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Furniture & Cabinetmaking - Issue 264 - December 2017

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Issue 264 • December 2017 • £4.75
D E S I G N • I N S P I R AT I O N • P R O J E C T S • T E C H N I Q U E S • T E S T S • N E W S • E X C E L L E N C E
Under the influence
Cutting the cord
Size matters
A whisky cabinet inspired
by contemporary craftsmen
F&C meets Tom Fidgen in the
original Unplugged Woodshop
How to generate a cutting list
for the perfect piston fit drawer
F&C264 Cover FINAL.JR.indd 1
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Welcome to...
...that Friday feeling
There’s nothing quite like a finished project to elicit that Friday feeling
fficially this is our December issue
and about as close as we get to
putting out a Christmas edition of
the magazine. Yes, we’re still in October but
it never hurts to get in early. So ahead of the
countdown I’m going to give you a head start
to plan exactly what you’re going to treat
yourself to as reward for all that hard work
you’ve put in at the bench this year. We’ve
got a full round-up of the best books, DVDs
and tools starting on page 64.
In a few weeks’ time It’ll be the North of
England Woodworking & Power Tool Show
in Harrogate, that’s 10–12 November if it’s
not in your diary already. Now housed in a
brand-new building with excellent facilities
it’s not to be missed and marks the end of
the show season. It’s also a great opportunity
to grab a bargain before the manufacturers
and retailers hang up their brown coats and
F&C_264_3_LEADER.DJ.JR.indd 3
reflect on the year’s performance.
But back to this issue, we’ve got two
projects for you this month; the first is a
cabinet on a stand made by Israel Martin from
Spain. Israel runs a hand tools only workshop
and the amount of decorative work involved in
his design makes this build quite special. The
second project is equally as exciting.
When F&C announced the launch of the
Richard Seager Award in February (F&C
255) we committed to publishing an article
about the making of the winning piece as
part of the overall prize package. The award
seeks to promote and reward craftsmen from
a different discipline each year by offering
a genuine commission for a piece of work
and support in setting up their business. The
organisers chose a piece of furniture to be
the first commission and Carolin Reichert
was named the overall winner. You can read
about her winning music cabinet on page 36.
In our profile feature this month (page
30) Brian Greene visits Toronto’s newest
woodworking school, The Unplugged
Workshop, to talk to Tom Fidgen about
setting up the shop and his ‘build it and
they will come’ philosophy.
The topic for discussion in this months
tool collecting series is the Ultimatum brace.
Shockingly these beautiful items have
dropped in value in recent years compared
to similar items, suggesting that maybe now
would be a good time to buy.
Derek Jones
F&C264 3
09/10/2017 12:21
Contents Issue 264 December 2017
Don’t forget there are plenty
more articles and discussions
to be found on the Woodworkers
Institute & Forums
Woodworking is an inherently
dangerous pursuit. Readers should not
attempt the procedures described
herein without seeking training and
information on the safe use of tools and
machines, and all readers should
observe current safety legislation.
Your F&C
Design & Inspiration
In profile – Tom Fidgen and
The Unplugged Woodshop
Meet the contributors
Somerset Guild of
Craftsmen Furniture Prize
A round-up of what’s going
on in the world of furniture
Chris Tipple, member of the Guild, and
organiser of the 2017 Furniture Prize,
reflects on this year’s exhibition
Social media dashboard
Under the hammer –
Fine Clocks
The Ultimatum brace:
a feat of engineering
Xmas kit & tools
A first exhibition: An
insider’s guide to CCD
Out & about – Mercer
An airbrush with the past
Derek Jones welcomes you
to this month’s issue of F&C
Find out more about the authors
behind this issue’s articles
News & events
We bring you a selection of the
best from the online world
Get F&C delivered direct
to your door and save up to 30%
From books and DVDs to finishes
and fixtures, there’s something for everyone
in our Christmas edition of Kit & tools
Next month in F&C
Get a peek at what we’ll be
bringing you in issue 265
Brian Greene visits Tom Fidgen in Toronto
to explore the philosophy behind his new
woodworking school
We look at several lots from Bonhams’
auction of antique timepieces
In the latest in our tool collecting series, John
Adamson charts the rise and fall in popularity
of a quintessentially British masterpiece
David Waite describes his experience
of exhibiting his work for the first time
This month we visit a museum dedicated
to the history of everday life in America
Projects & Techniques
Putting the carcass before
the drawers
Derek Jones delves into the F&C
archives for this multi-lidded chest
Scott Horsburgh shares a technique for
creating piston fit drawers
Make that a double
Maple music cabinet
Tricks of the trade…
Domino depth stop
Israel Martin makes an Ernest
Gimson-inspired whisky cabinet that’s
full of surprises
Carolin Reichert describes the
creative use of Valchromat in her bespoke
music cabinet
Ramon Valdez creates a repeatable custom
solution for increasing the number of preset
depth stop settings on your Festool Domino
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Meet the contributors
John Adamson
John began his publishing career at
Cambridge University Press. He then served
as head of publications and retailing at the
National Portrait Gallery before setting up a
small publishing house in Cambridge under
his own name devoted primarily to highly
illustrated books in the decorative arts. He is
the publisher of David Russell’s book Antique
Woodworking Tools.
Brian Greene
Brian is an Ottawa-based writer and
designer/maker of contemporary furniture
and wood objects. He also works and
teaches at Lee Valley Tools. Over a 40-year
writing career he has been a journalist,
columnist, speech writer and public relations
consultant and writer. Brian is a member of
The Ottawa Woodworkers Association and
The Furniture Society.
Scott Horsburgh
Scott is a designer and
maker of fine furniture
based in Yallingup,
Western Australia. In
1994 he was working in
London as a chartered
accountant and had
a small workshop for his woodworking
hobby. A visit to an exhibition of fine furniture
inspired him to try to reach that standard.
The next year he studied on a long course
with David Charlesworth where he learnt the
techniques that he now applies to his own
fine furniture.
Instagram: @scott_horsburgh
Israel Martin
Israel graduated as a
forestry engineer in
Madrid in 2000, but
he decided to change
his career. At first he
was self-taught and
then he took some
classes about hand tools with a Spanish
artisan and with master craftsman Garrett
Hack to improve his furniture making skills.
He makes every piece of furniture using
hand tools exclusively and also makes tools
for his work or for other artisans. Together
with other Spanish craftsmen he has been
organising the Spanish woodworking event,
LIGNORUM, for the past three years.
Carolin Reichert
Carolin is a furniture
designer and maker
with a background
in the Arts, Graphic
Design and
She has a BA in
Photography from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy
in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and graduated
from a fine woodworking and furniture making
course from the Building Crafts College in
London in July 2017. In June 2017 she was
awarded the Livery Company Prize from the
Carpenters Company, presented by Princess
Anne. She recently set up her own practice in
London making pieces inspired by tradition yet
incorporating new techniques.
Chris Tipple
Having spent a
lifetime working as an
architect, Chris needed
a change and enrolled
on a furniture design
and manufacturing
course at Bridgwater
College. At the end of the course he entered
the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen’s Furniture
Prize exhibition and won! He then joined the
Guild in 2012, and a year later was asked to
organise the continuation of their Furniture
Prize Exhibition, and has continued to do
so since then.
Ramon Valdez
Ramon works fulltime as a production
manager in his
brother’s cabinet,
countertop and
fixtures shop in New
Mexico. As well
as making gallery quality furniture in his
spare time, he has taught marquetry
classes at his local college. Ramon is
the man to go to for the best time-saving
tips and ingenious short cuts.
Instagram: @ramonartful
David Waite
David has been
involved in scientific
research for over
20 years prior to
enrolling on a one-year
designer/maker course
at Waters and Acland.
Over the coming months he will be writing
a series of short articles for F&C capturing
his observations and experiences to try and
become a professional and setting up his
own fine furniture making business.
F&C reflects the interests and aspirations of our customers with some of our best articles coming from readers.
If you’d like to propose an idea for an article drop me a line at:
EDITOR Derek Jones
Tel: 01273 402843
DESIGNER Oliver Prentice
Tel: 01273 477374
Russell Higgins, Email:
GMC Repro Email:
Tel: 01273 402810
6 F&C264
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PUBLISHER Jonathan Grogan
Tel: 01273 402810
MARKETING Anne Guillot
Tel: 01273 488005, Fax: 01273 478606
Stephens and George Print Group
DISTRIBUTION Seymour Distribution Ltd
Tel: 020 7429 4000
Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine (ISSN 1365-4292)
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© Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd. 2017
Problems finding F&C? Call Jonathan Grogan, our
Publisher, on 01273 477374. Alternatively, save
up to 20% on the cover price by subscribing.
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Putting the carcass
before the drawers
Scott Horsburgh shares a technique for creating piston fit drawers
have many woodworking heroes and my
recent introduction to Instagram has led
me to discover many more. This desk was
inspired by the wonderful desks made by
New Zealand maker David Haig and English
maker Henry Smedley.
I had no commissioned work to undertake
so I had an opportunity to make something
special for my showroom. This desk and
chair were the result. I have received advice
from both David and Henry on various
methods used in the making of their desks.
Along the way I also asked questions
of other makers from around the world
and received some wonderful advice. I
thank you all for your time and the sharing
of knowledge, which really does make
woodworking a lifelong learning experience.
This article will mainly focus on the
carcass preparation required for fine fitting
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drawers and then some minor details of
making and fitting the drawers. I will focus
on the four small upper drawers as they are
fitted to the carcass sides. The large lower
drawer in the main desk body has been fitted
using the technique described by Simon
Jones in F&C 245. It was the first time that
I had tried that method and for large drawers
the result is excellent.
In 1994 while working in London, I went
to an exhibition of fine furniture where I was
mesmerised by a walnut (Juglans regia)
chest of drawers made by Alan Peters.
I had never seen such a beautiful piece
of furniture. The lines, crisp joinery and
immaculate finish were incredible. I stole
a quick feel of the drawers and stood back
in amazement. At that point I was a young
chartered accountant who was a hobbyist
woodworker. That day changed my life and
the following year I commenced a long
course with David Charlesworth at his
workshop in Hartland, Devon to see if
I could improve my woodworking.
David is a lovely man, a meticulous
craftsman, a great teacher and very patient.
I consider the time that I spent with him to
be very special. To be able to learn from
a highly skilled craftsman in their own
workshop is a gift. David is a pretty calm sort
of a bloke, but the only time I ever saw him
a little bit frazzled was when I told him that
the rear opening of my small carcass was
0.25mm wider than the front opening, instead
of the desired 0.2mm wider. I thought to
myself, ‘calm down David, it’s only a twentieth
of one millimetre’. That was before I knew
the impact that such small dimensions could
have on the fit and feel of fine drawers.
28/09/2017 14:56
Piston fit drawers
13 54
Top and upper side section joined by
through dovetails, with additional lap
dovetail into top of back leg each side
Upper section of desk divided using 7mm
thick walnut and stopped tenons. Drawers
not shown in this section for clarity
Frame and panel back sits in
rebates in the top and sides of
the carcass, and against the
bottom of the desk at the back
Carcass sides are joined to the legs front
and back using domino joints, five
at the front and eight into the back legs
Drawers made using 22mm walnut fronts and
8mm quarter sawn oak sides and back for the
large drawer, 5mm oak for the smaller drawers.
Drawer bottoms are fitted using drawer slips.
Drawer sides are lap dovetailed at the front and
through dovetailed at the back.
F&C_264_10_14_Scott Horsburgh.JR.SH.DJ.indd 11
Desk bottom and top are domino joined
together by four lateral pieces with the
grain oriented vertcally. The inner two
act as drawer guides and the outer two
enable long grain domino jointing to
the sides. Dominos not shown. The
lateral pieces are hidden at the front by
veneered panels either side of the drawer
F&C264 11
28/09/2017 14:56
Carcass preparation
The long horizontal shelf in the upper section
of the desk is joined to the sides with a 5mm
tenon in a groove. The shelf was a little too
thin for me to use a sliding dovetail but as the
sides of the desk are securely joined 100mm
above (through dovetails) and 110mm below
(Dominoes), a tenon is fine. All of the other
components within the upper section are
housed with 3mm tenons within grooves.
When preparing all of the shelf and drawer
carcass components for the upper section
of the desk, some time taken in accurate stock
preparation and accurate marking out can save
you a lot of time further along the way. I mark
out all of my drawer openings to be perfectly
square. I rout the grooves using a handheld
router running up against a secure fence.
I planed all of the surfaces flat and true
and then routed the tenons on the router
table. The interior sides of the drawer
carcasses were waxed and buffed.
The external sides were oiled. I routed
out for two drawer stops per drawer.
After all of the pieces were glued in
place I flushed the front edges of all of the
pieces with a block plane and then a light
sand with 320 and 400 grit sand paper.
I was now in a position where I could
check the four drawer openings for their
dimensional accuracy.
David Charlesworth explained to me that he
liked a snug drawer to tighten ever so slightly
when pulled out to ensure it wasn’t removed
too quickly and all of its contents spilled onto
the floor. David achieved this with slightly
tapering carcasses where the front sideways
opening was slightly narrower than the back
– this need only be 0.2mm difference. This
is very easy to achieve when you can take a
couple of fine shavings off the end grain of
carcass tops and bottoms before marking out
for joinery. However, in this case it was a little
more difficult. Rather than try for a slightly
tapered carcass, for these drawers I strived
for a perfectly parallel opening from front
to back.
The desk interior awaiting calibration
I used a piece of MDF that I taped at each
end to avoid scratches. This MDF was cut
to fit snuggly into the front drawer opening. I
wanted to be able to slide that piece from the
front to the back very snuggly – no racking
or binding or being sloppy from side to side.
