Showing posts from 2017

Making a wood and leather bag

A wood and leather bag, that has been floating around in my brain for far to long, has finally materialised . Consisting of a American Walnut, dovetailed frame , with lots of holes (162 to be exact) . Leather sides/ lid, and string to stich the whole thing together. The build itself wasn't hard but , it was fiddly and time consuming. The basic frame come together quickly with the dovetail construction.  The 162 holes however did not, they were drilled (10mm apart) and countersunk  by hand, inside and outside, to stop any fraying while stiching the bag together. These had to be spot on , as the stitching is a design feature and in plain sight. I glued the dovetails and used some 90° blocks, to help keep things square.   I added glue blocks to the inside corners to strengthen the joint, which I also beveled . Once the frame was dried I placed the leather on a flat surface, and Drew around the frame , inside and outside with a pencil, I also marked o

How to make a simple pencil marking gauge.

The pencil marking gauge is a simple, yet very useful layout tool. This was one of those things , that I would get around to making and , its took nearly a year to get around to. It's very common for me, in my work, to be marking out boards, anywhere from 300mm to  500mm. I cut and square one edge, then work from that edge. I have used a combination square, to mark out parallel lines etc. for some time . As good as they are, they have two main flaws. 1) when marking parallel lines , my pencil tends to wonder off the edge, of the ruler section. 2) The biggest combination square I own , is 400mm. That is the ruler section, so I don't get the full  400mm, because there is always a portion, of the ruler in the main body. This becomes a problem or more of an inconvenience , when marking out boards wider the 350mm, which is common for me, to do . So then I have to make two or more, measurements with a tape measure, and join the marks up with a straight edge. So

Using the roman workbench

Earlier this year, I read a few articles from the lost press art, about the roman workbench, then again with mortise and tenon magazine, which peaked my interest. I must admit I was impressed, but also sceptical. I mean most of us use a tall bench, with a vise, and only see a chair maker use a similar bench. For this reason, and because we don't know any different, we think we won't be able to carry out, some tasks. I wanted to build one, so that I could use it outside, especially with summer almost here. It appealed to me, with the fact, that I could just pick it up, and carry it outside. Also, the fact that I needed an extra saw horse, pretty much sold it to me. Any one who uses saw horses for sawing with hand saws, on a regular basis will know that, a bench of this size, will make life very easy for this task, because of large amount of surface area. So I built this with the idea that, in the worse case scenario, I had a very good saw bench. So it wasn't a bi

Rounded dovetails

Dovetails are visually stunning and of course they are structurally strong. What's more stunning then dovetails?Rounded dovetails! The first time I seen a rounded dovetails, I was amazed at how good they looked. So I looked into them in more depth, and I found that there was a lot of people petrified of them. Statements like 'your dovetails have to be perfect' can and do put people off. If your thinking of rounding your dovetails, chances are your dovetails are pretty good anyway. And even if there not . Just a few simple steps will give you good results. Below are the steps that I follow, that give me good results cutting dovetails so I can round them, if I choose to. I always start with my ends square. Not close , square. I then pencil the thickness of my material on one board. I don't allow extra when doing this, I shoot for getting it to the thickness. When you chisel out the Waste later, you WILL move your knife wall back. So allowing extra, is just m

Japanese toolbox

Most wood workers or indeed keen diy'ers will own a number of tools. So with this comes the need to store them, keep them safe and so on. So the quest begins. There are many options , opinions and ideas. Some say that a toolbox is kind of a right to passage , showing off the skill of that person normally involving a lot of dovetails. Dovetails are strong , look good and will stand the test of time but, will also take some time, especially if your opting for a chest with tills. I do use dovetails in my work but I didn't want to spend that time when there's other options . Others will opt for a mix of dovetails (or other joints) and screws/nails and these type of box's can be really good as well. so what do you build?  My first toolbox was not a common design but something I seen on YouTube which I really liked. So having spent some time looking at other designs I decided that this design was for me. Both sides of the box fold down allowing acce