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David Barron Furniture
I dropped off my boxes prior to the show beginning and as usual was humbled by the wonderful that had arrived already.
The show is on from Saturday 19th August until Monday 28th August and there are 76 makers represented with over 300 pieces on display, so it's a good days visit.
This magnificent burr brown oak table has an unbelievable mechanism for making it smaller and is worth visiting the show on its own, just to see it demonstrated by the maker George Johnson.
Here is the centre of the table in its smaller size, wonderful!
I'm clearing out some old planes, all have faults that would be easy to fix. First up an unhandled Spiers smoother, a good user.
Next a Norris A 71 missing its rear handle.
And lastly a Spiers parallel smoother again a good user
All start at 99p so bargains to be had. Due to the weights I'm afraid it's only postage (or collection) in the UK
Andrew sent me these pictures of two nice knock down stools he made. He made them for his daughter who travels a lot, then more for his friends and now sells them on Etsy. If you go on there it's amazing the variety on offer, I didn't realise they were so widely used.
For our wedding anniversary we treated ourselves to a spa day at the lovely Careys Manor Hotel in the New Forest. One of the sessions we had there was a breathing and meditation class using a small pine meditation stool which gave an very good posture. The class was run by David Passmore who has an excellent website showing the power of breathing, exercise and healthy living http://www.davidpassmore.co.uk/home/4593845225
The pine stools we used were very comfortable but basic, so I decided to make a nicer version in rippled English walnut and oak.
Joe from the UK sent me these pictures of his latest project a very nice chest of drawers in ash.
The stand is very imaginative with an oriental feel.
Plenty of dovetails!
It's great to see good use of unusual grain and colour, this sort of stuff would be considered seconds in commercial wood yards.
The latest issue of F&C magazine is out now and I'm on the cover. There is plenty of great content so it's well worth a read.
This box is favourite of mine and uses dovetailed Dominoes at the mitred corners which are very strong and ensure easy and gap free assembly.
There is an excellent article on an old school veneer producer in Paris who produces thicker veneers using an antique saw.
The stock of wood they use is amazing.
Another article on a very skilled carver, Gerald Adams.
Building (very) accurate jigs and shooting boards with Tico Voigt.
A fascinating article by Richard Arnold on 18thC planes.
A round up of the Handworks 2017 show.
And looking forward to the European Woodworking show in September. This is a great show and will be the last, so it's not to be missed!
Here's a reasonable condition Sjobergs work bench for collection only in the Cheshire area. The machinists vice needs taking off but it's included in the auction. It's not been entered in the right category on E Bay so hasn't had any bids yet. If you get it for anywhere near the £100 starting price you've got a real bargain.
The above bench is very similar although the maker is not listed. It looks in better condition and he will ship anywhere in the UK for £18. The only downside there is plenty of interest. Check out here,
We've spent a few days away in West Dorset and for my 57th birthday we visited Athelhampton House which dates back to 1485. http://www.athelhampton.co.uk/
This oak panelling in a less grand part of the house shows the crude tool marks but has survived well.
A wonderful early four poster bed and blanket chest and below a closer look at the fine detail.
The house was extended over the centuries and obviously the interior with it. This linen fold wall panelling dates from the 1800's.
This enormously solid front door does date back to 1485 and was the entrance to the main hall.
This doorway (as well as the alarmingly short beds) demonstrates just how short people were in those days, I wonder how tall we'll be in another 500 years?
This excellent exhibition runs from 19th - 28th August at its usual venue in Cheltenham.
For all furniture lovers it is well worth the trip and a great day out.
I'm pleased to be showing a number of my boxes, including this jewellery box as well as the little walnut four drawer chest you can see in the background.
I'll also have a couple of planes there for sale including this small smoother in rippled ash and brown oak.
Matt Estlea sent me these pictures of his Roubo work bench, constructed using the method of joinery demonstrated in my YouTube video 'Roubo Work Bench Made Easy'. A number of people have made benches using this method but this is the best I've seen yet.
It was made as student project at Rycotewood College and I've no doubt he will score very highly as well as having a great bench to take forward in his woodworking career.
The Benchcrafted hardware for both the leg and tail vice has been carefully installed and works like a dream.
Last weekend we visited Hampton Court Palace as well as the flower show for our 25th wedding anniversary and had a great time. The sheer scale and magnificence of this palace is hard to capture with my (lack of) camera skills.
One of a number of internal courtyards and below one of the views of the equally impressive gardens stretching out in every direction.
Huge tromp l'oil painting on the wooden walls of the main staircase.
In the kitchens were numerous original tables of similar design.
A large sliding dovetail keeping the top flat and secure as well as allowing safe seasonal movement.
This was supported by a single massive leg and foot joined with draw bored tenons.
A massive oak table with single length boards was very impressive, particularly when this was built there were no machinery.
It was interesting to see the top and been veneered many years ago presumably to cover a very worn top surface. When I say veneer it was more than 1/4" thick!
In the wine cellar lots of old oak barrels which were hooped with wooden staves. I didn't get a chance to ask about these. Were they added wet and tightened up as they dried?