When sliding the MDF back you can feel
everything. If it tightens too much, mark the
area so you can remove a fine shaving with
either a block plane or some fine sandpaper
on a block.
This process is crucial as it will ultimately
determine the fit of your drawers. For these
drawers, as mentioned above, I wanted the
carcass opening to be perfectly parallel.
If it opened slightly towards the back by
a fraction of a millimetre (about 0.1mm) I
was OK with that. Because the openings
are quite small I used some 320 grit
sandpaper on a block to remove any areas
that tightened too much. Once I was happy
with the carcass dimensions, it was time to
commence making the drawers.
Checking the drawer carcass dimensions with a block of MDF
Making and fitting the drawers
These drawers are in a fairly traditional style with single lap dovetails
at the front and through dovetails at the rear. When selecting wood
for the drawer sides, quartersawn wood is the best choice. I also
look for mild, straight grain so it is easy to plane the drawer to fit.
The sides, once squared off at each end and planed with a face
side and face edge (inwards face and downwards edge) were shot
to fit snugly into the vertical opening. To fit the drawer fronts, the
sides were slightly tapered back so that the front almost wedges
in very snuggly. The drawer backs are fitted from the drawer fronts.
I then marked out and cut all of the dovetail joinery. Before gluing
the drawers up, I finished all internal surfaces by taking a very fine
cleaning shaving and then a light sand with 400 grit sandpaper.
I masked off all of the joinery and also the area where the drawer
slip will be glued. I ensured that the groove was also routed in the
drawer front to accept the top portion of the drawer bottom and
the small tenon on the end of the drawer slip.
I also rounded the top of the drawer back and tapered the last
15mm of the upper back end of the drawer sides to allow for easy
entry into the carcass. Once all these jobs were complete and the
required areas were masked, I finished the interior surfaces with wax.
I was now ready to glue up the drawers. I apply glue using a small
paintbrush, mainly to the long grain areas but also a little on the
end grain for good luck. I tapped the joinery home and ensured the
drawer was square. I do not clamp drawers, I ensure they are tight
and square and then leave them to dry.
The next day, I planed the drawers to a preliminary fit without
the drawer bottoms. I do this mainly to flush joinery and remove
12 F&C264
F&C_264_10_14_Scott Horsburgh.JR.SH.DJ.indd 12
glue squeeze-out. This is left as a tight fit. Before I commenced
planing the drawers to their initial snug fit, I flushed the bottom
of the drawer and also planed the top of the drawer to allow for
the wet weather tolerance. If you leave these tight and start to
plane the sides first, it will tend to feel continually snug and give
you a false sense of the fit. You will continue to plane the sides
until you realise the firmness is due to the vertical fit and not the
horizontal (sideways) fit. I’ve done it and it is annoying when you
realise you have planed too much off the sides.
Fitting the drawer components into their respective openings
28/09/2017 14:56
Piston fit drawers
Shooting all four edges of the drawer components
Fitting the drawer fronts into their openings
The drawer components fitted and ready for joinery
The internal drawer sides taped and ready to be waxed
Groove routed in the drawer front for tenons on the base and slip
My method for securing drawers while planing for their initial fit
F&C_264_10_14_Scott Horsburgh.JR.SH.DJ.indd 13
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28/09/2017 14:56
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Ensuring the slip is square to the drawer side
The scratch stock clamped in the vice and ready for use
Detail of the drawer slip with scratch bead
I like drawer slips. They serve a very useful
purpose and can give drawers further fine
detailing. The drawer sides for this desk
are 5mm thick. Using a drawer slip greatly
increases the running width of the drawer.
These slips are 17mm wide and 11mm high.
Therefore the drawers are now running on
22mm sides instead of 5mm.
When fitting drawer slips, if you ensure
that the grain on its underside runs the
same way as the grain on the underside of
its drawer side, then planing them flush is a
breeze. These slips have a small tenon that
fits into the routed groove in the drawer front.
At this point I had previously glued on
the drawer slips and then fitted the drawer
bases. However, this time I tried something
different based on an Instagram feed
written by Brisbane maker Roy Schack. Roy
described how he cuts the drawer bottom
square and routs the tenon to fit the slips
and to fit the groove routed in the drawer
front. He then fits each slip to the drawer
bottom and places the drawer over the top
and centres it. A knife line can then be gently
cut into the slip running along the inside
base of each drawer side. You then shoot
the slip to the line and when glued in place,
the base will slide in for the perfect fit – I
like this method a lot. So that is exactly what
I did. I don’t know why that method didn’t
occur to me before as it is so logical and
easy. Sometimes if you’ve done a job the
same way many, many times, other ways of
achieving the same result do not enter your
conscious thinking. I will be using Roy’s
method from now on.
With Roy’s method you could also slightly
taper the drawer bottom so that the width
of the bottom at the drawer front is slightly
narrower than the width at the back. This
would always ensure that sliding it home
is easy. Square or tapered, the slips will
match the fit. The beauty of this method
is it also allows for a complete, easy dry
run. Once you have shot the slips to the
knife line, place them on either side of the
drawer base and the drawer should fit over
the top perfectly.
Before I glue the drawer slip to the
drawer side I will use my scratch stock
to place a small scratch bead into the slip.
My scratch stock is the one I made in
David Charlesworth’s workshop. I have
three cutting profiles that I use. The cutting
profile is cut into a small piece of old
bandsaw blade. It protrudes out about 1mm.
I clamped the scratch stock in my vice and
ran the slip through repeatedly until I got a
clean, uniform recess cut into the slip. Make
sure you are always holding the slip firmly
against the internal corner of the scratch
stock so you get a consistent, parallel cut.
Once the glue has dried I could flush the
underside of the slip to the underside of
the drawer side and also cut the length of
the slip flush with the back of the drawer
and plane it flush. I intentionally left the slip
0.5mm proud of the underside of the drawer
side so that I can flush it without altering the
height of the drawer.
Making drawer slips
Gluing the drawer slip to the drawer side
Planing the slip flush to the drawer side
When the drawer slips are flushed
I will fit and secure the drawer base.
I can then commence the final planing
to fit. This is a matter of planing, checking,
feeling and watching.
Take a shaving and then check the fit. Feel
the fit and look for any shiny spots where
the drawer side might be rubbing. This is an
enjoyable time, when you are planing to the
final fit! F&C
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Contribute to these pages by telling us about matters of interest to furniture makers.
Call Derek Jones on 01273 402 843 or email
Please accompany information with relevant, hi-res images wherever it is possible
launches National Furniture Design
Competition with a £1000 prize
museum devoted to one of the 20th century’s most
influential furniture designers, Sir Gordon Russell
(1892–1980), has launched a nationwide search
for the design talent of tomorrow. Open to students
aged 16 or over in full- or part-time education, the
museum is looking for innovative designs for a
machine-made chair, awarding
a £1000 prize to the winning entry.
The brief for the competition is to design
a chair suitable for batch or mass production.
The chair can be designed for use in any number
of settings, such as domestic or office, and can
be made from any material, such as wood, metal,
plastic or carbon fibre. The successful design will
need to demonstrate a clear understanding of
construction, materials and machine technology.
The competition’s emphasis on a chair suitable
for manufacture has been inspired by Gordon
Russell’s own desire to democratise design;
a belief that through a blend of hand and machine,
good design could be made accessible to all.
‘We hope to support and encourage students
nationwide through this competition,’ says Verity
Elson, Museum Manager and Curator. ‘The prize
is part of the museum’s ongoing commitment to
inspire the next generation of furniture designers
and is a wonderful opportunity for us to build
on Gordon Russell’s legacy as a champion of
design education, particularly as the museum
approaches its 10th anniversary in 2018.’
Sean Feeney, furniture designer and Museum
Trustee adds: ‘Education is the key to a successful
future for our industry. It is vital to ensure students
move into the world of work with the appropriate
skill set and experience. Rewarding creativity and
encouraging innovation in young design talent is
essential in creating new possibilities for world
beating products.’
The prize package includes:
• £1000 funded by the Gordon Russell
Design Museum
• The opportunity to engage with a manufacturer
in the production of a prototype
• The winning design to be exhibited at the
Young Furniture Makers Exhibition and at the
Gordon Russell Design Museum
• As appropriate, the winning design to be
submitted for the manufacturing or Design Guild
Marks awarded by the Furniture Makers Company
• The possible production of the chair
commercially with a royalty payment contract
• Registered design protection.
Students can get involved by submitting a design
in whatever format appropriate, including elevation
drawings using CAD or SketchUp, mockups,
prototypes or 3D printed models.
Entrants must be 16 or over and in full- or parttime education at the time of entry. Entries
must be received by 1 December 2017 and the
winner will be announced in January 2018.
All entries must be submitted to the
Gordon Russell Design Museum: Email:
Address: Design Prize, Gordon Russell
Design Museum, 15 Russell Square, Broadway,
Worcestershire, WR12 7AP.
Jennifer Newman launches
tessellating Triangle range
lerkenwell-based designer Jennifer Newman has launched a colourful new range
of tessellating furniture. The Triangle tables and stools can be used either inside
or outdoors and are designed to be used individually or arranged in various shapes. The
pieces are made from recycled aluminium and can be powder-coated in any RAL colour.
Contact: Jennifer Newman
16 F&C264
F&C_264_16_18_NEWS_&_EVENTS.JR.DJ.indd 16
06/10/2017 10:12
SterlingOSB supports graduates’ work
The range features cutters in five sizes
New range of slot mortise
tools from Trend
Plinths made from SterlingOSB showcased the
students’ work
Contact: Norbord
smartWare available
in rhodium
Andrew Crawford is expanding his
smartWare range of hinges and locks
to include rhodium-plated versions.
The products are currently available
in polished brass, stainless steel and
gold plated.
Contact: Andrew Crawford
itled ‘In the Making’, a recent
exhibition at the Furniture Makers Hall
showcased the fantastic work of the talented
graduates from Rycotewood Furniture
Centre. Thirty pieces of handcrafted
furniture were displayed and, amongst the
students’ beautiful work stood SterlingOSB
panels, which were used to build walls and
plinths. SterlingOSB was chosen because
of its raw, rugged appearance which
juxtaposed the students’ handcrafted pieces.
Joseph Bray, programme leader at the
Rycotewood Furniture Centre, explained
that the students have begun to use
SterlingOSB for their furniture designs, as
well as for exhibition plinths. ‘The students
are always looking for high quality materials
that can be substituted for timber or other
panel products. As a product, it is easy to
manipulate using our basic woodworking
machinery and really cost-effective.’
Tool news
Trend have launched a new range of five
professional spiral slotting cutters for use
in the Festool® Domino DF500. The five
sizes of 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm and 10mm
correspond to the standard Domino dowels
for high quality, like for like performance.
Micro-granular Tungsten Carbide Tips to
each cutter ensures a fast cutting action
offering durability and performance in
both solid timber and abrasive man made
materials. A double spiral up-cut profile
clears debris from the mortises quickly,
minimising heat build-up helping to prolong
the life of the tooling.
Contact: Trend
The new addition to the smartWare range
Fine furniture school
creates craftsmanship Guild
F&C_264_16_18_NEWS_&_EVENTS.JR.DJ.indd 17
ne of the UK’s leading furniture design schools has created
a Guild for students who have successfully graduated. The
Fine Furniture Guild has been set up by the Chippendale
International School of Furniture, near Edinburgh. The Guild is a
not-for-profit business, and Professor Richard Demarco OBE, one
of the UK’s leading arts commentators, has agreed to be its first
honorary chairman.
The purpose of the Guild is to create an online platform for
customers of fine furniture – putting them directly in contact
with a designer near to them. It also offers those customers the
guarantee that the furniture designer and woodworker is a qualified
craftsman or woman, who has successfully completed the exacting
Chippendale course.
‘This is a unique venture in the woodworking schools sector, and
represents a very real commitment by the school to former students
here and internationally,’ said Anselm Fraser, principal of the
Chippendale school. ‘We recognise that some students are better
than others in marketing their businesses and connecting with a
buying audience. The purpose of the Guild is to provide alumni
with an additional resource to engage with customers local to them.’
In recent years, the School has also introduced additional
commercial modules into the curriculum – including business
planning and marketing, website design and public relations, as well
as incubation space for alumni to set up in business in East Lothian,
The Fine Furniture Guild has been established to help Chippendale graduates
market their businesses
while still having access to the school’s specialist equipment and
teaching staff.
Contact: Chippendale International School of Furniture
F&C264 17
06/10/2017 10:12
Christmas Market at Weald
& Downland Living Museum
This bustling Christmas Market sees over
100 stands – selling arts, crafts, food,
unusual gifts and much more – ‘pop up’
in the museum’s collection of rescued
historic buildings and houses. As well
as craft and trade stands, there will be
festive music and tasty seasonal treats
to sample and buy. The admission fee
includes entry to the Museum.
When: 24–26 November 2017
Where: Weald & Downland Living
Museum, Singleton, Chichester,
West Sussex PO18 0EU
Information correct at time of publication, check websites before planning your visit
Makers Market
Beazley Designs of the Year
The 2017 Makers Market will include
some of the best individual makers,
designers and artists from Wales and
across the UK, selling beautifully crafted
and carefully selected ceramics, textiles,
clothing, wood and leather, as well as
small local food producers.
The annual Beazley Designs of the
Year exhibition returns to the Design
Museum, providing a snapshot of the
very best in innovative and contemporary
design from the past year. This year’s
furniture nominations include Christien
Meindertsma’s innovative Flax Chair,
IKEA’s wedge dowel that makes flat-pack
easier to assemble, and the Remolten chair,
made from volcanic lava.
