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Good Woodworking Issue 320 July 2017

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Issue 320 ? July 2017
THE PERFECT WOODWORKING MIX
LS
S
ON TEST: BRAND-NEW BOSCH BLUETOOTH TOOLS
www.getwoodworking.com
zin
ne ffor
or a
The No.1 magazine
aspiring designer makers
INSIDE THE MIND OF A
BOX-MAKING MASTER
Steve Altman?s ?simple? boxes
are really anything but...
ROUTES INTO FINE WOODWORK
JOHN MCMAHON SUGGESTS FOUR
POSSIBLE AVENUES FOR YOU TO EXPLORE
PLUS...
? Small lathe? No problem. Les Thorne shows you how
? Richard Williams? Display Cabinet wins a Bespoke Guild Mark
WOODWORKING GROUP
The woodworking magazine
with its ?nger on the pulse!
ONLY �75
? John Bullar?s guide to furniture fixtures & fittings
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Welcome
Welcome
Some of my favourite
things from this issue
Summer woodworking: that?s where we find
ourselves at present, and I have to say that,
for me at least, this is a pretty happy place to
be. I?ve been thrilled by the tales of what you?ve
been making in your workshops, and very pleased
to hear that many of you spent the recent Bank
Holiday Weekend holed up in there surrounded
by your latest projects, and hopefully a glass
of ice cold lemonade, or perhaps something
a little stronger while on your lunch break!
Sunny inspiration
The warmer weather certainly inspires many
to pick up their tools and get creative, whether
that?s starting a new build, finishing an existing
one that had perhaps been sidelined due to colder
working conditions, or perhaps trying your hand
at the odd bit of DIY around the house or garden.
There never seems to be a shortage of ?chores?
to be done, and I for one would be glad of some
help in getting these annoying tasks completed.
I?m currently pondering the possibility of a
new set of stair bannisters, a bathroom door,
and a loft conversion! Obviously the professionals
will have to be called in, but I?m only too happy
to support my local carpenter and tradesmen.
If you?ve been following Shaun Newman?s
dulcimer build then join him as he puts the
finishing touches to this wonderful instrument,
have a go at making your own binder to house
all your copies of GW, or if you?re thinking of
pursuing a career in furniture making, then John
McMahon?s approachable guide will provide you
with all the information you need to know.
A great platform
For those of you who are familiar with the
social media platform Instagram, I was recently
recommended to take a look and discover for
myself the astonishing amount of emerging
woodworking talent. It?s truly eye-opening
what can be found by searching under the
?woodworking? hashtag ? in fact, I was greeted
by over three million posts! While I unfortunately
don?t have the time to look through all of them,
some of my favourites included a Cessna flight
simulator build, a beautiful wooden deck, and
a lovely pull-along reindeer toy. Take a look
for yourselves and let me know what you find,
and don?t forget to keep sending in photos of
your projects and sharing your thoughts on the
magazine and woodworking in general. I look
forward to hearing from you!
Everything you need
As always, we have a varied mix of content for
you in our July issue: everything from box-making
to fitting hinges and locks on furniture, to a
hand-carved whistle in the shape of a bird.
All lovely stu? and hopefully you?ll find enough
to get your teeth into over the coming month.
Tegan Foley
Group Editor
Phil Davy
Technical &
Consultant Editor
Dave Roberts
Consultant Editor
Enjoy!
Tegan
Email tegan.foley@mytimemedia.com
We endeavour to ensure all techniques shown
in Good Woodworking are safe, but take no
responsibility for readers? actions. Take care
when woodworking and always use guards,
goggles, masks, hold-down devices and ear
protection, and above all, plenty of common
sense. Do remember to enjoy yourself, though
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 3
Inside this issue
46
CENTREFOLD
Richard Williams was recently awarded
the prestigious Claxton Stevens Prize
for the stunning display cabinet shown
here, which was designed to house a
magnificent Chinese Terracotta horse
dating back to the Tang Dynasty
4 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
July 320
TOOLS PROJECTS TECHNIQUES ADVICE
PROJECTS
28 In a bind?
Perfect for storing past copies of your favourite
magazine, David Moody shows how you can
make your very own custom binder
44 Safety is in your hands
56 Box-making master
Pete Sartain of Mirka UK, the pioneers of dust-free
sanding, discusses the importance of using dust
extraction and suggests some top tips for
protecting yourself and reducing the risk of HAVS
With over 40 years? woodworking experience
under his belt, former cabinetmaker turned
box-maker Steve Altman?s passion for what
he does is abundantly clear
48 The growth &
structure of trees
90 Playtime: ringing the changes
38 Sweet sound ? part 2
Completing his Appalachian dulcimer build,
in part 2, Shaun Newman makes the neck,
headstock and fingerboard, then fits the
fingerboard, back and strings, all before showing
you how to make your own custom case
52 Going for a song
Annemarie Adams takes a simple design
for a wooden whistle and gives it wings
72 Pyramid scheme
Climbers will scramble to the top of Phil Davy?s
pyramid trellis ? and that?s a promise
80 Large vase on a small lathe
Having a small lathe doesn?t need to limit the size
of project you turn. Here, Les Thorne offers a
clever solution that will allow you to make a large
vase in two parts
PEOPLE & PLACES
Can we walk into the workshop and begin
a project without
even knowing what it is?
As Peter Bishop says, wood is one of the
most beautiful, natural resources available
to mankind. Here he takes a brief look at
its growth and structure
TESTS
62 Four routes into
a career in fine woodwork
Andy King tests?
John McMahon of the John McMahon School of
Fine Woodwork shares his advice on turning
professional and suggests a number of routes
you could take, as well as discussing the pros and
cons of each
14 Bosch Professional GSB 18 V-60
combi drill�
16 Shogun 2-in-1 folding knife
18 Bosch Professional GCL 2-50 C
combi laser
19 David Charlesworth Plane Sharpening
and Precision Planing DVDs
20 Snappy Applicator & Nanoblock
Snappy Applicator
66 Woodworking adventures
As David Moody shows here, don?t allow yourself
to be limited by what you have ? instead,
be open to new possibilities
Phil Davy tests?
24 Our Mutual Friend
71 Chestnut Net Abrasive
73 Axminster Rider sharpening station kit
76 Betsy Paint Mate
76 Boa Tri-Level TL90
In woodworking, we are in the midst of life, Dave
Roberts reflects ? as long as we don?t inhale
YOUR FAVOURITES
TECHNICAL
32 Fixtures & fittings
8 News
12 Courses
13 Readers? ads
54 Letters & Makers
71 Around the House
89 Next month
In the penultimate part of this series, John Bullar
looks at the wide variety of fixtures and fittings
available to the furniture maker, such as hinges,
locks, moveable supports and hidden latches,
and how these can be used to best effect
http://twitter.com/getwoodworking
www.getwoodworking.com
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EDITORIAL
Group Editor: Tegan Foley
Technical Editor: Andy King
Consultant Editors: Phil Davy, Dave Roberts
CONTRIBUTORS
Andy King, Dave Roberts, David Moody, John Bullar,
Shaun Newman, Pete Sartain, Richard Williams, Peter
Bishop, Annemarie Adams, John McMahon, Phil Davy,
Les Thorne, Edward Hopkins
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� MyTimeMedia Ltd. 2017 All rights reserved ISSN 0967-0009
The Publisher?s written consent must be obtained before any part of this publication may be reproduced in any form whatsoever, including photocopiers, and information retrieval systems. All reasonable care is taken in the
preparation of the magazine contents, but the publishers cannot be held legally responsible for errors in the contents of this magazine or for any loss however arising from such errors, including loss resulting from negligence of
our staff. Reliance placed upon the contents of this magazine is at reader?s own risk. Good Woodworking, ISSN 0967-0009, is published 13 times a year by MYTIMEMEDIA Ltd, Enterprise Way, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 6HF, UK.
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GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 5
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CSS16VB 90W 550-1600 �.99 �3.99
CSS400C 90W 550-1600 �4.99 �7.99
13" MINI
WOOD LATHE
ONLY
.99
66EX.VAT
�
INC.VAT
80.39
�
? Suitable for most
sizes/makes of saw
? Inc. outriggers & rollers
149EX.VAT
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Range of precision
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enthusiast, engineering &
industrial applications
.99
66EXC.VAT
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B = Bench mounted
F = Floor standing
MOTOR (W) EXC.
INC.
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VAT
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CDP5EB 350 / 5 �.99 �.39
CDP102B 350 / 5 �.98 �.98
CDP152B 450 / 12 �9.98 �7.98
CDP202B 450 / 16 �5.00 �2.00
CDP10B 370 / 12 �8.99 �8.79
CDP352F 550 / 16 �9.00 �4.80
CDP502F1100 / 12�9.00 �8.80
SIMPLY
ADD
YOUR
OWN
TOP
? Ideal for enthusiasts/
hobbyists with small workshops
? 325mm distance between centres ? 200mm
max. turning capacity (dia) ? 0.2HP motor
�
DETAIL
SANDERS
? Perfect for
smooth and ?ne
?nishing along
FROM ONLY
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with hard to
19EXC.VAT
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ALL MODELS INC. SANDING SHEETS
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you have
your own
work top or
want to
build a
steel or
wood
workbench
? Inc.
mounting
holes for
worktop,
shelf
and ?oor
CWL325V
FROM ONLY
REMOVABLE
DUST TRAY
CBS300
FROM ONLY
GRINDERS &
STANDS
ROUTER TABLE
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Router not
included
BEST
Stands come complete
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and feet
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FROM ONLY
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CBG8W* (wet) HD 150/200mm �.99 �.39
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12"
DOVETAIL JIG
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variety of joints ? Cuts work pieces with a
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BARNSLEY Pontefract Rd, Barnsley, S71 1EZ
01226 732297
B?HAM GREAT BARR 4 Birmingham Rd.
0121 358 7977
B?HAM HAY MILLS 1152 Coventry Rd, Hay Mills
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01273 915999
BRISTOL 1-3 Church Rd, Lawrence Hill. BS5 9JJ
0117 935 1060
BURTON UPON TRENT 12a Lich?eld St. DE14 3QZ
01283 564 708
CAMBRIDGE 181-183 Histon Road, Cambridge. CB4 3HL 01223 322675
CARDIFF 44-46 City Rd. CF24 3DN
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CARLISLE 85 London Rd. CA1 2LG
01228 591666
CHELTENHAM 84 Fairview Road. GL52 2EH
01242 514 402
CHESTER 43-45 St. James Street. CH1 3EY
01244 311258
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024 7622 4227
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DERBY Derwent St. DE1 2ED
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DUNDEE 24-26 Trades Lane. DD1 3ET
01382 225 140
MULTI-STEP
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OUTLET
DRIVE-BELT
TENSIONING
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deep square recesses
Table size 150 x
340mm Max. chisel
stroke 76mm
Robust cast iron base
& column ensures
stability & accuracy
95mm depth of cut
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TABLE
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body with solid cast iron table
? Table tilts 45� ? Adjustable blade guide
? Supplied with stand, 4TPI wood cutting
blade, rip fence, mitre guide, mitre gauge
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516
EDINBURGH 163-171 Piers?eld Terrace
0131 659 5919
EXETER 16 Trusham Rd. EX2 8QG
01392 256 744
GATESHEAD 50 Lobley Hill Rd. NE8 4YJ
0191 493 2520
GLASGOW 280 Gt Western Rd. G4 9EJ
0141 332 9231
GLOUCESTER 221A Barton St. GL1 4HY
01452 417 948
GRIMSBY ELLIS WAY, DN32 9BD
01472 354435
HULL 8-10 Holderness Rd. HU9 1EG
01482 223161
ILFORD 746-748 Eastern Ave. IG2 7HU
0208 518 4286
IPSWICH Unit 1 Ipswich Trade Centre, Commercial Road 01473 221253
LEEDS 227-229 Kirkstall Rd. LS4 2AS
0113 231 0400
LEICESTER 69 Melton Rd. LE4 6PN
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LINCOLN Unit 5. The Pelham Centre. LN5 8HG
01522 543 036
LIVERPOOL 80-88 London Rd. L3 5NF
0151 709 4484
LONDON CATFORD 289/291 Southend Lane SE6 3RS 0208 695 5684
LONDON 6 Kendal Parade, Edmonton N18
020 8803 0861
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020 7488 2129
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01622 769 572
MANCHESTER ALTRINCHAM 71 Manchester Rd. Altrincham 0161 9412 666
MANCHESTER CENTRAL 209 Bury New Road M8 8DU
0161 241 1851
MANCHESTER OPENSHAW Unit 5, Tower Mill, Ashton Old Rd 0161 223 8376
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News from the bench
1. GSR 12 V-15 FC Professional drill driver: the shortest drill driver in its
class, with a head length of 132mm and a weight of just 0.8kg, it is a real
problem-solver in restricted spaces. Rapid work progress is assured, thanks
to a maximum torque of 15Nm in hard screwdriving applications and 15Nm
in soft. It has an integral magnetic bit holder and can therefore be used with
or without the FlexiClick attachments.
2. GFA 12-X Professional bit holder: this features a Hex holder and bit
locking, ensuring precise work without risk of bits and drills unintentionally
coming loose. Even with the bit holder attached, its length of 159mm is the
shortest on the market.
3. GFA 12-B Professional drill chuck attachment: featuring an auto-lock
function, it will hold drill bits of up to 10mm. It takes the tool?s head length
to 178mm, which is still very compact and ideal for tight spaces.
Bosch drill
driver with new 12V
version of FlexiClick
Using a new 12V version of its tried-and-tested FlexiClick attachment
system, Bosch has created the most compact and versatile cordless drill
driver on the market: the GSR 12 V-15 FC Professional. Short and lightweight,
it can be quickly combined with four different attachment options to cover
a variety of high-precision tasks ? and to excel in the tightest of spaces and
hardest-to-reach situations.
In addition to an auto-locking drill chuck, and a bit holder with Hex
holder and bit locking, it offers both angle and offset angle attachments.
Uniquely, the angle attachment can be used in combination with any of
the other three. The flexibility of this drill driver and its attachments makes
it ideal for tradespeople such as carpenters, kitchen installers, furniture
makers and exhibition stand builders who work in confined areas.
Even in comparison with more powerful 14.4V and 18V tools, the GSR 12
V-15 FC Professional drill driver is a better choice for many jobs. Loosening
or driving screws close to edges and walls, or drilling holes in tight gaps,
are good examples. The well-established advantages of FlexiClick, which
include adjustment of angle and offset angle attachments without removing
them from the tool, are retained in the 12V version.
4. GFA 12-E Professional offset angle attachment: this allows precise
screwdriving up to just 12mm from an edge. A choice of 16 working
positions can be set without having to remove it from the drill driver.
5. GFA 12-W Professional angle attachment: the shortest in its class,
at just 61mm, it allows easy and precise screwdriving even in a very limited
space. It effectively drives screws around corners, and can be quickly and
easily locked into 16 different positions.
Compatible power
The GSR 12 V-15 FC Professional is part of the Bosch Flexible Power
System. A comprehensive range of 12V Li-ion cordless tools, including
this drill driver, is now replacing the previous 10.8V models. However,
the 10.8V and 12V tools, batteries and chargers are all fully compatible
with each other, so old and new equipment can be used together.
At present there are 27 of these 10.8V and 12V tools, covering every
need and powered by 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and 4.0Ah batteries.
A variety of GSR 12 V-15 FC Professional drill driver packages can
be purchased from specialist retail outlets priced from �8.80; see
www.bosch-pt.com.
5-in-1 system with secure one-click connection
Just place an attachment onto the FlexiClick interface, turn it clockwise,
and a click and control indicator will confirm that the components have
been securely connected. The GSR 12 V-15 FC Professional, along with
its four FlexiClick attachment options, forms a five-part system.
Festool teams up with charity to promote healthy
working environments for UK tradespeople
Festool has teamed up with the British Lung
Foundation (BLF) to provide top quality
cycling tops as a fundraising initiative.
With carpenters four times more likely to
contract asthma compared to other workers,
Festool has previously promoted the
importance of safer dust-free working
conditions with the help of the BLF at last year?s
W16 exhibition. Hundreds of tradespeople
visited the Festool stand for a free drop-in lung
health test, with some medical referrals being
made for hospitals to check on possible health
8 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
issues, with potential ongoing treatment.
This next campaign sees Festool releasing a
limited edition Festool branded, fully breathable
cycling shirt with the words ?Breathe Easy with
Festool Dust Extraction? and the BLF logo on
the back. All profits will go towards the BLF,
not only to provide help for those in need,
but to also raise awareness of lung health
among tradesmen who are most at risk of lung
problems. The cycle shirts can be purchased
via Festool?s eBay page; see www.ebay.co.uk/
itm/152528024920.
T5 ROUTER PROMOTIONS
T5 PROMOTION
Enjoy the versatility of our
popular T5 router at a great
offer price. Both compact and
powerful for a perfect ?nish.
OFFER PRICE
�9
INC VAT
List Price �7.94
GREAT VALUE T5 PROMOTION KITS
GETTING STARTED KITS
WOODWORKER KITS
TRADESMAN KITS
6 Piece Cutter Set Kit
Diamond Bench Stone Kit
18mm Routabout Kit
Available from over 350 Trend Routing
Centres & Stockists in the UK & Ireland.
