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David Barron Furniture
Bog oak is exactly what it says, oak that has come from a bog, in this case the Fens in East Anglia. What so amazing is that it's been preserved and the trees last grew 5 - 6,000 years ago!
The timber is coloured from dark brown to black and is very dense.
It polishes up beautifully.
Here is a single plank 13 metres (43') long.
And here are the planks loaded into the longest kiln I've ever seen. The planks give off an enormous amount of water during the drying process and the cells in the wood collapse which is why the wood ends up so dense when dry.
Some of these planks are destined for an incredible project shown in the pictures above and in the maquette below. It's being held by Hamish Low, co owner of Adamson and Low, who make fantastic furniture mainly from the bog oak they recover. See website
There is an enormous amount of wastage with bog oak and the best chance of yielding reasonable boards is to cut the logs on the quarter. Shown below is an example of the cutting process which requires the log to be turned many times.
This is why quarter sawn timber of all species is rarely stocked by timber merchants due to the increased conversion cost and wastage. However approximately 20% of wood cut through and through ends up being quarter sawn (the middle boards), so if you can find a self selection timber yard you can always find some.
At EWS there was a stall selling some lovely boards of quarter sawn brown oak. Although I have enough wood for the rest of my life, I just couldn't resist! Where the beetle infestation has only partially taken effect, it sometimes shows stripes of dark brown which is referred to as tiger oak in the trade. The stripes were even more pronounced on the other side of this 2" thick board, so the vast majority of this 0.8 cube slab (10 board feet in US) is fine useable wood. On enquiring as to the moisture content it was tested at 35%, so basically green. I have dated the board and will have to wait at least two years before it can be used, but it will be worth it.
Ollie Sparks had some of his beautiful planes on display at EWS including a small, numbered batch of miniature smoothers. Based on the rare Norris no 21 this is his interpretation.
Ollie cast the bronze body himself and even turned the bolts on his lathe.
The lovely infill is Honduran rosewood.
As usual the mouth is extremely tight and despite it's size is a very usable plane.
It is 3 1/2" long x 1 1/4" wide with a 1" blade bedded around 52 degrees.
This plane is mine but I believe Ollie has one left from the batch priced at £700 if anyone is interested.
Sadly I don't own an original Norris 21 but this A14 has a similar rear end and will give you a sense of scale.
I was quite taken aback at the show to be given these lovely presents. The medjool dates came all the way from Israel, the bottle opener and beer from Dave Jeske from Blue Spruce. The expensive bottle of wine was handed to me in the middle of a dovetail demo so I didn't get a proper chance to say thanks.
I had promised myself that I would have a good look round all the show, but as usual it didn't happen! Here is the main barn just before customers were let in and here's what happened afterwards.
So unfortunately I only have a few shots of those near to my stand.
Camera shy Phil Edwards from Philly planes, gotcha!
Bill and Sarah Carter with a fine selection of his wonderful planes as well as a few other rare antiques.
Ollie Sparks with a good selection of his master pieces. More on Ollie later.
And below Richard Arnold with lots of 18thC planes along with some very nice 21st interpretations made by himself. Richard gives his time very generously and is extremely knowledgeable.
With the EWS show finished I'm just trying to catch on the back log, pictures of the show will follow.
Slava, a good customer sent me these pictures of some lovely saws he has made. He started by refurbishing old saws and then got hooked, so he decided to start making his own.
This one is a long stroke (probably dovetail) saw with an early style handle in curly walnut
This one looks like a tenon saw with another early style (beech?) handle with beautiful spurs.
And lastly another tenon saw with more curly black walnut and a very pronounced hang (I think that's the correct term!)
Yes it's here at last, the biggest and best, quality hand tool show in the UK, maybe even the world!!
The setting is in and around the wonderful 12th C Cressing Temple Barns in Essex.
Tool makers and demonstrators from around the world will be attending and this is one show not to miss, especially as this is the last!
See pictures from the 2015 show here
The show is open from 10.00 - 5.00 pm on Saturday 16th and 10.00 am - 4.00 pm on Sunday 17th.
Hope to see you there!
Joe sent me these pictures of his latest project made for the 100% design show on 20th - 23rd September.
The tables are made from ash with a stained ash top with glass and are very versatile.
A short while ago I did a post showing Joes ash chest of drawers and here it is finished.
He used one of my 1:6 dovetail guides for the many dovetails and has done a great job.
I'm clearing out a few more bargain planes.
Above a nice Spiers smoother which has been cleaned up well by a previous owner.
An old Spiers plane with original stamped iron in reasonable condition
A bargain Matheison smoothing plane that needs a bit of TLC
And below a nice Spiers No 23 smoother, a great user with a tight mouth.