When: until 30 December 2017
Where: Oriel Myrddin Gallery,
Church Lane, Carmarthen SA31 1LH
Christmas Past at the
Geffrye Museum
When: 30 November 2017
Where: Maxwell Road, Stevenage,
Hertfordshire SG1 2EW
When: until 7 January 2018
Where: 136 Kingsland Road, London E2
FIRA Open Day
Christmas Past at the Geffrye Museum represents 400
years of seasonal traditions, including this recreation of
a living room in 1935
The Furniture Industry Research
Association (FIRA) has added an extra
Open Day at the end of November. The
Open Days are planned to give delegates an
overview of FIRA’s work, including a tour
of the furniture testing facilities.
This annual exhibition features the Geffrye
Museum’s period rooms decorated in
authentic festive style, giving an evocative
glimpse into how Christmas has been
celebrated in English homes over the past
400 years. Related events will include
Christmas fairs, special late nights, carol
concerts, and Christmas decoration and
greenery workshops.
When: until 28 January 2018
Where: The Design Museum, 224–238
Kensington High Street, Kensington,
London W8 6AG
Linda Brothwell: The Tool Appreciation Society
he Tool Appreciation Society is
dedicated to makers and their tools –
the tools that serve their craft, their master,
their tradition and their community.
This major new exhibition from artist
Linda Brothwell for Hull Culture and
Leisure Library Services explores the
significance of craft skills and tools
illustrating their value to our social,
cultural and economic development.
Inspired by the heritage and workers
of Hull and the wider world, The Tool
Appreciation Society exhibition presents,
at its heart, exquisite tools made by
Brothwell as she pays tribute to skilled crafts
people – from Hull and South Korea to
Sheffield, Liverpool and Lisbon. Alongside
her tools are the historic tools and stories of
the crafts people of Hull. ‘I have spent my
artistic career under the influence of tools.
Tools connect us to our familial, regional
and national heritages, helping us to locate
ourselves, emotionally and physically. I
began by asking myself if I was the last
generation able to identify the uses of tools?
If tools are just relics of the past for future
generations? And, if we can’t use a tool how
can we create a world? So, I invite you to
view these tools – reading them through
the history and contemporary reality of
production, through the conversations
and skills exchanges I have had with crafts
people from Hull and around the world,’
explains Linda. BBC Four is releasing a
special one-hour documentary, produced in
collaboration with Brothwell, as a touching
tribute to these people; telling the story of
the making traditions that put Hull on the
map in Britain’s industrial heyday.
When: until 10 February 2018
Where: Hull Central Library,
Albion Street, Hull HU1 3TF
Plaster carver’s tools
18 F&C264
F&C_264_16_18_NEWS_&_EVENTS.JR.DJ.indd 18
Artist Linda Brothwell
06/10/2017 10:12
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speed router for light and
medium duty applications.
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019_FCM_264.indd 19
28/09/2017 12:21
Social media dashboard
Bringing you a round-up of the best from the online
world plus a selection of the latest projects from our readers
n this section of the magazine we bring together the best furniture and woodworking related content from
social media. Here we’ll recommend who to follow, where to comment and which online communities to join.
We’ll also feature readers’ letters, comments from the Woodworkers Institute forum and pictures of readers’
work. If you’d like to see your furniture on these pages, email
Pinterest: Design Guild Mark
Instagram: Lost Art Press
The Furniture Makers’ Company recently opened
a Pinterest account dedicated to the prestigious
Design Guild Mark. The pins include images of all
196 pieces of furniture that have received the Mark over the past
10 years, a rich and inspiring collection of design excellence.
Each image is accompanied by its Mark number and details of
the designer and manufacturer. The boards are arranged by the
year the Marks were awarded. Other board subjects include
Modern British Furniture, Mid-century Furniture, Fabric Designs,
Outdoor Furniture, Iconic Designs and Designer Chairs.
Lost Art Press is a US-based publishing company
dedicated to bringing traditional hand tool skills
to modern woodworkers. Their Instagram feed is
a treasure trove of vintage illustrations, antique
furniture and beautiful tools. There are also sneak previews
of the Press’ upcoming titles.
Address: lostartpress
20 F&C264
F&C_264_20_21_SOCIAL_MEDIA.JR.DJ.indd 20
28/09/2017 14:59
Twitter: Gordon Russell
Design Museum
Projects we love
Here we highlight the latest furniture and woodworking projects
from around the world that we think deserve to be shared with
our readers. If you’re a member of a collective or a student
group and would like to see your work here, then submit a story to:
We featured this lovely museum in F&C 260 and we
think their Twitter account is worth following to keep
up to date with the latest talks, events and arrivals in
the shop, as well as seeing wonderful examples of
Gordon Russell’s work from the museum’s collection.
Address: @GRussellMuseum
Latestt projects
j t ffrom members
off Northern
N th
Contemporary Furniture Makers
Andrew Lawton has been busy this summer: as well as exhibiting at
Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design he has also completed a low
table with drawer (above). Produced from quartersawn European oak
with walnut detailing, the table is quite small (only 600mm long) and was
designed for a specific space in the client’s house. The unusual leg joint
combines dovetails with a mortise and tenon.
He has also produced a large coffee table of ripple American cherry
and toughened glass. According to the client, who lives in Manchester,
the only ‘problem’ is that they now feel they need some more of his work
to go with it.
Fellow NCFM member Steven Hampson had an unusual commission
recently. He was asked to make a contemporary desk/bureau as part of
an art installation visiting 25 locations in northwest England starting at the
end of August. ‘The Travelling Letter Exchange’ (below) is a touring letterwriting bureau. Visitors are invited to sit down, write a letter and create a
new archive of letters
that shows what it
is like to live in the
northwest in 2017.
Designed to mark
the 200th anniversary
of Jane Austen’s
death, the bureau
celebrates the art of
letter writing.
Everyone who writes
a letter will receive a
letter in return from
another participant.
The brief was to
make the desk out
of modern birch
plywood and that it
needed to come apart
for transportation.
For more
visit: www., &
GMC Publications does not endorse and is not responsible for third party content
F&C_264_20_21_SOCIAL_MEDIA.JR.DJ.indd 21
F&C264 21
28/09/2017 14:59
Make that a double
Using only hand tools Israel Martin makes an Ernest Gimson
inspired whisky cabinet that’s full of surprises
he basic idea for this project was to create a small whisky
cabinet that fused the styles of some the craftsmen
I admire, but trying to focus on one of them, Ernest
Gimson. The system for the carcass was influenced by the
work of Garrett Hack and is a fundamental aspect of the
design; as much for its simplicity and ease in creating the
joinery as incorporating many of the stylistic details. The use of
quartersawn timber throughout permitted the use of delicately
dimensioned components to achieve an extremely light piece
of furniture without compromising strength and stability. When
designing furniture to be made with only hand tools, I always
look for economy in both materials and the necessary
manual labour to work them. I find there is a natural relationship
between these two elements that results in a harmonious and
well proportioned piece.
28/09/2017 15:01
Walnut and Indian rosewood whisky cabinet
F&C261 23
28/09/2017 15:01
Adjusting top length with the mitre plane
The wood stock for the carcass
Dimensioning the wood
The challenge began with selecting the wood: quartersawn black
walnut (Juglans nigra) boards for the carcass, quartersawn Indian
rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia) for the door panels and tiger maple
(Acer pseudoplatanus) for the back and the drawer sides. In Spain
it is not easy to find quartersawn black walnut boards, so I spent a
lot of time looking for them in the lumber yard. When I found what I
needed, I then dimensioned the stock with my hand planes, using the
kerfing plane and the frame saw to rip them prior to planing again.
I bought the Indian rosewood and the tiger maple boards from
a wood store in Madrid. They were just 18mm and 20mm thick
respectively and required some very precise re-sawing with a kerfing
plane and then a frame saw.
When dimensioning by hand, if the boards are not too warped,
I start with a jack plane fitted with a slightly cambered iron. As I
progress to the smoothing plane the camber lessens; feathering out
by a few strokes on the sharpening stone at the corners.
Fine adjustment of the rebate with the shoulder plane
Carcass construction
I use the same carcass construction for most of the cabinets that
I make. This allows me to use thinner boards in the construction
that will look thicker when finished. They also allow me to make
through sliding dovetails or dadoes easily because they will be
covered by front rails. For the main joinery, I use sliding dovetails
to join the carcass sides with the top and bottom.
Cutting sliding dovetails by hand is a challenge at first but after a
few, they become one of the most valuable joinery techniques you can
master. I start by cutting the dados with a carcass saw and then remove
the waist with a chisel followed by a router plane for a consistent
depth. I trim to the knife line to create the walls using a wide chisel.
The corresponding components are made using a dovetail plane.
The next part of the joinery was to make a rebate on the fronts and
the back of the side boards, using the skew rabbet plane and then
adjusting them with a shoulder plane to get the rebates at exactly
90º. The front rebates will be covered with a side rail and will cover
the joinery. Depending on how you decided to attach the rails, you
can leave a small rebate on the sides in the union between the side
and the rail to add the edge inlays. If I just want to make a chamfered
24 F&C261
Dry fit, front carcass detail with front rails added
corner or a beading, I do not leave any rebate.
In order to keep things simple, I decided to add a drawer inside the
cabinet instead of outside. The top of the drawer will be the place
for the bottles and glasses. I used a thinner walnut board joined to
the cabinet sides with stopped dadoes for this. The shelf is set back
10mm from the front to allow space for the knobs on the drawer
when closing the doors.
The back is made of a frame and panel structure, and in order
to add light to the cabinet interior, I used tiger maple for the panels.
The back was attached to the carcass in a continuous rebate
with brass screws; a feature that adds strength to the cabinet.
28/09/2017 15:01
Walnut and Indian rosewood whisky cabinet
Making the stand
Being a tall piece and with most of the
weight at the top I worked on improving the
stability of the structure by off-setting the
legs from the perimeter of the carcass. This
creates a pleasing break at the waist and
adds visual weight to the base. Splaying the
legs outwards towards the bottom further
increases this effect and improves stability.
After making a template for the legs I set
about selecting a board of walnut with grain
suitable for the pattern. The pieces were 45
x 40mm and were to be off-set 5mm at the
front and 15mm at the sides.
First I removed most of the wood with the
saw and then I worked the shape of the legs
with spokeshaves and planes. I again used
quartersawn walnut for the aprons, using a
bookmatched piece to which I added a tiger
maple strip of about 2mm glued into a rebate
around the bottom. This was finished with a
small beading applied with a scratch stock.
The joinery between the legs and aprons
are mortises and tenons that meet in the
centre at 45º. Two draw bore pins made of
rosewood were used to reinforce the joints.
The cabinet is attached to the stand with
brass screws. The back apron is thicker and
wider than the other three in order to make
some slotted holes for the brass screws
to allow wood movement. Before gluing
everything together I applied a few coats of
shellac. Further coats were applied when the
piece was finished.
Side view
Grain pattern for the legs
Adding a sliding tray to a drawer
For convenience a whisky cabinet should have a place to pour the whisky into the glasses
so I made the drawer double up as a work surface by adding a sliding tray. The only
challenge was to adjust the tray to the grooves on the drawer sides with almost no gap and
to make the groove so that when the sliding tray is in its place it is just about 1 or 1.5mm
down from the top of the drawer sides. This can also be used in other furniture to add more
interest and increase the use of the piece.
The sliding tray open. Notice the groove place
The sliding tray closed. Notice the distance between the tray and the drawer side top
F&C261 25
28/09/2017 15:01
Details: edge inlays and drawer marquetry pattern
Edge inlays are very common in Gimson
furniture as well as in Garrett Hack’s work.
They add interest to this piece and make the
side rails’ joint invisible so the cabinet sides
look like just one piece.
I made holly (Ilex spp.) and ebony (Diospyros
spp.) strips with two sides at a perfect 90º. A
nice tip for holding the pieces is to use doublesided tape on the bench with the strip on it. I
then cut them to the desired length and glue
them to the side rebate, holding them with
tape. After the glue is dry, just plane them flat
with a block plane and then with the smoother
to finish the panel. Because the sides are
slightly inset from the bottom board I had to do
this before gluing the carcass together.
Detail view of edge inlays and drawer pattern
The drawer marquetry pattern appears
as you open the cabinet and that is what
I was looking for, simplicity outside that
reveals something interesting inside. I made
a jig to cut the 2mm-thick strips of walnut
and maple to make diamonds and adjusted
them with another jig added to my shooting
board. When I had the desired number
I put them on tape (over the visible side
of the pieces) to hold them together before
gluing them on to a 0.6mm thick piece of
ash veneer to hold them together. I added
a band of walnut around the perimeter and
a break in the middle to create the illusion
of two drawers, enhancing the effect with
a thin strip of ebony.
Using the router plane
In order to get a nice dado or a sliding
dovetail female with the router plane,
I always make the dado slightly bigger
than the router plane blade dimension
and remove the excess to the knife line
with a wide chisel. I also use tape on
the board so I do not scratch the
board surface with every pass of
the router plane.
Detail of the sliding dovetail joint
Sawing to get the first two sides of the diamonds
Adjusting the sides before the next cut
Making the diamond pattern
Diamond pattern in the drawer front
26 F&C261
06/10/2017 10:11
Walnut and Indian rosewood whisky cabinet
Frame and panel doors and back
Understanding seasonal wood movement is one of the most important things when working
with solid wood. Frame and panel construction is one of the simplest solutions to manage
that movement. In this case I used quartersawn walnut for the door and back frames. As I
wanted to add quartersawn rosewood panels for the doors, I added a thin strip of chestnut
to make a colour transition between the walnut and the rosewood. For the back, the
solution to wood movement was to add a middle stile between the two maple panels.