ZZZWUHQGXNFRP
INC VAT
INC VAT
INC VAT
�9
AD/17/06 b
�8
�9
Hinge Jig Kit
INC VAT
300mm Dovetail Jig Kit
INC VAT
Number Template Kit
�3
�9
�9
Lock Jig Kit
INC VAT
24 Piece Cutter Set Kit
INC VAT
36? Varijig Clamp Guide Kit
�3
�2
INC VAT
�9
INC VAT
+10 additional
Routabout Rings
News from the bench
Nelson?s spirit to live on
as captain?s sea chest
A long plank of decking from an illustrious British
battleship is being reborn as a sea chest for the
new captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the UK?s
new aircraft carrier. The 2.1m piece of teak from
HMS Nelson was gifted to the Chippendale
International School of Furniture in East Lothian.
The school, with an international reputation, is the
only one of its kind in Scotland.
HMS Nelson played an illustrious part in World
War II and was Flagship of the Home Command.
She was broken up at Inverkeithing in 1949.
The Chippendale school held an internal
competition to see how best to make a
piece of furniture from this last remaining
part of the chief battleship?s decking.
The competition was won by Campbell
Deeming (38) from Aberdeenshire, who is a
qualified boatbuilder from the International Boat
Building College in Lowestoft. The piece of teak is
now to be made into the Nelson Chest and, with
the Royal Navy?s approval and encouragement,
will be presented to the incoming captain of the
aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is due
to start sea trials in September.
Because of rules and regulations, the chest is
Campbell Deening working on the chest
he?s making using timber from HMS Nelson
to be bought by a benefactor and then gifted to
the Navy ? with the proceeds going to charities
associated with HMS Queen Elizabeth. The Navy
is delighted that a small piece of history is to
be preserved and given a new life in a new ship.
?This piece of rare wood is from a battleship
that was twice flagship of the Home Fleet during
her lifetime, with service in almost every naval
theatre in World War II except the Pacific,? said
Campbell Deeming. ?The size, stability and patina
of the relic convinced me that it would be perfect
as a traditional sea chest and ditty box ? two
practical nautical items with a provenance of
some great value,? he said. ?It then dawned
on me that right on the doorstep of where this
flagship was scrapped, a new flagship was
being born. Why not link the two together,
with a sense of continuity and tradition??
Campbell is a student and teaching assistant
at the Chippendale International School of
Furniture. He is a graduate of the University
of Edinburgh as well as the International
Boatbuilding Training College. He then returned
to Scotland and worked as a boatbuilder for
the Portsoy Cobble Project and the Scottish
Traditional Boat Festival, before enrolling at the
Chippendale school to study design and learn
new techniques. After graduation, Campbell
will be establishing The Lost Journeyman
Workshop, specialising in contemporary
furniture, boat restorations and interiors.
?The Chippendale furniture school was kindly
donated a piece of decking from HMS Nelson
and we held a competition at the school to
determine how best to preserve this piece of
history in an appropriate way,? said Anselm
Fraser, school principal. ?The Royal Navy
has been an enthusiastic partner in turning
Campbell?s idea into a reality.?
To find out more about the furniture school,
see www.chippendaleschool.com.
New Axminster Trade Clamps
Double Edge Clamp
New to the Axminster Trade Clamps range, the Double Edge Clamp is
designed in such a way to increase the versatility of your Axminster Trade
F clamps or forged flat bar clamps, plus any other similar clamp with a
7mm thickness of bar or less.
Adding this twin-screw accessory to an F clamp bar is a great way
to attach edgebanding, framing and decorative parts. It allows you
to apply pressure exactly where it is needed, turning the F clamp into
a very effective edging clamp.
The body of the clamp is made from solid and steel machined round bar that measures 100mm long
and 25mm in diameter, which is strong and unbreakable. It features wooden handles fitted to cleanly
formed Acme screw threads, and applying pressure is quick and easy as a result. The spindles are 65mm
apart, centre to centre, giving a good spread and with a reach of 50mm. The 25mm diameter clamp pads
are on traditional swivelling mounts to take up any slight variation and feature non-marring glue resistant
caps. Currently priced at �.32, see www.axminster.co.uk for more info. Please note that prices include
VAT and may be subject to change without notice.
10 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
The ingenious David Bowie portrait was
made using 4,000 ForgeFast woodscrews
ForgeFix turns
fastening into an
art ? and raises
�000 for charity
Distributor of fixings, fasteners, power tool
accessories and hardware, ForgeFix, has
turned charity fundraising into an art form.
The business recently donated a unique
portrait created using 4,000 of the
company?s ForgeFast elite performance
woodscrews for sale at a charity auction.
The picture, a 1.2 � 1m portrait of David
Bowie, sold for �000 at the silent auction,
which was held at a Gala Dinner in April.
All proceeds from the sale have been
donated to CRASH ? the construction
industry charity, which supports homeless
and hospice charities with free advice,
practical assistance and financial aid.
The Bowie picture comes from a series of
similar images, which ForgeFix has dubbed
ScrewsArt?. Other portraits include an
image of boxing legend, Muhammad Ali.
ForgeFix began creating the portraits as
a unique and innovative way to demonstrate
the capabilities of its ForgeFast
woodscrews, which outperform the majority
of premium woodscrews currently on the
market in a wide range of areas. Due to
their exceptional characteristics, ForgeFix
has positioned these screws in a new and
elite performance category in order to
highlight their next generation capabilities.
All of the ScrewsArt? portraits were
created with the help of existing and
potential customers who attended the
launch events and by visitors to the
company?s stand at various trade shows
and exhibitions over the last nine months.
To see the David Bowie ScrewsArt?
portrait being created, visit www.youtube.
com/watch?v=pTZ8q2J1n2A, and to find
out more about ForgeFix, see
www.forgefix.co.uk.
Trend PR/01/01 WRT
Workshop Router Table
New from Trend, the Workshop
Router Table will suit craftsman and
woodworking enthusiasts. It is packed
with the necessary features to maximise
the versatility of all portable routers,
ensuring safe, efficient, and consistent
performance every time.
The large 804 � 604mm laminate
MDF top is 35mm-thick and offers a
durable and slick surface to help the
work pass smoothly and comes complete with a 6.35mm aluminium insert
plate for securing the router, giving solid support while losing minimal
plunge depth. The plate is easily adjusted for a flush fit to the table with the
seven screw adjusters and magnets; a further four corner holes are used to
secure the plate firmly to the table once level.
A 98mm aperture allows the biggest panel raisers to be fitted and it
comes with two reducing inserts of 67.5mm and 31.8mm to accommodate
smaller diameter cutters. The plate is pre-drilled to the Trend Base
Configuration (TBC) to suit the vast majority of routers available and has a
20mm access hole to suit Trend T11?s Quick Raiser feature, for easy height
adjustment.
With safety in mind the WRT table comes with a 240V No-Volt Release
switch, top and side finger pressure guards, and a pushstick. There are
storage positions around the table to keep them secure when not in use.
Laminated MDF sliding infeed and outfeed cheeks on the fence are
adjustable to reduce the aperture for safe routing with various diameters of
cutters. The outfeed also has a planing facility, when used with the supplied
on-board packing rods.
At 890mm high, the table is located at the ideal working height.
With the steel framework, full perimeter rails and height adjustable feet, it
offers solid, durable performance. It comes complete with a fully adjustable
aluminium mitre fence, 57.5mm dust extraction fence port, cable
management clips and storage hooks.
Available accessories include additional top pressures, an adjustable limit
stop and castors. Priced at �8.80 inc VAT and available from all Trend
Routing Centres and stockists across the UK, see www.trend-uk.com for
more info.
Heavy-duty workshop trolleys
Sealey?s new hi-vis green workshop trolleys are ideal for regularly used
workshop items, such as power tools and bulky equipment, which are too
big for a traditional tool chest. Both the CX109HV and CX110HV include 14
tool retaining holes, which are perfect for keeping small tools to hand. Both
models have a total load capacity of 160kg (80kg/level).
The AP760MHV garage or workshop trolley has two shelves and a lockable
gas sprung supported lid, which allows for items to be kept safe when not in use.
The overall dimensions, including the handle, are 925mm wide � 440 diameter �
900mm high, which incorporate two 40kg capacity drawers with ball-bearing
slides. This unit features an additional screwdriver holder, which
is ideal for quick access while working. Two lower storage shelves, with a capacity
of 50kg each, can be installed base down or base up, to either give tool and
component security or unobstructed access. The trolley has a total load capacity
of 150kg and is also fitted with four heavy-duty 100mm PU castors, two of which
are locking. For further
details of Sealey?s
2017 Storage and
Workstations
promotion, see
www.sealey.co.uk.
Quality Tools to
match our Service
Mouldings
Top quality
hand tools
Certified
Hardwoods
Toishi-Ohishi
Japanese
Waterstones
Drilling Tools made to the
highest standard
G&S
Specialist
Timber
TOOLS AND MACHINERY
www.toolsandtimber.co.uk
you can order online now
pfeil
WE ARE EASY TO FIND:
11/2 miles from the M6, J40.
Take the A66 towards Keswick,
Open 8am to 5pm daily.
turn left at first roundabout,
10am to 5pm Saturday.
follow the Brown Signs to
Closed Sunday.
The Alpaca Centre.
G&S SPECIALIST TIMBER
The Alpaca Centre, Snuff Mill Lane, Stainton, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 0ES.
Tel: 01768 891445. Fax: 01768 891443. email: info@toolsandtimber.co.uk
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 11
News from the bench
Get ready, because our July course line-up
has something to suit every woodworker
JULY
3?4 Turned boxes (advanced)
5* Introduction to Leigh Jigs
7 Sharpening with Tormek Woodturning
7* & 17 Pen making
10 Pyrography ? Ben Beddows
10 Woodturning refresher
11?12* & 18?19 Beginners? woodturning
15* Bandsaws
20 Fine-tuning hand planes
21 Sharpening
24?28 Windsor chair making
27?28* Beginners? routing
* Course held in Sittingbourne, Kent
Axminster Tools & Machinery
Unit 10 Weycroft Avenue
Axminster, Devon EX13 5PH
Tel: 08009 751 905
Web: www.axminster.co.uk
1?2 Wood machining
17?21 Skills week: sharpening &
essential cabinetmaking hand skills
24?28 Joints week: making a table
29?30 Cabinetmaking fundamentals
31?4 Making a dovetailed drawer
John Lloyd Fine Furniture
Bankside Farm, Ditchling Common
Burgess Hill, East Sussex RH15 0SJ
Tel: 01444 480 388
Web: www.johnlloydfinefurniture.co.uk
1?2 Dovetailing weekend
10 Improver?s make a bookcase
15 Chair making ? part IV
21 Beginners? four-day course
29 Chair making ? part V
31 Router skills
Chris Tribe, The Cornmill, Railway Road
Ilkley, West Yorkshire LS29 8HT
Tel: 01943 602 836
Web: www.christribefurniturecourses.com
10?16 Windsor chairmaking
15 Basket making
16 Willow lantern making
Greenwood Days, Ferrers Centre
Staunton Harol LE65 1RU
Tel: 01332 864 529
Web: www.greenwooddays.co.uk
9 & 23 Spoon carving
16 Introduction to woodcarving
The Goodlife Centre
122 Webber Street, London SE1 0QL
Tel: 0207 760 7613
Web: www.thegoodlifecentre.co.uk
12 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
Photographs by Tib Shaw
COURSE DIARY
AAW Gallery of Wood Art presents:
The Sphere-Second Round
The American Association of Woodturners? (AAW) Gallery
of Wood Art Professional Outreach Program is pleased to
announce its 2017 annual international exhibition, The
Sphere-Second Round. Now in their 11th year, the exhibitions
bring a lively, international mix of smaller-scale works
by established and emerging wood artists to one of
Minnesota?s best ?hidden treasure? galleries.
While the title theme might bring to mind visions of
wooden billiard balls, the works in the event showcase
wonderfully imaginative and very individual interpretations.
Using a wide variety of woods and techniques, the artists
met the challenge of working within a small scale (150 � 150 �
150mm maximum) and a tight title theme with pieces ranging
from wryly humorous to highly personal to apocalyptic.
The Sphere-Second Round will premiere at the AAW Gallery
of Wood Art, before travelling to the 2017 AAW International
Woodturning Symposium, Kansas City Convention Center,
Kansas City, from 22?25 June.
All works will be sold in a simultaneous live/online auction
on 24 June. To find out more about this great event and to
see the full list of woodturners who made pieces for the
exhibition, visit www.woodturner.org ? a few of our
favourite pieces can be seen opposite.
Michael Hosaluk ?Rice Bowl'
Miriam Carpenter ?Find Your Bearings?
Neil Turner ?Fire Ball?
Peter Sefton Furniture School?s annual Open Day
This popular event will take place on 22 July this year, giving you the opportunity to find out about
the long and short furniture making and woodworking courses available, as well as allowing you
to meet expert tutors, see professional demonstrations, and pick up advice, tools and products.
Peter Sefton will be demonstrating hand tool techniques; Andrew Hall will be demonstrating
woodturning, including his infamous turned wooden hats; Artisan Media will be filming the
Open Day and Peter?s own Series 1 DVDs will be on sale. You can also see demonstrations
from Chris Yates (routing) and Bob Jones (French Polishing and traditional finishing), and the
Wood Workers Workshop will have deals on many tools throughout the day.
The Professional Long Course students will have their End of Year Show where you can also
talk with Sean Feeney, the School?s Designer/Maker in Residence, and at the end of the day
the Student Prize Giving will take place.
The school?s charity, Help for Heroes, will be collecting any unused or old hand tools to be
auctioned off, with all proceeds going to the charity in order to equip their woodworking facilities.
To find out more about this event, see www.peterseftonfurnitureschool.com.
Tools for Self Reliance welcomes new equipment
Charity, Tools for Self Reliance (TFSR),
recently welcomed six used Tormek
sharpening machines to its HQ in
Netley Marsh. The machines came
from BriMarc and Tormek and were
previously for the use of students at
Leeds College.
Tools for Self Reliance collects
tools for sending to development
projects in Africa, helping local
communities affected by poverty
with the development of sustainable
From L-R: Volunteers John Harcourt, Roy Barnard, John
livelihoods and income diversification. Howell, Brian Sharp, and TFSR Chief Executive Sarah Ingleby
However, the Tormek T-7s will be used
in the charity?s workshops throughout the UK to prepare tools for sending to Africa.
More specifically, TFSR works within six African countries ? Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania,
Uganda and Zambia ? and throughout the UK there are a total of 778 volunteers working for the
charity. The majority of these work in 45 volunteer groups spread from Aberdeen to the south coast.
Each volunteer group has a workshop where they collect tools donated by members of the public,
refurbish them to ?as new? standard and then send them on to Netley Marsh for inclusion in kits sent
to Africa. To find out more about this great cause, see www.tfsr.org.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Visit Gayle Mill on 8 July (9am-5pm) to have a real hands-on experience
in making a traditional steel-hooped hot bonded cartwheel from
scratch. All participants work as a team of six and together help to
make the hub, two spokes each, a felly, and work together to hot
bond a steel hooped rim onto the wooden wheel. All tuition, lunch
and other refreshments are included and if you wish, you even have
the opportunity to buy the wheel you have helped to make. Priced
at � per person, see www.gaylemill.org.uk to find out more
There will be a Startrite Industrial Day taking place at Yandles?
premises on 21 July, which gives you the opportunity to take advantage
of exclusive show deals, free expert advice on all Startrite machines
? past and present ? and you can also save 15% on all self-select
timber. Demonstrations are available on request and knowledgeable
and friendly staff will be on hand to offer advice on the use of all
products. To find out more, see www.yandles.co.uk
Hitachi Power Tools
launches tougher,
faster and more
advanced brushless
combi drill
If you?re planning to drive screws and drill holes into wood, metal and
brick, then look no further than the DV18DBFL2/JM 18V combi drill with
brushless motor from Hitachi Power Tools.
This combi drill is only 189mm long and weighs just 1.7kg, making it
ideal for confined spaces. With a maximum torque of 70Nm (hard) and
high no load speed of 1,800/min, the power tool makes quick work of
drilling into metal or wood and the Brushless motor means that, unlike
traditional brushed motors, it doesn?t suffer from frictional energy loss
and will adjust power as required.
The DV18DBFL2/JM has a forward and reverse switch and LED spotlight
to illuminate the workpiece. The 13mm ratcheting metal chuck with
spindle lock means screwdriver or drill bits can be removed or inserted
easily, and the soft grip handle makes the tool comfortable and easy to
use. With two 3.0Ah Li-ion batteries, a 90 minute charge time and battery
level indicator, you never need run out of charge, and with Hitachi?s
three-year warranty available when registered online within four weeks
of purchase, trade professionals can be sure to get the most out of their
new tool. To find out more, see www.hitachi-powertools.co.uk.
FREE READER ADS
MACHINERY & MISCELLANEOUS
Triton Work Centre (series
2000); 235mm circular saw
with tungsten-tipped blade,
mini sliding extension table,
bevel ripping guide, retractable
wheel kit and blade height winder
kit; router table (series 2000),
1,400W plunge router; 21
assorted router cutters; biscuit
joiner (new series), and biscuits ?
all hardly used. Selling everything
for �100 ? call for details
01604 411 568 (Northampton)
work. �0 for the two; buyer
to collect
01684 772 020 (Gloucestershire)
Luna W59 combination machine
& Startrite 301 bandsaw ? both
machines used only for hobby
Coronet Home Cabinetmaker
lathe; �0 ? buyer collects
01296 713 281 (Bucks)
Australian Symtec woodturning
lathe ? in good condition, and
comes complete with a variety
of turning tools ? call for details
01454 260 395 (Gloucestershire)
Scrollsaw ? MS-2 ? little used,
heavy cast-iron, well made;
� ? buyer collects
01732 843 286 (Kent)
Woodfest Wales ?
showcasing the world of wood
This interactive festival is full of exciting things to do for all the family. Step
back in time and see craftsmen and women carrying out traditional crafts
and skills, creating beautiful, fascinating and functional art, sculptures,
objects, buildings and more, and watch the latest high-tech forestry
equipment demonstrated by working professionals. Woodfest has seven
different event arenas with exhilarating displays taking place along with over
150 outside stands where you can see a range of industry trade stands and
demonstrations, as well as six main marquees full of interesting and unique
goods produced in the UK.
