Sunday 28 August 2011

Sharpening A Gouge On A Felt Wheel

Well I've decided to make my first video (don't take the micky too much) on how I use a felt wheel to hone my gouges and other single bevel tools. I think that this is such a great and easy way of sharpening tools that more people should know about it.

I know that sharpening is always a touchy subject as everyone has their own method but I've tried a lot of them (oil stone, water stone, diamond stones) and for speed and ease this wins hands down for me.
On this video I'm using a medium hardness felt wheel which is great for curved edged tools as it will give to the shape that you press into it. A felt wheel "polishes" the edge on your tool removing very little metal (so little that I normally remove the burr on the other side of the tool with the wheel rather than a slip stone).
Please bare in mind that the tool must be ground correctly first for it to have a good cutting angle when honed up.What method does everyone else use for honing their tools - curved edges in particular?

(also please excuse my t-shirt on the video - I've had people ask me if thats the company I work for in the past!)

Saturday 27 August 2011

Storage Problem

After a great 10 days holiday in Thailand I was dead keen to get back in the workshop before I went back to work. As I walk in I'm greeted by half sheets of ply everywhere and timber stood up as there's no where else to keep it in the dry. When you meet this mess it doesn't make you want to do anything!

I'm very sure that no matter how much space I have I'll fill it, but I do desperately need somewhere to store timber and sheet material. I decided that it was best to build a little lean to on the side of my workshop to house my ply off cuts and some of the hardwoods and softwoods I've got kicking around.

A simple construction of halving joints for the frame (cut on the mitre saw, then chiseled out and cleaned up with my no.778). I do think that I might have gone a little over the top on the sizes of the timbers though (4x2 and 3x2) but it's made it quite strong!

With the two sides made I added in the struts in the position where the lean-to will stay to save me having to carry anything heavier than it has to be! The rain yesterday and today hasn't helped my progress - nothing worse than working with wet wood!

Its not finished yet as the first bottom section it going to be covered in ply, to house more ply out of the rain. I've also got to properly sheet in the roof (bitumen sheets on top of the ply that I've got there already) as well as maybe add a gutter (which will help keep the rain off even more).

It wasn't up many minutes before I started loading timber into it! It's not massive but it should help for a while.

How does everyone else deal with there timber storage?

Thursday 11 August 2011

Not Pretty But Practical

A Little like me I guess...

I've been removing the handrail from the stairs at Summerfield Park and replacing it with something a little more solid (and something that meets building regs!).

The handrail at the top of the stairs was the harder job as I wanted to make sure it was solid as it will be used (hopefully) for years by lots of people. I decided that it was best to remove it all completely (turned out to be a great time for the health and safety man to turn up) and start again.

I started by sawing off the furthest post and using a halving joint to attached the new piece. The middle post need to be strong so I cut a hole in the floor and half lapped it to the joist beneath and the one against the wall was straight forward screw and plug although I had to scribe it in as the wall is an inch out of plumb!

I then ripped some 2x1 in half and used that fixed with screws and lots of glue to form the beading to hold in the infill of 12mm ply. As the title says not pretty....

Doing the handrail on the stairs was similar only there was little to fix the bottom newel post to, in the end I notched the concrete a little more (there was already a slight recess) and fixed timbers against the bottom riser to give me something to screw the newel post to.

The tenon on the string was none existent so I cut it off and used screws and glue again, by the time I added the handrail it was rock solid. Then just a case of cutting and fixing the beading and ply.
Just got to fill the screw holes and sand it now.

Sunday 7 August 2011

Tool Auction & Tool Making

Another busy weekend.
Yesterday I got up early and went to Ledbury Tool and Timber Auction with a pocket full of cash (and an uneasy wife left at home). In the end I didn't buy much just 4 large pieces of very twisted Apple, quite thick though so it should be alright for turning (probably as tough as old boots). There was a few things I should have bid higher on but you always think that on the drive home!
Today has been productive, as well as tackling the weeds at the allotment I've started to have a bit of a tidy up in the shed and I've come to the conclusion that I need to build an extension before I build my big extension. This is because I have nowhere to store any timber, but more on that in another post.
I also started to use my High Speed Steel (HSS) that I order from china (and some from Yandles) to make some more tools.
One I made using a square section of steel, ground so it forms a point. Before I could grind it I made a simple jig (in the picture above) to make sure it always went on the grinder the same way.
The other was made using round HHS bar and is basically a spindle gouge without the flute (called a "form tool" or somethimes a "cove tool" I think). I made beech handle for them both and although not identical handles they're starting to look like a set! I've got quite a few more bits of HSS so I'll be making some more woodturning tools over the next few months. anyone got any good ideas on what I can make?

Thursday 4 August 2011

Tulipwood platter

After all my experimenting last week I thought I'd just turn something a little more traditional this week. I brought a nice big plank of "tulipwood" (sounds so much nicer than poplar) as I know it's quite soft and would be good for me to practice on.
It's quite easy to turn although it does have a habit of tearing the grain if your tools aren't really sharp, the whole piece has a greenish tinge to it (my wife thought I'd added it) but I think its a good low cost wood to practice my skills on and make some quite nice pieces with in the process.
I finished the platter with a few coats of walnut oil but it will have a few more before I find it a new home.
You here so many people tell you poplar its good for nothing I'd love to hear what other people use it for as I think its quite an attractive wood.
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