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David Barron Furniture

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Updated: 47 min 47 sec ago

Driving in the US

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 2:54pm

The most obvious difference is that they drive on the right side (or should that be 'wrong'). The steering wheel is also on the wrong, sorry 'other', side. However the accelerator and break pedals stay the right way round which is a relief and you don't have to worry about a clutch, you can't hire a manual (stick) car over here. BTW that's not our car, sorry to say.

There are one or two other differences to contend with. At a red light you can turn right, in fact you are actively encouraged to do so by the car behind!

Another quirk is the 4 way stop sign, seen at many crossroads. This means everyone stops with no apparent priority. This turns it into a game of chicken, although being used to the manic roads in the UK I was quite good at this game.
Just to keep us foreigners on our toes I also saw these crossroads signed '3-way' and 'all way'.

Now here is another game of chicken I wasn't so keen on, the railway crossing. They only have two small barriers that come down, one on each side, leaving plenty of room to ignore the barriers and shoot straight through. There were lots of cars playing this game (not me) although when I saw the length of the trains I could understand why they were taking the risk.

On the plus side, the petrol (sorry 'gas') was very cheap, about a third of the price of the UK (I'm not sure which vehicles run on the 'skim milk'). Still it's good to know our onerous government taxes are being well spent on the healthcare, education and welfare of anyone and everyone who wants to come into the UK.

No doubt the low fuel costs explain why there were so many gorgeous burbling V8's on the road. These UV's were everywhere.

If I was going to buy a US car (and I might) it would be one of these. A retro styled Dodge Challenger R/T with a 5.7 litre V8 Hemi engine, chucking out 375 bhp.
Nice number plate.

I came on this trip with my son and for two days we had great fun on an altogether more sedate and more environmentally friendly mode of transport.
Back to the UK in the morning.

Categories: Hand Tools

Handworks 2017

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 6:41am

So that's it, the show is over! I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Jameel, Father John and all at Benchcrafted for organising this great show. They are very modest about the whole thing but there is an enormous amount of work goes into staging such an event and it was great to see it so well supported both by makers and woodworkers alike.

Above is a glimpse of my stand, I cut 40 of these joints (200 dovetails) over the two days and most were given away, signed if requested.

I must also give thanks to Mark Hicks from Plate 11 who kindly lent me one of his fantastic benches (again!) for the show. The finish of his benches is superb and it wasn't until we were dismantling it that the true quality and ethos of his work shone through. The hardware was top notch and beautifully installed and even parts of the bench unseen in its assembled state, were neatly chamfered. If you are looking to buy a bench just once, this is the one get.

Benchcrafted had a fine selection of their wonderful vices on show and this neat little High Vice was a beauty (as in I want one!)

Ryan was the only other Brit demonstrating at the show (Lie Nielsen), with never ending enthusiasm and a permanent smile.

Ron Underhill delivered a fine show as usual and was a great way to start day 2.

I was sharing an alcove with Dave Jeske from Blue Spruce and he had a fine range of mouth watering tools on display as usual. I had Chris Vesper on the other side but I didn't manage to get a shot of his stand as there were always customers in the way! Any thoughts of my long journey home were dismissed when I thought of his trek back to Australia. Chris (as well as Dave Jeske) will be over for the European Woodworking Show in the UK in September, a great opportunity to see his full range of wonderful tools.

Blue Spruce brought a couple of prototype fret saws which were very interesting. They had a beautiful blade tightening design and they could be swivelled easily to any angle. The fit and finish was superb (of course) and I would have bought one straight away if they had been available. One to watch for.

What I did come away with was a lovely adjustable square as well as sliding bevel, which will join my two Vesper bevels. It's a funny thing with sliding bevels, I don't use them that often but when I do (eg plane making) I never seem to have enough. Well that's my excuse for buying it and I'm sticking to it!

I'll leave you with a selection of other exhibitors from the Festahlle Barn. I'm sorry for not including makers from the others four venues but I didn't get a chance to get round once the doors opened.
Until next time..............

Categories: Hand Tools

Dovetails are Addictive!!

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 1:09am

Daniel kindly sent me some pictures of some of his recent projects. He's very pleased with his dovetail guide and has been putting it to good use.

This one is his tea/coffee station with some nice wedged tenons.

The next two are of his sharpening station.

Next up his radio box, he's on a roll!

Even a little hole for the Aerial

A double hinge lid for his screw gun (drill driver).

and finally Daniels lunch box which looks very generous, no doubt he needs the nourishment after all those dovetails!
Categories: Hand Tools

Door Prize for Handworks, 9 days to go!

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 9:36am

Here's my offering for the door prize, one of my angled dovetail boxes.
It may seem like offering sand to Arabs, but most of my work is bought by woodworkers, so I hope someone will be pleased.

There will be plenty of other great door prizes to win, not bad for a show with free entry!!!

Categories: Hand Tools

New Smoothing Plane for Handworks, 12 days to go!

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 8:47am

As well as making some jack planes I've also made a small batch of matching smoothers. They are all in highly figured ash and brown oak.