Adding chestnut strips to the door
Detail of the door inside and outside
FRONT ELEVATION door and marquetry
omitted for clarity
F&C261 27
28/09/2017 15:02
Carcass sides joined to
carcass top and bottom
using sliding dovetails
Frame and panel back sits in
rebates in sides, top and bottom
Dovetail joint ends masked
using rebate and planted
strips at front of carcass
Drawer sides dovetailed at front
and sliding dovetailed to back
with divider tenoned front and
back. Sliding cover sits in dado
Frame and panel doors
Drawer side pieces. Horizontal
piece acts as drawer guide, glued
at front only and nailed at back
to allow timber movement
Rails joined to legs with mitred
tenons to give maximum tenon
length and glue area. Joint
further strengthened by draw
bored dowels which are offset
slightly to pull joints tighter
28 F&C261
Planted feature strips on
bottoms of side and front rails
with roundover on front edge
Legs tapered and curved towards feet
28/09/2017 15:02
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029_FCM_264.indd 29
28/09/2017 12:22
Tom and a student
In profile – Tom Fidgen and
The Unplugged Woodshop
Brian Greene visits Tom Fidgen in Toronto to explore
the philosophy behind his new woodworking school
he vibe on a Tuesday is much like
one might expect in any trendy urban
café: young people, quiet music, lush
plants, open space and the sweet sound of
planes making shavings combine to create
a very pleasant atmosphere. Instead of
hunching over their laptops, best-sellers
and lattes, these folks are focused on their
tools, learning traditional skills in Canada’s
first hand-tools-only woodworking school.
Think of it as akin to open mic night at the
local pub. If you follow Tom Fidgen on social
media (he was an early devotee), you’ll know
that his Tuesday and Thursday open classes
are generally full. The atmosphere is an
interesting contrast to where most of Tom’s
students spend their days and the reason
most of these folks are here.
Making shavings makes sweet music
30 F&C264
F&C_264_30_34_PROFILE_TOM_FIDGEN.JR.DJ.BG.indd 30
28/09/2017 15:03
Profile – The Unplugged Woodshop
Tom Fidgen walks the talk, unplugged
The Arran desk in white oak
For someone who has never taken a guitar
lesson or attended a woodworking class,
Tom Fidgen has been amazingly successful
in both worlds. There is an authenticity and
quiet confidence about him that is real and
very compelling. I call it the ‘fairy dust’ that is
making Unplugged Woodshop a significant
brand, one that will be worth watching in the
years ahead.
The brand
The Unplugged Woodshop (UW) opened
in January 2016. It’s located in one of the
original industrial buildings in an increasingly
gentrified part of Toronto, Ontario, the fourth
largest city in North America and a leading
international centre of business, finance, arts
and culture.
UW occupies a 2100-square foot,
southwest-facing second floor industrial
space with studio-inspired, white-washed
walls and an abundance of natural light
throughout the day.
The woodshop is well equipped with
traditional-style workbenches, Moxon vices,
dedicated sawyer’s benches and elevated
work stations set up for specific tasks
such as sharpening and metal work. These
facilities not only make the school a very
hand-tool-friendly work environment but very
efficient as well. The set-ups here come
from Tom’s experience of making boats and
furniture for a living. In typical multi-user
shops and schools, the machines would
be central and occupy the most space.
Workbenches would typically be pushed
against the walls. At UW, the benches hold
centre court. The result is more convenience,
improved efficiency, a cleaner workspace
and lots of camaraderie.
The UW is dedicated to providing
students with a safe and inspired, very
positive educational experience through the
proper use of hand tools and the fine art of
working wood. The mantra, enshrined on
the wall is, ‘Make every day, a masterpiece!’
UW’s method and approach is rooted in the
traditional historic methods described by
André Jacob Roubo in the 1700s; further
inspired and motivated by the ‘impractical’
teachings of James Krenov. Traditional tools
and techniques meet modern sensibilities
and design aesthetics.
It’s an extension of Tom’s philosophy
that’s clearly hitting the mark. Students
are not only coming from across Canada
but from Europe and the USA as well.
Who is Tom Fidgen?
To understand The Unplugged Woodshop
it’s important to understand Tom Fidgen.
If you have any interest at all in hand tool
woodworking it’s very likely you’ve heard
his name, visited his blog or read one of his
two best-selling books. You might also be
aware, especially if you’re Canadian, that
Tom is a significant folk musician with several
albums. He’s also a boat builder, a designermaker of furniture and a tool maker. Now
F&C_264_30_34_PROFILE_TOM_FIDGEN.JR.DJ.BG.indd 31
Student at saw bench
he’s the director and lead instructor at The
Unplugged Woodshop, Toronto.
Tom is originally from Cape Breton Island,
in Nova Scotia, Canada. His father was a
firefighter who did carpentry on the side, so
his connections with wood started pretty
early and gave him a good grounding in the
basics. After high school, he pursued his
musical interests but also got into set design
and eventually wooden boat building. (Tom
explains that most everyone who’s a musician
has a side gig.) The music was good and
eventually led to record deals and Canadian
tours, often with some of the big names of
the day. By 1997 the members of the band
had gone their separate ways and Tom was
pursuing a successful solo career. He was
splitting his time between Toronto where he
continued to write and record music and a
house he still owns in Cape Breton where he
was building traditional wooden boats in a
one-man boat shop. Boat building developed
into custom furniture making as folks would
come by the shop and ask, ‘do you suppose
you could build …?’
Tom won the Peoples Choice Award
two consecutive years at the Mahone Bay
Wooden Boat Show.
F&C264 31
28/09/2017 15:03
How UW came about
By 2006 Tom had released three solo albums
and, with wife Carolyn and two kids, was back
in Toronto more-or-less full time. Power tools
stayed in Cape Breton where, little used, they
remain today. By 2007 he was blogging about
boat building and woodworking in general. He
was teaching hand tool woodworking one-onone in his basement, the original Unplugged
Tom’s social media followers had grown
to about 2500 a month when Popular
Woodworking magazine came calling.
They asked him to do a book about hand
tool woodworking which became Made
by Hand: Furniture Projects from the
Unplugged Woodshop. Published in 2009
and described as ‘The definitive book of how
to build woodworking projects using hand
tools’, it went on to become the best-selling
woodworking book of 2010.
By 2011 Tom’s star was ascending.
Invitations to teach have taken him all over
Canada and the USA as well as the UK,
Germany and Australia. Fine-Woodworking
Magazine, Popular Woodworking Magazine,
Canadian Woodworking Magazine, Furniture
& Cabinetmaking Magazine, British
Woodworking Magazine, as well as the
Lee Valley Tools Newsletter have all
published his articles.
Everywhere he went people assumed he
had a school but he was still teaching in
his basement shop in Toronto. Tom looked
and was surprised that he couldn’t find a
woodworking school of any kind in Toronto, let
alone one dedicated exclusively to hand tools.
In 2010, he released his fourth solo album.
By 2011, Tom’s woodworking profile was
even higher and he felt he had a lot more to
say. He signed with Taunton Press for his
second book, The Unplugged Woodshop:
Handcrafted Projects for the Home and
Workshop. This much-anticipated follow-up
has received critical acclaim since its debut
in September 2013.
Meanwhile Tom was still being asked
about a school dedicated to hand tool
woodworking in Toronto. He loves to teach
and the need was apparent. He could not
avoid the haunting of the siren song as
he more and more wondered to himself
if he should and could make it happen.
‘I’m teaching in these other schools
internationally, looking around at what
they do, all the time wondering how I
could do this,’ he says.
He did his research and figured out what
he needed to do and how much it would
cost. Could it be successful? Was he the
right person? High social media profile, two
books and international teaching experience
combined with seeing the need himself and
getting enquiries from prospective students
all increasingly reinforced the notion that it
could be successful and that the timing was
right. He kicked his ideas around with some
friends and, to his surprise, they immediately
offered to invest in his new venture.
The impetus for the school was a
simple business proposition. An observed
confluence of circumstances with the people
and means coming together at the right
time. Most importantly perhaps, Tom had the
courage and imagination to make it happen.
Long a devotee of James Krenov, and the
proud owner of one of his famous planes,
Tom wondered if he could do ‘Krenov by
hand’. While very adept with hand tools,
Krenov was mainly a machine tool craftsman.
‘I fell in love with [Krenov’s] ideas about
pacing and philosophy, what we now call
work-life balance. I figured the way to do that
was through techniques that were 250 years
old,’ he says. Enter André Roubo.
The UW Tool Emporium
32 F&C264
F&C_264_30_34_PROFILE_TOM_FIDGEN.JR.DJ.BG.indd 32
06/10/2017 10:14
Profile – The Unplugged Woodshop
The UW programme is semester based.
Each semester is an intensive, 10-week,
five days a week full-time commitment. Each
day of the Artisan and Maker Programmes
is planned out in detail. The entry points
are planned so that a student can start
at the beginning and complete the entire
programme over a nine-month period.
Semester 1
In the Artisan Programme, the focus is on
discovering the tools, materials, methods and
techniques of hand tool woodworking. The
process is deliberative and methodical as
the students learn fundamental skills while
working through set pieces. Students learn to
sharpen their tools and dimension lumber by
hand. They then move on to make important
workshop appliances and tools while also
discovering the intricacies of joinery as they
cooper a door and make a carcass with
dovetails, rabbets and dados. They learn
ancient techniques of parquetry as well as
proper procedures for gluing up and finishing.
Semester 2
In the Maker Programme students focus on
building the Where the Good Books Go
bookshelf from Tom’s book, Made by Hand.
Students work with locally harvested lumber
to compose the parts for their cabinets. They
create full-scale drawings, a cut list, and
then rough dimension the parts. This project
demands close attention to detail and perfectly
dimensioned pieces for the through mortise
and tenon joinery used in the carcass. A drawer
box section is added to round out the skill set.
The project also employs hammer veneering,
shop-made banding and stringing, and a variety
of other traditional furniture making techniques.
Students get an opportunity to mix media
by incorporating leather, paper and new
hardware choices. This is an intermediate
level project designed to push the
boundaries of student hand tool skills while
getting the satisfaction of creating a beautiful
cabinet for the home.
Semester 3
By the time they reach the Designer
Programme, UW students are at the point
when it’s time to explore their creativity
by building a cabinet of their own design.
Developing an individual form and style,
students learn about options, choices and
making decisions, while experiencing the
challenges, failures and rewards that are
part of creating unique work. UW staff offer
guidance and assistance, but students are
very much on their own through this process.
Everyone busy at their own pace during a daytime class
F&C_264_30_34_PROFILE_TOM_FIDGEN.JR.DJ.BG.indd 33
F&C264 33
28/09/2017 15:03
UW is evolving
The need for UW as a school may have been
obvious. As a maker space, however, it was
less so but quickly evolved from the needs
expressed by downtown students requiring
space to work. Meeting this need enables
the school space to generate additional
revenue during otherwise idle evening and
weekend hours. UW also offers a modest
hand-tool emporium with a small, carefully
chosen selection of tools from some of the
finest makers in Canada, the USA, the UK,
France, New Zealand and Australia.
Tom directs the school and teaches
woodworking and hand tool classes
while continuing to teach nationally and
internationally. His partner in the school,
Justin Starr, handles most of the marketing
and social media as well as a lot of the
business stuff. Tom’s wife Carolyn, a teacher
by profession, has helped with curriculum
development and handles the books.
The school started with eight benches
and expanded to 10. They are easy-tomake Nicholson variations made of pine
and generic construction lumber. Each
is equipped with a leg vice, a tail vice
and a kit of tools. Separate areas are
set up for sharpening, metal work and
breaking down lumber.
Fidgen says the shop could be bigger
but he’s unsure how that would work from
a teaching perspective. Expanding the
maker space component takes care of that
element of the demand he is feeling without
increasing the teaching load. He would also
like to add more business elements to the
curriculum in future.
Playing music and woodworking are both
important creative outlets for Tom Fidgen.
His goal was to create a space that feels
good, that’s relaxing, that’s creative. It’s
certainly that. He’s not trying to replicate
Krenov. Tom has found his own, unique way.
Tom shaping a new kerfing saw
The need the
school is filling
While the need may have been obvious,
figuring out what was motivating those folks,
who they are and what they are after, came
a bit later it seems. People are looking for
something to keep them grounded after a
work week that produces little that is tangible.
Tom has nothing against power tools. He
still has a shop full although they are little
used. It’s more about lifestyle and slowing
down to smell the coffee than it is about the
tools. Learning how to live in the moment.
A way of thinking
Fifteen years ago, Tom said he wanted to
organise his life so that he was doing exactly
what he wanted to do. ‘The Unplugged
Woodshop is the sum of all that has come
before. It’s a way of thinking as well as of
doing,’ he says, ‘a way of slowing down and
enjoying every friggin’ minute because that’s
the one you’re in.’
He’s doing it. He’s actually walking the
talk. You can check out Tom’s programme at: F&C
34 F&C264
F&C_264_30_34_PROFILE_TOM_FIDGEN.JR.DJ.BG.indd 34
Words to live by
28/09/2017 15:03
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10/6/17 11:43 AM
Maple music
Carolin Reichert describes the creative use
of Valchromat in her bespoke music cabinet
entered the competition for the Richard
Seager Annual Award just before my
graduation from the Building Crafts College.
In doing so I wanted to challenge myself to
design and build a piece to a real brief and
to get the experience of working on my first
commission outside the college environment.
My design was selected and I was able
to realise my idea for the Richard Seager
music cabinet in the months to come.
I was able to explore new techniques
and processes and greatly benefitted
from gaining extra experience so early
in my designing and making career.