Carve Cymru
The showpiece of the festival ?Carve Cymru? brings together 18 of the finest
chainsaw artists in the UK. The carvers arrive early the day before the start
of the festival to set up, choose their timber and start carving their main
sculptures so that when the public arrive on Saturday morning, these huge
pieces are already taking shape. The main sculpture pieces will be carved
throughout the weekend and will be presented in the arena for a special
pre-auction viewing.
A variety of timber is used for the carvings, including oak, Douglas fir
and Western red cedar, so feel free to come and meet the carvers during
the two days, where they will be happy to take commissions and show
off their selection of stock pieces.
Speed carving
On Saturday there will also be
three 30-minute speed carving
demonstrations throughout the
day, and two on the Sunday. The
carvers will stop working on their
main auction piece while they come
and speed carve and wow the
crowds. It is truly amazing to see
what the carvers can create in such
a short space of time! The full list of
carvers participating can be found
on the website ? see details below.
Taking place on 29?30 July at
Caerwys, North Wales, see www.
woodfestwales.co.uk for more info
and to purchase tickets.
Chainsaw carver Simon O'Rourke
from Tree carving Ltd of Wrexham
Send your adverts to: tegan.foley@mytimemedia.com
Jet 10-20 drum sander ? ideal
for segmented work; �0. Also
selling Axminster 300mm disc
sander; �
01747 871 402 (Wilts)
Woodworker annual from 1954
& Woodworker magazine from
July 1948; �01617 895 147 (Salford)
Astra lathe ? 3?4hp ? good starter
lathe, with swivel head, 850mm
between centres, bed swing
250mm, bowl swing 430mm,
including Peter Child chuck and
extras; �0 ? buyer to collect
01554 821 003 (Carmarthenshire)
Stanley 05 jack plane in box;
�. Stanley 06 fore plane; �.
Stanley 041?2 smoothing plane;
�. All planes in very good
condition
0208 641 4138 (Suffolk)
Nova 3000 and Hobbymat
lathes ? supplied with chucks,
tools and timber, etc; �0
& �5, respectively ?
call for further details
01902 701 929 (S. Staffs)
Mortise & tenon jig for sale
with cutters. Never used,
Trend model; �0
01273 611 839 (East Sussex)
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 13
Kit & Tools: Bosch Professional GSB 18 V-60 combi drill
The tip of the new
technology iceberg
Designed and built with maximum
connectivity in mind, this brand-new combi
drill from Bosch is powerful, efficient and
features a long-lasting brushless EC motor
I
?ve watched this technology evolve over
the last couple of years and seen it during
its developmental stages at conferences,
but this is the first time I?ve managed to
get my hands on one of the new Bluetooth
enabled power tools. The Bluetooth technology
is built into a module on the side of the drill
handle with a cover that holds the battery to
supply the power for the Bluetooth signal.
The signal is linked via the Bosch Toolbox app
on the Android and iPhone platforms and gives
you access to the drill in order to check basic
information, as well as a few more in-depth
adjustments, which I will come on to shortly.
This is more than enough for most carpentry
work, so the site workers will embrace it for
this quality alone, but with no side handle,
it does require some protection to the end
user in order to prevent potential wrist injury.
Of course, Bosch have included protection
with an anti-rotation protective clutch that kicks
in if the drill catches and rotates violently, which
has the benefit of stopping the drill in its tracks.
But first off, in its own right, the Bosch drill is up
to its usual build quality, with one enhancement
that I particularly like. Simple as it is, the return to
a muted black finished chuck over the silver
finished version used on a previous model
makes it look like the true professional model
that it is. I always felt the silver chuck gave it a
cheap, inferior appearance, despite the fact it
was of equal quality to the single sleeved
all-metal one used here.
The drill is very compact as well; the Bosch
EC brushless motor helps to reduce things down
to just 184mm from the back of the drill to the
chuck tip, but it?s still powerful enough to drill
up to 38mm in timber.
A dual collar system allows the torque setting to
be overridden for hammer and standard drilling
The light is bright and can be altered with
the smartphone app
The speeds are altered via a simple top slider
Great build quality
14 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
Different functions
Even with its stubby length, there?s still room to
This bit of circuitry does all the magic; a coin cell
battery controls everything
Aside from the app, the drill put in a good stint
drilling securing wall plates to hard brick...
... as well as driving concrete screws in to
fasten the plates
Once connected to the app there is a range of
user-defined controls available
house a twin collar adjustment behind the
chuck; this allows for one collar to alter the torque
settings to any of its 20 positions for consistent
screwdriving control, while the second one
controls the drill, hammer and screwdriving
functions, overriding the torque once the collar
is altered to the hammer or drill positions.
The hammer function puts in a good shift as
well; the top speed of 1,900rpm means it?s on
par with a mains model so it doesn?t lag when
drilling into standard denser building materials,
such as 7Nm blocks with smaller drills.
The most commonplace 7mm diameter
plug that is used for many fixings is well within
its remit, and likewise, if you ditch wall plugs in
favour of the direct fixed concrete screws, I found
the maximum driving torque of 60Nm was more
than capable of driving a 100mm fixing into
external blockwork.
for the Bluetooth function, flashing to indicate
the connection status when linking to your phone.
Looking closer at the Bluetooth technology, at
its most basic it links to the app to record the tool
to your own database, so you can update with the
serial number for ownership. It also automatically
loads all the information about the tool itself on
first connection, the specifications and so forth,
as well as telling you the battery status, so you
can handily check this before you even get it out
of the box!
But there are additional user-operated
functions that are very useful. Remember that
LED light and its 10 second illumination after the
trigger release? The app allows you to alter the
illumination length to suit your needs, cutting
back to zero seconds and as high as 99 seconds
of light.
The kick in speed of the clutch can also be
altered to come in sooner as well as an additional
torque setting that will switch off the drill once
the desired torque is reached, rather than the drill
ratcheting once the setting is hit, which protects
the gears and prevents the tool from overworking
unnecessarily.
The final part that will also prove useful is just
how long the drill can be used for. It helps you
keep tabs on it if you lend it to a workmate, for
example, who only wants to drill a couple of
holes, but when you get it back you find that
it?s done the equivalent of the London Marathon
of drilling jobs, as well as a general diagnostic
should it fail for any reason.
Conclusion
Bluetooth technology
Despite the extra Bluetooth technology within
the handle, Bosch have, as usual, retained one
of the most comfortable grips on the market.
It remains as slim as any other in their range,
making control and comfort in use an additional,
and welcome, bonus.
A trigger-operated LED is common nowadays,
and no different here. It illuminates a decent area
around the chuck and also remains on for 10
seconds after the trigger is released, so it will
also act as a rudimentary torch.
Secondary to this, the light is also a diagnostic
All in all, the drill itself is a worthy addition to
your kit if you are looking for a powerful and
compact drill, but the additional app functions
give you the extra scope required in order for
you to achieve optimum performance.
This is the tip of the new technology iceberg
that, unlike the Titanic, looks like it will continue
to steam on to greater things beyond. GW
Specification:
Speeds: 0-600 & 0-1,900rpm
Impacts per minute: 0-28,500
Chuck capacity: 13mm
Max capacity in timber: 38mm
Max capacity in steel: 13mm
Max capacity in masonry: 13mm
Typical price: �0 with 2 � 5Ah batteries
Web: www.bosch-pt.com
THE GW VERDICT
PROS:
App controlled adjustments; compact;
1
?2in metal chuck; fast top speed
CONS:
I like it, and it has great scope, but others may
find the app-driven technology a gimmick!
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 15
Kit & Tools: Shogun 2-in-1 folding knife
Two blades are better than one
This pocket saw and knife
combo features a heavy-duty
chassis and is manufactured
from quality steel ? ideal
for gardening and small
woodworking tasks
J
apanese saws are often touted as the
best thing since rice wine (if only they
made riced bread!) so this neat folding
pocket saw will certainly appeal to lovers
of such things and many others alike.
Twin blades
The handle houses two blades: a knife blade and
a fine-toothed saw blade. The knife blade looks
pretty fearsome ? similar to a cutthroat razor in
design and fairly sharp ? although thankfully
not as sharp as a cutthroat! The saw blade follows
traditional Japanese patterns so it has the pull
stroke tooth pitch and these triple-ground needle
point teeth are incredibly keen; equal to the
much-loved woodworking saws used for joinery
and furniture making. The blades are also made
in Japan; Shogun is a Japanese manufacturer
of traditional woodworking tools, so you can
be sure that the durability of the steel and
manufacturing quality is of equal prowess.
Easily pocketable
Both blades are replaceable, held by a single
large screw, and you have the option of swapping
to a coarser cut saw blade, which is ideal for
pruning small branches or wetter wood, and
also a fine keyhole saw blade so you can mix
and match accordingly, or even put two knife
blades in if you wish!
At 155mm long when folded, the knife is easily
pocketable or it can be hung from the lanyard
hole. The blades lock out when in use with two
lock out positions for each blade, so it?s sturdy
in use. Be aware, though, that carrying such a
knife on your person breaks UK knife law, both
for blade length and the fact it locks.
Conclusion
dual-purpose knife for the tool box; the only
downside being the odd position of the notch
to deploy the blades. You need to push down
on the lock button before you can pull them out,
so the notch position alongside the pivot doesn?t
make sense; it would be far more logical for this
to be located at the free end of the blade, which
would facilitate easier blade deployment. GW
Specification:
Handle length: 155mm
Usable blade length: 115mm
Steel handle with polymer overlay
Japanese-style saw blades
Typical prices: �.99; replacement
saw blades ? �99; replacement knife
blade ? �.99
Web: www.johnsontools.co.uk
THE GW VERDICT
PROS:
Interchangeable blades; replaceable blades
CONS:
Awkward blade deployment
RATING: 4 out of 5
The blades will lock out in a straight position?
That aside, it?s certainly a well constructed
? or at an upwards cranked position for different
applications
The supplied blade follows traditional Japanese
pull stroke saw designs
Pruning and keyhole blades are available
alongside the ones supplied with it
The notch for deploying the blades isn?t located in
the best position
Cross-cutting is incredibly quick and easy with the
supplied blade?
? and it?s no slouch when it comes to ripping
work, either
16 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
Kit & Tools: Bosch Professional GCL 2-50 C combi laser
App controllable
accuracy
Perfect for builders,
carpenters, electricians,
plumbers and other
tradespeople, this
new combi laser from
Bosch can be controlled
remotely thanks to
smart new Bluetooth
connection technology
H
The kit is supplied with a cradle that allows
the laser to be manually rotated using the
adjusting knob. It also connects to the included
mount for use on suspended ceiling grids or
as a wall mount with a further manual height
adjustment, which allows you to finely tune the
beam position to suit your needs. However, to
get the most from this laser, the additional
R3 rotating base takes it to a whole new level
(!) for working remotely.
Fitted to this motorised cradle the level can
be rotated via your smartphone; alternatively,
there is also a dedicated remote control as well.
The Bluetooth function needs to be enabled
in order to use the app, and there is a button on
the laser that switches it on or off, which helps
to conserve battery power.
The motorised cradle also draws its power
directly from the laser as well, so there?s no
danger of the cradle failing independently of
the laser, which is a neat touch and saves you
having to carry additional or different batteries.
Although the cradle only allows the plumb
line to alter position, it?s a huge benefit for the
setting out of walls, aligning of bases and wall
units, and many other areas where there are
numerous plumb line operations required.
In kitchen fitting type applications, being
able to set the laser well out of the way and at
the correct horizontal height for wall or base units
is a great asset. Also, the ability to rotate it to each
alignment position for the units? plumb positions,
without disturbing anything, is also very handy.
The basic cradle rotates the laser manually
with this knob
The sliding on/off switch also has a secondary
position for inclined beams
aving seen this particular level
at the Bosch conference last year,
I have to say that it was one of the
standouts for me as it was fully
controllable from a distance. The beams can
be toggled through their respective modes
using the onboard buttons, with vertical
and horizontal lines and plumb dot options
available, but as part of the Bosch ?Simply
Connected? range, these are also app
controlled. This allows the user to toggle
functions, or switch it on or off without having
to leave the work area. In some instances
it wouldn?t be necessary, but for setting out
with the level fixed at height, for example, the
ability to control it without the need to get up
and down ladders to operate it is a real bonus.
Motorised cradle
18 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
Optional receiver unit
The laser can also be used with an optional
receiver unit; this allows the laser to work
outdoors or in brighter areas where the beam
can be difficult or impossible to pick up. A further
button on the laser toggles this on or off, and
the noticeable decrease in the beam brightness
helps conserve the battery for this function, as
the target receiver is doing the work of picking
up the pulse signal rather than the beam itself.
The beams
So let?s look more closely at the beams: these
are very thin, crisp and bright, even at a distance,
so alignment or marking is accurate, and with
the self-levelling function, also quick to set up.
This panel has various buttons to control the
beams, Bluetooth and receiver functions
Kit & Tools: David Charlesworth Plane Sharpening and Precision Planing DVDs
The clipped front body design also allows the
vertical beam to transfer back, so if it?s placed
against a wall, the beam will fire back up the
wall behind it, onto the floor in front as well as
the ceiling and opposite wall, so an almost 360�
beam can be seen, which is ideal for setting out
partitions and the like.
angle to fire a line for laying out such work and
can also be used to great effect for laying wall
tiles in a diamond grid pattern, if you fancy a
nostalgic trip down memory lane. With that in
mind, it won?t hang flock wallpaper, but it will
certainly put a plumb line up for you to hang to.
Conclusion
Plumb lines
Already a winner, Bosch have also accounted
for the times where a plumb or horizontal line
isn?t required but an inclined one is; handrails
up a staircase, for example.
The on/off slider switch has a third position
that locks the prism while still retaining the beam
functions; this allows the laser to be tilted to any
I?ve been a fan of crossline lasers since the first
time I saw one, and with the app controllability
of this Bosch offering, along with its other
functions, it?s definitely one of, if not the best,
I?ve seen, and I?d very highly recommended it.
To get the most from it for general use, the
motorised cradle would undoubtedly be a great
investment alongside the basic setup, and if your
needs and budget stretch far enough, then the
receiver makes it an exceptionally powerful
piece of equipment. All of these are available
as optional extras, so can be added to the
standard setup as needed. GW
Specification:
Self levelling: Yes -/+ 4�
Laser range: 20m (50m with range finder)
Accuracy: -/+ 0.3mm per metre
Laser beam colour: Red
Laser type: Horizontal and vertical crossline
plus plumb dots
Power: Bosch 12V and 10.8V Li-ion compatible
Typical price: �0
(�0 with the motorised cradle)
Web: www.bosch-pt.com
THE GW VERDICT
PROS:
App controllable; multiple laser functions;
bright thin beams
CONS:
Ideally works best with the motorised cradle
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
You can use the 12V and 10.8V batteries in the
laser. An adaptor for AA batteries is also available
Although the beam is hard to see here, it is bright
enough to be viewable outdoors
The devil?s in the detail
While undeniably a master in the field of hand tool work and
specifically planes, these DVDs from David Charlesworth
are perhaps a little too detailed, and as a result, wouldn?t
necessarily be suited to the more amateur woodworker
I
f you?re looking for an in-depth, analytical
look at planing and sharpening, then these
DVDs will be right up your street. David
Charlesworth goes down to microscopic
detail in both DVDs: the planing one works to
engineering tolerances in terms of achieving
flatness, square and size on your stock ? way
too much for mere mortals who want to get
on and make things, who therefore have no
need for such accuracy ? but for the ultra-fine
work that some desire, the detail is there and
certainly demonstrates how to achieve it.
Precision Planing
The planing DVD is split into 16 chapters
that explain, step-by-step, the methodology
involved for each task along with additional
snippets that explain the reasoning for the
method being applied. It all links well, and
will help many who need guidance, but the
tolerances and techniques involved are, to
be honest, far too fine for many people who
are just looking for a way to improve their
planing techniques. Basically, you can take
the methods laid down by David and alter
them to suit your own needs.
Plane Sharpening
The Plane Sharpening DVD follows the same
highly analytical thought train with 21 chapters
covering not only sharpening but setting up a
plane, grinding the iron using a Tormek, a fast
grinder and by hand with abrasives, along
with prepping of the plane in general.
While the principles and the edge obtained
are valid, the convoluted amount of work
needed, counting strokes on one abrasive to
another, shimming to gain cambers and so forth,
is much too in-depth for a woodworker looking
to make a living. To take such information on
board would require a great deal of additional
research if you?re not already familiar with
working to such fine tolerances, and would
not necessarily be of benefit in the long run.
