Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blanket Box for the Nieces

Design Brief
I wanted to make my two young nieces (under 5) a present for Christmas. Their mother suggested a blanket/toy box with the following specifications. Size 800mm wide, 400 deep, and 500 high. No sharp corners. A slow close mechanism for fingers. And it should be able to be used as a seat.

The Design
Inspired by Kerry Pierce's Pleasant Hill Shaker furniture, I've come up with what I think is a nice design.

More info to come.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Some tools are too nice to use...

"This VERY special set was made to order for a customer who wants nothing but the most amazing work possible.  A 4" sliding bevel, and a 4" Try Square, made from Brass, Ebony, Damascus steel and whale tooth Ivory.  The layered steel was hand forged by well known knifemaker Shawn McIntyre."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Sliding Leg - New Video

The sliding leg vice offers a great deal of versatility, offering the function of a twin screw vice, but at a variable screw to screw distant of up to 1.6m.

Feature 1 - Parallel Below the Shelf
The first problem I noticed with sliding leg vices is the parallel bar sliding along the shelf colliding with anything you were planning to store on the shelf. To overcome this, I put the parallel guide underneath the bench. To achieve this I reduced the height of the wheel brackets and raised the shelf. The trade off is to remove the vice you need to undo 4 bolts.

Feature 2 - Wheels
Typically people use a 'V' groove where the sliding leg moves wood on wood. My vice weighs 20-30kg, so this produced unacceptable friction. To overcome this I used 4 x 2" wheels.

Friday, April 16, 2010

89.9 Degrees

89.9 degrees is a long way from square. Anyone who has tried fine joinery, wide case work, milling and drilling... in fact nearly all will find their task ruined by a bad square. My first square was a stanely combination. A very useful tool. The only problem is the slack in the bolt allows some slip and loss of square. My second square was $3 from super cheap auto.... hmmm.

Last year I decided to upgrade. Two tempted me.

The Incra single piece alloy (right, Professional Woodworking Supplies), and the Hand Crafted wood & brass Colon Clenton (left, HNT Gordon). However, after a chat with Christ Vesper, at last year's Sydney (june) I was convinced to hang out for a new model he was producing.

The stainless steel blade would not tarnish like the brass of the Clenton. They are not calibrate-able, like the Clenton. Although more expensive, they have that friendly warm, hand made feeling, unlike the laser cut incra.

I needed a good square before starting the main joinery for my roubo.

So back in July I ordered one.... I heard 8 weeks till... then by Christmas... and today...
"I have finished some urgent orders as a smallish test batch and everything went well. In between production of regular tools to keep stock and fill orders I am currently working on all my orders for full sets of three so sorry to say that your order for the TS7 Blackwood will come sometime after that. It will be some months away, my aim is to finish them by end of financial year. " - Chris

Now what shall I do? Wait? Clenton?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Boutique Timbers - New Website

I purchase most of my nicer timber in rough slab form from Mal Ward from Boutique Timbers. They’ve recently asked me to help them set up a website for their business. They didn’t want much, just an online business card with contact details. Recently, I’ve grown to like blogger and thought I could use it meet their needs.

Any feed back on site design, navigation, layout, information, etc I’d be more than happy to receive an email.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Handle Update

Some of you may remember a previous post, where I was looking for someone to turn the handles required for the bench. Old Pete from the Australian Woodwork Forums answered the call.

After a few emails back and forward debating design I came home to a rather nice parcel.

Not only did he turn two rather nice handles for the parallel bar pin, but also turned two alternative versions of the handles for the wheels. The timber is Australian Blackwood.

It also seems that Old Pete was right in his thoughts. He thought the handle would be a little thin at it's narrowest part. It feels right, but I agree looks thin.

Also, I had a user problem with my caliper. I measured the metal rod at 10.5mm, Old Pete read the instructions and thought it was 9.5mm... and indeed it is. Which means that the 60 holes I drilled and sanded in the two parallel bars... are too big.

Even though these are lovely turned handles, Pete informs me that they are prototypes, I'm yet to get them on the bench and get a feel for them.

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