Goatboy’s Leatherworks

I’ve never been what you might call a frequent poster, but since I started this blog I don’t think I’ve gone this long without offering up content before. It’s been over six months since I last posted, so I guess it’s about time I remedied that. Continue reading “Goatboy’s Leatherworks”

A brace of mallets


I went to a car boot sale the other day, and I bought myself a lovely handbag. Goatgirl was a little disconcerted when she found out – she thought that perhaps I was trying to tell her something.

Continue reading “A brace of mallets”

A backup mallet


A few months ago, I posted about a mallet I had made from a chunk of apple wood donated to me by a friend. Well, since then the head has unfortunately developed a couple of rather large radial shakes. I am wondering if perhaps it wasn’t dried out enough before I shaped it, but there’s nothing to be done about it now. I had toyed with the idea of using some kind of epoxy to fill in the shakes but I’m not sure how useful this would be. The shakes don’t seem to be getting any bigger and the head seems to be holding together in spite of them. I’m not sure if I really need to do anything – perhaps it is just cosmetic. I’d welcome some advice if any of you have experienced this kind of thing. Continue reading “A backup mallet”

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 thatĀ 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”

Bits and pieces


This post is a bit of a hodgepodge, just an update of what has been going on recently. First of all: The Biltong Slicer. I delivered it to my friend and it is fair to say that he was tickled pink. He says that he doesn’t want to use it because it’s too beautiful. That might be an overstatement on his part… Continue reading “Bits and pieces”

Marking Gauges


I have made a couple of marking gauges recently, both out of walnut offcuts. The one on the left is a centre gauge, for marking the centre line down the length of narrow stock of varying widths. One simply twists the gauge until both pins are in contact with the side of the work piece, and then by dragging the tool down the length of the wood, the marking pin scribes a centre line. Continue reading “Marking Gauges”

Plane restoration #7 – Reassembly



Well, here we are. All the parts ready to reassemble. I’m reasonably happy with the way it turned out, but if anyone has any advice on how I could have done better, please let me know in the comments. I’ve got several other planes that could do with an overhaul, so any tips and tricks would be appreciated.

Continue reading “Plane restoration #7 – Reassembly”

Plane restoration #6 – Iron and cap iron



The iron and cap-iron cleaned up pretty well. There wasn’t a great deal of rust, just some patina, and that can stay as it does no harm.

Continue reading “Plane restoration #6 – Iron and cap iron”

Plane restoration #5 – Bits and pieces


20150329_205725The screws, washers and fittings of the planeĀ are also in need of a bit of TLC. The steel components had a fair amount of surface rust, as well as a build up of wood dust and grease, especially in the threaded areas. I put them in a bath of white spirit to loosen things up a bit, and I used a small wire brush to clear out the debris. Continue reading “Plane restoration #5 – Bits and pieces”

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