The brief was to design a music cabinet
that could house a vast collection of rare
music scores. Learning about the award and
the future owner of the cabinet, I set out to
design a personal piece that would provide
safe storage while embodying history in its
own right. The main feature of the cabinet
would be the exterior, showcasing and
celebrating Richard Seager’s love for music
as a collector, performer and composer. The
cabinet, in its shape akin to a credenza, has
been constructed from a range of materials:
solid American maple (Acer macrophyllum),
maple veneer, plywood and red Valchromat.
It houses a vertical storage system on its left
half. On the right-hand side there is another
36 F&C261
small section of the same vertical system
with five drawers. The choice of maple was
very much in line with the idea of creating a
meaningful and personal piece, as the future
owner is a passionate cellist and maple is the
material used to make these instruments. The
carcass is made from solid American maple,
the shelves and load-bearing partitions are
maple-lipped plywood, the drawers again
from maple with plywood bottoms and the
vertical storage system was created from
red Valchromat. The Valchromat became
a prominent material to realise the exterior
pattern and literal red thread throughout the
cabinet design.
28/09/2017 15:04
Maple music cabinet
Outer carcass from domino jointed
solid maple. Dividers and shelves
from maple lipped plywood
Valchromat cut out for hinges (not shown)
Drawers from maple fronts
and plywood bottoms with
steel drawer runners
Cabinet lined using Valchromat
mitred and glued at joints and
grooved top and bottom to take
vertical plywood dividers
Plinth braced at intervals, mitred at corners
and all joints reinforced using biscuits.
Plinth has feet added to allow levelling.
F&C261 37
09/10/2017 12:24
Maple-veneered Valchromat as a design tool
Musical score by Cornelius Cardew
I set out to design a very personal piece as I felt it suited the award
and commission. The starting point for the design of the cabinet
was a music piece that Richard Seager composed for his wife.
Both being passionate musicians, I wanted to find a way to
incorporate his piece in the design and in that way celebrate their
life together. The exterior pattern that runs over the full front of the
cabinet is inspired by the work of the English composer, Cornelius
Cardew. In the 1960s Cardew created music scores very different
to conventional music notations using lines, symbols and various
geometric or abstract shapes and it was down to the musician to
interpret the piece when playing it. Through the Cornelius Cardew
Trust I was able to work with composer and artist, Talia Morey, who
translated Mr Seager’s piece into a beautiful graphical score.
I considered different options for using this drawing on the piece,
in the end I decided to use Valchromat as the material to work
with. Valchromat, an engineered wood fibre board, offers a range
of advantages to regular MDF. It has greater internal cohesion and
mechanical strength, greater resistance to bending, allows a very
good sanding finish and takes beautifully to regularly available oil
finishes such as Osmo. Apart from its workability and machining
qualities, the available range of colours was a great option for me
to introduce an extra vivid colour in my design without having to use
more time-consuming and expensive alternatives.
I cut the door Valchromat panels to size and biscuit jointed a solid
maple lipping onto all four edges of each panel. I then used 0.7mm
pre-cut straight grain maple veneer to cover the red panels including
the lipping on both faces of the boards. Once successfully veneered,
the panels were further machined on a CNC, making use of a CAD
Detail of the musical score pattern on the cabinet
CNC machining
drawing of Talia Morey’s original hand drawing. With the CNC
machining the main concern was the break-out. The CNC workshop
advised me to use a V-cutter in order to minimise break-out and
test cuts were run where all of the surface was covered with lowtack masking tape, which the cutter would cut through. In the end
covering the panels with tape wasn’t necessary because the cutter
is new. Furthermore, the maple seems to lend itself much better for
this process in comparison to oak veneer.
Using the veneered surface with a contrasting material and colour
underneath added an additional element to the design, the tactility
and depth works well when exploring the piece.
Creating a flexible storage system
As in every piece of furniture, form and function need to come together and
the key part of the brief was the aspect of storage for a vast collection of
music scores, some of them rather valuable. The piece needed to be able to
house nearly 2.5m linear metres, with the option for the collection to grow.
I designed a vertical slotting system that would give a maximum storage
option and, equally important, the complete flexibility to change the width
of the compartments in time, as the collection is likely to expand and
different musical genres would have to be kept separate.
Using Valchromat for the detailed highlights on the outside, I wanted to
continue the red thread inside the cabinet within my design. I decided
to create the slotting boxes from the same material. Getting the grooves
to perfectly line up when assembled was the main challenge. I decided to
rout them as pairs to ensure perfect alignment, using a jig that had a
fixed fence to run the handheld router along and stops either end to lock
the panels in place and replaced the need for clamping it to the bench.
The distance between each groove was the same, which simplified the
process of setting up.
I chose 12mm ply sections for the actual partitions. These would not
be load bearing, but do need to be stable in terms of wood movement
to ensure one can take them out easily. A circular finger pull towards
the front edge with rounded edges accommodates the comfortable
Routing the grooves
removal and placement of each partition.
38 F&C261
06/10/2017 10:17
Maple music cabinet
The red Valchromat continues on the inside
The vertical slotting system allows the storage to be flexible
Fixing problems
Deciding on the right fixings for the cabinet
was a real challenge. Following the nature
of the design, I initially intended to use knife
hinges and wooden runners, to ensure they
would have the least visual impact possible.
However, due to the weight of the doors and
the amount of weight the drawers would have
to carry, I had to revise this plan and look into
fixings that usually would be used for less
bespoke furniture pieces. In the end I chose
hinges generally used for fitted wardrobes
and kitchens by the brand Grass (Tiomos 95
degree full overlay) and concealed drawer
runners by Blum. Introducing these different
hinges meant I had to redesign most of
the interior structure. Still new to all these
aspects of making, it was a good experience
for me – I know now that one has to consider
the fixings much earlier in the design stage.
Using the Grass hinges came with two
main issues. On the centre section where
two doors would have their pivot point,
I had to have two partitions to allow one
door on either side to be attached to, which
in the end could be used for added strength
to the carcass and as support for the load
to be carried.
The implications for the runners on the
right side of the cabinet meant that I had to
double up the side panels in order for the
The choice of hinges meant a redesign
hinges not to get in the way and allow the
drawers to open.
Looking beyond the rather industrial
look of the hinges and runners, which are
an unlikely choice for a bespoke piece of
furniture, they come at the same time with
advantages that were very helpful for this
design. Both hinges and runners have a
lot of options for adjustment. Especially
in the case of the hinges the possibility
to do fine height adjustments allowed me
to succeed with the main objective for
the door pattern, which was being able
to achieve a seamless image running over
the full front of the cabinet.
The hinges and runners have an industrial look but have advantages too
F&C261 39
28/09/2017 15:05
Continuing a visual language throughout the piece
Designing such a personal and bespoke piece was very rewarding
and it gave me a lot of freedom to incorporate details that make
the piece even more interesting and add a playfulness to it.
I decided to continue the theme of abstract geometric shapes
that are the main feature on the front of the cabinet in other
aspects of the piece. In the end I chose to repeat the circle
shape within different aspects of the cabinet. I designed
cylindrical door handles, made from solid maple that faded into
the general exterior and wouldn’t disturb the overall design and
at the same time add to the theme of music and music notations.
For the finger pulls of the ply partitions I used 22mm diameter
circular cutouts with rounded over edges. The drawers are rather
wide at 670mm, which enabled me to create compartments
to maximise the storage space.
As partition, I included two-part separation that would make it
much easier to pick music scores out of the drawer. The drawer
handles are half circles, adding up to a full circle with the drawer
neighbouring. Such details not only complete a piece and show
that the maker has given it a lot of thought and care, but also bring
the different components together as a harmonious unit. F&C
The circular patterns are repeated throughout the cabinet
A half-circle shaped drawer handle
40 F&C261
28/09/2017 15:05
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28/09/2017 12:24
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10/6/17 3:47 PM
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In response to employer and student feedback, we are launching a new 12 week course to develop the
Teaching will take place over three consecutive days in our brand new Craft and Production Workshops
You will learn and use:
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or email
G & P NT
17 November
2017 10am - 5pm
18 November
2017 10am - 5pm
19 November
2017 10am - 4pm
Nelton EExhibitions
T: 01474 536535
ke life
life easy and
an pre-book your tickets,
one 01749 8138
813899 or write to Nelton Exhibitions,
The Old SSun, Crete Hal
Hall Road, Northfleet Kent, DA11 9AA
Post Code:
No of adult ticke
k ts £11.00 @ £9.00
tickets £10.00 @ £8.00
No of concession tick
Cheque to Nelton Exhib
For show details eith
either visit
01474 536535.
or phone 0147
Should yyou not wish to receive further information
on our woodworking shows please tick
043_FCM_264.indd 43
9/29/17 12:02 PM
Somerset Guild of Craftsmen
Furniture Prize 2017
Chris Tipple, member of the Guild, and organiser of the
2017 Furniture Prize, reflects on this year’s exhibition
From left to right: Chris Tipple, Martin Lane, Chris Cooper, Tom Kealy
and Alan Styles from Axminster. Chris Cooper was named Overall
Winner for his Circular Cabinet. The idea behind the cabinet came from
watching a documentary on architecture. One of the architects said, ‘A
great design should be able to be drawn blindfolded in three seconds
and be instantly recognisable’. Chris tried to introduce this idea to his
first piece of furniture. He played around with shapes, doing quick three
to five second sketches until he came up with a rough shape that was
ach year the Somerset Guild of
Craftsmen holds its Furniture Prize
Exhibition exclusively for students and
apprentices as a stepping stone to their future
careers. The Furniture Prize Exhibition is held
in the Guild’s gallery and headquarters at
Broad Street in Wells. The Guild is aiming
to grow a giant oak tree from a little acorn
and, by taking a step at a time, develop and
steadily expand its Furniture Prize Exhibition
to cover not only the south west but also
44 F&C264
pleasing to the eye. From this point, he developed the design over the
course of a month or so, playing with height, length, various radii and
classical proportion techniques. ‘I also wanted to play with the concepts
of asymmetric balance and use of negative space as these concepts
interest me most in furniture design.’ The result is a large circular
vanity cabinet with two shelves and a port-hole mirror. It sits atop
an asymmetric laminated pedestal. The cabinet is made from Santos
rosewood on the outside faces with ripple sycamore on the inside faces.
beyond. Through the Furniture Prize the Guild
is hoping to increase the profile of furniture
design and making, and will welcome any
enquiries from students, apprentices or
schools who may be interested in entering
the 2018 Furniture Prize.
However, the 2017 exhibition is over,
and one by one the student makers arrive
at the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen’s
gallery to collect their beautiful exhibits.
Now is my time to reflect on the incredible
craftsmanship that went into them and
to wonder how such exceptionally high
standards, in both design and execution,
were achieved by the students, many of
whom only a year before hadn’t so much
as cut a dovetail.
I am amazed by the student makers’ ability
to achieve such exceptional standards when
many of them begin their course with little or
no experience of working with wood. Clearly
a natural talent is a prerequisite, but that
28/09/2017 15:05
Somerset Guild of Craftsmen
talent has to be nurtured, encouraged and
guided. As much as I admire the students’
achievements I also take my hat off to their
teachers and mentors for bringing them to a
standard to produce exhibits such as those
in this exhibition.
Trying to coordinate the students from the
five participating schools sometimes feels a
little like trying to carry water in a colander,
but when it all comes together, as it did so
well once again this year, I am left with a warm
glow of both pride and satisfaction, and that
is all the motivation needed to start organising
next year’s exhibition, in the hope that it will
be even better than it was this year.
The Furniture Prize Exhibition started seven
years ago, when the Somerset Guild of
Craftsmen, together with Friends of Somerset
Art Works, set a challenge to student furniture
makers of Bridgwater College to create the
finest piece of work for the year. Year by year
the exhibition has grown. This year there were
entries from five schools: Bridgwater College,
City of Bristol College, Cornwall College,
Williams and Cleal Furniture School and
the David Savage School of Fine Furniture.
The Exhibition was sponsored by Axminster
Tools & Machinery and Friends of Somerset
Art Works. Not only did Axminster make a
significant contribution to the prizes but also
offered a very generous discount, for 12
months, for each of the students who reached
the high standard needed to exhibit at the
Exhibition, and provided their photographer
to record both the exhibits and the awards
ceremony. I can’t thank them enough for their
continued support.
This year the exhibits were judged in two
categories, Part Time and Full Time and the
judges awarded a first and second prize in
each category, together with a prize for the
overall winner.
Tom Kealy and Martin Lane gave their
precious time to the unenviable task of
judging the exhibits; they selected winners
based on the quality of design and
craftsmanship. The standard this year left the
judges with a real dilemma and it was only the
finest detail that made the difference. Visitors
to the gallery also took an active part in the
selection by voting for the Popular Choice
award. When, at the awards ceremony, the
Ali Buchan’s Jurassic Coast Coffee Table was designed for a seaside house in Lyme
Regis, a town famous for its fossil-hunting beaches and which has an ammonite
shell as its emblem. The piece is in the shape of an ammonite where each segment
of the shell is a different layer of the table. The different layers really accentuate
the different segments when viewed in plan and give an extra dimension to the piece
rather than having a flat table with shapes carved or otherwise detailed in. Ali used
English oak to fit with the local theme, and also because oak is a great wood to
sandblast. He wanted the final piece to have a weathered appearance so it appears
votes were counted, only four votes separated
the winner from the second place.
The overall winner and winner of the first
prize in the Full Time category was Chris
Cooper, from the David Savage School of
Fine Furniture. His Circular Cabinet set an
exceptionally high standard in both design
and craftsmanship. Winner of the Popular
Choice and also Second Prize in the Full
Time category, was Jurassic Coast Coffee
Table made by Ali Buchan from the Williams
and Cleal School of Furniture. The first prize
in the Part Time category was won by Olly
Christian, from the City of Bristol College,
with a magnificent Six Seater Dining Table
and Family Space. Winner of the second
prize in the Part Time category was Beth
Noy, from Cornwall College, who made
a beautifully crafted triangular trinket box
featuring an Oriental-styled lid.