Conclusion
It?s almost to the point of OCD with microscopic
accuracy the aim, but the work involved in getting
there is too much ? for me anyway. That said,
if you want to work to David?s standards, then
the information is all there and very well
presented in both DVDs. GW
Specification:
Precision Planing: 110 mins
Plane Sharpening: 130 mins
Typical price: �.95 each
Web: www.davidcharlesworth.co.uk
THE GW VERDICT
RATING: 3.5 out of 5
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 19
Kit & Tools: Snappy Applicator & Nanoblock Snappy Applicator
Double-quick coverage
Why use a paintbrush when you can achieve a uniform,
bubble-free, non-streaky finish using these clever
polystyrene applicators
P
ainting and other finishing
ranks alongside sanding as
one of my least favourite
jobs, so anything that
makes life easier has to be a good
thing. These Snappy applicators from
General Finishes certainly do just that and
despite looking rather unassuming, they are
ideal for applying finishes, both uniformly
and very quickly.
Different bases
Made from polystyrene, they feature a sponge
sub base that acts as a reservoir for the finish
as well as allowing the applicators to run
smoothly around the work. The sponge has
either a flock or fine bristle base for applying
the finish with the flock for top finishes, such as
lacquers, and the fine bristle used for applying
base coats and paints.
In use
Having had Wayne Mack make a rocking chair
for my new grandson, Rudi, using his Legacy CNC
machine, I was tasked with getting it painted, and
Specification:
Size: 150mm
Body material: Polystyrene
Typical prices: Snappy Applicator ? �95;
Nanoblock Snappy Applicator ? �55
Web: www.generalfinishes.co.uk
THE GW VERDICT
PROS:
Very fast for applying finishes; uniform
coverage; easy to clean
CONS:
Not ideal for tight curved surfaces unless
cut to size
what better way than with these new applicators?
As the chair back has his name routed in, I wanted
to pick it out without getting paint into the routed
grooves. The applicator was perfect for this; the
amount of paint it holds is excessive so doesn?t
run in, and dragging the pad across the work
resulted in deep coverage but without excess,
so it didn?t bleed or seep into the lower areas.
I had to use a foam brush for dealing with
the internal tight spots as the pads aren?t ideal
for these sorts of applications, but there?s no
reason why they couldn?t be cut down to
various sizes using a craft knife.
Keeping them intact for the purpose of
reviewing, the main flat areas were completed
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
in double quick time, without experiencing
any runs or drips, and with thinner uniform
coverage drying time was quicker, so I could
get a couple of coats on and the chair reassembled ready for his nursery.
Conclusion
I?m really pleased with how well these applicators
work; they are superb for covering bigger, flat
areas and they are also ideal for water-based
applications, as they are very easy to rinse out
and re-use. GW
Coverage is superb, and paint is very quick to
apply without experiencing streaks or runs
The finish is easily loaded by dipping the
applicator into a shallow tray
The completed article, all ready for Rudi?
? and here?s the happy little chappy enjoying
his rocking chair!
My test piece was this lovely rocking chair
made by Wayne Mack
Dragging over a routed relief, the applicator left
the recesses free of finish
20 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
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Solutions: What the Dickens...
Our Mutual Friend
In woodworking, we are in the midst of life,
Dave Roberts reflects ? as long as we don?t inhale
BELOW: More
Shelley than Dickens?
Will my dismantled
doors provide the raw
materials to create a
credible ?old? door,
or just a monstrous
headache?
I
f Mr. Dickens worked beside an open fire, then
his last complete novel, Our Mutual Friend, is
? whatever its better points ? one CO detector
short of being an enjoyable read. It is a story
of death and changed identities that is as dark as a
moonless River Thames, which threads itself through
the book, and as morbid as carbon monoxide
poisoning. On the other hand, it is also a story of
renewal, a theme that may chime with The Old Vic?
? which almost stands within the morning shadow of
its church?s steeple ? but which is at the very heart
of woodworking,
whose methods
and medium have
remarkable powers
of renewal. ?Even
when it is felled,?
said Donald
Culross Peattie in
his book, American
Heartwood, ?it but
enters on a new
kind of life. Sawn
and seasoned and
finished, it lays
bare the hidden
beauty of its heart,
in figures and
grains more lovely
than the most
24 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
premeditated design. It is stronger, now, than it was
in the living tree, and may bear great strains and take
many shapes? ? including the bluecollar shapes with
which I?m presently occupied, doors.
As one door closes?
As I suspect that much of the house?s joinery was
made on site, I wasn?t expecting to be able to directly
replace The Old Vic?s three or four missing doors
with salvage yard finds. In this expectation, I haven?t
been disappointed, but nor have I been let down by
the availability of four-panel doors of the right period,
material, and general size. The trick has been in
finding sensibly priced examples that are relatively
unadulterated ? that haven?t been cut down, knocked
about or, as far as I can tell, patched up with PVA
glues. My plan is to break down my gleanings into
kits of parts that can be repaired and ?adjusted?,
and then reassembled to make replacements that not
only fit the doorframes, but in which the proportions
of the panels and frame members match those of their
150-odd year-old neighbours.
It is, I admit, a labour-intensive approach: as far
as possible, the ?adjustments? will need to use or be
made around pre-existing joints; increasing the depth
of a rail or the width of a panel, say, will involve hiding
large, long-grain joints in plain sight, albeit under a
painted finish. Altogether, it amounts to a variation
upon selective assembly that would surely be
a non-starter in any commercial woodworking
enterprise; and indeed, no matter how much time I
invest, the approach still may not produce satisfactory
results. However, until I?ve tried it I won?t know.
Neither, however, do I know of a more appropriate
RIGHT: Pot-boiler: the
The Old Vic? saga will
shortly be seeing some
experiments with hide
glue; I?ve never used
it before, but I?m
completely sold
on its reversibility,
if only because
I?ll be able
to correct
some of my
mistakes?
ABOVE: Once drilled, the wedges in the
doors? joints were removed with pliers, and the
mortise & tenon joints carefully knocked apart
way to replace the old doors other than by inviting
genuinely old doors to take their place. Simply making
new ones isn?t an option, I feel, because using fresh
timber ? even stu? resawn from larger, salvaged timbers
dating back to the 19th century hey-day of imported
old-growth pine ? would inevitably lead (to borrow
Dickens? term) to some measure of ?bran-newness?.
This is a quality personified in Our Mutual Friend by
the Veneerings and their household, in which, ?all things
were in a state of high varnish and polish?[and] smelt
a little too much of the workshop.? In the case of my
doors, this ?bran-newness? would manifest itself in the
quality of their not having been doors for very long; in a
certain lack of ?conviction? ? the wearing of many small
signs of age as one might a favourite suit ? that would
make them appear ill-at-ease among their companions.
I?m unable to feign in any way that would satisfy me the
gentle rounding of a closing stile where, for a century or
so, the countless touches of hands have polished away
the arris; besides, even if I were, to try would be just,
well? joinery imitating real life.
? six joints open
So, like the Hexams, the characters in Our Mutual
Friend who trawl the Thames for the drowned, I have
been collecting the carcasses of doors from the ebb tide
of old furniture and fittings in the hope of performing my
own act of renewal. Two, almost perfect for The Old Vic?,
came from a mill-owner?s house of similar vintage, which
was being ?restored? by removing every period feature;
I wish I?d been able to a?ord even half of the things to
which the sellers attached no value but a canny price
tag. Another pair that I couldn?t resist came from what
must have been a much larger building, but their
over-size sections will probably be set aside for the
makings of other projects requiring old, close-grained
pine. Yet others have been bought for a song, their
owners simply glad to be rid of them, or as job lots
of good-with-the-bad. But then, one man?s twisted
stile is another?s source of repair fillets, I say.
In all cases, the first step towards their resurrection
has been the removing of any paint using a heat gun,
which lifts o? more recent water-based finishes along
with the older, underlying oil-based paints (see also
?Caustic & caution?). This suits my purpose, of course,
as however the timber is eventually used, it?ll have to
be refinished. In the short term, though, revealing the
underlying wood also makes it easy to spot and remove
any pins, screws or dowels that may?ve been used to
supplement the joints. It?s when it comes to dismantling
the joints themselves, though, that the avoidance of PVA
pays dividends.
?Prior to the mid-1940s, hot animal glue was the
traditional glue used in furniture assembly,? says Je?
Jewitt in his helpful joint repair guide (see ?Jewitt
yourself?). Hide
glue, of course,
is another facet
of renewal in
woodwork, in that
it allows joints to
be disassembled
and remade
without damage
(see ?Skin &
bones?). At least,
this is how things
have so far proved
with the mortise &
tenoned stiles and
rails I have tackled:
I?ve simply drilled
and collapsed the
wedges securing
ABOVE: Room for
a small sweep:
burning
unseasoned wood
leads to a build up
of inflammable,
tarry deposits in
chimney flues
BELOW: Age and/or
caustic stripper can
loosen hide-glue joints;
matters weren?t helped
in this lock rail by fitting
a mortise lock. It makes
the doors easier to
dismantle, though?
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 25
Solutions: What the Dickens...
JEWITT YOURSELF
Jeff?s joint-repair advice (www.antiquerestorers.com) is littered with the fruits of his workshop experience:
?
?
?
?
?
To pry out small nails set flush with surface, regrind the outer jaws of end nippers.
With nails set below the surface, you can try to push them through, but I find it best to leave them;
they?ll split the wood on the mating joint, but this is easier to repair than show wood that has been
gouged to access a small nail head.
I keep an old screwdriver whose tip I re-grind to fit snugly into old screws and so avoid stripping the slots.
For frozen screws, hold a screwdriver in the slot and heat the shank of the screwdriver with a propane
torch to transfer the heat to the screw. After the screw cools it should come out easily.
NEXT
MONTH
Clearing the
Dickensian
smoke and
gloom: starting
work on the sash
windows, and
other Old Vic?
adventures
If a loose joint won?t come apart, look for any tell-tale holes that may hide fasteners and, if you can,
slip a metal feeler-gauge into the joint. Sometimes, screws are counter-bored into a show surface and
the hole plugged with wood from the same species, making them hard to spot
the six tenons, and extracted the remains with
needle-nosed pliers. It has then been a matter of
carefully knocking the sections apart using a mallet
and wooden drift to protect the timber, and trying
not to split the relatively brittle panels as the frames
separate around them.
Up in smoke
From here on, reworking the doors may well be trickier.
After all, not everything in life or woodwork turns out
well, and already my work around The Old Vic? is
starting to generate a supply of kindling ? which thought
allows me to end with an explanation of where we began,
with carbon monoxide and a coal-tar scented whi? of
Dickensian melodrama.
CO detectors have been on my mind since removing
a woodburner to install a flue liner, and peering up
the chimney. Some amount of soot is an inevitable
by-product of burning wood, but seeing the amount of
tar in the flue underlined the importance of burning
seasoned firewood ? that?s to say, wood with a
moisture content of less than 25% according to
HETAS, the solid-fuel organisation. Unseasoned
firewood (with a moisture content of more than 30%),
burns less e?iciently because the steam created by
CAUSTIC & CAUTION
When done properly, removing oil paint in a tank of hot caustic is a relatively
quick process, and shouldn?t saturate the wood. The chemical action is, however,
sufficiently aggressive that hide-glue joints can be loosened, and this is what has
happened to most of The Old Vic?s doors when they were stripped at some point.
For me, it?s an unintended aid to thorough repair as it
means that the frames, which haven?t been finished in
any way, can now be even more easily knocked apart.
However, before their joints are reassembled with
fresh hide glue and the doors are painted, I?ll check
that they were properly rinsed after being stripped, as
any alkali residues from the process could compromise
the joints and spoil the finish. The way to check the
wood is with a chemical indicator, phenolphthalein,
which is readily available for the purpose either as
a pre-mixed solution, or as a powder that?s mixed
with denatured alcohol. When applied to the wood,
Dipping in caustic is one way to phenolphthalein will react to the presence of alkalis
remove paint from woodwork, by turning anything between delicate pink and a
and may be the easiest way
violent magenta. If necessary, I?ll wash the doors
to strip carved or moulded
with a vinegar solution to neutralise any residues,
pieces; use an indicator to
and then give them a good rinsing
check for alkali residues
26 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
the primary combustion dampens or extinguishes the
secondary burn of the smoke ? the resin vapours and
wood particles. Unseasoned wood therefore produces
less heat, and the smoke combines with the extra
moisture vapour and condenses to create inflammable,
tarry residues that will slowly choke an unswept
flue or flue liner, potentially leading to a hazardous
build-up of odourless CO, and creating the conditions
for a chimney fire. Smoking, as they say, can damage
your health. GW
SKIN & BONES
When Chris Schwarz, the Lost Art Press? champion of traditional
woodworking skills, visited David Savage?s Rowden?s
workshop in 2015, he prompted some re-evaluation of working
practices. ?Even I?ve been reminded about stuff I knew but had
forgotten,? David himself admitted. ?Using animal glue for
carcass assembly [was] something I abandoned years ago
because I couldn?t afford the hot pot and picked up PVA instead;
I?d simply forgotten that hide glue is a better assembly glue?
? better, that is, by virtue of its being reversible. If you need to
loosen its hold, wicking denatured alcohol into a joint will do
the trick, and because it sticks to itself, the joint doesn?t have
to be scraped clean ? just moisten the old glue with hot water
to re-activate it, and apply fresh glue.
?We?ve used animal-based glue since the Egyptians,?
said Chris, ?but gave up on it in 1955 when PVA was
introduced. Since then, we?ve made a whole generation of
furniture that can?t be repaired because PVA doesn?t stick to
itself. Take apart a chair made before World War II, and you
can put more hide glue on it, and it?ll go back together better
than new. But PVA? You have to scrape it off, and you?ll take
off some wood with it, so the fit will never be the same?
?I?d simply forgotten that hide glue is a better assembly
glue,? David Savage admitted when challenged by Chris
Schwarz? revivalism
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In a bind?
Perfect for storing past copies of your favourite
magazine, David Moody shows how you can
make your very own custom binder
28 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
I
I?ve been subscribing to GW
for over a year now, and the
magazines are looking a bit
sloppy on the book shelf, so I came
up with the solution of binding
them together as a book. Over
the following pages, I?ll show
how you can make your very
own version. GW
Project: Magazine binder
STEP 1. The first step is to create a blank that is
cut to the desired size of the finished book, or
magazine. I used a scrap of recycled plywood,
which was very conveniently painted white on
one side. Place one of the magazines on the scrap
and lay a straight rule against the edge, remove
the magazine, and draw the line. Repeat this for
all the other sides
STEP 2. It?s OK if the book covers are the same
size as the magazines, but most hardcover books
have covers larger than their pages. With that
in mind, I suggest adding 5mm to the top and
bottom, and 10mm to the right. Before you start
cutting, make sure you have suitable safety
equipment in place
STEP 4. You can now trace out the two covers
onto your plywood. Cut out your covers and take
some time to sand them back. If you?re using
recycled plywood as I am, then be careful that
it doesn?t splinter as mine did
STEP 5. It?s just my personal taste, but I think
that blue denim goes very nicely with wood
and should make a great spine for the book
STEP 7. Here you can see the correct piece of
denim glued down. My edge is rough, but this
doesn?t really matter. Notice that the denim
on the edge has been folded slightly to make
sure that it glues right up to the edge properly.
I?m using TOA latex glue; I find it works very
well for this kind of task. I would suggest using
something similar
STEP 8. Next, lay your stack of magazines down
on the inside of the cover. Make sure that their
edges are all lined up correctly, then fold the
denim over the magazines and cut a 30mm
overlay to glue into the front cover
STEP 3. By now, you?re probably looking at my
oscillating cutter and wondering why I?m not
just using a bandsaw, but the reason is because
I don?t have one! Use whatever tool you have to
cut out the template for tracing out both covers
of your book, and for any future book binding
projects you might make
STEP 6. The spine will have two layers of denim.
Start by gluing the denim onto the back cover ?
I cut mine so that there was around 25-30mm
of material glued down. The piece in this photo
is actually for the outer spine. Note to self: when
taking photos make sure you use the right content!
STEP 9. Glue up the front cover as you did
with the back and press it down onto the denim.
Do this with the magazines in place so that
you achieve the correct book thickness. Next,
carefully open the cover and lay it flat on the
bench, then press the denim down to ensure
it adheres properly
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 29
Project: Magazine binder
STEP 10. You can now fold in the overhangs
and glue them down; this will help to stiffen
up the top and bottom edges for tying down
the magazines later. My advice is to stiffen the
spine with some thick card beforehand ? this
would probably be a better option
STEP 11. Start cutting your string, double length,
with plenty of excess. I?m making this book to
fit six magazines, plus a supplement that came
with one of them, so seven strings are needed
for this book. You will need to choose how many
magazines you put in yours, keeping in mind
thickness and ease of use
STEP 13. Wait until the glue has
dried and then turn the cover over,
so that the inside faces up. You can
now get your magazines ready.