The iron is 1 1/2" wide and a massive 1/4" thick and hardened to 62 Rc.

Like the jack plane, these will only be for sale at Handworks.

Categories: Hand Tools

Dovetail Markers for Handworks, 14 days to go!

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 8:43am

I made these cute little dovetail markers just for the Handworks show. They have a 1:6 angle and are made from rippled sycamore and walnut. They are stamped and come in a protective bag.
I've got just 20, so first come first served.

Categories: Hand Tools

New Jack Plane for Handworks, 17 days to go!

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 8:47am

It's been two years since I retired from plane making, after making 800 planes I'd had enough.
However I've decided to make a small batch of planes to take to Handworks.

With all the restrictions on exotic timbers I've used some lovely UK timbers. For these two it's brown oak and some highly rippled ash.

Although the basic outline of these jack planes is the same as my previous design the shaping is different, instead of rounding everything I've used compound curves which come to a tactile edge where they meet the sides. This is all hand work (appropriately), starting with a spoke shave followed by rasps and then finished with specially made curved sanding blocks. It's time consuming and hard work.
The result is very nice to hold and the gentle curves remind me of the shaping of chair seats which only need a moderate curve to be comfortable.

I made a few others using birds eye maple and some nicely figured oak (one in brown oak). These had a more curvaceous front than the first two.

The maple and oak is a more subtle blend than with the brown oak, not sure which I prefer.

The figured oak is rock hard as well as attractive.

Here's a good shot of the intersection of the two compound curves.

All the planes are stamped on the curved toe, which needed to be done with care.
I finished the oak and ash with four coats of hand rubbed melamine lacquer which was used to fill the pores of the open grained wood. This was then sanded smooth and five coats of Liberon finishing oil applied (one every two days) for a lustrous sheen.

Categories: Hand Tools

Great Customer Plane

Sun, 04/30/2017 - 10:16am

Kevin sent me these pictures of a really nice plane he made using the shell of a old Stanley 110 and a blade and adjuster kit from Veritas.

He really pushed the boat out on the infills with snake wood and a box wood wedge.

It clearly works very well, no doubt a lot better than the original.

A nice way to use the snake wood maximising the small section and keeping the most figured part on show.

Kevin achieved a really tight mouth which is something the original non adjustable plane certainly wouldn't have had. I get the feeling this won't be the last he makes and I hope it has inspired some others to have a go as well.

Categories: Hand Tools

Oliver Saprks Cutting Knife

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 3:02am

A short while back a did a post on a Norris cutting knife and included a link to a batch made by Oliver Sparks. You can see my post here http://davidbarronfurniture.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/norris-mount-cutting-knife.html

I ordered one of Oliver's knives which is beautifully made, here is a shot showing the difference in scale with the Norris. The OSM knife is just 4" long and 5/8" wide and fits really nicely in the hand.

Lovely rosewood.

The knife came with a spear point blade which is razor sharp. It also comes with a blank blade which I sharpened to the profile I'm used to using, with a bevel on each side of the blade. I find this profile is easier to use for marking both sides of dovetail pins and it's also a lot easier to sharpen.

Sharpening is done on the angled back rather than the fine bevels and this very quickly re establishes a fine point.
Oliver does everything in house and I'll leave you with a close up of the knurling.

Categories: Hand Tools

Rare Instrument Makers Plane.

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 12:26am

I've had a request o show some pictures of a tiny instrument makers plane of mine, so I thought I'd share them.

It is just 1 5//8" long and unusually is dovetailed, a real one off.

It has a skewed mouth and was clearly made to be used. Thankfully it's been very well looked after.

Categories: Hand Tools

Nice Bookcase

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 12:01am

Nathan sent me these pictures of a recent project, a nice bookcase in white oak and walnut. It was inspired by a mid century piece by the DrexelFurniture Co and designed by Stuart MacDonald.

It allows for books with different depths as well as heights and introduces curves to a item of furniture that's usually all straight lines.

Categories: Hand Tools

Pippy Oak Box with Houndstooth Dovetails

Sat, 04/15/2017 - 10:10am

Martin from the UK sent me these pictures of a very nice box he made with pippy oak and a walnut lid. He used my 1:6 dovetail guide with the Gyokucho 372 saw, a great combination. It was made to store paints and is a very nice present. There are plenty of pictures to enjoy.

Categories: Hand Tools

Oliver Sparks Thumb Plane.

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 11:04am

When I returned from the Yandles show I had a nice surprise waiting. A beautiful thumb plane made by Oliver Sparks. 

I ordered this a while ago and Ollie's idea was to produce his interpretation of a rare Mathieson plane, I can't imagine the original was as nice as this.

There are curves and chamfers all round and that lever cap is just stunning.

This is a step up in size from the 'Slipper' plane I bought from Ollie, it's 6 1/2" wide and has a 1 1/2" wide blade, a perfect size for trimming and smoothing. This plane has been designated 'Aero'. The mouth is as tight as a gnats whisker!

