Practical techniques Restoration

Sash Joinery (Part 2)

A while ago I did a quick post about traditional sash joinery and the tools in the craft. I had a really good response about it, with lots of people wanting to know more, specifically the order of production and the precise nature of the various planes and templates.
These things are pretty hard to explain over email, so I was very pleased to stumble on this wonderful video, put out by the Arnold Zlotoff Tool Museum.
sash joinery
It’s a great little video and beautifully shot. It also shows the detail of how each part is made and the order to put things together. Absolutely wonderful. I hope this helps explain a few things for the people who asked. Enjoy!

Bench planes Millers Falls Restoration

‘Millers Falls No.14’ clean-up

A quick clean up of a great plane, with some ‘before and after’ shots. I love the Millers Falls brand, with many a plane passing through Hackney Tools Towers. Mostly, I’ve regretted selling them on, and if I find any more in good condition, I’ll probably hang onto them.
One recent acquisition was a rather sorry-looking ‘No.14’, I think a Type 2 from 1936-45, with what looks like the stained handles, rather than solid rosewood.
[notice]Tool Nerd Alert! I might be wrong on this, it does have the 1868 date inside the cutter logo, but I know this was brought back for a while on the Type 4?[/notice]

I did a fairly normal clean-up on this plane, which only took about an hour. I’m really pleased with the results and I know I’ll end up using this one. I’m also very pleased I got to the plane before the rust was irreversible, as it was, it cleaned off, but I think it only had a few more months in that shed!

Before and after shots:

I buy second hand, good quality woodworking tools. If you have any Millers Falls tools, or other tools you would like to sell, get in touch with the contact form on the home page.

North Bros Restoration

North Bros “Yankee” 2100 Brace

North Bros Yankee 2100 Brace 002
I’m currently looking out for one of these braces. Not easy to find in the UK, but hopefully some US readers may turn something up.

North Bros. Mfg. Co. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, made a line of high quality braces, starting within the year preceding March 6, 1923. You can see the patent drawings courtesy of Google, via the excellent ‘George’s Basement‘ website. I cannot begin to describe the knowledge the author of this site has of braces, but one glimpse of the home page will give you a glimpse of just how deep the ‘tool-obsessive’ rabbit hole goes…

Personally, braces are one of those tools I’ve never become too freaky about. Unlike planes, with their fascinating unique qualities, I have always found braces a little dull. Even the different brass and ebony ‘Ultimatum’ confections leave me a bit cold, I mean, you can’t really tune them, they just twist round and round, right?

However, when I saw the North Bros “Yankee” 2100, I realised this was a brace I could learn to love! The design is beautiful, and if you strip it down, you can see that the component parts have really been thought through to give smooth-as-silk performance. The chucks on these bad boys have ball bearings all round, so they spin like a dream. Man, got to find one!

North Bros Yankee 2100 Brace 003
North Bros Yankee 2100 Brace 005
North Bros Yankee 2100 Brace 006
North Bros Yankee 2100 Brace 007
North Bros Yankee 2100 Brace 008
North Bros Yankee 2100 Brace 009
North Bros Yankee 2100 Brace 010

(NB: I have to extend my warm thanks to Isaac Smith of Blackburn Tools, who gave me permission to use his superb pictures of the Yankee brace for my post).

I buy old, good quality woodworking tools. If you have any tools you would like to sell, please get in touch using the contact form on the home page.

Hackney London Practical techniques Restoration Slideshow

Bridgewood & Neitzert

Bridgewood & Neitzert Ltd, Violin Repairers, Dealers and Makers, 146 Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 0JU.
I had such a nice reponse to the first photoset about London makers I made, that I wanted to do another one. I was therefore delighted that Gary Bridgewood of Bridgewood & Neitzert Ltd took me up on my offer to photograph inside his building. My brief visit to the shop in London confirmed to me that this must be one of the most intriguing and skilled crafts still in demand today.
I asked Gary for a few brief lines about the history of how the business came about for my intro on the photoset. His story was so interesting I thought I’d reproduce it fully in the post instead. The business is owned by Gary and his business partner, Tom Neitzert.

