may be, it certainly has something lovely figuring with those medullary rays predominant on both sides!

Dimensions are: 28in (710mm) long x 11in (280mm) wide x 1in (25mm) thick.

When we met prior to last week’s visit, Nick had suggested that he had this length lying around and that it was so nice, he wanted to keep it – yet, at the same time, he didn’t know what to do with it and it was getting in the way! A Catch22 situation, if you will… Having looked at this length (which has been thickness-planed to clean up both faces), I’m still not quite sure what to do with it myself. It’ll probably turn in to some kind of box or a small, ornamental item. It’s a little bit like the 4″x2″ Challengewhat can you make from a single length of wood?

By the way, any thoughts are always welcome. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Planemaker of the Year 2010 Entry

As we cross the deadline for British Woodworking’s Planemaker of the Year 2010 challenge [apologies if I hadn’t mentioned it before!], I’m now happy to walk you through the design of my entry. I also understand that all entries will be on display at the European Woodworking Show, early next month.

Continue reading “Planemaker of the Year 2010 Entry”

Planer Knife-Setting Jigs

A couple of years ago, Rutlands introduced a new knife-setting jig to their range for setting the blades accurately on surface planing and thicknessing machines (I guess you might also be able to use it on some spindle tooling as well). Since its first appearance in their catalogue, I hadn’t been able to find a single review or even a few brief comments from someone who might have bought one… They’re currently on special offer for this week and so, I decided to take a punt!

My new knife-setting jig.

Continue reading “Planer Knife-Setting Jigs”

Tea Tray

Another day and another piece is ready for the Furnish exhibition in July! 8) It’s a tea or ‘serving’ tray made from a contrasting combination of brown oak and regular English oak. Sides are angled or ‘canted’ at 20° and, while it may look deceptively tricky to do; trust me – with a sharp blade and a half decent saw, a simple frame with compound mitres like this is a doddle to cut! Gluing it up, however – not so easy!

Continue reading “Tea Tray”

Gloves in the Workshop

In the current issue of British Woodworking, Steve Prescott writes (in response to a reader’s letter in the previous issue) in the defence of his use of ‘grippy gloves’ while operating machinery. This is the kind of subject that can raise a lot of debate…

Read on for my opinion (and experience)…