Posts

Japanese dovetails

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Some time ago, I made a dovetailed chest with the remainder of my brown oak. The chest was built (oddly) for myself, and was originally going to be my regular, bog standard dovetails. Since the chest was for myself, I decided to stray away from a regular dovetail. I mean, if I screwed them up who cares? As long as the chest was functional, it was only me that would see them. Ironically, I know it would have made my brain itch, if they where really bad. From start to finish, the dovetails were task intensive, meaning there was a lot of repetitive tasks, basically there was pretty much double of everything. The marking out, saw cuts and the time in general, to make these joints grew exponentially. This is not evident on a first glance of a joint like this, or at least not for me it's not. I'm usually in Orr for some time, admiring the joint, then I dissect the joint, and then, only sometimes, I'll consider the time it will take me to make the joint. So for me, I t

Roman workbench perfection?

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So as you know (if you follow me on social media), I have just recently built, yet another Roman workbench! Which is starting to become normal practice, just as much as it is me saying "I think this will be the last one I build". Every time I build a bench, I do get closer to the optimal bench, and preferences are becoming crystal clear! I think the most predominant preference has to be the width. I seem to lean towards 15", it just seems like a nice width, for me to sit on and work on. My oak bench is the narrowest bench I have built, which I really don't like because of the width. That's a real shame, considering I like the length, and it has a shavehorse attachment. I would definitely say, I prefer a longer bench to a shorter bench. To date I have explored 4', 5' and 6', with 6' being my favourite. Don't get me wrong, I have built all manner of furniture on the 4' but, the 6' bench rules simply because, I am able to have

Exploring joints.

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If you were to mention a woodworking joint, to a non woodworker, they would probably know of a joint/have a picture in there head, and think nothing more than the joint, joins two sections of wood together. Of course this is true however, there is a lot more to a joint, then just joining two sections of wood together. This often gets over looked by people, and they do not understand the mechanics of the joint. Which seems a shame, considering that understanding joints, will help you better choose a good joint, on a structure you may be designing, which will ultimately strengthen that structure. I think a lot of people choose a joint, because they know it to be strong, because someone said so, and without question, not fully understanding why they are using it. Take the good old dovetail in drawer construction. The pin portion will always be on the front of the drawer, because of the nature of a dovetail joint. The pins are like a group of wedges, fitting into wedge like gro

small step up

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                     Throughout history, there has always been a need to reach extra height, and in more recent centuries, to reach areas/objects around the home. We have all grabbed a chair, and used it to stand on to reach something, or to perform a task. Whether it's to reach that stash of cookies, or to clean a window etc. So obviously, standing on a chair isn't ideal, depending on upon its style, it can be bulkie and heavy. Standing on it can damage seat material, even without shoes, and if the chair has a solid wood seat (Welsh stick etc.), shoes are a good idea to stop you slipping but, your going to dirty the chair. So  the obvious thing to do, is to get some sort of a dedicated step up.  Today I see a lot of people with commercial step Ladders, you know the one's, aluminium, when you bang them against something, it scares the birds off, over a mile away. That's not to say there not useful but, the ones I've seen in the past, have been overpriced and look ta

Dovetail strength.

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In the past few years I have built several pieces of furniture with single corner dovetails. When I say single corner joints I mean multiple dovetails fixing two or three pieces of wood together "A single corner" . There is always sides unsupported, Never a full shape like a square . I haven't seen a lot of examples of single corner furniture. Maybe because 4 corner dovetail construction, has been around for so long and has stood the test of time. The like of chests and drawers constructed with dovetails are common , and it is also common to see these examples with some age to them, with some examples from the 1700s still standing . This is because the dovetail joint is a strong joint and has been around since 3000bc , and has been seen in early Egyptian furniture. So if the above examples can last for all that time , it gives good indication that, single corner dovetail construction is viable if used with careful thought. Some time ago I built my

A simple bench any one can make?

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     That's a bold title and statement but, I believe the majority of people who read this , and want to make one, could do so. Time is always against me, and with the fact that I have just moved home , needing furniture and me being me! I have to build it myself, With the limited time I have. Next on my list to make was a TV unit. I wanted something quick and easy. A bench seemed like a good idea. It would house my TV, and I had no use for an under shelf, since I don't use a DVD player or cable box , everything gets streamed .  So I thought perfect! It'll do for now , and if I choose to make a TV unit in the future, the bench can be used else where in the house. When you think about , a bench can be used for a lot . Extra seating, shoe bench, coffee table, end of bed bench, a side table and im sure there's more uses, that you can think of! Original I was going to use one wide, thick slab for the top, but after much debate, I decided to use

Saving time, and your sanity.

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Recently I just completed a commission of 7 solid oak cassette tape tables for a customer in Germany for a Cafe/bar. The tables are a 1:8 scale of a real tape and in my opinion, look very cool. This is down to the small details that make the tables , like the tab slots, the tape section and even the rounded corners. All these details make the table but also take a lot of time . The tables also consists of a lot of components that again, take time to build. I learned a lot from building these tables, specifically 6 at once and then one to follow. I learned a new level of stress, time management, realistic goals, discovered new tools and techniques and so on. Below are some of the things I did during the build that saved me  time, and also some of the things I learned and discovered that helped and well ........ didn't help. There worth considering if you're going to do anything like this or even just to speed things up. So when I took on the commission , a de