If you are binding the January to
June issues, you will start with
the June issue and work forwards
STEP 14. Now run the long end of
the string down the middle of the
magazine and tie it off securely at
the bottom. I just used a simple
double knot, but if you are more
skilled at tying knots than I am, then
you will probably use something
better suited! Make sure it is quite
tight at this stage
STEP 17. Try closing your book ? if the cover stands up a little as mine
does in the photo, then this is ideal. Remember that paper settles with
time. If you can comfortably press down the cover flat with little effort,
then you?ve probably got it just right. Now is also a good time to trim
off the excess string
30 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
STEP 12. Spread plenty of glue onto the denim
(it will soak in a little) and then lay out your
strings as shown here. Leave several centimetres
hanging out the bottom, and the rest hanging
out the top. Make sure they are laid out evenly
and straight, then over the tops of the strings,
glue down a strip of denim
STEP 15. Tie down each of the
magazines one at a time, working
to the front of the book. As you add
more magazines, you need to be
increasingly careful that they are
tied directly to the fabric spine and
that the other magazines aren?t
pushing the new editions out of
position as you tie them down
STEP 16. Line up a block of wood,
or another book ? something that
will enable you to lay the front
cover flat at the height of the
thickness of the book. Next,
double-check all the strings
to make sure the magazines
are in fact tightly tied down
STEP 18. I?m using a piece of denim with the seam still attached; it needs
to be cut to overlay the front and back covers so that the existing denim
folded over them is covered. Glue it down using the same method as before
STEP 19. Paint plenty of glue onto the spine, making sure it is good and
thick, then you can press the fabric down onto the spine. Turn the book
over, paint the glue on the back cover, and press the fabric down onto it
STEP 21. Open up the covers, and glue down
the excess into the inside of the covers, as shown
here. Next, you will need to cut the excess from
the end of the spine itself
STEP 20. The top and bottom edges need to be folded in and glued, as
before, but this time they have to be cut first. If you are using a seam in the
fabric like I am, then it might be best to just cut that excess off. You can then
cut into the corners of the spine
STEP 22. This is the step that you probably don?t need to read! Remember
that I?m using recycled plywood that is painted white. I?ve covered the
inside of the book with classic brown paper, which has the added benefit
of also neatly covering up the edge of the fabric
STEP 23. Your finished book should look something like this, though I would
hope it will look even better! I?ve varnished mine, but you can finish yours
however you like. All it needs now is titling of some kind. I will probably
print the magazine logo, with the included issue numbers, and glue that
onto the cover. Enjoy your book!
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 31
PIC 1. L-shaped blocks or
?buttons? fixed by wood screws
to the underside of a tabletop
32 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
Start furniture making: The fundamentals
Fixtures & fittings
In the penultimate part of this series, John Bullar looks at the wide variety
of fixtures and fittings available to the furniture maker, such as hinges, locks,
moveable supports and hidden latches, and how these can be used to best effect
I
n this article we are going to look
at some of the moveable parts added
to furniture once the main wooden
sections have been shaped and fitted
together. Sometimes these are standard
hardware components we buy, such as butt
hinges and mortise locks, while in other
cases they are parts we make in the
workshop.
Wood screws
Wood screws are widely used for fitting
removable parts and there is a huge range
available, although the best type of screws
to use for each job and how to use them
for best results is by no means obvious.
As well as requiring a means of attachment,
movable surfaces on furniture like doors
and flaps will often need to have their
movement limited, so we will look at
supports and stays.
As makers we want to ensure the user
finds it easy to open and close our furniture
by providing handles, knobs or shaped areas
that are easy on the fingers and look good.
this series, but in the case of a tabletop,
for example, this movement is quite large
and if we are not careful it will fight against
the rigid frame that supports it. By screwfitting ?L? shaped blocks to the underside
of the top and dry mortising them into the
frame, we can allow for this movement
without any strain (Pic.1).
If you buy a latch or handle and it
comes complete with screws, so it is fair
to assume they are the most suitable type.
Even so, these giveaway screws are often
very poor quality, so for the sake of a few
pence, I will often change them for better
quality screws of the same size (Pic.2).
Slotted screws
Screws are usually made from steel
or brass. Steel is stronger but it needs
some type of coating to reduce corrosion.
The acid in many hardwoods reacts with
steel and some coatings producing stains,
especially when the humidity is high.
Makers generally prefer brass screws
because they corrode less than steel, they
do not stain the wood, and the heads can
PIC 2. A traditional rustic latch fixed to a pine door
be polished up to a bright golden surface
that enhances the detailed appearance
of furniture. The lower strength of brass
compared to steel is easily compensated
for when necessary, by using slightly
thicker screws.
The blade of the driver must be a good
fit otherwise it may ?cam out? and damage
the slot. If a screw is too tight, remove it
and make or enlarge the pilot hole rather
than forcing it. Candle wax run along the
thread or a shaving dropped into the pilot
hole will prevent any screw from jamming.
Using wood screws
One unintended but inevitable type of
movement found in solid wood furniture
is the expansion across the width of a
board that occurs when the humidity
level increases. Makers design furniture
to accommodate these movements in
various ways, covered in other parts of
PIC 3. Traditional countersunk wood screws need
a pilot hole drilling
PIC 4. In this sectional view we can see how the
plain shaft of a screw allows two pieces to be
clamped firmly together without the threads
jacking them apart
PIC 5. A hollow ground screwdriver has parallel
faces at the end making it ideal for soft brass screws
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 33
Start furniture making: The fundamentals
PIC 6. Brass hinges and screws are polished with
wire wool before fitting
PIC 7. A simple brass plate let into the upper rail
of a cabinet provides the bearing for a screw,
which forms the hinge pin
PIC 8. Cross-headed screws have many advantages
but can be troublesome if the screwdriver is not a
good fit. Note these heads are Phillips on the left
and Pozidrive on the right
PIC 9. These screwdrivers are Phillips on the left
(labelled PH) and Pozidrive on the right (labelled
PZ). The Pozidrive tip can be identified by a
second cross pattern angled at 45� to the first
PIC 10. A simple wedge used to lock the tenon in
place on a removable rail
PIC 11. A more stylised Arts & Crafts wedge used
to lock the rail on a collapsible table. The wedge
is made from hard ebony and has a shoulder to
make it easier to remove
Most wood screws have a blank un-threaded
region below the head; this ensures the
screw only pulls on the lower piece of
wood when used to clamp pieces together.
Wood screws with threads along the whole
length will not clamp tightly and can jack
two pieces apart unless they have a wide
clearance in the upper hole (Pic.5).
the screws with steel wool before fitting
them (Pic.6). This way they can be
checked for scratches and defects and
filed or sanded as necessary without
risk to spoiling the finished furniture.
Kitchen cabinet-style recessed hinges,
although clumsy looking when the door is
opened, can be e?ective for some cabinet
designs. Small brass hinges based on the
same principle are much tidier and ideal
for miniature work.
Alternatively, you can improvise your
own hinges by passing a wood screw
through a carefully positioned hole in a
cabinet frame and into the edge of the door.
A brass plate will stop the frame wearing
away and the finished hinge is completely
invisible (Pic.7). This technique can be
found on some Tudor furniture, so there is
no need to worry about how well it will last!
Fitting hinges
Brass butt hinges are commonly used
for fine cabinetwork and it is a good
idea to polish up both the hinges and
PIC 12. A hinged wing provides support for one of the flaps on a Pembroke table
34 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
Crosshead screws
Cross-headed screws can be quick to fit,
especially with a battery-powered driver.
Many are designed for rapid insertion into
softwood or man-made board without a pilot
hole, although I would not recommend this
for hardwoods. However, crosshead screws
are notorious for slipping, which damages
both the driver tip and the screw making
it impossible to move the screw either way.
The worst thing that can happen here is
to leave a damaged screw sticking out
of a carefully made piece of furniture.
It is important to distinguish between
Phillips and Pozidrive screw and driver
designs ? although these two main types
look similar they are not compatible
because the tips are shaped at di?erent
angles (Pic.9). It is also important to use
the correct size of driver and check it is
a solid fit into the screw head. The driver
must always approach the head square
on, so that all four fins engage fully in
their sockets.
Finally, it is essential that the torque
is limited, either by hand pressure or a
slipping clutch on a powered driver, so
PIC 14. Slide-out beams called ?lopers? support the
flap for a traditional bureau desk
PIC 13. Wooden quadrants form supporting stays
for the drop down front of a desk
PIC 15. A push close, push open latch enables
the maker to fit secret drawers without handles
PIC 16. Before fitting a lock, the position is marked
out using each plate of the lock itself as a template
it does not damage the head. Once a
crosshead bit has slipped on one screw, it
needs replacing before it damages others.
heavily from various medieval designs,
resurrected the use of wedges that were
sometimes glued in place as a decorative
feature (Pic.11).
flap, which may be nearly as long as
the table is high. If a table has a sliding
top, then the flaps can be hidden in the
frame beneath the middle.
Desks and bureaus often have a folddown front that extends the working
surface when opened. These are popular
with people who do a lot of writing on
laptops or tablets but also need to store
papers. The usual supports are in the
form of rails that slide out beneath the
front and these are called ?lopers? (Pic.14).
Sometimes these move automatically by
a simple mechanism when the desk front
is lowered.
Wedged fittings
Wooden wedges provide the simplest
possible removable fittings for locking
together furniture (Pic.10). A shallow
angled wedge, knocked into a throughtenon, will stay in place by friction and
can either be knocked or levered back
out when required. This system was
traditionally used centuries ago on
trestle tables and collapsible benches.
The Arts & Crafts style, which borrowed
Movable supports
PIC 17. Knife marking directly against the sides of
the lock provides a much more accurate fit than
measurement
PIC 18. A socket is chopped out to house the body
of the lock in a similar way to chopping a mortise
Wooden components can themselves
sometimes be made as movable supports
either to hold up or limit the movement
of doors, flaps and other movable panels.
A classic example is the Pembroke
table, which has fold down flaps either
side supported by wings hinged in the
frame (Pic.12). Larger tables can have
a gate-leg that swings out to support a
PIC 19. The lock body fitted and key inserted.
The keyhole is located by first drilling a pilot
hole from inside
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 35
Start furniture making: The fundamentals
PIC 20. Inlaid material such as this mother-of-pearl
is set into sockets pared out of the wood and held in
place by either traditional animal glue or epoxy resin
PIC 21. A piece of mother-of-pearl is drilled then
sawn with a jeweller?s fretsaw and filed to make
an escutcheon
PIC 22. The escutcheon is fitted in a socket around the
keyhole opening where, as well as being decorative,
it protects the wood from damage by the key
Hidden latches
being, squares of material set into recesses
chopped like shallow mortises can be used
as escutcheons or simply for decoration.
what distinguishes a really good piece
of furniture from one of poorer quality.
For example, cross-headed screws are
good for rapid assembly but in the wrong
place they look cheap compared to slotted
screws. If you install a lock on a fine quality
piece of furniture, you want it to stay
looking good and not have the keyhole
surround bruised by the key, so an
escutcheon inlaid into the wood is
the traditional solution.
These details, which only take a small
fraction of the time and cost spent on a
well-made piece of furniture, can make
or break the end result. GW
Concealed drawers are simple to make as
they just look like wide rails or decorative
panels when closed. The drawer can be
made to open simply by pushing it if it has
a suitable latch fitted behind it (Pic.15).
This latch works in the same way as
a push-button switch ? the first push
closes it, and the second push opens it.
Furniture locks
Small brass mortise locks were
traditionally fitted to many cabinets,
drawers and chests but nowadays tend
to be more popular on small decorative
boxes, such as jewellery cases.
Fitting these locks takes care but is
relatively straightforward for makers
who are used to cutting joints with hand
tools. As far as possible mark out the
position and dimensions by running a
knife directly against the lock (Pic.16).
Don?t rely solely on ruler measurements
when direct marking, as they are far
less accurate.
Making handles
Handles are the most important details
and very much set the tone of a piece
of furniture. The same cabinet may look
contemporary, traditional or timeless
simply by fitting di?erent handles.
They can also have a big influence
on the perceived quality of a piece.
One way to escape from having your
furniture typecast by the handles you buy
is to design and make your own. This may
be simpler than it sounds, especially if you
have access to a lathe (Pic.24).
Even without a lathe, attractive handles
can be shaped by saw, chisel and plane in
any number of unique designs.
Conclusions
The devil is in the detail, so the saying
goes, and attention to small details is
NEXT TIME
In GW322, the final part of this series, John
will be looking at practical and effective ways
to finish the surfaces of furniture you make,
not forgetting the all-important preparation
for finishing
Inlaid details
Keyholes for box or cabinet locks can be
fitted with a small brass insert (sometimes
supplied with the lock) or can be protected
by a larger escutcheon inlaid into wood
around the hole (Pic.21). Inlay is a detailed
subject in its own right, but for the time
PIC 23. A set of cabinet door handles are made
by routing and planing a hardwood strip with grips
each side, then chopping it into the required
number of pieces
36 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
PIC 24. These handles are made from a piece of
hardwood turned on a lathe into a disc, which is
lightly dished on each side. The disc is then sawn
into separate handles
PIC 25. Small round wooden knobs have sockets
drilled in the underside to house bolt heads. In this
case, the knobs are used to hold a leather strap
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38 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
Project: Make an Appalachian dulcimer
Sweet sound PART 2
Completing his Appalachian dulcimer build, in part 2,
Shaun Newman makes the neck, headstock and
fingerboard, then fits the fingerboard, back and strings, all
before showing you how to make your own custom case
I
The neck can be made from almost any
hardwood timber and the headstock is simply
a continuation of the neck. I chose mahogany
with the intention of fitting an ebony face and
back to the headstock. This whole part of the
dulcimer measures around 880mm long with
the headstock having a length of 160mm.
It has a width of 32mm, which is enough to
accommodate four strings. Some dulcimers
have just three strings, requiring a neck width
of 30mm or so, and very occasionally some
are made with five strings, which require a
correspondingly wider neck. Four stringed
dulcimers are the most common. The
mahogany needs to be first planed to a
thickness of 16mm along its entire length
(Pic.27) before routing a slot from the
underside to match the distance between the
insides of the end blocks, which is 670mm.
This measurement corresponds to where the
neck will fit over the soundboard so it doesn?t
extend into the underside of the headstock.
This needs to be routed to a depth of 11mm
and should leave the outer edges of the slot
at around 4mm each (Pic.28). The headstock
veneers can then be applied to the face and
back. I used 1.5mm ebony veneer with
standard sycamore veneer against the
mahogany (Pic.29).
The fingerboard can now be fitted and is
in two parts. The longer length should receive
the frets (17 in all) and the much shorter length
at the tail end of the instrument holds the
bridge in place. The fingerboard is made from
rosewood, which is a sufficiently hard timber
to resist wear. It also balances well with the
back and ribs. Ebony is also a favourite for this
part of the instrument. The billet needs to be
planed to the same width as the neck and just
3mm-thick. It is 580mm long. The small piece
at the tail is 20mm long and requires a 2.5mm
slot cut into it to accommodate the string bridge.
To add to the appearance of the overall piece, I
decided to place a veneer of dyed tulipwood and
one of sycamore between the fingerboard and
neck, which looks very effective. At the tail end of
the neck, you need to cut a shallow trough; this is
the area over which the strings will be played with
a pick, or traditionally a piece of goose quill with a
sharpened end. This area, called the ?scoop?
(Pic.30), will normally have a depth of 2mm or
3mm below the thickness of the fingerboard and
veneers. Care should be taken not to cut it so
deep that you meet the routed slot running along
the underside. Once made to size, it can then be
glued onto the neck ready for the frets.
STEP 27. The neck is planed to dimension from
a billet of mahogany
STEP 28. The neck is then hollowed out below
the fingerboard
STEP 29. The headstock has ebony veneers facing
the front and back
n part 1 we saw a little of the history of this
lovely instrument and how we feel it may
have become popular, and I showed you
how the outline structure of the dulcimer
was created ready to receive the soundboard
and back. In part 2, we?ll look at how to fit
both the back and front, then the tuning pegs
and strings, and once finished, I?ll take you
through the steps for tuning your instrument
and making a simple case.
Making the neck,
headstock & fingerboard
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 39
Project: Make an Appalachian dulcimer
STEP 30. The scoop cut into the lower end
of the neck
STEP 31. Frets being cut from straight lengths
of wire
STEP 32. A pinprick made with a scriber is a guide
to the exact fret position
Fretting the dulcimer
The frets fitted here are standard acoustic guitar
ones made from nickel silver; these come either
in coils or single straight strands. It is best to use
straight ones for this job as the fingerboard has
no curve to it (Pic.31). Follow the string spacing
guide at the end of the article and carefully mark
the position of each fret. A pinprick onto the
fingerboard with a scribing needle in the right
axis will help to locate the exact position required
(Pic.32). The fret slots need to be cut with a good
quality dovetail saw and should be at right angles
to the edges of the neck (Pic.33). The depth is
determined by that of the tang on the underside
edge of the fretwire. A thin piece of metal taken
from a tin can is useful in this task. Provided one
edge is cut square a strip of masking tape can be
attached showing how deep the slot should be,
and whether the depth is even (Pic.34). Attention
needs to be paid to the layout of the frets as they
do not conform to the pattern commonly seen
on a guitar where each one raises the pitch by a
semitone. The layout allows for the drone
strings almost always to sing in harmony with
the melody ones. Typically, then, we have a full
tone between the nut and fret one, then another
full tone at fret two, but then a semitone. This is
followed by a further full tone, etc. (commonly
referred to as a diatonic layout). It is far easier to
do the fretting before fitting the neck as tapping
them into place later always threatens to crack
the body of the dulcimer.
Each fret needs to be cut individually so it is
around 10mm too long. This may seem wasteful,
but it is necessary to ensure you have enough
of an overhang to be able to hold the end firmly
between a finger and the thumb as the fret is
tapped into place with a soft-headed hammer,
such as a dead blow hammer, with nylon faces,
or an engineer?s hammer with brass ones (Pic.35).
Once the frets are in place the ends need to
be trimmed back to the edge of the fingerboard
with a pair of flush cutting pincers (Pic.36). They
then need to be filed flat to the edge with a file
attached to a block at right angles with a 3mm
overhang (Pic.37). The block in the one I made is
maple as it is very hard and will still stay flat after
many years of use. Once flat to the edges, it is
customary to trim the fret ends at around 30? to
the top of the fingerboard. This can also be done
with a home-made tool with the file blade set at
the correct angle (Pic.38). To achieve comfortably
smooth fret ends, use pieces of 1,200 grit wet
& dry abrasive to achieve the ultimate finish.