Ollie made a batch of five in varying woods and metal and has two left. If you're interested the cost is £1800 and you can contact him via his website http://oliversparks.co.uk/gallery.html

Categories: Hand Tools

F&C Magazine, Article on Compound Dovetails

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 10:47am

The latest edition of F&C is out now and has my article on the making of a compound angle dovetail box. This is the most complex box in the recent run of articles and my favourite.

There are five pages of detailed explanation as well as the usual very good exploded drawings and dimensions.

There is also a good four page feature on Australian tool maker Chris Vesper, he makes some wonderful tools and you can one of his sliding bevels being used in my article.

Funny man and great woodworker Roy Underhill is in the spotlight this month. I'm really looking forward to seeing him perform again at Handworks next month.

Categories: Hand Tools

Yandles Show

Sun, 04/09/2017 - 3:21am

This was 20th Yandles show amazing where time goes! The weather was wonderful and the show was very well attended on both days. Representing Classic Hand Tools rather than selling direct allowed me more time for demonstrating (and chatting!), here are the results of a mornings work.

As an update to the recent post on an upgraded adjuster for Lie Nielsen planes, Mark kindly brought in a plane with the adjuster fitted. He is very pleased with the ones he bought and it did work very well with no annoying lateral movement.

You can buy the adjusters from Robert Howard in Australia, apparently the service was very good.

Categories: Hand Tools

Matthew Burt, Fine Furniture Maker.

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 11:00am

Matthew Burt has long been one of my favourite furniture designers. His impressive new workshops are backed up by this shop, run by his wife Celia, all in the lovely Wiltshire village of Hindon just off the main A 303. I pass by on the way to the Yandles show so great to see what's new.

There are two well stocked rooms with all kinds of lovely modern pieces.
You can see more on their website http://www.matthewburt.com/#home

This is a fascinating new design, a wall mounted consul table. The half cone shape was made up from 16 tapered coopered oak staves, rounded after glue up and the top is a veneered cross section from across the trunk. It doesn't have any shrinkage cracks which must have been hard to achieve. the design is beautiful and simplicity at it's best.

This circular jewellery cabinet is one I've admired in the past, it has a turned barrel hinge and looks stunning in this tightly rippled olive ash.

Here is the interior revealed.

Here is the entrance to the third room (which doesn't exist) it gets me every time. It's a semi circular table fitted against a mirror, very clever.

Matthew makes some great chairs and I have long admired the Tricorn chair, here it is in hand stitched padded leather, very nice.

The solid wood seat on this version is very comfortable and supportive and nearly half the price of the hand stitched leather. I left the shop with this chair and it will take pride of place in my office.

The lovely village of Hindon is well worth a visit one it's own with a couple of nice pubs...

..... and of course a fine old church.

Categories: Hand Tools

George Miller Shoulder Plane

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 9:08am

I bought this Miller shoulder plane on E Bay recently, it's 8" long and 1 1/2" wide.

George Miller worked from 1890 to 1914 and specialised in these heavy gunmetal shoulder planes with a sweated on steel sole. Apart from his London address I can't find out any more information on him, is there anyone out there who knows any more detail? Are there any collectors of his planes?

The style of the bronze casting is beautiful and distinctive and didn't change during his working years, which is helpful as the majority of his planes weren't stamped. Fortunately this one was. Nearly all are 1 1/2" wide but I have seen 1 1/4" models with the identical profile.

The infill was always rounded nicely and had a curved front grip which is very comfortable to hold. Occasionally the infill extended beyond the metal and examples with a 'rhino horn' have also surfaced. The infill material seemed to vary, this one is walnut but most were ebony or rosewood. The shape of the wedge also varied quite a bit, this one isn't as attractive as some but is very supportive.

The irons are made by Marples on all the examples I have seen and the mouth is always nice and tight. If you ever comes across one of these they make great user planes as well as being very collectable.

Categories: Hand Tools

Bidge City CT-8 Block Plane For Sale

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:53am
This lovely dovetailed plane is a rarity over here, in fact there weren't that many produced in the US. It's been out of production for 10 years now and there's one being offered on E Bay at the moment
I was tempted to buy it but I already have one in my collection.

They produced two models, the low angle CT-7 (12 degrees) and the standard angle CT-8 (20 degrees). The standard angle model is the more versatile, being able to handle end grain as well as long grain, sharpened at 30 degrees it provides a 50 degree angle of attack. It has an adjustable mouth as well as adjustable blade and is beautifully made.

Categories: Hand Tools

Yandles Spring Show this Week.

Sun, 04/02/2017 - 1:35am

It's the Yandle's Spring Show next week on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th. Here I am cutting dovetails (and chatting) at last years show. This year will be my 20th appearance at Yandles.

There are always plenty of turning demonstrations.

And basket weaving.

Some very skilful chain saw carving.

More baskets!

A large and popular café, inside as well as outside when the sun is shining, which it always seems to do at this show.

Guitar making.

and there's even a tattoo parlour....
 ..........and a bus stop!

Categories: Hand Tools

Beautiful Boxes

Fri, 03/31/2017 - 10:02am

Ivan sent me these pictures of some lovely small boxes he made after being inspired by the work of the great box maker Phil Weber

Categories: Hand Tools