Tom and I met whilst students studying at the London College of furniture. We were in an amazing workshop in Henriques street (I think formerly Berniers Street) renamed as one of Jack the Rippers attacks happened here!
We were on the first floor of an old Victorian school building overlooking a primary school with a theatrical company hiring the floor above for prop storage. What was so brilliant about this place was we all had keys and so the workshop was nearly always open until the early hours and often never closed at the weekend. We were a very small group, each year had 4 students and there were 4 years with a total of 10 students. I guess we all thrived on this time and the positive shared knowledge and competition between one another. I flitted between this department, Early Musical bowed string instruments e.g. baroque violins, viola da gambas and lutes and the modern office style building across the road where I learned violin making from William Luff.
Before the end of college I and three others started our own workshop in Dalston at 2 Crossway above an old East end gambling office called Sid Kikki jnr. This was quite an experience, we were on the second floor above a bespoke furniture maker called Kirk, in fact this was smoke screen for his rather more insalubrious activities as a drug dealer and pimp. On a Saturday morning we would be visited by one of Sid Kikki’s associates, a bovver boy called Mark, who collected the rent. We always felt relieved that we could pay the rent!
I shared a workshop with Robert Louis Baille (French), who is now a successful violin maker/dealer working in Seville and Tom shared a workshop with Craig Ryder (South African) who is a very fine bow maker working now in Paris.
We moved from here, our friends Robert and Craig moved to France, to Ilex Works in Northwold Road. Our Landlord, Mr Schwarz, had been in Auschwitz. He used to bring a few dolls house toys which they had somehow saved from this horror which I repaired for him; they were made from Olive wood, extremely hard. We had a good relationship with him, and would carry out repairs to the building for an occasional subsidy to our rent. Sadly this all turned sour when he mortgaged this property to improve his other Covent Garden ones. Strettons Estate Agents came in and very quickly we no longer could afford to stay.
We moved to Stoke Newington Church street after this and have been very fortunate to have a very suitable building for our needs.

People Practical techniques Restoration Tool Makers

A good reference

I’m back in London after sweating it out in Austria for two weeks in 40 degree heat. I welcomed London rain like a long-lost friend. During an hour on the laptop, hiding from the worst of the heat, I found the blog of one ‘Jack Plane’ called Pegs & Tails. Well worth a visit, especially if you are interested in 17th-18th century furniture, the blog is a mine of excellent information.

I also found this this excellent bibliography on the site. Mostly reference for furniture makers, but other good subjects too.

