Hand Tools Practical techniques

Glazing a Victorian Door (part 2)

I have no idea whether I’m doing this correctly, but it all seems to be going ok. By all means send me tips on how to do this better, or ‘right’. I value the opinions of full-time joiners who do this for a living, especially traditional hand tools workers.
Right, I had a bit of time between the plasterers, electricians and plumbers in the house, so onwards with renovating this old door.

I bought this rebated bolection moulding from an online supplier. I’ve been looking at a lot of east London doors from the period and this bolection was widely used on nicer doors. To choose the right moulding, I printed the pdfs from the online catalogue and held them up to the door.
I will be adding the moulding to the lower panels as well as the upper glazed panels. The lower ones are without any profile at all here, because I’m flipping the door to keep the hinges on the same side for the joiner when he hangs the door. The old door was left-side hinged, but my house door needs to be right-side.
A little trick I learned from an old picture framer. Mouldings are easier to hold in place if you flip one on top of the other and clamp them down. It works with most profiles. Instant holder!
If anyone has opinions about massive workshops, £4k Roubo workbenches and insights on bench height they want to share, they are probably on the wrong blog.
I honed my Stanley 9 1/2 blade on the diamonds before I started this job. You don’t need anything better.
This will do, once a finger of filler is wiped over. The door is recessed from the elements in an alcove. If I was door a door for bad weather, it would be appropriate to add the mouldings when the door has just been painted, the wet paint gives a good seal.
Lower panels look good. Very pleased with the proportions of the profile.
On to the top panels.
Purely because I haven’t ordered my profiles for the back of the glazing yet, I went ahead and did the bolection on the front anyway. The job would be easier if I did this the other way round, i.e. put in the back moulding, add the glass, then clamp and nail the bolection down tight on the front. Well, I just wanted to get the front done and it went ok.

Hand Tools Practical techniques Restoration

Glazing a Victorian door

I’m still crazy busy on a house renovation, but one of the projects I’m shuttling back and forth on is sorting out a new front door. The property is a mid-terrace Victorian two-bed, built in 1880. I found a decent door in a reclamation yard locally, for a very reasonable £80.
The current hallway in the house suffers a little from being too dark, primarily because the existing front door has only one tiny fanlight with glass panels.
This new four-panel door will be converted so that the top two panels will hold glass (and a lot more light) into the hall.
I will be fitting frosted safety glass for security reasons and for privacy, and will post more detail about mouldings and fitting as I get round to it.

Interior and exterior Victorian doors can generally be swapped, with the general construction being the same the only difference being exterior doors are usually a little thicker. This Victorian door has a substantial weight to it and is around 42mm thick, so should make a good exterior door for a house I’m renovating. Here, I’m going to remove the wooden upper panels and replace with glazed panels.
You can price the mouldings away if you tap a blunt chisel under them and gently lever them out. Trick is to start from the centre of the mouldings and work into the corners. The centre of the mouldings will be more flexible and it will be easier to loosen the nails.
You can then use these holes to start a jigsaw in, so just cut out the panels, leaving an inch or so around the edges.
Once you’ve cleared the existing mouldings, drill some big holes into the corners of the panels.
Once you have removed the majority of the panel, you can cut into the corners and ease the remaining bits of panel out of its rebate. They should come out easily, as they are just rebated in loose, to allow for movement.
Getting there. One panel cut out, one to go.
Here I’m prising one of the more reluctant strips out.
All cleared out now and you can see the rebate all around.
This rebate will no longer be needed, as glass will be dropped in and with a rebate it would slip around, so the next step will be to fill the rebates with wooden strips and plane flush. More pics soon.
Hand Tools History Jim Hendricks Practical techniques

Jim Hendricks

You may have seen Jim’s name pop up sporadically when Wictor Kuc, (the owner of the website WK Fine Tools), announces a new post from him via Twitter. I think Jim must have some arrangement with Wiktor as a regular contributor. That is a very good thing, if like me, you have a love of traditional woodworking and the tools that are used.
I first met Jim very briefly at Richard Arnold’s Open Day last year. The day was so interesting, I got a bit carried away photographing all the fine tools and blogging some technique from Richard, that I didn’t put two and two together until I returned home and I realised I’ve read many a post from Jim on the UK Workshop forum for hand tools.
It’s very clear that Jim has some rare skills not only in retaining knowledge about the older tools and their makers, but he also excels in making those tools himself.
Take a glance at the page Wiktor has put up, showing Jim’s projects.
One of my favourites is the project showing how Jim recreates an original design for the classic 19thc English brace. Superb work.

Jim as led a very interesting life as you will see from the brief bio, but I’m sure we will now see a lot more woodworking now that he has decided to retire. (On the same project you will also see Douglas Coates’ ‘Ad-Vice’, which I blogged about earlier. (I have no affiliation with Jim or Douglas, I just want people to know these guys are out there.)
If you would like to contact Jim directly to ask him about his projects, you can get hold of him as his own website,

Hand Tools

The Ad Vice

The Ad Vice has evolved from the European carver’s vice, but, as Douglas Coates mentions on the website, one of the most important features is the clamping mechanism. With most benches these days lacking the front apron of the Nicholson style, this design ‘locks the vice to the bench top but also pulls it in to the face edge of the top’, to quote the web page. The vice has been developed in conjunction with Klaus from Two Lawyers Tools.
I think it’s great to see this sort of evolution and innovation in tools. Please take a look at the website, Douglas has some great work and some very interesting links.

Compass planes History Moulding planes Practical techniques Restoration

Circular restoration work on Høvelbenk blog

The wonderful Høvelbenk blog is rapidly becoming a favourite of mine. Having recently found a Stanley No.20 circular plane, I’m keen to see a few in action and learn a bit more about what it can do. The latest post on Høvelbenk seems to be concerned with the restoration of a curved moulded arch over a historic door. The blog is Swedish, and I dearly wish I could read it in English, but the pictures are, as ever, nicely shot and edited. One very interesting shot shows planes which the writers seem to make (!), as part of the project. Wonderful stuff. I really hope this post makes it into their English category.