Oliver Sparks has made a small batch of 3/4" violin makers planes and this one is mine.
It has a beautiful boxwood wedge and the making is immaculate as usual.
The mouth is super tight.
Here it is alongside my 1/2" version.
Ollie will be at the European Woodworking show on 16th and 17th September, he will have planes to try as well as buy. http://www.europeanwoodworkingshow.eu/
Martin sent me these pictures of his latest project, a very nice watch box in wenge and birds eye maple with a pig suede lining. It has a subtle finger opening with two nicely shaped curved chamfers.
The hinges are 90 degree stop hinges from Brusso, these open a couple of degrees past 90 so the lid stays open.
Some nice solid birds eye maple for the lid panel with an angled chamfer, probably a Chris Becksvoort router bit from Lee Valley.
The case is dovetailed, although hardly visible in this dark wood. The inside lid is mirrored, a nice touch.
And here we are ready to go, a watch for every day of the week!
I dropped off my boxes prior to the show beginning and as usual was humbled by the wonderful that had arrived already.
The show is on from Saturday 19th August until Monday 28th August and there are 76 makers represented with over 300 pieces on display, so it's a good days visit.
This magnificent burr brown oak table has an unbelievable mechanism for making it smaller and is worth visiting the show on its own, just to see it demonstrated by the maker George Johnson.
Here is the centre of the table in its smaller size, wonderful!
I'm clearing out some old planes, all have faults that would be easy to fix. First up an unhandled Spiers smoother, a good user.
Next a Norris A 71 missing its rear handle.
And lastly a Spiers parallel smoother again a good user
All start at 99p so bargains to be had. Due to the weights I'm afraid it's only postage (or collection) in the UK
Andrew sent me these pictures of two nice knock down stools he made. He made them for his daughter who travels a lot, then more for his friends and now sells them on Etsy. If you go on there it's amazing the variety on offer, I didn't realise they were so widely used.
For our wedding anniversary we treated ourselves to a spa day at the lovely Careys Manor Hotel in the New Forest. One of the sessions we had there was a breathing and meditation class using a small pine meditation stool which gave an very good posture. The class was run by David Passmore who has an excellent website showing the power of breathing, exercise and healthy living http://www.davidpassmore.co.uk/home/4593845225
The pine stools we used were very comfortable but basic, so I decided to make a nicer version in rippled English walnut and oak.
Joe from the UK sent me these pictures of his latest project a very nice chest of drawers in ash.
The stand is very imaginative with an oriental feel.
Plenty of dovetails!
It's great to see good use of unusual grain and colour, this sort of stuff would be considered seconds in commercial wood yards.
The latest issue of F&C magazine is out now and I'm on the cover. There is plenty of great content so it's well worth a read.
This box is favourite of mine and uses dovetailed Dominoes at the mitred corners which are very strong and ensure easy and gap free assembly.
There is an excellent article on an old school veneer producer in Paris who produces thicker veneers using an antique saw.
The stock of wood they use is amazing.
Another article on a very skilled carver, Gerald Adams.
Building (very) accurate jigs and shooting boards with Tico Voigt.
A fascinating article by Richard Arnold on 18thC planes.
A round up of the Handworks 2017 show.
And looking forward to the European Woodworking show in September. This is a great show and will be the last, so it's not to be missed!
Here's a reasonable condition Sjobergs work bench for collection only in the Cheshire area. The machinists vice needs taking off but it's included in the auction. It's not been entered in the right category on E Bay so hasn't had any bids yet. If you get it for anywhere near the £100 starting price you've got a real bargain.
The above bench is very similar although the maker is not listed. It looks in better condition and he will ship anywhere in the UK for £18. The only downside there is plenty of interest. Check out here,
We've spent a few days away in West Dorset and for my 57th birthday we visited Athelhampton House which dates back to 1485. http://www.athelhampton.co.uk/
This oak panelling in a less grand part of the house shows the crude tool marks but has survived well.
A wonderful early four poster bed and blanket chest and below a closer look at the fine detail.
The house was extended over the centuries and obviously the interior with it. This linen fold wall panelling dates from the 1800's.
This enormously solid front door does date back to 1485 and was the entrance to the main hall.
This doorway (as well as the alarmingly short beds) demonstrates just how short people were in those days, I wonder how tall we'll be in another 500 years?
This excellent exhibition runs from 19th - 28th August at its usual venue in Cheltenham.
For all furniture lovers it is well worth the trip and a great day out.
I'm pleased to be showing a number of my boxes, including this jewellery box as well as the little walnut four drawer chest you can see in the background.
I'll also have a couple of planes there for sale including this small smoother in rippled ash and brown oak.