ANDREWS, John, British Antique Furniture, Antique Collectors Club, 1970-2005.
BARDER, Richard, The Georgian Bracket Clock, 1714-1830, Antique Collectors’ Club, 1999.
BEARD, Geoffrey, Upholsterers and Interior Furnishing in England, 1530-1840, Yale University Press, 1997.
BEBB, Richard J., Welsh Furniture 1250-1950 – A Cultural History of Craftsmanship and Design, Saer Books, 2007.
BERG, Maxine, Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Oxford University Press, 2005.
BOWETT, Adam, Early Georgian Furniture 1715-1740, Antique Collectors’ Club, 2009.
BOWETT, Adam, English Furniture from Charles II to Queen Anne, Antique Collectors’ Club, 1999.
BRAWER, Nicholas A., British Campaign Furniture: Elegance Under Canvas, 1740-1914, Harry N. Abrams, 2001.
BROOKE, Iris and LAVER, James, English Costume from the Seventeenth Through the Nineteenth Centuries, Dover Publications.
BROWN, John, Welsh Stick Chairs, Stobart Davies, 1999.
BUTTER, Francis J., Locks and Lockmaking, Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd, 1926.
CESCINSKY, Herbert, English Domestic Clocks, Antique Collectors Club, 1976.
CLABBURN, Pamela, The National Trust Book of Furnishing Textiles, Penguin, 1988.
COOKE, Edward S. ed., Upholstery in America and Europe from the Seventeenth Century to World War I, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1987.
COTTON, Bernard D., The English Regional Chair, Antique Collectors’ Club, 1999. CRISPIN, Thomas, The English Windsor Chair, Alan Sutton Publishing, Stroud, 1992.
CRUNDEN, John, The Joyner and Cabinet-Maker’s Darling, or Pocket Director. Containing, Sixty Different Designs, […], Gale Ecco, 2010.
EDWARDS, Clive, Encyclopedia of Furniture Materials, Trades and Techniques, Ashgate Publishing, 2001.
EDWARDS, Clive D., Eighteenth Century Furniture, Manchester University Press, 1997. EDWARDS, Dr. Clive, et al, British Furniture: 1600-2000, The Intelligent Layman Publishers Ltd., 2006.
EDWARDS, Ralph, The Early Georgian Period 1714-1760, The Connoisseur, 1963.
EDWARDS, Ralph and RAMSEY, L.G.G., The Late Georgian Period, 1760-1810, The Connoisseur, 1961.
EDWARDS, Ralph, The Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture from the Middle Ages to the Late Georgian Period, Country Life, 1983.
ESTERLY, David, Grinling Gibbons & the Art of Carving, V & A Publishing, London, 2013.
EVELYN, John, A discourse of forest-trees, and the propagation of timber in His Majesty’s dominions, as it was delivered in The Royal society, on the 15th of October 1662, third edition, volume 1, 1801.
FASTNEDGE, Ralph, Sheraton Furniture, Faber and Faber, 1962.
FILBEE, Marjorie, Dictionary of Country Furniture, Hearst Books, 1977.
FISKE, John and FREEMAN, Lisa, Living With Early Oak, The Belmont Press, 1999.
GARNIER-PELLE, Nicole, FORRAY-CARLIER, Anne, and ANSELM, Marie-Christine, The Monkeys of Christophe Huet: Singeries in French Decorative Arts, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2011.
GENTLE, Rupert and FEILD, Rachael; GENTLE, Belinda ed., Domestic Metalwork, 1640-1820, Antique Collectors’ Club Ltd., 2nd Revised edition, 1999.
GILBERT, Christopher, English Vernacular Furniture, 1750-1900, Yale University Press, 1991.
GILBERT, Christopher, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture, W.S. Maney & Son Ltd., 1996.
GILBERT, Christopher, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, Tabard Press, 1978.
GILBERT, Christopher and MURDOCK, Tessa (eds.), John Channon and Brass-Inlaid Furniture, 1730-1760, Yale University Press, 1994.
GIROUARD, Mark, Life in the English Country House: A Social and Architectural History, Yale University Press, 1993.
GLIN, The Knight of, and PEILL, James, Irish Furniture, Yale University Press, 2007.
GOODISON, Nicholas, Ormolu: the work of Matthew Boulton, Phaidon Press, London, 1974.
GRIMWADE, Arthur G., London Goldsmiths 1697-1837 Their Marks & Lives, Faber & Faber, London, 1990.
HALL, Linda J. and ALCOCK, N.W., Fixtures and Fittings in Dated Houses, 1567-1763, Council for British Archaeology, 1994.
HARDING-HILL, Michael, Windsor Chairs: An Illustrated Celebration, Antique Collectors’ Club, 1999.
