Thursday 30 August 2012

I cannot believe I have just stood outside with my camera and took this photo.
I knew it had a good zoom but its amazing it could (almost!) focus on the moon.
My son said 'I have never seen a full moon' can we stay up?
I mean the excuses to stay up late just keep coming.
I am fascinated by the Curiosity Rover up there now, driving around on Mars.
Big Boys remote control car - with Nuclear Powered engine!
I am a firm believer that the only way the human race will survive
is by populating the solar system., then further afield.
Mars is the next step on that journey, we have to walk on mars next...

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Finished the Spokeshave - the spalted box really took on a wonderful colour when I polished it.
It resembles Olive now more than Box - I originally was concerned the wonderful spalting
(which was only minor) might not show through - but I think I was wrong!

Shallow thumb rests - a nice feature - simple to add to an existing spokeshave.

If you look closely you can just see a 'B' and a 'N' nestled in the cut away sections,
these are hidden when the blade is fitted.
Not a great shot unfortunately - but they are there!
Notice how the blade protrudes more on the left as it is a custom fit.

About 1 hour layout and roughing out, 1 hour carving, 1 hour finishing, so 3 hours approximately to make.
Much nicer than the original!

So time to restore these tools I just purchased...

I like restoring tools - I will start with the spokeshave.
Firstly I much prefer Box to Beech, for all the obvious reasons but mainly much more hard wearing.
I happened to have some off cuts to the Bill Carter Mitre plane I am making.
These are curved and so I will throw the beech handle away and just keep the tiny blade!

The new Spokeshave has followed the natural curve so will be very strong.

A fine home made chisel for the job.

Thanks to David Barron, I use this marking knife I made inspired by his design all the time now.
I have planed a flat on it rather than his curve for your thumb to rest on,
I feel this is an improvement for me as it is planing (easy, fun and not dusty) and stops it rolling on the bench!

My new Japanese carving rasp comes into its own here, they had 3 types:
Extra fine, Fine and Medium I was interested in.
When younger I would have gone Extra fine and been at it for ages.
Now I am wiser I got the Medium and its BRILLIANT.
Just don't apply much pressure at all, cuts lovely.
I got it from Rutlands, check it out here.

About 1 hours work to get to this point.

Ummmm fun time, carving time. A home for me.
I don't have to think about any of this, it all just sort of happens in front of me.
I think that will make sense to those of you who are reading this?

Must check as you go of course..
About another hour to finish the carving - including 2 shallow concave areas for your thumbs to snuggle into.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Westonbirt Arboretum - Festival of the Tree

I have been going to this festival for years now - it is however getting worse in many ways,
as the dealers will tell you, I remember the days when Mike at Classic Hand Tools used to have a whole giant tent and pay for lots of famous people to demonstrate - but it is thin on the ground now.

Got some tools as I always do.
I had a maximum budget of £40 - I am not rich after all.
Spent £28 and got the tools below, 2 Laminated irons, one lovely small spokeshave and a Stanley 81 scraper plane - which should have a rosewood base but instead had a curved mahogany base.

Many thanks to Tony Murland, antique tool specialist, great bloke, fantastic chat, superb T -Shirt!
It said ''The one who dies with the most tools wins''
See his website here

A Pixie door made with my son.
A present for my mum - to nail onto her shed - you know - so the Pixies can get in.

Well I have had a big break from making so lost a lot of enthusiasm.
I was unsure of myself so thought I would start with something to test whether I was still interested
 - making a plane!

I am trying to get back into making things without thinking about them too much.
Just going for it and letting things work out as you go, this is work that tends to make me happy,
while so much can simply make me unhappy, this is a hobby after all.

This is a chip breaker I have made which is 2mm too wide.

Angle Grinder Time!

Lots of blades and wood ready for me to put them together.

Nice piece of Hornbeam.

So this is a new idea for a Japanese plane using a Laminated blade and homemade chipbreaker.
Something I have been working on for a while now.

Using the Krenov method, I knew this might not work, as I have tapered the Laminated blade by 1mm on each side, so it wedges into place (can you see what is going to happen? I was sleepy and didn't)
 - I did not feel up to chopping out the bed...

Here I am hollow grinding the blade.

Then rub over a course diamond stone and grind off the highlighted areas again below the top edge.

Eventually you get a perfect ground edge - not quite ito-ura (thread edge) but good enough.

Glued up and cleaned up.
A quick make this - not going for perfection - just a trial of an idea.

Cutting the side channels for the blade - so it wedges into place.

Chisel work - my favourite part of making this plane was cutting and chiseling this out with tools I made.

What a mess - it just goes mad sometimes when your in the zone, riding the wave.

The plane is OK but my Pillar drill is rubbish - cheap crap.
Which is my excuse for drilling the bar at an angle - trying to correct it I increased its thickness.

But the test proved this idea to be stupid.
Banging the wedge in just works against the glue joint of this laminated construction.
Time to use it as a model for marking out another - time to chisel out a one piece body.
I am in the mood now - back into making stuff.