On a very warm day this very helpful young man had the unenviable job of constantly turning the spit roasted joint for 4 hours! By turning the joint the juices never got a chance to leave the meat and the drip tray below was dry. He explained this was the true way to roast meat and that when we 'roast' a joint in the oven we are really just baking it. And yes after all his efforts he did get first pickings of the delicious juicy joint!
Quarter sawn oak panelling was everywhere in the palace, used for it's stability in these thin panels.
The beauty of booked matched quarter sawn panels was also fully exploited.
There were rooms full of this intricate linen fold carving
Needless to say if you have never been to Hampton Court Palace it is well worth a visit. If you want to do the house and gardens it's a full days trip, if not two.
Ben from the US sent me these pictures of his wall mounted tools cabinet which is nearing completion. He has cut some very neat dovetails using the magnetic guide as well as some clean looking sliding dovetails.
Ben is currently pondering the best way to attached the doors which are going to be very heavy. I've had success with three butt hinges per side on a similar cabinet as well as good quality piano hinges (continuous hinges). Any other suggestions would be appreciated at this stage of construction.
Ben also has a website http://schmolzewoodworks.com/ where shows the process of making this fine bench plus many other interesting projects.
The latest edition of F&C is now on the shelves. It follows Fine Woodworking in it's retro, understated cover layout and looks very professional.
I've done an article on the twisted dovetail showing the method in detail. It's not as difficult as it may look, unless of course you want to emulate Theo Cook's wonderful version, see above.
The American theme continues with a good article on plane maker Matt Bickford.
An very interesting article on adding curved platens to a belt sander.
And part three of 'stack marking'. Maybe I'm missing something here, but in all three articles I'm left thinking this seems a great way of making a simple task complicated! Anyone else any thoughts?
Luther from the US sent me these pictures of his version of one of my boxes. This is the one we make on the two day dovetailing course I teach.
It's made from walnut and western maple and has 1:6 angled dovetails.
He has inlayed a small circle to indicated where to tilt the lid.
The mitred lining can be seen, which dips at one end show the method of opening.
Luther said he very much enjoyed making the box and he should be proud of the result.
Following the visit to John's fine house he did a talk the next day to a packed audience. The main purpose of the talk was to launch his new book detailing the work and careers of the people that passed through Parnham. It reads like a 'who's who' of the furniture making world, although many of the students branched out into other disciplines such as architecture. I haven't read the whole thing yet but it's a truly fascinating book, and I highly recommend buying a copy on it's imminent release. John very kindly signed my copy, a true gentleman.
On Sunday I visited John Makepeace's beautiful house in Beaminster Dorset. This was what he has downsized to!
John himself was on hand all afternoon to generously discuss his pieces on display as well as any other questions.
This is a painted version of his Knot Chair.
A very simple and modern chair which was very comfortable, yes you were allowed to sit on them.
His famous layered chair which revealed the coloured layers as it was carefully shaped.
A pretty one in sycamore and bleached burr elm.
John made many pieces combining wood and metal, I prefer the all wooden ones.
This is a detailed shot of a magnificent burr oak side table, about 7' long and 2' wide made from a single board of solid burr.
The fruit table below is whimsical and beautifully made, as were all the pieces.
A chair with a cast aluminium seat and a lovely blanket chest/ seat in rippled sycamore.
The chair below was my favourite in yew, very organic.
A cosy seat for two.
Some of the pieces on display were for sale and I heard John telling someone this pair of Zebra cabinets were available for £65,000! They didn't seem fazed although they weren't being loaded into their car when they left.
The gardens were equally as impressive as the house.
A great way to spend a couple of hours.
Matthew a 17 year old student sent me these pictures of some of his recent work. He is just completing his level 3 qualification in furniture and design and the vanity mirror above is his assessment piece, as well as a present for his girlfriend.
This walnut corner cabinet has a well executed veneered panel with diamond inlay. I'm sure with this standard of work he has a long future ahead in furniture making.
There is an a large workshop clearance auction this Friday 23rd June at Ewbanks Auction House in Guildford. Above is a large board of Cuban Mahogany. You ca view the full catalogue here.
Lots of veneer in thick as well as thin, ideal for restoration.
Some lovely true Lignum Vitae.
A very nice board of Indian rosewood and below a very rare log of Brazilian kingwood, beautiful stuff! I have resisted the temptation to attend, I have enough wood to last a lifetime, or more!
Just a reminder that the John Makepeace talk is on Monday 26th June at 2.30 pm in Beaminster Dorset. More details and tickets here
To get in the mood I'll be re reading this fascinating book about John and his life and work, well worth adding to your collection
We are having a few days away in West Dorset and went to the Bridport Food Festival yesterday, they couldn't have wished for a better day.
There were lots of local suppliers of all things tempting!
Here's my wife trying some local honey.
I was drawn to this larger than life steel robot standing guard outside one of the tents. A great example of recycling it's made from car exhausts.
A beautifully wrapped little parcel arrived today finished off with a blob of ceiling wax.
This little plane is just 30 mm (1 1/4") long with a 1/2" wide blade.
The dovetails are superb for such a tiny scale and the mouth is very tight. Despite its diminutive size it is very comfortable to hold (one handed of course) and works very well.
I have an antique violins makers plane, they make a great pair. I believe Oliver has another two of these planes for sale if anyone is interested.