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David Barron Furniture
Updated: 45 min 2 sec ago
Bill Carter has produced a whole series of videos on how to make his wonderful mitre planes. The pace is a little slow (he is nearly 80) but if you set the time aside there are some wonderful gems to be found and if you fancy having a go at making one of these planes then they are invaluable.
Ian from Japan sent me these pictures of some drawers which provided him with much needed additional storage in his workshop. Such a level of organisation and tidiness is only something I can aspire to!
The drawers were all dovetailed by hand, front and back. To give the maximum amount of drawer depth, the bottoms were screwed on from underneath rather than slid into a groove. Making the bottoms with plywood avoided any issues with wood movement.
Leo from the US sent me these shots of his good progress with hand cut dovetails using one of my guides. He's using coloured dots which is good to see, this simple highly visual aid tells you which board goes with which, where the outside is and also which is the top of each piece.
Leo also made an alignment board but says that the best tip is to wear his reading glasses and improve the lighting. He's also doing lots of practice which is the ultimate way to get good at anything.
Joe sent me these pictures of his latest project, walnut and ash adjustable shelves.
The brackets are attached with what appear to be sliding dovetails.
The rounded shelves have a nice retro look and all finished off with his trade mark signature, The Lucent Crow.
Just in case you wondered about my last post, this is the reason I was getting ready to cut dovetails. The picture above shows just one of four corners on these drawers.
It's a petit chest of drawers standing 23" high made in chestnut, a wood I've never used before. It is similar to oak in it's feel and open grain and I was lucky enough to have a large board which was quarter sawn with some nice ripple as well. An detailed article on this piece will be appearing in Furniture and Cabinetmaking magazine in due course.
If you can't see what you are doing then you can't cut accurate dovetails. A good task light and reading glasses are essential for me. Even if you don't use reading glasses you should try some, the weakest lens no1 will give a small magnification which is very helpful.
Of course having good quality sharp tools is also very helpful!
A few of you may have spotted Ian on my stand demonstrating my guide while I took a much needed refuelling break. Whilst Ian is an experienced demonstrator, I did rather throw him in at the deep end, sorry about that!
Ian cuts all his dovetails freehand and is seen here demonstrating at a show back in Japan where he lives. And this is the result, a fine pile of 'Paul Sellers' boxes.
This reminds me I must try to think of something more imaginative than cutting endless single corners!
Here is Ian's freehand version of one of my corners, perfect!
Bog oak is exactly what it says, oak that has come from a bog, in this case the Fens in East Anglia. What so amazing is that it's been preserved and the trees last grew 5 - 6,000 years ago!
The timber is coloured from dark brown to black and is very dense.
It polishes up beautifully.
Here is a single plank 13 metres (43') long.
And here are the planks loaded into the longest kiln I've ever seen. The planks give off an enormous amount of water during the drying process and the cells in the wood collapse which is why the wood ends up so dense when dry.
Some of these planks are destined for an incredible project shown in the pictures above and in the maquette below. It's being held by Hamish Low, co owner of Adamson and Low, who make fantastic furniture mainly from the bog oak they recover. See website
There is an enormous amount of wastage with bog oak and the best chance of yielding reasonable boards is to cut the logs on the quarter. Shown below is an example of the cutting process which requires the log to be turned many times.
This is why quarter sawn timber of all species is rarely stocked by timber merchants due to the increased conversion cost and wastage. However approximately 20% of wood cut through and through ends up being quarter sawn (the middle boards), so if you can find a self selection timber yard you can always find some.
At EWS there was a stall selling some lovely boards of quarter sawn brown oak. Although I have enough wood for the rest of my life, I just couldn't resist! Where the beetle infestation has only partially taken effect, it sometimes shows stripes of dark brown which is referred to as tiger oak in the trade. The stripes were even more pronounced on the other side of this 2" thick board, so the vast majority of this 0.8 cube slab (10 board feet in US) is fine useable wood. On enquiring as to the moisture content it was tested at 35%, so basically green. I have dated the board and will have to wait at least two years before it can be used, but it will be worth it.
Ollie Sparks had some of his beautiful planes on display at EWS including a small, numbered batch of miniature smoothers. Based on the rare Norris no 21 this is his interpretation.
Ollie cast the bronze body himself and even turned the bolts on his lathe.
The lovely infill is Honduran rosewood.
As usual the mouth is extremely tight and despite it's size is a very usable plane.
It is 3 1/2" long x 1 1/4" wide with a 1" blade bedded around 52 degrees.
This plane is mine but I believe Ollie has one left from the batch priced at £700 if anyone is interested.
Sadly I don't own an original Norris 21 but this A14 has a similar rear end and will give you a sense of scale.
I was quite taken aback at the show to be given these lovely presents. The medjool dates came all the way from Israel, the bottle opener and beer from Dave Jeske from Blue Spruce. The expensive bottle of wine was handed to me in the middle of a dovetail demo so I didn't get a proper chance to say thanks.
I had promised myself that I would have a good look round all the show, but as usual it didn't happen! Here is the main barn just before customers were let in and here's what happened afterwards.
So unfortunately I only have a few shots of those near to my stand.
Camera shy Phil Edwards from Philly planes, gotcha!
Bill and Sarah Carter with a fine selection of his wonderful planes as well as a few other rare antiques.
Ollie Sparks with a good selection of his master pieces. More on Ollie later.
And below Richard Arnold with lots of 18thC planes along with some very nice 21st interpretations made by himself. Richard gives his time very generously and is extremely knowledgeable.
With the EWS show finished I'm just trying to catch on the back log, pictures of the show will follow.
Slava, a good customer sent me these pictures of some lovely saws he has made. He started by refurbishing old saws and then got hooked, so he decided to start making his own.
This one is a long stroke (probably dovetail) saw with an early style handle in curly walnut
This one looks like a tenon saw with another early style (beech?) handle with beautiful spurs.
And lastly another tenon saw with more curly black walnut and a very pronounced hang (I think that's the correct term!)
Yes it's here at last, the biggest and best, quality hand tool show in the UK, maybe even the world!!
The setting is in and around the wonderful 12th C Cressing Temple Barns in Essex.
Tool makers and demonstrators from around the world will be attending and this is one show not to miss, especially as this is the last!
See pictures from the 2015 show here
The show is open from 10.00 - 5.00 pm on Saturday 16th and 10.00 am - 4.00 pm on Sunday 17th.
Hope to see you there!
Joe sent me these pictures of his latest project made for the 100% design show on 20th - 23rd September.
The tables are made from ash with a stained ash top with glass and are very versatile.
A short while ago I did a post showing Joes ash chest of drawers and here it is finished.
He used one of my 1:6 dovetail guides for the many dovetails and has done a great job.
I'm clearing out a few more bargain planes.
Above a nice Spiers smoother which has been cleaned up well by a previous owner.
An old Spiers plane with original stamped iron in reasonable condition
A bargain Matheison smoothing plane that needs a bit of TLC
And below a nice Spiers No 23 smoother, a great user with a tight mouth.