To allow the strings to be brought to the
correct tension, you need to fit a set of tuners.
These can come in the form of wooden pegs
similar to those used on a violin, or friction pegs
made for dulcimers and similar instruments.
The top end friction pegs have planetary gears
but these are expensive. A very simple alternative
is to use acoustic or classical guitar tuners that
come as singles. I was lucky to have a set leftover
from some classical guitars I made several years
ago, so chose to use them.
To be able to function, the tuners must be
STEP 33. A dovetail saw cuts fret slots well
STEP 34. Testing the depth of the slot
STEP 35. A dead blow hammer is good for fretting
STEP 36. The fret ends are trimmed so they are
roughly flush?
STEP 37. ? before being filed exactly flush
STEP 38. They need to have their ends angled
to around 30?
40 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
then the remaining ones can be put into place.
Cover the edge of the jig, which will meet the
underside of the soundboard, with parcel tape;
this will avoid it becoming attached through
glue squeeze out (Pic.43).
Preparing & fitting the back
Before this operation is possible it is necessary
to make another simple jig. The soundboard
needs to be supported while the neck is being
fitted, so you?ll need to prepare a strip of
softwood that is just short of the two inside
edges of the end blocks and a little higher than
the width of the ribs. You need to place this under
the soundboard while the neck is being fitted ? it
allows the clamps to be tightened without risking
damage to the ribs. Firstly, the neck needs to be
held in position with clamps at either end, and
The back needs to be prepared in a similar
fashion to the soundboard in that it starts with
two bookmatched pieces of timber. As with the
ribs, I chose rosewood not only because of its
look but its sound quality. The edges to be joined
need to be planed true and sanded to a right
angle using the spirit level sanding stick
previously used on the soundboard. The two
halves of the back can then be placed into the
wedge and lace jig with a purfling centre strip
for decoration. The coloured strip is not necessary
but does add to the appearance (Pic.44).
Once the Titebond has cured, the back
needs to be brought to a uniform thickness of
just 2mm and, as the centre join is delicate, a strip
of cross-banded spruce then needs to be glued
along its length on the inside. The strip stops just
short of the inside edges of the two end blocks.
Further strength is offered to the back by the
addition of two spruce braces, which should
measure 6mm wide � 14mm high. They need to
be gabled along their top edge when the glue
has dried and the ends scalloped down to around
2.5mm deep (Pic.45). At first, the ends of the
braces will overhang the edges of the back, so
small housings need to be cut into the ribs and
linings so that the back can lie flush with the
edges of the ribs (Pic.46). The small area of the
tip of the brace that can be seen once the back
is in place will eventually be hidden by the ebony
bindings. When the back is ready it can be glued
in place by a variety of methods. I use cam clamps
STEP 41. Two small saw cuts guide the chisel
for the ?ski slope?
STEP 42. The insides of the string slots are
cleaned up
STEP 43. The neck and fingerboard are then
clamped into place
STEP 44. The two halves of the back and centre
strip in the wedge and lace jig
STEP 45. The inside of the back is strengthened
with cross-banding and struts
STEP 46. Small housings are cut into the linings
to receive the ends of the struts
STEP 39. The string slots start with a hole at
either end of the headstock
STEP 40. The slots are cut out with a coping saw
mounted horizontally into the sides of the
headstock, and so that the strings can pass
through the rollers, a slot needs to be cut right
through the headstock. You can choose whether
to drill the roller holes first and then cut the string
slots, or vice versa. Whichever way you choose
it is essential to support the inside edges of the
second part of the job to avoid splitting. The
method I have found easiest over the years is to
drill a 16mm hole with a sawtoothed bit at either
end of the string slot (Pic.39) and then tap in a
well-fitting dowel. The roller holes can then be
drilled and the inside edges will not split. The
roller holes should not pass right through the
headstock as that looks unsightly, but should just
stop short of going all the way. They should also
be staggered so as not to bump into each other.
The distance between the rollers on either side
should be determined by the size of the buttons.
It should be comfortable to turn each button
without your fingers and thumb knocking against
the nearby one. The slots can then be cut out with
a coping saw (Pic.40). Once the string slots and
tuner barrel holes are all completed, the end of
the slot nearest the body of the dulcimer needs
to be angled into a ski slope shape so that the
strings do not foul on the wood when they are
fitted. Two saw cuts will guide where the slope
should be chiselled out (Pic.41). Finally, the
inside edges can be sanded smooth (Pic.42).
Fitting the fingerboard
& neck to the body
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 41
Project: Make an Appalachian dulcimer
STEP 47. The back held in place with cam clamps
FRET SPACING
The overall string length of the dulcimer
is 685mm, measured from the inside
edge of the bone nut to the inside edge
of the bone saddle. Each fret distance is
measured from the inside edge of the nut.
There are 17 frets in all:
Fret 1 ? 74mm
Fret 2 ? 141mm
Fret 3 ? 171mm
Fret 4 ? 228mm
Fret 5 ? 277.5mm
Fret 6 ? 301mm
Fret 7 ? 342mm
Fret 8 ? 38.5mm
Fret 9 ? 414mm
Fret 10 ? 428mm
Fret 11 ? 456.5mm
Fret 12 ? 482.5mm
Fret 13 ? 495mm
Fret 14 ? 513.5mm
Fret 15 ? 532.5mm
Fret 16 ? 55mm
Fret 17 ? 557mm
SUPPLIERS OF TONEWOODS,
TOOLS & ACCESSORIES
? Stewart MacDonald ? for tools, timber,
pegs, finishing supplies etc. USA-based
www.stewmac.com
? ToneTech Luthier Supplies ? as with
Stewart MacDonald but based in the UK
www.tonetechluthiersupplies.co.uk
? Touchstone Tonewoods ? same as
Tonetech
www.touchstonetonewoods.co.uk
? Capital Crispin Veneers ? possibly
the largest collection of veneers in
Europe. Sells by mail-order
www.capitalcrispin.com
? David Dyke Luthiers Supplies ? excellent
for high quality timber. UK-based
www.daviddyke.co.uk
? www.earlymusicshop.com ? for gut
strings, pegs and early instrument supplies
? www.smallwonder-music.co.uk ? for
decorative back strips and inlay materials
? www.earlymusicshop.com ? for gut
strings, pegs and early instrument supplies
42 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
STEP 48. The bindings are trimmed roughly flush
with the ribs?
STEP 49. ? before they are scraped clean
but elastic bands, linen tape, string or simply
weights can all be used with success (Pic.47).
When the glue has dried the bindings and
purflings for the back need to be fitted in the
same way as for the soundboard before they
are planed and scraped flush (Pics.48 & 49).
It is now time to admire the almost completed
instrument ready for its finish (Pic.50). There
are several finishes that can be applied: urea
formaldehyde resin, oil, shellac, nitrocellulose
lacquer and so on. The finish I have used over
the last five years or so with great success is
made by General Finishes. It is their ?Satin?
water-based high performance top coat and
is available from Stewart Macdonald whose
details can be found at the end of this article.
It is water-based and environmentally friendly.
dulcimer is normally played with the scoop on
the right and the headstock on the left, that is for
a right-handed player. The first two strings (i.e. the
two nearest the player) are the melody ones and,
as mentioned earlier, sit just 4mm apart. The next
two strings are drone strings though there are
variations, which are explained below.
To help get the strings to the correct playing
height, place a saddle made of bone into the
slot at the tail end of the instrument. Small
grooves can be cut into the saddle to help
prevent the strings from moving sideways
while the instrument is being played (Pic.52).
At the top end of the dulcimer, place a bone
nut between the headstock veneer and the
end of the fingerboard. The gap here is normally
around 5mm. You?ll need to file string grooves
into the nut to a depth of approximately half
the thickness of the string. The nut can be
reduced on the underside if need be once
the grooves have been filed, which will
allow a string clearance of 3mm or 4mm
above the fingerboard (Pic.53).
Fitting the strings
Steel strings are normally fitted to a dulcimer
and there are two types, which will be familiar
if you own an acoustic guitar. One type is ?ball
ended? and has a small steel ring wound onto
the end; the second is ?loop ended?, which is
self-explanatory. Sets of three, four or five strings
can be bought. It is better to fit loop ends as all
that is needed at the tail of the dulcimer is four
steel hitch pins that can simply be hammered in
leaving around 5mm protruding. They need to be
carefully positioned as the two melody strings are
just 4mm apart, while the middle drone is 11mm
further along and the bass string another 11mm
on. To help hold the pins in very firmly, glue a
small 2mm-thick ebony plate to the tail of the
dulcimer; this also helps to prevent the strings
from fouling on the end of the neck (Pic.51).
During this task it should be noted that the
STEP 50. The instrument almost completed and
ready for the finish
Tuning & playing
There is no single tuning regimen for the
Appalachian dulcimer and this makes the
instrument very versatile. Indeed, not all
players use just the first two strings to bring
out the melody, but you can use either or
both of the other ones. One of the good
things about the instrument is that you
can play chords, individual notes and
any manner of combinations of the two.
The dulcimer featured in this article has the
two melody and the first drone tuned to C (i.e.
?middle? C, or the second string on a guitar held
STEP 51. The hitch pins in the tail
STEP 52. The bone saddle is located at the tail
end of the neck
STEP 53. The top nut is made from bone
STEP 54. Turning a noter on the lathe
down at the first fret). The second drone, which
is normally a ?wound? string, is tuned to G below
middle C (i.e. the third string on a guitar played
unfretted). Other popular folk tunings are DDAA
and DDAD. There are many variations and this
also enters the realms of modes as well as
tunings. The subject is too wide for this article:
some musicologists have written whole books
on the subject. However, there are four main
modes: Mixolydian, Aeolian, Ionian and Dorian.
A browse on the internet will offer a great deal of
useful information on how to tune your dulcimer.
One thing I particularly like about this instrument,
apart from its melodic voice, is that because of
the non-chromatic fret layout, almost every note
you play will harmonise with almost every other.
A bonus indeed!
Originally it seems, as mentioned earlier, the
dulcimer was played with a goose quill, whereas
nowadays a plectrum is more often used. Some
players use a ?noter? and this can easily be made
from a small length of hardwood turned on the
lathe (Pic.54). In the absence of a lathe the handle
from a small wooden spoon cut to a comfortable
length will do a good job when the bowl of the
spoon is held in the hand. One great advantage
of the noter is that you can play the dulcimer in
similar fashion to a slide guitar, and you don?t
get sore fingertips after a lengthy session (Pic.55).
from pine and measure around 19mm thick,
and the top and bottom are 4mm plywood.
The inside is lined with thin foam rubber that
is covered in crushed velvet and held in place
with carpet fitter?s double-sided adhesive
tape and a few gimp pins. Care must be taken
to ensure a snug fit to avoid the instrument
moving around inside the box (Pic.56). All
that remains now is to hear the wonderfully
haunting sound of the beautiful Appalachian
dulcimer. Enjoy! GW
STEP 55. Two examples of noters made in maple
STEP 56. The finished instrument in its case
Making a case
The case is just a box with a small rest for
the headstock at one end. The sides are made
USEFUL READING
? Making Wood Folk Instruments, Dennis
Waring, Sterling Publishing, 1990. ISBN:
0-8069-7482-6 ? has chapter on making
a simple dulcimer
? Making Early Stringed Instruments, Ronald
Zachary Taylor, Stobart Davies Ltd, 1991.
ISBN: 0-85442-051-7 ? also has a chapter
on making a dulcimer, this one having an
?hourglass? shape
? Make and Play the Dulcimer, John Pearse,
Wise Publications, 1970 ? less information
on making, but extensive explanation of
tunings and modes
? For songs and playing guidance, see Jean
Ritchie: The Dulcimer Book, 1992 and
Traditional Mountain Dulcimer, 2003
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 43
Technical: Safety first
Safety is in your hands
Pete Sartain of Mirka UK, the pioneers of dustfree sanding, discusses the importance of using
dust extraction and suggests some top tips for
protecting yourself and reducing the risk of HAVS
O
ver the past decade or so, there has
been a significant change in the way tools
have been made to meet the needs and
requirements of the user. This has led
to a large amount of investment in R&D by tool
manufacturers to design and develop durable products
that can deliver an e?icient overall process and a
high-quality finish on a variety of surfaces, while
protecting users against the dangers of Hand Arm
Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) and dust particles.
HAVS, which a?ects the blood vessels, nerves,
muscles and joints of the hand, wrist and arm, is
becoming a bigger issue for workers as it is a condition
they cannot see, or they?re unaware of the fact
it?s a?ecting them until it?s too late. The reason for
this is basically that each worker may have di?erent
tolerances to the amount of vibration they can handle,
or they may not realise there?s a problem until they
try a di?erent tool or take a break from using theirs.
44 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
myMirka app
For Mirka, the fight against HAVS starts with putting
the emphasis back on the user and this has been
achieved with the introduction of the myMirka app
(applicable to the Bluetooth-enabled tools within
the Mirka product range). The app shows the end
user the vibration levels from the tool on a colourgraded scale, and advises on how to lower the
vibration if required. Additionally, the speed the tool
is being used at can be visualised in a real-time graph.
Furthermore, if more detail is required, there is an
in-app purchase that tracks the daily vibration levels
in relation to European standards for a comparable
scale of the pressures being put through their joints
on a daily basis, which will allow the user to see
how the tools are being used and potentially assist
in the implementation of measures to protect
themselves and other workers ? see sidebar at
the end of the article regarding download details.
This app is one part of the re-education process that
the user should go through alongside being instilled
with the best practices when using tools. We advise
the importance of working closely with either their
foreman or health and safety coordinator to ensure
that the tools they are using meet the necessary
requirements that reduce the risk of injury.
LEFT: The DEROS is
powerful, smooth, quiet
and very compact in use
ABOVE: Screenshots from the myMirka app,
showing both speed and vibration levels
Dust-free work environment
Extraction systems may seem like they take up a lot
of space, but dust particles can be a major health issue
for employees and could possibly lead to respiratory
problems. This is why more and more businesses
or single users are investing in systems that allow
them to work in a dust-free work environment.
Laboratory tests have shown that without dust
extraction, dust in the air per kilogram of sanded
material is over 200 grams, and dust on surrounding
surfaces is almost 800 grams per kilogram. These
may not seem like large quantities, but when they
accumulate over a long period they could potentially
turn into both a fire and health hazard for a business.
However, investment in a suitable mobile
extraction system is not a short-term injection
of the business? cash, rather, it should be viewed
as a long-term commitment, so that it can provide an
e?ective solution for a cleaner work space, a reduction
in prepping and tidying up at the end of the day, and
the potential dust contamination of other tools and
surfaces. The smaller systems are more often used in
workspaces because they are equipped with a local air
supply and extraction, and are easy to move and store.
A dust-free environment ensures control of
the sanding process and allows for multiple work
phases to be undertaken in the same room, delivering
e?iciency both for the business and in terms of tool
usage. It also reduces the risk of ?dust pills? and
LEFT: The Mirka
1230 M (AFC)
230V dust
extractor allows
for dust-free
sanding in a
clean working
environment
clogging as the dust can no longer collect in lumps
on the sanding discs to the same extent, and there
is no longer a danger that sanded dust will build
up and create grooves on the sanding surface, filling
up the disc and also reducing its sanding capacity.
The abrasive maintains its aggressive properties
over the entire surface much longer than traditional
paper materials that have long wilted and faded,
making sanding more even and e?icient. GW
ABOVE: The Mirka
PROS 625CV 150mm
central vacuum orbit
pneumatic sander
features a 2.5mm orbit,
and has been specially
developed to
produce maximum
dust extraction
FURTHER INFO
To find out more about Mirka products, see www.mirka.
co.uk, and to download the free myMirka app, visit the
Google App ? https://play.google.com ? or Apple App
stores ? https://itunes.apple.com
TOP TIPS FOR ACHIEVING A DUST-FREE ENVIRONMENT & PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM HAVS
1. An increase in vibration can cause damage to the tool, so be aware that
any variation in the weight of pad other than when using 180 grit paper
discs can cause the machine to vibrate more
2. Always use a genuine Mirka backing pad on Mirka tools, as these have
been specifically designed for certain machines (a DEROS/PROS 150mm
backing pad is engineered to weigh exactly 130g). However, if you use a generic
non-Mirka pad it may alter the vibration of the tool and, in turn, cause damage
to the bearing and other aspects of the tool. Please note that Mirka tools
returned with non-Mirka pads fitted are not covered by the Mirka warranty
5. Using a pad saver will protect the backing pad from wear. However, if used
when sanding wood filler it often reduces the efficiency of the dust extraction.
If 80-120 grit discs are used with a pad saver, we recommend that the grub
screw be inserted
6. Ensure the product is regularly serviced for optimum performance
7. Make sure the fleece bag in the mobile extraction unit is not full and does
not have any rips or holes.營f it does, it needs replacing
3. If you intend to use an interface pad (5mm/10mm), you should remove the
backing pad and insert the grub screw that is supplied with the tool into the
remaining threaded hole beneath the pad. This will counter-balance the
weight of the interface pad and reduce the vibration of the tool when in use
8. Periodically remove and clean the motor filter.燭his can be done by placing
it in a bag and gently knocking the dust out of the filter. Or better still, use
another vacuum or extractor to clean the filter.燨nce clean, replace the
filter in the machine
4. The grub screw should also be used if coarse or heavy weight discs (40/60
grit etc.) are used with the sander
9. Make sure the seal between the tank and upper section of the extractor
is clean and free of damage
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 45
Display Cabinet for a
Chinese Terracotta Horse
Richard Williams was recently awarded the prestigious Claxton Stevens Prize
for the stunning display cabinet shown here, which was designed to house
a magnificent Chinese terracotta horse dating back to the Tang Dynasty
?I wanted the cabinet to have
an oriental flavour, as well as
a lightness about it, which
would be achieved by keeping
all components to a minimal
size and section??
