Showing posts from 2018

Saving time, and your sanity.

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

The commonality ruler

Anyone who has been practising woodworking or DIY , will most likely have came across or own a multi tool. Some of them are good, and some of them , are well ........... shite. And I think sometimes it's because there just not practical to the task(s) at hand. On the occasions they are practical to the task, they can be excellent. Making myself a small wooden ruler, had been floating around in my head for a little while , which could fit in my pocket, and  would be really handy (helpful). Then I thought to myself, if i remove a section of wood , it will also be a small square, pretty handy as well . So that got me thinking, how many practical applications could I make this simple ruler perform, for the work I carry out ? The answer was ten in total, and built my uses on commonality in my own work,  although two uses were a bit less common in my day to day work, they were still useful so I included them. The first use is obvious, a ruler. A small ruler is

Plane and chisel sharpening

Sharpening, love it or hate it, it's a must for clean , crisp joints and ease of work. I remember when I started to be able to get my planes, and chisels sharp enough to cut the hair from my arm. When I was able to do this my work improved dramatically, and I learnt a new understanding of my planes and chisels. I use diamond plates/stones and I have never used anything else other then a cheap oil stone, so I can't comment on other systems but, diamond plates get the job done quickly, no mess or fuss and the all important sharpness I'm looking for. I do hear that Japanese water stones will never be surpassed, but they just sound like to much hassle to me. Storing them in water, packing and unpacking, flatten them and not to mention the cost of them.  Diamond stones are really good, I've got them all set up on a piece of ply , extra coarse , course , medium and fine. I pull the board from underneath my bench , put it in the vise, spray some window cleaner

My essential tools

With the many tools available to us woodworkers, it presents the question of how many tools do we actually need. There is a saying 'There is a tool for every job'.  While this is true, and i have seen these scenarios time and again proving, that there is a tool for every job but, do you need every tool you own? or go out and buy every tool you see? how many tools can you get by with? I will admit i do have a problem with tools, i cant stop buying them , and have nowhere to put the bloody things ! I like nothing more then to wake up on a friday, have a coffee, and head to the local flea market to see what treasures ( old hand tools ) i can find. And let me tell you , I get upset if i walk away empty handed. So thinking about scaling down and curbing my addiction ( maybe? ). I thought about what tools i would consider essential, my everyday tools, maybe to take on my travels, and what could be recommended as a starting point, to someone starting out in the world of unplugg