HARRIS, Nathaniel, Chippendale, Booksales, 1989.
HEAL, Sir Ambrose, London Furniture Makers: From the Restoration to the Victorian Era, 1660-1840, David & Charles, 1989.
HEFFORD, Wendy, The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Textile Collection, Design for Printed Textiles in England from 1750 to 1850, Abbeville Press, 1992.
HINCKLEY, F. Lewis, Queen Anne and Georgian Looking Glasses, Tauris Antiques Press, 1990.
HUTH, Hans, Lacquer of the West – The History of a Craft and an Industry 1550-1950, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1971.
INCE, William and MAYHEW, John, Authentic Georgian Furniture Designs: Universal System of Household Furniture, Dover Publications, 1999.
JAFFER, Amin, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, V & A Publications, 2001.
JELLINEK, Tobias, Early British Chairs and Seats From 1500 to 1700, Antique Collectors’ Club, 2009.
JONES, Yvonne, Japanned Papier Mâché and Tinware c.1740-1940, Antique Collectors’ Club, 2012.
KINMONTH, Claudia, Irish Country Furniture, 1700-1950, Yale University Press, 1995.
KIRKHAM, Pat, The London Furniture Trade 1700-1870, The Furniture History Society, 1988.
KNELL, David, English Country Furniture: 1500-1900, Antique Collectors Club, 2000.
LEVI, Jonathan and YOUNG, Robert, Treen for the Table, Antique Collectors’ Club, 1998.
MANWARING, Robert, The cabinet and chair-maker’s real friend & companion; Or, The whole system of chair-making made plain and easy, Alec Tiranti, 1947.
McQUOID, Percy, A History of English Furniture Including The Age of Oak, The Age of Walnut, The Age of Mahogany, The Age of Satinwood, Bracken Books, 1988.
MOXON, Joseph, The Art of Joinery, Midwinter & Leigh, 1703.
MURDOCH, Dr. Tessa, Noble Households – Eighteenth Century Inventories of Great English Houses, John Adamson, 2006.
MUSSON, Jeremy, English Manor Houses: From the Archives of Country Life, Aurum Press, 2007.
OLSEN, Kirstin, Daily Life in 18th-Century England, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999.
O’REILLY, Sean, Irish Houses and Gardens: From the Archives of Country Life, Aurum Press, 2008.
PARKER, Michael St. John, Life in Georgian Britain, Pitkin Guides, 2000.
PICKFORD, Ian, ed., Jackson’s Silver & Gold Marks of England, Scotland & Ireland, Antique Collectors’ Club, third edition, 1991.
PINN, Keith, Paktong The Chinese Alloy in Europe 1680 – 1820, Antique Collectors Club, 1999.
PORTER, Roy, English Society in the Eighteenth Century, Penguin, 2001.
PRICE, Bernard, The Story Of English Furniture, Ariel Books, 1983.
RAMOND, Pierre, Marquetry, revised, Getty Publications, 2003.
RICCARDI-CUBITT, Monique, The Art of the Cabinet, Thames and Hudson, 1992.
ROBINSON, John Martin, The Regency Country House: From the Archives of Country Life, Aurum Press, 2008.
SHEARER, Thomas, Cabinetmaker’s London Book of Prices, Brown & O’Neil, 1793.
SHERATON, Thomas, The Cabinet Dictionary, W. Smith, 1803.
SIMON, Constance, English Furniture Designers of the Eighteenth Century (1905), Kessinger Publishing, 2009.
SNODIN, Michael and STYLES, John, Georgian Britain 1714-1837 (V&A’s Design & the Decorative Arts, Britain 1500-1900), V & A Publications, 2004.
STALKER, John and PARKER, George, A Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing, Alec Tiranti, 1998.
STUART, Susan E., Gillows of Lancaster and London, Antique Collectors’ Club, 2008.
SYMONDS, R.W., Masterpieces of English Furniture and Clocks, Studio Editions, 1986.
SYMONDS, R.W., Old English Walnut & Lacquer Furniture, Herbert Jenkins Ltd., London, 1923.
SYMONDS, R.W., The Ornamental Designs of Chippendale, Alec Tiranti, 1949.
THE LONDON SOCIETY OF CABINET-MAKERS, The Cabinet-makers London Book of Prices, 1788.
WAINWRIGHT, Clive, George Bullock Cabinet Maker, J. Murray, H. Blairman & Sons, London, 1988.
WHITE, Elizabeth, Dictionary of British Eighteenth Century Furniture Design, Antique Collectors’ Club, 1991.
WHITTINGTON, S. and CLAXTON STEVENS, C., Eighteenth Century English Furniture: Norman Adams Collection, Antique Collectors’ Club, 1999.
WILLS, Geoffrey, English Looking Glasses, A.S. Barnes and Co., 1965.
YPMA, Herbert J. M., Irish Georgian, Thames & Hudson, 1998.