Richard Williams ? contemporary furniture maker
Centrefold: Display cabinet
R
ichard was commissioned to design and make
this cabinet by a client who owns a magnificent
Chinese terracotta horse, which dates back to
the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). ?For 20 years
he had displayed the horse with pride,? says Richard,
?but had never found a way of presenting it properly,
or in a way that would show it to its best advantage.?
Cabinet design
The client asked Richard to create a special cabinet
in which to display the horse, and he approached the
design with great care, not wanting to upstage the
subject in any way. ?The piece needed to provide an
elegant and understated backdrop, and I also needed
to take into consideration practical issues of lighting
and humidity control,? he says. ?I wanted the cabinet
to have an oriental flavour, as well as a lightness about
it, which would be achieved by keeping all components
to a minimal size and section. I also freely admit to
the influence of the gentle ?Krenovian voice?, that has
spoken to my design approach for the last 30 years
or so, especially in instances like this where I have
been given complete creative freedom by my client.?
Since the client knew him well, Richard produced
a concept sketch rather than a full presentation drawing,
before moving straight to a full-sized mock-up of the
piece. ?We were keen to experience how the piece would
feel in the position of the room that it was to eventually
stand, and it was also very important to ensure that the
horse was positioned at the correct height to be viewed,?
says Richard. The mock-up was quite crudely and quickly
made in MDF, as it was only intended to achieve those
two things, not to impress anyone with craftsmanship,
or presentation.
and the challenge was to make the light shadowless and
subtle.? There are two LED strips concealed in a deep
rebate within the top frame, angled towards the horse,
and to soften the light that is cast, special lenses were
made from opaque acrylic. The lighting is activated by
a motion sensing switch that is housed beneath the
cabinet, so it only takes a wave of the hand to switch
them on and o?, or to dim them to a suitable level.
The level of humidity inside the cabinet must be held
constant for the best preservation of the terracotta. On
the underside of the cabinet there is a drop-down hatch
(pictured below), which houses a humidity-controlling
cassette. This hatch, as well as the removable glass
top of the cabinet, is sealed with a neoprene strip, and
airflow to the horse is achieved by a series of air slots
in the plinth. GW
Close-up showing grain patterning of the bog oak
The concept sketch for
the display cabinet
LED strips are concealed within the top frame
Materials
?I felt strongly that the tone of the timber colour should
be very dark, to contrast well with the colours in the
terracotta,? he says. ?Choosing bog oak not only provided
this contrast beautifully, but it also gave the client the
amusing story to tell of the timber used to make the
cabinet actually pre-dating the horse by four millennia!?
The accent of steamed pear on the horse?s plinth
picks up on the terracotta colour very nicely, as do
the lighter areas of the bog oak where the petrification
of the timber has not fully penetrated the log.
Lighting & humidity control
?The lighting in the cabinet is not intended to dazzle
the horse,? Richard tells us, ?just to highlight it gently,
BESPOKE GUILD MARK & THE CLAXTON STEVENS PRIZE
Richard is a great advocate of the Bespoke Guild Mark award o?ered by The
Furniture Makers? Company, and has spent nearly 10 years of his career as a
member or chairman of the committee. It is the most thoroughly judged and
meaningful of any award in the bespoke
furniture making arena, and provides
great motivation for makers to aspire
to excellence, o?ering reward when
that is achieved.
The cabinet, which was also awarded
Bespoke Guild Mark No.461, was made
by Alex Roebuck, a Canadian craftsman
who trained at The Center for Furniture
Craftsmanship in Maine, USA, where
Richard also taught, who visited the
Richard receiving the Claxton Stevens
workshop for one year
Prize for the display cabinet
RICHARD WILLIAMS CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE
The drop-down hatch, which houses a humidity-controlling cassette
Richard opened his workshop in 1990, working alone designing and making
fine contemporary pieces for his growing clientele, and the business has
grown steadily ever since. Now the team is 11-strong, all working from
a beautiful 18th-century tithe barn in Hedgerley near Beaconsfield.
Richard and the team make furniture to the very highest levels of
craftsmanship, be it a small jewellery box or the furnishing of an entire
property, and they are happy to embrace projects of all natures and sizes.
?We are predominantly craftsmen in wood,? says Richard, ?although we work
regularly with other materials such as glass, leather, stainless steel, bronze,
silver, mother-of-pearl, marble, stone and many others. We often work in
collaboration with other specialist craftsmen in these materials.? To find out
more about Richard and the team, see www.richardwilliamsfurniture.com
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 47
Understanding timber: Growth & structure
The growth &
structure of trees
As Peter Bishop says, wood is one of the most
beautiful, natural resources available to mankind.
Here he takes a brief look at its growth and structure
S
ome of us believe wood to be
one of the most beautiful, natural
resources available to mankind. It
is tactile, textured and smothered
with features that make you want to touch
and feel it. For the user it is most forgiving:
errors can be corrected and repairs made
with ease. Its versatility has led to its use
in just about every possible application
imaginable. Perhaps my enthusiasm for
this material is a bit over the top; let?s
hope it?s catching!
Photosynthesis
Hardwoods & softwoods
Underneath this living, growing part of the
outer structure is the sap and heartwood.
The sapwood transports the liquids up
to the leaf structures so that the growth
process can continue and the heartwood
provides the mechanical structure that
enables the tree to stand and continue
to grow. The roots anchor all this into the
ground and, via root hairs, draw up the
water and minerals necessary for growth.
The conductive cells that provide both
All diagrams used courtesy of TRADA
The main process of growth is called
photosynthesis. This takes place in the
leaf structure and is a complex chemical
reaction between liquids drawn from the
root network, carbon dioxide and sunlight,
which create sugars. This chemical factory
produces the food upon which the tree
grows, layer upon layer. The bark acts
as the protective sheath under which the
liquid food is transported, upwards and food
downwards, via osmosis. The working cells
under the bark are called the cambium layer;
they produce sapwood on the inside and
phloem, or inner bark, on the outside. As
the tree grows, like a glove layer upon layer,
the bark expands continuously to maintain
its protective sheath.
FIG 1. How a tree grows
48 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
FIG 2. The two main classes of trees
strength and storage facilities within the
outer section of the trunk vary slightly
between hardwoods and softwoods. In
softwoods, long, thin-walled cells called
tracheids, with large internal cavities and
valves called pits, control the flow of liquid
sap while thick-walled tracheids, with smaller
cavities, provide the mechanical strength. In
spring, when the growing season commences,
layers of the larger, thin-walled tracheids are
laid down. As the season progresses, smaller,
thick-walled cells are produced, creating the
annual ring e?ect.
Hardwoods have a di?erent cell structure.
A pipe-like system, made up of cells called
vessels, transports the fluids within the outer
section of the growing tree. Vessel cavities
are usually clearly visible and are one of the
di?erentiating factors between hardwoods
and softwoods. Similar to the tracheids
in softwood, large vigorous growth takes
place in spring. This slows down and
smaller, stronger cells form to provide
the mechanical strength to the trunk. This
again creates an annual ring configuration.
In some timber, especially those grown
in tropical countries, this growth cycle is
continuous. With no annual di?erentiation
the wood is called ?di?use-porous?. The
shape, size and structure of the vessels
within hardwoods can enable macroscopic
identification, using a hand lens, to take
place. With softwoods this is more di?icult
and will require microscopic examination
to determine the particular specie.
Both softwoods and hardwoods have
storage cells called parenchyma. These
small box-like cells are usually arranged
horizontally and, in hardwoods, are in
bands called rays. It is these rays that
provide the figure found in some woods,
such as oak and beech.
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 49
Understanding timber: Growth & structure
A taster
This article is really only a ?taster? and
does not do justice to the science of
growth, structure and identification of
woods. As a young man I spent a number
of years gaining a qualification as a ?wood
scientist?. I can still use some of the skills
learnt then to help me appreciate the way
in which wood grows and how that might
a?ect any future projects I come to make.
So, at some later stage, we?ll have a look
at how the structure of wood can a?ect
the way in which it dries and moves, which
will often be a critical consideration when
designing and making furniture. GW
NEXT MONTH
In the next part of this series, Peter moves
on to looking at the harvesting of timber
Mountain ash flooring, showing some fiddleback figuring
FIG 3. The structure of hardwood: this drawing represents the cell structure of
a block of hardwood about 25-812mm high. The portion ?TT? corresponds to the
top surface of a stump or end surface of a log, and ?RR? corresponds to a surface
roughly parallel to the radius of the log. The hardwoods have specialised vessels
or pores (P) for conducting sap. The pores vary in size and are visible in some
species. Most of the smaller cells are wood fibres, which give hardwood its
strength. They usually have small cavities and relatively thick walls, containing
pits, which allow a passage for sap to reach from one cavity to another. The rays
(R) are strips of short horizontal cells that extend in a radial direction. They store
and distribute food. The annual ring (AR) is usually sharply defined. As a rule,
the springwood (S) is more porous than the summer wood (SM) formed later
in the year. All the cells in wood, including pores, figures, ray cells, etc., are
firmly cemented together by a thin layer of lignin at the middle lamella (ML)
50 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
FIG 4. The structure of softwood: this drawing represents the cell structure
of a minute block of softwood about 25-812mm high, as shown in Fig.3.
The rectangular units, which make up this surface, are sections through various
cells, mostly tracheids or water carriers (TR), the walls of which form the bulk
of the wood substance. Springwood cells (S) are distinguishable from the
summerwood cells (SM). The springwood growth is more rapid, and together
with the summerwood, make up a year?s growth. The rays (R) store and
horizontally distribute the food material. The symbol ?SP? indicates a simple
pit, an unthickened portion of the cell wall forming a valve through which
the sap is circulated through the tree. The surface ?TG?, at right angles to
the quartersawn surface, corresponds to the flat grain or plain sawn surface
of the timber
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PACKAGE 1
Unit 1
Brookfoot Business
Park, Yorkshire
HD6 2SD
Going for a song
Annemarie Adams takes a
simple design for a wooden
whistle and gives it wings
I
n 2013 Steve Ramsey made a whistle
(Pic.1), the idea for which was taken from
Carmen Salamone. You can check out
how Steve Ramsey (a very happy man
with many fine woodworking ideas) made the
whistle by watching this video: www.youtube.
com/watch?v=5c3gjv-qrl0. For this project,
I decided to modify the whistle by making
it in the shape of a bird ? a bird whistle.
Gluing the template
& drilling the hole
Watching Steve?s YouTube video will make
this step easier for you to understand. Glue
the template onto a 19mm-thick piece of scrap
wood (Pic.2). If you want to make a bird whistle
as shown here, then modify the template into
a bird (Pic.3). The next step is to clamp your
pieces on the drill table and drill a hole
using a 22mm Forstner bit (Pic.4).
FIG 1. Template for the bird whistle
MATERIALS & TOOLS REQUIRED
? Three pieces of scrap wood: I used a piece
of birch measuring 70mm. One piece needs
to have a thickness of 19mm, and the two
side pieces should be around 3mm-thick
? Wood glue
? Steve Ramsey?s free template (which
can be downloaded using the link above)
? Drill
? 22mm Forstner bit
? Bead
? Bandsaw or scrollsaw
? Knife
? Range of abrasives
? Clamps
? Pen & pencil
? Varnish
52 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
PIC 1. Steve Ramsey?s original whistle, which influenced this project
Project: Bird whistle
PIC 2. Steve Ramsey?s original template, showing
the 22mm (7?8in) hole
PIC 3. The modified template, which now
includes the shape of a bird, is glued onto
a 19mm-thick piece of scrap wood
PIC 4. Drill the hole using a 22mm Forstner bit
PIC 5. You?re now ready to cut out your whistle
PIC 6. Once cut out, you can remove the template
PIC 7. The whistle components once glued
together
Cut out your whistle
bit: creating some sound. You have to be
patient and keep trying, but in the end you?ll
succeed. Mark where you need to glue the
upper part, remove it, then glue it back into
position (Pic.8).
You?re now ready to cut out your whistle (Pic.5).
Start with the ?body?, then the tiny opening on
the top, and lastly the top. You can then remove
the template (Pic.6). Next, glue the templates,
or your own template, onto the two thinner
plates and cut out using a scrollsaw. These
pieces should be cut so they are slightly larger.
Gluing the pieces in place
Glue the two side pieces on both sides of the
whistle (Pic.7), then take a bead and put it in
the chamber before you place the upper part
on your whistle. Now comes the most difficult
Sanding & carving
Sand the outside and mark the ?body? of the
whistle (Pic.9). You can then carve the bird
and sand the whistle smooth (Pic.10). Once
you?re finished, apply a suitable varnish that
is food-safe, as this will obviously come into
contact with your mouth when you?re blowing
the whistle, then you?re done! GW
PIC 8. The whistle, once constructed, viewed
from above with the bead in place
FURTHER INFO
You can see more of Annemarie?s projects
by visiting her Instructables page ?
www.instructables.com/member/Amaries
PIC 9. The whistle, prior to carving
PIC 10. It is now starting to take shape and look
more bird-like
PIC 11. Once sanded and finished, the completed bird whistle should look something like this
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 53
Good Woodworking Letters & Makers
Letters & Makers
Letter of the month
A fantastic new series
Dear Tegan,
I just wanted to write
in to say how much
I?m enjoying Dave
Roberts? new series
?What the Dickens?.
As a big Dickens fan,
I love the references to
each of his books, and
how each instalment
is based on a different
novel ? what a clever
idea! I used to really
enjoy Dave?s previous
articles and was sad
to see him leave for
Rory, who has also visited Cairo?s Barrel Bar, was thrilled to see
a little while, but am
this photo of a Windsor chair made from a 19th century wine barrel
thrilled to learn that
Hi Rory, I must say that we?re also really enjoying
he?s now signed up for a new 12-part series!
Dave?s new series, and it?s great to have him back
I found the story of the Windsor chair made from
on board. Not only are the articles filled with useful
a 19th century wine barrel particularly interesting
information and anecdotes, but the story he manages
(see GW319), as I myself have visited the Barrel
to weave that holds it all together is really quite
Bar in Cairo. The other thing I must mention is
extraordinary! While not a particular fan of Dickens
the excellent photography ? what a beautiful
myself, I must admit that Dave?s articles have
part of the world The Old Vic? is situated in!
certainly given me the impetus to head down to my
I eagerly await the next article and seeing
local library! Do let us know how you enjoy the others
which of Dickens? books it references!
in the series, and thank you for getting in touch and
Best wishes,
sharing your views. Tegan
Rory Summers
A lighthearted look
at woodworking
As we all know, when working on a new
project, things can go wrong from time to time,
so what better way to deal with these inevitable
frustrations than to make a video showing how
a mistake was overcome? Avid reader David
Moody decided to do just that, by creating a
series of videos that can be seen on his blog:
http://woodworking.david-moody.info.
?The current university course is about writing
for the web,? says David, ?so, for this whole
course, I created a topic on my blog called
?Mistakes Made, and Lessons Learned?. Anyway,
for last week?s activities we needed to create
a podcast of some kind, so I made one about
a mistake that I?d made with my work basket
and what I did to resolve it. However, unlike
most dry videos, I decided to take something
that?s been on my bucket-list for many years
? the desire to make a classic silent film ? and
used this as the theme for the video.? Join David
in episode 1, ?The Case of the Broken Tab?, which
sees him overcoming his mistake and working
along to the classic theme tune of Wagon Wheel.
Watching it, you can?t help but smile, so take a
look and see if you can pick up any useful tips.
FORUM THREAD BRACED PLANK DOOR
Hi all, I make marquees (one-off curved
canvas ones) to hire. For my latest offering,
I?m making a double door for the entrance,
which is through a bolt together timberframed porch. The opening is 2,150mm,
so these will be double doors. I wanted
to make rustic looking braced doors,
but to save some weight I have gone
for well-seasoned Douglas fir.
I was researching (as I am an amateur,
love woodworking, but am definitely learning)
and was impressed with the forum post
concerning braced doors. From this,
I decided to use four braces. As the door
will be exposed to all weather conditions,
I have also decided not to use glue. I have
cut down boards measuring approximately
150 � 22mm using my Sedgwick table saw.
These are all planed and sanded.
I had two boards with a lovely waney
curved edge and was originally going to have
these two meet in the middle backed by a
vertical frame, so there would be no gap just
a lovely shape (I hope this makes sense!).
I am going off this idea, however, as I?d need
a vertical frame both sides and might end up
being neither one thing or the other. I?m not
keen on bent over nails (these are great on
listed buildings, but somehow not right for
this) and was wondering how to join braces
to planks (not T&G). Would enough nails
not bent over (say 2mm short of piercing
the far-side) suffice? I have some lovely old
copper nails ? would these work? In terms
of rose-headed nails, do they have to be bent
over? And what about brass/copper rivets?
Screwing and plugging is an option but
seems a bit of a faff.
I also have two massive black strap hinges
for each door, but am looking into a custom
forged alternative ? any good leads here?
Also, any guidance on latches, easy to
access from both sides of the door, preferably
decorative, would be much appreciated.
