Thursday 27 February 2014

Nothing if not Thoreau

I just took one of those quizzes to see which classic author I was. I got Henry David Thoreau.

Today I have been trimming the excess off the chest's stiles.

I used this Disston saw to do so. This was the bargain of the century. I got it for the knock-down price of absolutely nothing. It was thrown on the floor at the end of a boot sale with a 'Free please help yourself' sign by it.

I opted not to use a moulding plane for the edge of the lid, because of the meandering grain, so I simply rounded over the top edges round front and sides and removed the arris from the underside. Then I fitted the wire hinges.

And the chest has a fitted lid.

I am still waiting for authentic nails, but have been waiting too long now. So today I contacted another blacksmith, Justin Fletcher, and he will have them ready for me tomorrow. That's service.

Meanwhile, on with the settle. I have already riven all the rails. I need some back stiles which have a bend 18 inches from the bottom to give a cant to the back. I am hoping this log is going to give me some billets to make these out of.

On the way to the workshop today, there was some real, actual sun on the Dart.

Which Jessie can vouch for!

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Panelled lid

While I have been riving up the rails for the settle, the parts of the panelled lid for the 'Dennis' chest have been slowly drying. The tenons which I cut a few weeks ago have now dried considerably and will be better able to take the strain of being drawbored. Time to groove the framing parts to accept the panels.

And use this scratch stock.

To put a moulding on their edges.

After chamfering the backs of the panels with the scrub plane, a trial fit and then join the panelled lid.

Tomorrow, I will trim the stiles and put a moulding on the edge, probably using a moulding plane.

Sunday 23 February 2014

Buckland Abbey

Splitting a log for eight foot rails this week. I thought this was a perfect split.

Until I looked at the other end.

One of the slices is not keen to be straight, so I guess this settle is going to have a curved top rail.

I didn't have a compass plane, so I planed and ground the sole of this smoothing plane to a slight curve. It had a metal plate let in, in front of the mouth and was useless as it was. The iron also has about half an inch left before its cactused so I felt justified. Works perfectly.

Then a complete detour to install some entirely different cabinets for Val in Ashburton.

A bit of family time this weekend, taking my girls to Bantham beach. Our new lurcher, Jessie is finding her new life very exciting. We believe she has spent most of her eighteen months so far tied up in someone's back garden. The open countryside and beaches of Devon seem to be a totally new thing for her. As was ignoring a hedge, booling through it and dropping six foot onto the Devon lane below!

I have been wanting to visit Buckland Abbey for quite a while. So today, to give Ruth a break, I took Bethany for a history lesson on Sir Francis Drake.

It was an Abbey, then Drake bought it with his ill-gotten gains. It had a Georgian makeover but still retains a lot of Elizabethan and Jacobean panelling and furniture, like this court cupboard.

This narrow form or bench.

This wainscot chair, Gloucestershire style?

This dining table.

This gateleg table.

And last but not least this six board chest.

In the 18thC kitchen was this settle. Obviously not 17th C but I liked the design.

The history lesson worked. Bethany spent the hour drive home telling me about Elizabeth and Mary and Henry the Elf and how it was very sad because Drake died of fever without any sons and had to leave Buckland to his youngest brother. Bless. She's only 4!

Thursday 13 February 2014

Plane sailing

I picked up these clamps last week.

They came from Portugal and are shuttering clamps. They work on the same principal as a bench holdfast i.e. a tap to tighten them and a tap to loosen them, but are mobile.

I hand hewed this 4x4 from green oak....

...not really.

When I built this bench my ambitions were a little smaller.

Some plane and simple planing.