Any students, apprentices or schools
who may be interested in entering the
2018 Furniture Prize please contact
The Somerset Guild of Craftsmen at:
like driftwood that has washed up on the shore. The table had to capture everything
you think of when you think of the Jurassic Coast, which is why he added the metal fins
under each segment. As well as support, he wanted another material to contrast the
solid oak and decided on having patinated bronze fins to also give the impression that
they too are weathered and could wash up on a beach as salvage metal alongside the
driftwood oak. This project was an exercise in designing a piece that really captures its
surroundings, not only the room and the house it will go in, but the local community and
environment as well.
F&C264 45
28/09/2017 15:06
Olly Christian’s Six Seater Dining Table. The inspiration for this table came from
necessity. With a busy household and a young inquisitive mind in the house, Olly’s
dining table is often covered in drawing projects, school homework and LEGO. He
wanted to be able to easily transform the table from a fun, usable family space to a
dining table, while still looking contemporary and stylish. Researching many different
table and writing desk designs, some inspiration was taken from office furniture as
well as more traditional dining tables. A big fan of simple, elegant furniture, he wanted
to create something modern, combining natural and synthetic materials. By angling the
edges of the table it was possible to make the drawers deep without making the table
too bulky, and this, combined with the satin lacquered finish of the black Valchromat,
helps the eye to stay focused on the grain and natural beauty of the Ovangkol top
and legs.
Trinket box by Beth Noy. The character of the box takes its inspiration from natural
forms, seed pods and Oriental architecture. A flow of curves guides the eye throughout
the interior of the box, where the components have been individually formed, then
fitted and sculpted to a smooth finish in representation of an organic form. The lid was
laminated, then shaped and veneered. This piece was crafted using only locally sourced
English chestnut and walnut.
46 F&C264
28/09/2017 15:06
Somerset Guild of Craftsmen
La Negra Easy Chair by Alberto Perez from Williams and Cleal School of Furniture
Whisky Cabinet by
Ronnie Muirhead from
the David Savage School
of Fine Furniture
Cafe Dalbergia bistro table and chairs made by Stephan Hickman from the David Savage School of Fine Furniture
F&C264 47
28/09/2017 15:06
Fine Clocks
We look at several lots from Bonhams’
auction of antique timepieces
he Fine Clocks auction held at Bonhams’
London office in June saw a number of
remarkable timepieces go under the hammer.
Here we focus on four examples of 17th- and
18th-century longcase clocks.
Longcase dials with seconds indication in the arch
were fashionable in the 1730–70 period. This example
(first on the right) was made by William Allam. It has
a stepped arched top supported on brass-mounted
stop-fluted columns. The long crossbanded door has
a feathered edge and burr veneers at the centre, on
a matching base. The arched brass dial is surmounted
by a large Arabic seconds ring flanked by subsidiary
arcs for strike/silent and rise and fall regulation. The
Roman and Arabic chapter ring encloses a finely
matted centre with date aperture and a shaped
recessed signature plaque.
The centre-seconds, month-going clock was
made by Langley Bradley in the early 18th century.
Its stepped caddy top with giltwood finials sits over
pierced soundfrets on Doric columns. The long
door has a feather-banded border and is on a
crossbanded base. The sides are inlaid with twin
panels. The square brass dial is decorated with
crown and cherub spandrels and frames the
silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring.
The eight-day longcase clock was only recently
discovered and is of horological importance. It was
made in the last quarter of the 17th century by John
Fromanteel. The case has a flat-topped rising hood
with a moulded cornice over a pierced repousse
brass sound fret of stylised flowerheads. A further
moulded section is raised on twisted three-quarter
columns to the front and quarter-columns to the rear.
The pine backboard is set with a brass L-shaped
bracket just behind the position of the movement,
presumably to locate into some form of pendulum
suspension, and interestingly with a curved front
edge, possibly to accommodate a circular regulation
dial. The case now carries a later wood-grain painted
surface over what appears to be the original gesso
ground. The gilt brass dial measures 235mm square
and has a single engraved line border framing the
well-cast winged cherubs head spandrels and
intermediate foliate engraving to the upper edge and
two sides. The silvered Roman and Arabic chapter
ring has an outer minute track, half-hour markers
and an inner quarter-hour track enclosing the matted
centre, with original fettled steel hands. The clock has
not run for decades, the pendulum and weights have
not survived. Both pulleys are present but damaged.
The marquetry longcase clock, made by William
Banks, has a walnut case and a long door with
marquetry panels of birds amongst foliage. The
signed 267mm brass dial features cherub mask
spandrels. The silvered Roman chapter ring has
Arabic 10-minute indication and the matted centre
has subsidiary seconds, calendar aperture and
shuttered winding squares.
48 F&C264
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A rare third quarter
of the 18th century
walnut longcase clock
with seconds dial in
the arch made by
William Allam, London
28/09/2017 15:07
Under the hammer
A rare early 18th-century centre-seconds, month-going
walnut longcase clock made by Langley Bradley, London
Eight-day longcase clock
made by John Fromanteel, London
Late 17th-century marquetry longcase clock
made by William Banks, Sheffield
F&C_264_48_49_UNDER_THE_HAMMER.JR.DJ.indd 49
F&C264 49
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07599 028604
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10/5/17 2:16 PM
The Ultimatum brace:
a feat of engineering
In the latest in our tool collecting series, John Adamson charts the
rise and fall in popularity of a quin
quintessentially British masterpiece
The Ultimatum metallic-framed brace, manufactured by the Sheffield tool-makers William Marples from at least 1854, revolutionised the design of British braces for half a century
ne breezy day in May 1879 the
Sheffield Daily Telegraph published a
short report on goods manufactured
by one of the city’s leading tool-makers.
These were tools ‘from almost every known
trade’ intended for display at the first
world’s fair ever to be held in the southern
hemisphere. William Marples & Sons had
so much to show at the forthcoming Sydney
International Exhibition that it had been
agreed with the exhibition commissioners
that instead of a booth against a wall the
firm should have a central stand and build
a magnificent 11ft double-faced showcase
to house a wide range of tools. This case,
together with the tool exhibits, was now
being put on public show at the firm’s
Hibernia Works.
‘The central and chief compartment of
the principal side of the case comprises an
elegant specimen of Marples’ “Ultimatum”
52 F&C264
F&C_264_52_55_COLLECTOR'S_GUIDE.JR.DJ.indd 52
frame-brace, the patentt for which has
i g
lapsed,’ wrote the newspaper, adding,
though not quite accurately, that ‘Mr Marples,
the father of the present members of the
firm, was the inventor of this useful article,
which is now extensively manufactured by
Messrs. Marples.’
How intriguing it seems to us now that
William Marples & Sons should have made
such a feature of a tool that the firm had
already been successfully manufacturing
and selling for around a quarter of a century,
and one no longer protected by patent! True,
Marples had by then cornered a significant
share of the market for quality braces, and
its clever, catchy name of Ultimatum for its
beautifully crafted frame brace undoubtedly
sowed the idea in the mind of the potential
buyer that this tool really was the fulfilment
of a technological quest.
The Sydney International Exhibition,
as it turned out, attracted more than
a million visitors and so exposure must
have been good and brisk sales of the
h happy outcome. But
firm’s tools the
because the patent for the design of the
Ultimatum frame brace had lapsed some
16 years earlier in 1863, other makers in
the tool trade were at liberty to draw on
the specifications of the original patent and
produce rival braces. By 1879, in the keen
competitive climate that characterised the
tool-making trade in the Sheffield of the day,
some manufacturers were doing just that, as
we shall see.
The journey from the earliest known
braces to the Ultimatum framed brace
had been part of the long and fascinating
quest for ever more control and ergonomic
efficiency in boring. Wonderful achievement
though the Ultimatum was, that quest was
not to end there.
28/09/2017 15:07
Collecting tools: the Ultimatum brace
History and development of the brace
The huge mechanical advantage of the crank
motion of the brace over, say, the pump drill
or the bow drill, is its continuous rotation
in one direction combined with steady
torque or rotary force. This phenomenon
had been known and exploited by craftsmen
for quite some time. The ancient Egyptians,
for example, made use of crank drills,
the forerunners of our brace and bit. The
European brace, first recorded in Flemish,
French and German illustrations of the 15th
century, such as in the Bedford Book of
Hours, is in fact a double crank; the ‘upper’
crank transmits appropriate pressure to the
tool from the head either held firmly in one
hand or against the chest, while the ‘lower’
crank turns the bit held in a socket or pad.
The two parts meet to form the characteristic
U-shaped crankshaft for which the worker’s
arm serves as a kind of ‘connecting rod’,
transmitting the motion of the arm to rotate
the shaft.
From the Middle Ages to the 18th
century little change had taken place in
the construction of the brace; many were
simple wooden double cranks with one bit
jammed permanently into the pad. Then
experimentation began to speed up: how to
reinforce the crank; how to perfect the head
This handsome 13½in cast-brass
brace with revolving rosewood
handle was made by the Sheffield
tool-maker George Horton and is
struck on the pad with his registered
design no. 2528 of 8 November
1850. The bit is held in the pad with
a remarkably simple but effective
spring device and push button
and the handle for ease of grip. Ways were
found so that bits could be held securely but
be readily interchanged to bore differentsized holes. Some were fixed permanently to
interchangeable pods that could be wedged
in the pad; others – with the advent of the
metallic pad – were latched, levered or
By the mid-19th century braces of some
sophistication and elegance were being
manufactured in either metal or wood and
Sheffield tool-makers in particular had
become innovators of brace designs. The
Design Act of 1842 and its amendment of
1843 afforded manufacturers protection
of their newly invented features. George
Horton, for instance, patented a metal
brace in 1850 in which the spindles for the
revolving handle and swivelled head were
tapped and threaded into the hexagonalsection frame and secured with pins. David
Flather produced a short brace shaped out
of a single block of rosewood (Dalbergia
spp.) with his ‘Improved Brace Head’
patented in 1844. This had a spindle and
swivelled-head assembly, non-revolving grip
and spring-button pad. From around 1820,
manufacturers had been strengthening
ce wooden braces with brass plates
screwed to the surface or let into the wood.
These were known in the trade as plated
braces and came in an array of permutations
with additional features. Robert Marples
(a separate entity from William Marples)
was one innovative plated-brace maker,
registering a design for a spring pad in 1846;
Bloomer & Phillips was another, patenting
a novel lever thumb device for the bit the
following year.
Then came the framed brace. John
Cartwright, also a Sheffield tool-maker, was
credited with having designed the first. In
his patent submission he specified castbrass upper and lower arms ‘to allow of a
moveable handle of horn or other suitable
material being used’. So instead of the brace
being a single piece of wood strengthened
with brass plates, his metallic frames
constituted ‘the skeleton of the brace’,
affording great strength in themselves as
well as enabling the handle to rotate. For the
arms he proposed either solid castings or
open ones with infills in wood. At the same
time, he specified ‘a more convenient mode
of applying the revolving head, and a more
convenient arrangement for releasing the bits
from the spring catch in the pad’. At last, on
16 June 1849, he was able to secure a Royal
This short 12¾in brace was made out
of a single piece of rosewood by David
Flather, Solly Works, Sheffield. The
Royal Coat of Arms embossed on the
head may allude to the Royal Letters
Patent granted in 1844 for the firm’s
‘Improved Brace Head’
Maker’s mark on the head
On this 14¼in plated
brace in beech with
rosewood head,
Robert Marples
stamped the pad
flange with the
words: ‘R. MARPLES
referring to his
design for a spring
pad with knurled
button patented on
15 October 1846
Pad flange and button
F&C_264_52_55_COLLECTOR'S_GUIDE.JR.DJ.indd 53
F&C264 53
28/09/2017 15:07
Letters Patent, No. 12,377, following a costly
and lengthy submission procedure.
Lacking the financial resources to be
able to exploit his invention through his
own business, Cartwright sold his patent
to William Marples. While we do not know
exactly when the framed brace first went into
production at the Hibernian Works in Spring
Lane (the name given to the Marples factory
at that time), an entry in one of the Sheffield
trade directories records Marples in 1854
as the sole manufacturer and patentee of the
‘patent metallic-frame brace’.
As manufacturing got underway, there
were modifications made to the original
specification to simplify production and
reduce costs. One of these was the adoption
of a standard part for the neck and head
spindle assembly that was readily available
from various brass foundries. Another was a
marketing exercise. A screw-cap, surrounded
by a ring often in ivory or horn, was now built
into the head with an allusion to the arms of
the Sheffield Cutlers’ Company along with
the words: ‘W. MARPLES PATENTEE / 67
/ SPRING LANE / SHEFFIELD’, and on the
lower front plate: ‘By Her Majesty’s Royal
When the firm outgrew its premises in
Spring Lane and moved in 1856 to larger
premises at 25/27 Westfield Terrace,
William Marples slightly altered the name of
his factory from Hibernian Works to Hibernia
Works. Kelly’s Directory for 1861 mentions
‘William Marples and Sons’ for the first time,
marking the fact that William’s sons Edwin
Henry (24) and William Kent (21) had been
made partners. The screw-cap was changed
at that time to read ‘Wm. Marples and Sons’.
With the expiry of John Cartwright’s
original patent, William Marples & Sons
resorted to marketing initiatives to counteract
growing competition from other makers. In
1864 they published their own catalogue in
which Ultimatum braces in ebony (Diospyros
spp.), boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) and
rosewood were offered at 23 shillings, while
those in beech were priced at 20 shillings. In
1875 they issued their new shamrock trademark, and in 1879 gave pride of place to
their Ultimatum at the Sydney fair.
