Get Andy turning again!

If you use Twitter, you may already have seen the awful outcome of an electrical fire at the workshop of @AndyWoodturner, (Andy Coates).
The pictures below show some of the damage sustained on the 20th December.
Andy is a highly regarded craftsman and also serves as Chairman of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain.
In these pressing times when simply everything seems to be bad news, I would like to forward a link for a page where you can donate a little money if you wish, to help Andy restore his shop and get back to the craft he loves. Please give a little if you can, (maybe hold off that expensive cappuccino for one day?) and give Andy a boost before Christmas.
The JustGiving page has been set up by Siobhan Hoffman and is here.


A nice find…

I cleared an old workshop yesterday and found this little gem. A Norris ’27’ bullnose plane in gunmetal with a steel sole. It has the later rosewood wedge (circa 1928), rather than the earlier ebony wedge (circa 1914). A lovely little plane I will put to good use on special projects.


1/10th scale tools in upcoming auction

Miniature Woodworking Tools
There is an interesting lot coming up in a C&T Auctioneers sale on 25th May 2016. The set of tools are all at 1/10th scale. An interesting lot for the collector that sort of thing. Listed as American 19thc. Reminds me of the modern-day maker Marco Terenzi, who also does incredible miniature tools. Will be interesting to see if this lot goes for it’s reserve.

Practical techniques Uncategorized

Nearly finished…

Finally getting to the end on this house renovation. This week I got to finally work with some wood, albeit only plywood.

Love these Festool tools. Routing in the sun!
Love these Festool tools. Routing in the sun!
This is the right hand space. The wall at the back of the room has been left alone throughout the renovation and now has a sort of Cy Twombly/Basquiat feel. 🙂

The front bedroom needs some built-ins in the alcoves to right and left of the chimney breast. I’ve already made some plinths, because the idea is to stand cabinets in the holes, rather than try to deal with hanging shelving onto the wall. The walls in these corners are in quite bad shape, as is often the case with older houses. The walls elsewhere are great, but one had to be entirely re-plastered.

I built the cabinets with birch ply and have routed out the rear to accept a ply back board. I did all this on a rare sunny day in London and I have to admit I was very pleased I’ve recently invested in a secondhand Festool router, (so old it’s actually pre-Festool and called Festo). I also have a secondhand TS55 plunge saw from Festool and these two tools are worth their weight in gold for this type of work.
All the sheet stock is now prepped to size and I lipped the shelves with tulipwood, so that you don’t see the raw ply edges. The shelves have had two coats of clear varnish.

To add the lipping I cramped three glued-up shelves up at once, for speed.
Adding lipping. I shaved back the lipping after the glue went off. Went as close as I dared with a sharpened plane, before taking it right down with glasspaper.

When I get to put the cabinets together, (I don’t have a Domino), I’ll screw the main parts together and maybe even screw the shelves in too. Not sure they’ll need to be moved much, so might avoid doing the shelf-pin-hole thing. I figure I’ll then add pocket holes around the outside and once I’ve sized up for a face frame to hide the cabinet edges, I can attach in that way.
Only other decision is whether I should attached the doors to the face frame, or size the face frame so it’s nearly flush and add hinges to the inside of the box in the conventional way.

This little Grex pinner is a great tool to have around when making cabinets on your own. You can hold elements flush and pin them, while you find you drill and screws. I watched the late great Joe Fusco do this. God bless you Joe, you will live on through YouTube!
All the stock cut to size and routed out for back panels.
Giving the shelves two coats of clear varnish, sanding in-between with 240 paper.

Any thoughts on both methods would be appreciated. The first method will require some proper face-frame hinges and would also require face-frame material of a good quality. Something like maple with good strength, which would be more resilient to knocks. I could circumvent this by going down the second route, the face-frame being decorative with Euro-style hinges attached to the box. I’ll have to decide on this.


The Shaper Origin Handheld CNC

Shaper Origin_2
This is interesting. This is really interesting. We’ve had a few CNC shops close to us in east London for some time now, but they are mainly focused on large cutting processes for furniture, such as Unto This Last, or they are a shop that happens to have the equipment and they pick up outsourced projects and handle their production and delivery, such as the Open Desk project.
I picked info up on this on Twitter from Linn at Darbin Orvar. If you haven’t seen Linn’s projects (mainly on Youtube), you really should. She is an incredibly productive and creative maker.
The video she referenced was this one, which is a channel called Applied Science, (can’t find the guy’s name) and he is using this incredible tool called the Shaper Origin.
It uses a trim router, which you install, then you give it tracking with labels on your work, so it can find and track it’s x-y axis. The most incredible thing is, it sort of takes the slack out of the problem, by smoothing out the natural human wiggles and jiggles as you try to cut.
Shaper Origin_3
Anyway, watch the video when you have time. I’m sure this tool and many more like it, will form a major part of the next wave of tools designed to augment the work we do.
Shaper Origin_1