Thursday, 13 March 2014

Old Swanee

Sean Hellman paid a visit this week to check out my work and talk tools.‎ . That was fun and a break from planing oak. Its funny how having someone else in the workshop makes you realise how cluttered it has become. Time for a spring clean!

I found this swan-necked mortice chisel, that I haven't seen for a while. It is 5/8" wide, the same as the mortices in the settle stiles I am making. Strictly speaking it doesn't really matter what the bottoms of these mortices look like, but the tool is a pleasure to use. Hand pressure and leverage only to clean out the mortices. These mortices are deeper than usual and it puts a lot of stress on the straight chisel to clean the bottom. Bless old swanee!

The spring clean was long overdue. Now I might have the space to make Tony's garage doors, not out of green oak I hasten to add.

I have been asked to make a joined settle to go outside. This is pushing the technology of joined furniture to the limit but I like a challenge. We know that riven green oak shrinks very little from fresh to seasoned, so a 10" wide panel (with grain up down) might shrink 1/8". How much is it going to swell when immersed in water for several months?

Tune in next week for the next thrilling episode of  "Watching Oak Swell".

Last night, Bethany and I made some beeswax finish.

50g pure soap flakes
100g beeswax (white)
500ml turpentine
250ml water

Dissolve soap in warm water. Place wax in turpentine in another pan and warm gently until wax is melted. Pour soap into turpentine, stirring with a wooden stick. Ingredients must be at same temperature.

I am producing quite a lot of oak shavings these days, so Ruth (her outdoors) has decided to cultivate some mushrooms on them with these spores from

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