Now that the successful design of the
Ultimatum brace was in the public domain,
some rival Sheffield makers were naturally
eager to add framed braces to their stock-intrade and so made their own versions, many
to a very high standard of workmanship.
Robert Marples was one of these with his
‘Ultimatum Brass Brace’, closely copying the
Cartwright/William Marples design. Others,
like James Howarth, with his Paragon brace
made further refinements, whereas the
Pasley brothers produced braces under the
Ne Plus Ultra trade-mark.
Ultimatum, Paragon, Ne Plus Ultra: these
brand names seemed so self-assured,
the braces they described the height of
workmanship. Yet by 1903 the Ultimatum
brace was no longer featured in the Marples
catalogue and soon afterwards production in
Sheffield of framed braces ceased altogether.
They had yielded to the machine-made patent
American metal brace imported at a fraction
of the price. The invention in the USA of the
Barber chuck and a little later of the brace
ratchet mechanism coupled with keenness of
price had brought about the demise of what
had been the quintessential British brace of
the latter half of the 19th century.
This 14½in plated brace by Bloomer & Phillips has the registered
lever thumb device the firm registered in October 1847 under
number 1229 as shown on the lever
Registered number on the lever
This trade-mark of an Irish harp seen here on the screw-cap of an Ultimatum brace was
the first to be used after William Marples moved premises to Westfield Terrace
54 F&C264
F&C_264_52_55_COLLECTOR'S_GUIDE.JR.DJ.indd 54
The trade-mark of William Marples & Sons with the word Hibernia and shamrock was
introduced in 1875
06/10/2017 10:17
Collecting tools: the Ultimatum brace
This is the first known model of the framed brace and may even be a prototype. Standing at 14¼in and stamped with the maker’s mark of William Marples, Hibernian
Works, it adheres fairly closely to John Cartwright’s patent of 16 June 1849. The fillings are of horn and the brass neck terminates in a circular plate with shallow
flange onto which the turned horn head is screwed. However, there are deviations from Cartwright’s specification: the iron spindle around which revolves the ebony
handle is riveted to the brace’s brass arms rather than being secured with ‘a screw and nut’, and the head spindle is screwed into the filling in the traditional way
Tips for collectors
Maker’s mark on the lower frame: ‘WILLIAM MARPLES
Maker’s stamp on the lower frame
F&C_264_52_55_COLLECTOR'S_GUIDE.JR.DJ.indd 55
A mark acknowledging the framed brace’s inventor
• Watch out for the patina. Shun the
• Beware of spurious items with
deceptive makers’ marks.
• Watch out for repairs; however skilful
and invisible, they will lower the value.
Sometimes parts have been replaced
from other models, thereby creating
• In September 1988 in the investor’s
column of the now defunct magazine
Connoisseur Robin Duthy wrote
with some foresight that old
woodworking tools were a good buy
for the informed. Among the tools he
mentioned was the Ultimatum brace
on which he set the cost at $300
to $500, though he pointed out that
some Ultimatum braces, probably in
boxwood (though he did not specify),
had reached $2500 in 1980. While
there has been the resurgence of
interest in hand tools that he foresaw
and that prices broadly speaking have
risen in the 30 years since his article,
the Marples ebony-framed brace has
hardly been a top performer. Today,
one in good condition would probably
fetch no more than £200.
• Read Reg Eaton’s thorough and
meticulously researched account
of brace-making in Sheffield: The
Ultimate Brace: A Unique Product of
Victorian Sheffield. The book is now
out of print but it does crop up from
time to time at tool auctions and on F&C
Henry Pasley’s 13¼in brass and ebony framed brace
is stamped with his ‘Ne Plus Ultra’ trade-mark and
the words: ‘With all the Latest/Improvements’.
The screw-cap is blank
F&C264 55
28/09/2017 15:08
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056_FCM_264.indd 56
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A first exhibition:
An insider’s guide to CCD
David Waite describes his experience
of exhibiting his work for the first time
inding ways to let potential clients
view your work is a critical step in
the journey to making a living as a
designer-maker. There are several ways one
can try to achieve this including the use
of social media, a well-designed website,
finding a gallery that is prepared to exhibit
and sell your work for a commission, or
applying to have your items included in an
exhibition. The largest and most prestigious
show in the UK for contemporary bespoke
designer-maker furniture is the Celebration
of Craftsmanship and Design (CCD), held
annually in August in Cheltenham. My
dream for many years has been to exhibit
my work there, alongside some of the most
established and some of the best up-andcoming talent in the UK fine furniture making
world. This year, my dream came true!
During my time at the Waters and Acland
furniture school, I was reassured by Oliver
and Will that my work was of an appropriate
standard, so I decided to target CCD as my
first exhibition as a professional designermaker post-graduation. As well as the
obvious potential opportunity to generate
income, I felt that I was ready to enter the
realms of the professional designer-maker, to
share ideas and network with others in the
field, gain valuable experience in the art of
marketing myself and my pieces to the public
and to gauge reactions as to what people
liked and, most importantly, wanted to buy!
The timing of the exhibition was perfect, in
that it allowed me to transition away from
the furniture school and into the real world
of designing and making without any loss of
momentum or period of downtime, other than
a brief summer holiday.
Getting ready
CCD is curated and organised by Jason
Heap (see F&C 261 for an interview with
Jason) and his wife Julie. Their well-oiled
machine springs into life early in the year
with the deadline for entry to the exhibition
closing in March. Up to three pieces can
be entered by each maker or company
attending, and I decided that my Oak Whisky
Cabinet and Rosewood Console Table
featured previously in this magazine would be
58 F&C264
F&C_264_58_59_ITW_DAVID_WAITE.JR.indd 58
good offerings for a first exhibition, as they
exemplify two very different styles within my
portfolio. Having provided Julie with good
quality pictures and a biography to use for
the exhibition catalogue and other CCD
promotional materials, I largely forgot about
the exhibition for a couple of months and
refocused my efforts on completing my final
piece at the furniture school. Preparations
for the exhibition in July involved providing
sales price information for each of the pieces
entered, information for the display cards
that accompanied each piece and ensuring
I had a ready supply of business cards for
the event. Finally, the week before the event,
I carefully loaded my pieces into the car and
set off early in the morning to deliver them to
the Thirlestaine Long Gallery in Cheltenham,
being careful (and with the help of a judicious
stop at a coffee shop just outside Oxford) to
arrive at the gallery entrance at my allocated
delivery time. Once assembled, the pieces
were left for Jason and his team to arrange
across the five rooms used for the exhibition.
Preview evening
I returned to Cheltenham a few days
later ‘suited and booted’ ready to attend
the private viewing evening, a premium
opportunity to meet and discuss my work
with those key clients selectively invited to
preview and purchase work before the show
opened to the general public the following
day. The gallery had been transformed. Every
room was beautifully dressed with flowers
and filled with pieces of amazing furniture,
jewellery and art from over 70 different
makers. I was a little nervous as clients
started to arrive but quickly found my feet, as
the steady flow of people seemed genuinely
interested and appreciative of my work. In
what seemed like a flash, the evening was
drawing to a close and I had thoroughly
enjoyed the whole experience
Meeting the public
I returned to my stand early on Saturday
when the doors opened to the public. A busy
morning ensued, although a slightly more
relaxed atmosphere was evident throughout
the gallery compared to the previous
evening. As the number of visitors thinned
a little, I took the opportunity to chat with
many of my fellow makers who were in
attendance. It was gratifying to find such
a positive and supportive bunch of people,
with everyone I spoke to willing to share
their experiences and offer advice to me as
I start out. Consistent messages I took away
from these chats were that it takes a long
time and lots and lots of hard work to get
yourself established; marketing and selling
yourself is as important as the design and
making process; and having a clear vision
and plan for the business from the outset
is critical to its success.
As much as I wanted to attend the
exhibition every day, the financial costs
associated with staying away from home
for 10 days were prohibitive and instead
I left to focus on other aspects of setting
up my business. It hit home that a key
challenge in the future will be getting the
balance right between time spent at the
bench, and time spent away, particularly
if there are costs associated with the
latter, such as entry fees, travel and
accommodation. Hopefully, the return I
get on these investments will be enhanced
reputation, sales and commissions.
Deal or no deal
I returned to Cheltenham accompanied by
my family over the bank holiday weekend and
was pleased to find footfall at the exhibition
was still brisk. Throughout the week, a
steady flow of red sticker dots had appeared
on the display cards accompanying many of
the pieces of furniture on display, indicating
that they had been sold. It was encouraging
to see that the exhibition had resulted in
sales for many of the makers present. While
I did not sell either of my pieces at the event,
I met several potential clients, some of whom
returned for multiple viewings of my work.
I also received an approach from a gallery
interested in displaying my work, an offer
of sub-contract work from an established
cabinetmaking business and several followup email enquiries via my website. Overall,
this first exhibition was a very positive and
enjoyable learning experience for me! F&C
28/09/2017 15:08
Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design
F&C_264_58_59_ITW_DAVID_WAITE.JR.indd 59
F&C264 59
28/09/2017 15:08
Tricks of the trade...
1. The standard depth options weren’t suitable for
my project
...Domino depth stop
2. The pipe was screwed to a board
Ramon Valdez creates a repeatable custom
solution for increasing the number of preset
depth stop settings on your Festool Domino
e all love the ease of use of the
revolutionary Festool Domino.
Creating strong mortises quickly
and easily is only one attribute of this
versatile machine. I’m starting to see
the many uses of creating a mortise,
or specifically a cavity, with this tool by
optimising the range of mortise width
settings and different cutter sizes.
I use magnets in much of my work and
sometimes a cavity to retain the magnet
works better than a hole drilled with a
Forstner bit, for instance.
Recently I needed to create some shallow
cavities to house some bearings and the
shafts that they would ride on. The overall
shape of the 6mm Domino slot was perfect
to accept the bearings, however, the preset
depth options on the machine didn’t fit my
requirements. In other words, the 15mm
setting on the depth of cut scale was too
shallow and the 20mm setting would cut
60 F&C264
too deep. I needed the means to generate a
custom depth of cut and here’s my solution.
I found a section of plastic pipe (common
sprinkler system plumbing) with an inside
diameter closely matching the diameter
of the smaller plunge rod on my DF700. I
attached a suitable section of this pipe to a
board with some self-tapping screws, paying
particular attention to their length – you’ll
see why in a minute. Then, running the board
against the fence on my bandsaw I was able
to safely cut (rip) a section from the pipe
along its length. I used a chopsaw to finally
determine the correct length of the pipe thus
creating a clip-on, half-tube spacer. A small
notch was required at one end of the spacer
to clear an area on the machine when the
pipe section was snapped into place. This
was accomplished safely at the bandsaw.
Once cut, it’s a simple process to make extra
spacers and increase the number of preset
depth stop settings on your machine. F&C
3. The pipe was cut to length
4. Clip the half-pipe spacer onto the main shaft
28/09/2017 15:09
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061_FCM_264.indd 61
Basa 3 Vario
Unit 1, Brookfoot Biz Park,
Brighouse, W.Yorks, HD6 2SD
EE ge e
FR0 palogue on
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16 ata ab est
C ail qu
Av re
10/5/17 5:14 PM
Call us
Learn more
01296 481220
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DOOR-OIL: Highest quality protection for interior doors
and visit:
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Tel: 01352
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Built to turn wood.
Enjoyed for a lifetime.
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& cabinetmaking
Free early delivery
direct to your door
start from
just £19.95
(pay less than
£3.50 an issue!)
by direct debit
NEW F&C subs ad 1.indd 63
+44 (0) 1273 488005
10/6/17 11:45 AM
For this month’s round-up we’ve drawn together a list of items that have either
featured favourably during the last year or caught our eye more recently.
From books and DVDs to finishes and fixtures, there’s something for everyone.
JB Diamond Sharpening Plate
Lie-Nielsen honing guide
A precision quality product for users who either need a diamond
plate to flatten water/oil stones or simply want a quicker method
in improving the flattening process of the backs of chisels
and plane blades alike.
This high-quality piece of kit is made from stainless
steel with a bronze bearing; it comes with a standard
pair of jaws that will fit most Lie-Nielsen blades.
Trend tenon cutter
ETSC 125 cordless sander
This four-fluted cutter is designed for routing tenons
with a clean finish on the shoulder – ideal for working
on a large area that needs to be recessed or surfaced.
This cordless compact sander offers unparalleled
mobility and ease of movement when working.
64 F&C264
Note: The effects of a constantly evolving
global market in raw materials and other
resources mean that prices can change.
Be patient with your supplier and please
understand that the prices quoted here are
correct at the time of going to press.
Moxon vice spindle set
12mm Japanese mortise chisel and bit
Joseph Moxon described this type of vice in Mechanick Exercises
in 1703. These simple yet enormously useful double-spindle
clamps enable optimal use of the workbench.
Manufactured to the highest standards
from the best quality steel in Japan, these mortise
chisels cut evenly and fast, even in hardwoods.
Gyokucho 111 Fugaku Universal dozuki saw
Knew Concepts Mark IV Heavy Duty
Lever Tension Jeweller’s Saw
A precision pull saw for cross, rip and angle cuts.
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Knew Concepts have applied the braced design and thicker
material used in their coping saw to the new jeweller’s saw range.
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Bad Axe 14in Bayonet Carcase Saw
UJK Digital Height Gauge
The bayonet is to carcase saws as the stiletto is to dovetail
saws; a longer, lower, leaner version aimed squarely at the
professional and serious amatuer woodworking market.
An indispensable measuring tool for the accurate setting of cutting
depths, in particular router cutters and saw blades.
