Monday 31 December 2012

Karesuando Bushcraft Knife

My wife was struggling with what to buy me for Christmas this year so I asked for a good bush craft knife. I got a 4" Karesuando Boar knife, I asked for this one as it's not too expensive, has a good quality blade and should last me a long time for camping, hunting, whittling, etc.
Karesuando Boar Knife
The only downside to this knife is the fact it's been sharpened with a slight micro bevel . I decided to touch up the edge myself (in a break in the rain) using a water stone, something I've never used before - I'm more of an oil stone man!
New sharpening method to try
 I bought this water stone about 3 years ago and I've never got round to trying it so I though this would be the perfect thing to test it on. I only used the fine side of the stone (1000 grit) as it didn't need reshaping just continuing the main bevel to a point.
Using the whetstone
 The stone worked well and produced a polished edge, double sided tools are always much harden to sharpen than double edged and it took me quite a while, I could probably do with an even finer stone to get a sharper edge.
birch polypore strop 
 I stropped it using a little strop my brother made for me a few years ago out of birch polypore fungus.
A well balanced knife
I'm look forward to using this knife and with a bush craft course coming up it won't be long until I do.
Hope everyone has a good new year!

Thursday 27 December 2012

Throwing Axe!

I've been spoilt again this year (like always) and got loads of presents - far more than I probably deserve.
One of the wood related presents I got was a throwing axe, along with other things I'll blog about later. This was from my brother who also got himself one so we could have a bit of fun together.
Light weight Tomahawk
 On boxing day we went out into the orchard and threw them at a large poplar butt Dave had felled earlier in the year. To say it took us a little while to get our eye in would be an understatement -put it this way I wouldn't have wanted to stand behind the target! But once we did we were managing to get them to stick into the wood quite often.
Couldn't hit a barn door at... Oh wait you did!

Tomahawk - bit of fun
I feel that there will be many brotherly competitions coming up!
We're also both booked to attend an axe course (not throwing axes though) towards the end of January with Survival School (who we've done bush craft courses with in the past) and I'm really looking forward to it, although we're camping so I hope we have some dry weather. It should be a great opportunity to learn more about axes and how to use them.
Now I just need to make a target big enough so I can't miss it!
What wood related presents did everyone else get? (I'm sure Brian must have something...)

Monday 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Another year of work over with and it's been a great year.
Merry Christmas!
I've worked on some interesting projects, from a hotel to a prison to a big old farm house and more. Each has brought a new set of challenges and helped develop my skills as a carpenter.
I've missed not having my workshop this year but with a new baby in my life my hands have been pretty full anyway and luckily the jobs I've been on have kept my brain working.
Next year is looking pretty good with quite a few months already booked up.
Thank you to anyone who has followed me, commented on, or read this blog - it makes what I do so much more interesting to me if I have people to share it with, and it helps fuel my passion with wood even further.
Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday 17 December 2012

Repairing Old Doors

Some low quality photos on this post sorry! 
Last week was pretty cold, not getting above freezing for most of it and I had the pleasure of being out in it everyday except Friday where it hammered down with rain all day. Installing gutter in the rain is a job even I draw the line at, so I went on to repairing some doors that the other carpenter and I had hung previously.
These door weren't the easiest thing to hang in the first place with big cast hinges to remove & fill and frames where the wood seems too thin to hold the new screws needing splicing. On top of that some have got panels that are split and need replacing.
I first removed the beads from one side of the panel, on doing this I discovered that the panels are also fitted into a grove in the door. There is no way I could split the door apart and expect it to go back together (things would fall apart), instead I had to cut right round the panel (the multimaster came in handy again here) to remove it.
I then planed some boards to 10mm thick and fitted then in the door and replaced the beads I saved.
Now the painters fun starts - they're going to need quite a bit of prep work before they're ready to paint! Still doing this work preserves some of the character of the house rather than just buying new doors.

Sunday 9 December 2012

Building A Walk In Wardrobe

This is a continuation from the Building A Stud Wall Step By Step post I did a while ago. The stud wall was built to divide an odd shaped room into a bedroom with a large walk in wardrobe. The customer wanted two long shelves with hanging rails under and a set of large shelves at the far end.
Finding good fixings was the most important part of fitting these shelves as they're so big they need to be secure

With a timber fixed round the outside I added the timbers to carry the inside edges of the shelves

Check everything is level (I used a laser level around the outside so I was fairly confident!)

Add the MDF forn long shelves and the sides to the rack of shelves at the end, along with timber supports

I also completed the second fix carpentry work hanging the door and fixing the skirting and architrave

All the shelves fitted ready for some varnish

The wardrobe from the outside - looks like it's always been there. Just need to stain the woodwork to match in with the old
A nice job and the customer is really pleased.
 I also agreed to paint/stain it all for the customer so I've made quite a few visits in the evenings to try and get it done but its tricky as I don't get back till late and all my other time is booked up, mind you it's better to be busy than not!

Sunday 2 December 2012

Making Stairs

My blog post about replacing the handrail last week made me think about the first flight of stairs I made back in 2006 with a good friend/mentor. Looking through some old photos I found some from when we made them.
The string and newels routed out to accept the treads and risers
 These were to go in a barn conversion Andy and I had been working on and off for well over a year everything was oak and everything had to be top quality. It's unusual to get site carpenters to make stairs on site in the UK, but as we had our own little workshop there with all the tools, the customer we were working for decided it was the best way he could get the stairs he wanted without having to wait for a joiner to make them and he was pleased with all the previous work Andy and I had done for him.
Using oak meant everything had to be spot on - no bruising wood together here!
 These were made out of oak (the strings were 2" thick!) and as we'd only ever fitted stairs before we went over our workings quite a few times before we started! With stairs a full sized template is sometimes the best way to go if you've got the space.
Beginning the first glue up
 We machined all the treads on the spindle moulder, routed the strings with a purpose made jig and cut the wedges on the bandsaw with another jig to make sure they were a perfect fit.
The glue up went well, with both of us working hard to get it together fast as we were using quite a fast setting glue

All the treads glued in position

Andy cleaning the excess glue from the first flight of stairs

The stairs fitted in position

The nice chunky newel posts really go well with the feel of these stairs
This was a great project and a great test of our skills, they came out looking perfect and on time, the customer was over the moon.
Anyone else taken on a large job like this that they'd never done before?
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