I need your advice


I have mentioned in previous posts that my preferred method of sharpening for chisels and plane irons is on my Eze-Lap diamond plates using a honing guide. I have also acknowledged that I ought really to try and ditch the guide and learn to do it freehand. Well, recently, I have experimented with some freehand sharpening with plane irons, with surprisingly good results. However, I have found that instead of a nice flat bevel, I end up with a rounded one; a convex camber if you will, that curves back from the cutting edge. I have learned from my maestro, Paul Sellers, that far from being a problem, this camber actually strengthens the cutting edge, supporting it and lengthening the time between sharpenings. I don’t know if this is true or not, but it certainly doesn’t seem to have a negative effect. Continue reading “I need your advice”

Yet another box


Last year, for dad’s day, my kids very kindly got me a set of Narex bench chisels. Now, I know that they are not high-end chisels, and many a woodworker would probably scoff at them because they aren’t Lie-Nielson or Ashley Isles and didn’t cost the equivalent of the GNP of Ecuador, but for my needs they are perfect. They fit my hands well, they are nicely balanced and they hold an edge well. Also, as a bonus, they came in a nice little box which protects them from surface rust. Continue reading “Yet another box”

Another Dovetail Box


When I built my Sawyer’s Bench recently, I got hold of some Miller Dowels. These are special stepped dowels with annular grooves to help displace excess glue. Because they are stepped, there is less friction when pushing them home, but once they are pushed in tight there is plenty of friction for a strong joint. Continue reading “Another Dovetail Box”

The Bowler Hatted Turner

The other day, a woodturner from the UK came over to Guernsey to give a woodturning demonstration at our local woodturning club, and Porkish Chop and I went along to take a look. It was four hours long which, for some people, might sound like a nightmare, but it was thoroughly enjoyable. The Bowler Hatted Turner is quite an engaging chap and, to a total noob like me, a real wizard with a lathe.

I haven’t got a lathe, apart from the unholy abomination I made for the turning saw build, but I have long wanted one. A few months ago I had toyed with the idea of buying one, but I decided that I couldn’t justify the expense – it’s not just the lathe you see, it’s the tools, and the means to sharpen them as well. I gave up on the idea until I struck up a conversation with one of the club members present at the demo. He advised buying secondhand, which left me at a loss as to why that hadn’t occurred to me already.

Our local radio station has a feature twice a week called ‘Ring and Buy’ where people phone in and give details of things that they either want to buy or to sell. This chap had phoned in and said he wanted a lathe and had barely put the phone down before he got three offers. He ended up with a lathe and sundry equipment for £50 – solid bloody bargain. Moreover, it seems that many’s the time when a chap or chapess ‘inherits’ a lathe, or else finds that they no longer want to use one, and the turning club is often contacted in these cases, for advice on how to offload it. The club secretary took my details with the promise of letting me know if she hears anything.

Anyway, I was urged to join the club – I got the ditinct impression that they need new members to join their dwindling ranks – and I’m seriously considering it. The fees are tiny, they only meet once a month, and it would be a good way to learn the ropes. I imagine that I’ll only be turning the odd handle or a small bowl or two, but I have zero experience so I need all the tips and advice I can get.

So, hopefully, in the not to distant future, I’ll be posting about my new lathe. Watch this space…

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