Axminster Rider 6-Piece
Bevel Edge Chisel Set
Japanese Heavy Duty
Carpenter’s Saw
Sanded smooth and with a light oil finish, this chisel set
with hornbeam handles has a superb feel in the hand.
This professional grade Japanese saw with 333mm replicable
blade gives exceptionally clean cuts in hard and soft wood.
Veritas MkII Honing Guide
Sjobergs Elite 2000 Cabinetmaker’s Workbench
This honing guide has three bevel-angle range
configurations and is designed to accept flat and tapered
blades, as well as blades with irregular geometry.
Designed and built by Swedish craftsmen using European
birch, this is a premium quality bench.
From £1379.50
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Kit & tools
Furniture Linoleum Desktop
Osmo Polyx-Oil Raw
Forbo’s Furniture Linoleum Desktop is a natural surfacing material
that delivers the finishing touch for a range of applications
such as desks, chairs, cabinets, doors and displays.
From £35
Untreated wood has a light, pale character from its natural
‘raw’ appearance. Sanded wood also has the same effect.
Osmo Polyx-Oil Raw retains this appearance by using a small
amount of white pigments to neutralise the permanent ‘wet-look’
that develops after application of a clear finish.
From £4.50
The G-Plan Revolution:
A Celebration of British
Popular Furniture of the
1950s and 60s
The Minimalist
By Basil Hyman and Steven Braggs
Perfect for the craftsman who
doesn’t have a lot of space to do
their work, or even a craftsman
looking to downsize, this book
provides all the necessary
information to help you arrange
your ’shop in the most effective
way possible.
Part history book, part design
journal The G-Plan Revolution is a
fascinating backward glance to a
culture that shaped our high streets
during the 1950s and 60s. If you’ve
been bitten by the mid-century
modern bug and want to know more
about the subject, this one’s a must.
Complete Woodworking
By Chris Tribe
Designer-maker-teacher Chris Tribe
walks you through all the essential
woodworking processes step-bystep. Aimed more at beginners, but
this is a solid workshop ‘bible’ that’s
worth checking out.
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By Vic Tesolin
Making Things
Work: Tales From a
Cabinetmaker’s Life
By Nancy Hiller
Nancy Hiller shares some of her
most personal encounters with life,
love and the inevitable existential
crisis of being a craftsperson.
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Roubo on Furniture
Plane Sharpening
By David Charlesworth
The first English translation
of the 18th-century masterpiece
l’art du Menuisier by André-Jacob
Roubo, this volume covers
Roubo’s writing on woodworking
tools, the workshop, joinery
and building furniture.
From the master of common
sense sharpening, this DVD
will improve your sharpening and
your woodworking skills for life!
Fine Furniture Making Series 1
Making Traditional Side
Escapement Planes
By Peter Sefton
By Larry Williams
This set of five DVDs includes guides to timber selection,
timber preparation, chisel and plane grinding, chisel and
plane sharpening and selecting and using hand planes.
Larry Williams demonstrates the
traditional method of making
a pair of hollows and rounds from
a solid billet, including blade
making, hardening and tempering.
Pallet coasters
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Kit & tools
Axe Pen and Tree Notepad
Wine Rack La Cave by JERHOME
Geometric Wooden Cufflinks
by The Laser Co
Cap with Walnut Wood cover
Ecodock wooden iPhone dock
Wine Master pocket knife
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Out & about:
Mercer Museum
This month we visit a museum dedicated
to the history of everday life in America
he Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania presents the history of everyday life in America in the
18th and 19th centuries. The collection of around 40,000 objects documents the lives and tasks of early
Americans through the tools that met their needs and wants prior to the Industrial Revolution, or about 1850.
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Mercer Museum
The Museum was built to house the extensive
collection of Henry Chapman Mercer (1856–
1930), an archaeologist, anthropologist,
ceramicist, scholar and antiquarian. Mercer
built the nearby Fonthill Castle as his home
and as a place to showcase his collection
of tiles and prints. As a young man, Mercer
visited the Ruhr and was struck by the
annihilation of artisanal culture by industrial
production. He began collecting pre-industrial
tools as a way to preserve traditional crafts.
He believed that the story of human progress
and accomplishments was told by the tools
and objects that people used.
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The General Store
Like the Castle, the Museum is an early
example of a building made using poured
reinforced concrete. Mercer designed the
plans himself; construction began in 1913
and was completed in 1916. In 2011 a new
wing was added to house a shop, learning
centre and exhibition gallery. The Museum
was designated a National Historic Landmark
in 1985 and in 2016 it was designated as a
Smithsonian Affiliate.
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What to see
The Museum’s permanent exhibits range
from hand tools to horse-drawn vehicles.
The largest objects, such as a whale
boat, stage coach and Conestoga wagon,
hang in the towering central atrium. On
each level surrounding the court, smaller
exhibits are installed in a warren of alcoves,
niches and rooms according to Mercer’s
classifications – healing arts, tinsmithing,
dairying, lighting and so on. More than
60 early American trades (including cider
Clockmaking tools
making, blacksmithing, printing, needlework,
shoemaking and farming) are represented.
The end result of the building is a unique
interior that is both logical and provocative. It
requires the visitor to view objects in a new
way. In addition to the permanent collection,
the Exhibition Galleries feature a variety of
changing exhibitions throughout the year.
The Research Library includes primary and
secondary sources on traditional crafts,
trades and industries.
Where else to see …
museums of everday life
• The American Museum in Bath
Bath, UK
• The Geffrye Museum
London, UK
The stoveplate room
Kitchen implements and tools for open hearth cooking
Information for visiting
Address: 84 South Pine Street, Doylestown, PA 18901, USA
Opening: Monday–Saturday: 10:00am–5:00pm; Sunday Noon–5:00pm, closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day
and New Year’s Day
Charges: $15 for adults, $13 for age 65 and above, $8 6–17 years olds, free for children under the age of 5
Information correct at time of publication, check Mercer Museums’s website before making your visit
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CU 300 c
Robust, professional and
a precise circular saw
Universal combined machine that offers
the best value for the everyday workshop
S 45 n
FS 41 elite s
A small Band Saw with great capabilities that is
perfect for either the joinery workshop, schools,
furniture restoration or renovation
Heavy duty, compact and created to meet
all planing demands of workshops
T 55 W elite s
ECO 300 D
A Spindle Moulder with great
versatility for many tasks
An efficient low cost dust extractor
SCM Group UK
Tel. +44(0)115 9770044 - -
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An airbrush
with the past
Derek Jones delves into the F&C archives
for this multi-lidded chest
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hat goes around comes around
and as recently as the year 2000,
people were still designing furniture
to store 12in vinyl and presumably a wide
range of other essential paraphernalia.
The wooden hinge is a recurring theme in
furniture design whether it be a period-style
table leaf support (aka knuckle joint) or
something more contemporary outputted
from a CNC machine. Andrew Moore
produced his version of the joint on a spindle
moulder using an assortment of jigs that
resulted in reliably identical components.
The project was his final piece while studying
for his City and Guilds qualification at The
College of North East London following a
course in 3D Design at Brighton University.
Made predominantly using solid timber,
English oak (Quercus robur) and ash
(Fraxinus excelsior), the chest features
a lot of traditional joinery. Mitred mortise
and tenons are used at the corners of the
chest with inset panels used to complete
the structure. Muntins are used with stub
tenons into the panel grooves on the front,
back and bottom. The panels have an MDF
core with bookmatched ash veneer applied
to both faces.
The lid is divided into three sections
making it more versatile in use and a lot
easier to lift than one single section. No
doubt the glue-up was a lot easier to handle
as a consequence. What’s not that clear
from the illustration is that each fixed part
of the hinge is anchored to the top rail of
the chest with a length of studding secured
with square nuts top and bottom, the
uppermost ones being housed within square
mortises that match the nut dimensions.
A square plug was glued in place after
assembly, thus concealing the hardware and
fulfilling Andrew’s original brief to remove all
extraneous items of metalwork from view.
In his accompanying text for the article,
Andrew talks a lot about the sequencing
for the drilling and alignment of the through
holes to contain the single hinge pin. He
also mentions the use of a compass plane
and spokeshaves to complete the shaping
of the seat.
One thing I like about articles written
by students is that they are more inclined
to talk about aspects of a project that they
would not repeat a second time. Andrew
mentions that he wanted a good contrast
between timbers used to make the lid
(ash) and the fixed anchor points – oak.
Although there’s a strong contrast between
the veneered ash panels and the frame, the
effect wasn’t nearly as good when it came
to the solid material. If you read Yannick
Chastang’s article about saw cut veneer
in F&C 261 you’ll remember it might have
something to do with the boiling of logs for
days to make them suitable for splitting into
veneer. In short, the process removes a
great deal of the natural colour of the timber.
I like Ian’s attention to detail over the
joinery for this illustration. Take, for example,
the haunched tenons on the front corner
of the chest and the double mitred tenons.
There’s no trademark sparkle on the metal
components that sometimes appear in his
drawings but in his own words the maker
did want to focus his attention ‘on the
contrasting timbers and unique hinge design,
which avoids the need for any additional
hardware such as stays and brass hinges’. F&C
Next month
Next month we’ll
be going back to
May 2004 and
issue 88 and a
desk that made
Richard Williams
a household
name among
furniture makers.
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Chisel and plane iron sharpener - take
anywhere and sharpen in seconds.
Quality range of woodworking hand tools
made in Europe.
A quality range of professional Drill bits
and accessories from Germany.
Range of the toughest tool bags with a 5
year downtime warranty.
A quality range of professional tools and
Quality cutting tool range which includes
Router cutters, Spindle Moulding, saw
blades, holesaws and many more from
076_FCM_264.indd 76
10/3/17 3:55 PM
The Furniture School
in the Lake District
01539 822852
full time professional tuition
in central London SE1
B e n
R a w lin s on
+44 (0) 7709 906413
Fine furniture making courses
F&C 264 77
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Hole saws
Jig saw blades
Sabre saw blades
Tools with bore
& knives
Router bits
& sets
PI mm
Saw blades
For more information and to find your nearest stockist
please visit
078_FCM_264.indd 78
10/3/17 3:56 PM
Sharpening Weekends, Tool Tuning,
Dovetailing, Drawer Making and Fitting
Tel: 01237 441288 Email:
‡ Hardwoods
‡ Wood finishes
‡ Australian Burrs
‡ Exotic Timbers
‡ Woodturning Blanks
‡ Woodturning Courses (see website for dates)
‡ Woodworking Tools
‡ Fencing, Gate & Decking Products
‡ Bespoke Garden Furniture
Off A272 Midhurst to Petworth road opp The Halfway Bridge Inn
Selham, Petworth, GU28 0PJ
t: 01798 861611 f: 01798 861633
W.L.West & Sons Ltd
David Charlesworth
Router cutters
Spindle tooling
CNC tooling/collets/toolholders
Bandsaw blades, jigsaw blades
Circular saw blades
+44 (0) 1323 442073 or ƵŬĨĂƐĂůĞƐΛŐŵĂŝů͘ĐŽŵ
endal Tools &
Try our wood cutting Band Saw Blade Service
Any length, width or tpi
New and second hand machinery.
Spares, repairs, tooling, blades, router cutters, power tools,
blade and cutter resharpening, glues, abrasives etc.
Vickers Place, Stanningley, Pudsey, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS28 6LZ
Tel: 01132 574736 Fax: 01132 574293
Want to find out how to advertise in a magazine
that is referred to time and time again by its readers?
Then contact Russell on 01273 402821
We have a large amount of quality veneerŝŶƐƚŽĐŬƚŽŽīĞƌĂƚĂ
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F&C 264 79
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10/6/17 11:50 AM
Next month in
Project: The policeman’s boot bench
Construction tech
• Authentic cross-grain D mouldings
• Japanese puzzle
Finish tech
Introduction to chip carving
80 F&C264
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Design inspiration
Enlightenment and the origins
of English proportion
The collector’s guide to…
28/09/2017 15:15
More freedom of movement for
better sanding.
The new cordless compact sanders
RTSC 400, DTSC 400 and ETSC 125.
Cordless mobility. Performance that’s like working with a mains-powered
The new cordless compact sanders boast powerful material removal and
endurance thanks to the 18 V Ergo battery pack and brushless EC-TEC
motor. They are lightweight, with an optimised centre of gravity for cordless
comfort. And they have the flexibility to allow them to be quickly converted
to a mains-powered machine for continuous work using a plug-it adapter.
Do you want to experience first-hand these new hybrid sanders? Then head
to your specialist retailer or visit
IBC_FCM_264.indd 1
10/3/17 11:19 AM
WG200-PK/A 8” Wet Stone
Sharpening System Package
Includes Full
Instructional DVD
Offer Extended!
RRP £159.99
Still only
Fantastic Value Package
Includes the following
accessories worth over £131
This indispensable DVD covers in detail the whole process of sharpening, from finding and
setting the correct cutting angles to easily achieving razor sharp edges on even the most
challenging of tools. Duration: 74 minutes.
12 mm support bar
Adjustable torque
Variable speed 150 - 250 rpm
WG250/K Diamond
Trueing Tool
(Worth £49.99)
WG250/C Straight
Edge Jig
(Worth £24.99)
WG250/T Angle
Setting Gauge
(Worth £12.99)
WG250/S Honing
(Worth £15.99)
WG250/R Stone Grader
(Worth £15.99)
WG250/U Angle Finder
(Worth £11.99) Tel: 01246 571 020
OBC_FCM_264.indd 1
Incorporating some of the most famous
brands in woodworking, Record Power’s
roots stretch back over 100 years.
28/09/2017 12:26
Журналы и газеты
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Furniture & Cabinetmaking, journal
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