Many thanks, Roland
Roland, All sounds good to me. As for the
latches, why not use traditional home/hand
made wooden latches similar to a Suffolk latch?
A lift on the outside and a leather bootlace
through a hole in the door to lift from the inside.
I have made and fitted a number of these in the
54 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
past to cottage doors, and there is nothing
better suited. Good luck, Derek
Hi all, A few thoughts:
? Braces ? the bottom of which shall be on
the hinge edge of the door ? so doors will be
opposite handed (I hope that makes sense).
? Do fix a brace to the top and bottom ledge
? using long screws.
? Do screw outer boards to ledges ? as this
makes the door much stronger.
? Consider a brace from the bottom to the
top ledge using a lap halving joint at the
middle ledge.
Kind regards, Wilf.T
A lovely example
of an oak ledged &
braced door
This antique
example is made in elm
READERS? GALLERY sponsored by Johnson Tools
Send in photos of your recently made woodworking projects and you
could be in with a chance of winning an Alcolin wood adhesives bundle,
consisting of one each of Alcolin Cold Glue, Alcolin Fast Set Glue, Alcolin
Professional Glue and Alcolin Ultra Glue. Good luck!
Ben Hackney ? this month?s winner!
The disassembled
lamp components
What a clever idea!
Ben?s project doubles
up as a USB charger as
well as a nifty colour
changing lamp
The handy remote
allows you to choose
a variety of colours
Paul Bodiam
Paul, who usually makes stringed
instruments, recently made these wonderful
bifold doors. As he says: ?When we moved
into our house in late 2015, there was a large
open doorway between the kitchen and
conservatory, which made the kitchen
very cold in the winter and far too hot in
summer. I designed some bifold doors
to fit the hole, using SketchUp, which is
free and pretty easy to learn how to use.?
We?re thoroughly impressed by the finished
result and if this doesn?t inspire you to have a
go at making your own projects for the home,
nothing will! Congratulations, Paul!
WRITE & WIN!
Russian-born Tatiana is a
professional woodcarving artist
with a degree in Applied Fine
Arts. She specialises in chip
carving on sustainably-sourced
Tatiana carving
Tatiana?s
basswood and draws her
one of her beautiful latest
inspiration from her own life,
geometric patterns
masterpiece
nature, and music. ?I?ve been
in basswood
carving ever since I visited a
woodcarving studio in 2008
and was so struck by the craft
that I was inspired to try it for
myself,? she says. ?Since then,
I?ve created hundreds of original
pieces of my own, as well as
having worked for companies
that produce wooden home
d閏or, and have had my work
featured in their stores and on
their websites.? Tatiana admits
?A View Through the Frozen
to being a total introvert, and
Window? chip-carved box
though she loves people, she
finds that being and working alone energises her like nothing else.
She likes to spend as much of her time creating beautiful works to
share with the world as she can.
Using a selection of chip carving knives, Tatiana creates incredibly
intricate geometric patterns. It?s also great to see that she loves to share
her carving secrets with many viewers and followers, and her dedicated
YouTube channel (search under ?Tatiana Baldina ? FancyChip?) contains
many instructional videos that take you through the process of creating
her patterns as well as discussing the techniques required in order to
relief carve. She also sells a book of patterns, Moments of April, which is
ideal if you?re looking for inspiration for your own designs.
While it?s clear to see that Tatiana?s designs are fairly advanced, don?t
let this put you off. If you search on YouTube you?ll be able to find many
videos that start from the beginning and will introduce you to the tools
and take you through the process for making the cuts. Wayne Barton
is also a great exponent of the craft and has written some great books.
Personal favourite pieces for me include her ?Song of Birds? jewellery
box, which is a tribute to her happy childhood home and adventures, and
her beautiful coasters, which I would certainly think twice about placing
a cup of tea on! You can follow Tatiana on Instagram @tatbalcarvings,
or see more of her work in her Etsy store: visit www.etsy.com and search
under ?FancyChip?.
NEW DIGITAL
LEVEL BOX
The completed
bifold doors in situ
We always love hearing about your projects, ideas, hints and tips,
and/or like to receive feedback about GW?s features, so do drop
us a line ? you never know, you might win our great ?Letter of
the Month? prize, currently a Trend Easyscribe scribing tool.
Simply email tegan.foley@mytimemedia.com
for a chance to enhance your marking capability
with this versatile workshop aid
Find the angle on a surface quickly and
d
aws.
accurately. Ideal for table and mitre saws.
p
Automatic LCD large backlight for easy
reading of angle.
p
p
Accuracy of +/-0.2� for all angles.
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Automatic digital inversion for
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Zero button to determine the angle
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Product Ref.
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AD/16/06
Ben has recently finished this lovely little
project ? a five-port USB charge station with
mood light/lamp above. Ben says that he
loves the look of the all-oak piece and the
veneer shade on the inside really shows the
grain as the LED light shines through, and we
couldn?t agree more! In terms of the design,
the base, which holds the USB charger, has
a diameter of 180mm and a height of 40mm,
and the outside cylinder, complete with all
the holes, has a diameter of 140mm and a
height of 180mm, with the overall height
of the piece being 260mm.
The lamp is made mostly of solid oak
parts, aside from the outside cylinder, which
is formed of six pieces glued together. All
pieces have a 30� angle on each edge, which
forms a hexagon, and to make the perfect
cylinder, Ben used a lathe. It was then over
to the drill press, where he proceeded to
drill out the random hole pattern, using eight
different sized Forstner bits. ?I had to make
a substitute cylinder that fitted tightly inside
the cylinder before I did any drilling, which
would stop any blow-out from the many
holes I needed to drill,? he says. All the other
parts were made on a perfect circle cutting
jig. Once constructed, Ben gave the piece
two coats of Osmo oil and he thinks, as do
we, that the overall look and design of the
piece is very pleasing to the eye. Nice work!
One to watch:
Tatiana Baldina
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 55
Profile: Steve Altman
BOX-MAKING
MASTER
With over 40 years? woodworking experience under
his belt, former cabinetmaker turned box maker Steve
Altman?s passion for what he does is abundantly clear
F
ine box-making is often regarded as one of
the pinnacles of high-end furniture making,
and here in the UK we are graced with
many great masters of the craft, including
the wonderful work of Robert Ingham, Andrew
Crawford, David Barron and Peter Lloyd, to name but
a few. The United States is home to many more fine
exponents of the craft, one of which is Steve Altman,
who, if you?re not already familiar with his work,
can certainly be regarded as a box-making master.
Although Steve uses the word ?simple? to describe
his work, a cursory look at one of his creations reveals
he is a modest man, as they are really anything but.
Talking to Steve about his background, he tells
me that he started his woodworking journey in the
cabinetmaking industry in New York, where he worked
for about 20 years, on what are referred to in the
business as ?high-end residential interiors? for very,
very wealthy clients. ?I worked as a benchman in
high-end residential custom ?shops and as a foreman
in high-volume commercial ?shops. I had my own
?shop (twice), was a project manager and supervisor
in architectural woodwork o?ices, had a space in a
woodworking guild, and even did antique restoration
for a while,? he says. ?I?ve known people trying to make
it (and sometimes succeeding) in the crafts world.?
Moving on to the late ?80s, we see Steve becoming
heavily involved with computers and programming:
?This was actually due to learning AutoCad for doing
drafting for my cabinet ?shop,? he says, ?which led me
to leaving professional cabinetmaking in about 1992.?
But, no matter where Steve and his family lived, he
had a personal workshop that allowed him to do
whatever woodworking he felt like. ?For a few years
I was immersed in programming and didn?t do much
woodworking, but I got back into it, and by 2004 I
had run out of things to make around the house,
so I started making boxes. My reason for doing so
was mainly because they?re small, you don?t have to
RIGHT: ?Echoes of Aja?
? bubinga, boxwood
and ebony ? 330 � 150
� 90mm
FAR RIGHT: ?Make One
Thing #1? ? black palm,
spalted maple and pink
ivory ? 381 � 229
� 100mm
56 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
keep an extensive material inventory, and they give
you a way to work out ideas surrounding structure,
colour and texture without spending the enormous
amount of time studio furniture requires. They just fit
quite nicely into a small ?shop such as the one I have.?
From carrying out some preliminary research before
I conducted this interview, I discovered that Steve?s
father also used to make boxes, but of the cardboard
and paper variety, when he worked in a display box
factory many years ago. Steve recalls walking his Dad
to work on a Saturday morning, and him being a very
kind, gentle and thoughtful man who worked hard
to provide for his family, but that?s where the idyllic
remembrances end: ?The reality of my father?s
livelihood was grimy old factories, concrete floors,
too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer, where
people laboured hard and long to make a decent living.
I really wouldn?t call that a ?career?, and neither would
he. It was his job; the way he made a living. He hadn?t
had much formal schooling, though he was a very
bright person. His father had died when he was
young and he had to help out his family financially.?
Seeing how hard factory work was, the long hours you
had to work and the pittance you were paid, certainly
influenced Steve?s decision to take a di?erent path,
although he fondly remembers playing in the factory as
a child, and seeing lots and lots of boxes undoubtedly
had some e?ect on Steve that would later translate
into him making his own, but of a very di?erent kind.
Inspiration & design process
The inspiration behind Steve?s boxes goes far and
wide, and he cites everything from the period of
FAR LEFT: ?.Show(2)?
? imbuya, pear
and spalted maple
? 381 � 180 � 75mm
LEFT: ?.Show(1)? ?
lacewood, pink ivory
and spalted maple
? 305 � 216 � 75mm
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 57
Profile: Steve Altman
ABOVE: A cabinet
dedicated to Steve?s
cat, Gilbert: sapele,
pommele, spalted
maple, boxwood and
ebony ? 279 � 292 �
432mm
TOP: ?Gale Sayers (The
Kansas Comet)? ? white
oak, pine, spalted
maple and masur birch
? 432 � 229 � 200mm
TOP RIGHT: ?Six of
One? ? boxwood,
spalted maple, panga
panga and chakte viga
? 330 � 200 � 67mm
antique Chinese domestic furniture to Henri Matisse,
the Art Deco period and Miles Davis. So in short, it
appears the entire artistic world has some e?ect on
his pieces, whether that be in influencing how his mind
works, a specific colour scheme, curve or a certain
notion, all of which makes his work more intriguing.
On making his boxes, Steve says that he incorporates
everything he has ever learned, not just about
woodworking, but art, design, literature, music,
society, and even being human. ?If no one sees
the e?ect of these influences, so be it; I?ll try
again and keep on trying,? he comments.
When asked about the design process he uses, Steve
says that when he was a cabinetmaker, he didn?t design
anything; he was assigned a design to produce and
that?s what he did. ?Given my total lack of experience
when I started designing the boxes myself, I really had
no idea what to do, but since I was heavily influenced
by James Krenov and George Nakashima, I thought it
best if I allowed the wood to design the project. So
I would sit on my bench, sometimes for hours, just
staring at all the wood leaning up against the walls.
I?d just look at the colours, figures, and textures and
try to determine which woods seemed to ?go together.?
I?d move the pieces around, move them together, move
them apart, all the while considering how they might
be used in the design of a box.?
Colours, for Steve, are also important: ?Sometimes
I find myself sort of chanting ?follow the colours,? but
I try to utilise a system of colour that includes major,
secondary and accent hues. This is fairly straight-
?Half Dozen of the Other #7? ? curly tulipwood and pink ivory ? 64 � 180
� 38mm
58 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
forward with paint but gets complicated because no
piece of wood is one colour. There are always several
shades in each piece, with di?erent values, depending
on the figure. So finding colours that work together is
sometimes complicated,? he says.
Once Steve finds an agreeable combination of pieces
of wood, he tries to ?arrange? them into a wooden
container with a pleasing shape, that has something
of interest from all viewing angles. ?Sculptural issues
become the focus: that?s where a combination of
mock-ups and AutoCad come into play,? he says. ?I
usually make several mock-ups of a design, because I
don?t draw well and I need to see the box from all sides.
These mock-ups are usually made of pine or poplar, hot
glued or contact cemented together. Sometimes I have
to stain these woods to approximate the actual wood
I?m going to use because the di?erences in value
can have a dramatic e?ect on the overall design. For
instance, a design where the predominant wood is
poplar is going to look dramatically di?erent in wenge.?
Because the boxes he makes are so small, Steve
can usually do full-size drawings of a box in AutoCad
to develop precise measurements and try out di?erent
details. And because it?s AutoCad, he can make dozens
of di?erent drawings with little trouble. Once the
mock-up looks right and Steve has an accurate set
of measurements, he can start to think about how
he?s going to construct the box, so he creates what
he calls an ?action list?, which is an attempt to think
through the entire fabrication process. ?I have to
consider the order in which the parts will be developed,
?Twist? ? curly tulipwood and pink ivory ? 241 � 180 � 82mm
joinery details, when parts will be finished (some before
being joined), etc. The action list is very important. The
idea that ?I?ll figure that out when I come to it,? while
an acceptable way of working for some people, is
impossible for me. Inevitably, there will be unforeseen
problems that will arise and they?ll be enough of a
headache. So if there?s anything I?m unsure about at
the outset, I make certain I have a comfortable process
that allows me to cope with that issue by creating mockups of just that operation. Hinging lids often presents
these kinds of issues. If this sounds like a lot of design
work for a little box, you?re right, it is. Designing the
box takes far, far longer than making it.?
Everything Steve does in a design is meant to have
some e?ect, ?but that e?ect should be, for want of a
better way to describe it, below perception,? he says.
?The e?ect should add to the overall quality of the piece
without letting the viewer know that it is making a
contribution.? As an example, Steve points to a piece
he?s made called ?Spending Time? ? a set of nine boxes,
which are all of the same design: ?The legs of each box
are splayed outward exactly 1.5�,? Steve tells me, ?it?s
very hard to physically see that ? without knowing that
I did it. I suspect no one will ever remark about it, and,
I can tell you, doing that added hours to fabrication
time. But I wanted those boxes to ?settle? comfortably;
I wanted their stance to be relaxed, but I didn?t want
to owner to ?know? why the boxes felt at ease. All this
could easily be much ado about nothing,? he comments,
?but I?m of the age where craziness is to be expected,
so what does it matter!?.
?Spending Time #1? ? masur birch and imbuya ? 125 � 229 � 75mm
Workshop
When discussing the space in which he makes his
boxes, I discover that rather than using favourite
tools to complete specific woodworking tasks, Steve
just tends to see this as ?using the right tool for the
job? ? for example, using a 10mm wide mortise chisel
to chop a 10mm wide mortise, ?or, if I have to resaw
some maple, I would use my Agazzani bandsaw,? he
says. So, in that sense, every tool is a favourite if it
enables him to accomplish the job at hand.
Central to his workshop is his tough hard maple
workbench, which he built around 40 years ago: ?That
was before woodworking magazines started being
published in the US, and I had the hardest time trying
to find plans for a good bench,? he says. ?I spent days
searching through libraries, carefully thumbing fragile
paper in old books on dusty shelves, looking for
instruction, and then, lo and behold, I found just what
I was looking for in a British magazine called Popular
Woodworking.? Steve says that when making the bench,
he didn?t have a jointer or a planer, so he had to true
it all up by hand: ?I promise you that knowing how to
work ? how to physically labour ? came in handy for that
process, and with those blisters came an appreciation
of the importance of a sharp blade in a tuned hand
plane, so my bench is a ?favourite? tool, for sure.?
Among Steve?s hand tool collection also resides
a number of very expensive Holtey planes (?because
my wife lets me be crazy?); Bill Carter?s little beauties
made in his backyard; a chairmaker?s ?devil? that he
made himself before he actually knew anything about
ABOVE LEFT: Much
of the wall space in
Steve?s workshop
is taken up with
exotic wood arranged
vertically, so he can see
at least some portion of
each piece. The pieces
with the blue tape are
bandsawn veneers.
He has an Agazzani
bandsaw (on the back
wall, but out of view)
that allows him to
cut his own veneers
ABOVE: The piece
Steve is working on
now: a display case for
a collection of divers?
watches. It has a glass
top (framed) and is
made using Swiss
pear and black walnut,
for a very patient
person! Here it is
sprayed with mineral
spirits to give an idea
of the approximate
finished colours
?Rest Assured? ? anigre, cherry, ebony and spalted maple ? 355 � 180 � 75mm
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 59
Profile: Steve Altman
ABOVE: Spalted
timbers are given their
own corner
MIDDLE: ?Show(3)?
? English brown oak,
curly sycamore, masur
birch and ebony ? 330 �
180 � 75mm
RIGHT: Steve has
many tools!
woodworking, and a ?lovely Stanley Bedrock No.5
given to me, just like that, by my brother-in-law.?
Among tools and machinery there is also an extensive
collection of small- and medium-sized pieces of
domestic and exotic wood, all standing up and ready
to be made into boxes: ?Probably 60 or 70 di?erent
species,? Steve confirms, ?and I can see at least some
portion of every individual piece. That?s crucial to me
and I spend what really is too much time arranging
that wood so that each and every piece is visible in
some way.?
How the workshop is set up is also very important
to Steve. The boxes he makes are an expression of
himself and the circumstances of his life and the ?shop
is as much responsible for the boxes as he is: ?I can
only do what the ?shop can do, and any limitation the
?shop has limits what I can accomplish.?
Working in such a small area, and with space being
at a premium, means that for ease of working, almost
all of Steve?s floor-standing machines are on wheels.
?This is very important in a small ?shop because it
allows you to move machines around if you need to
create a way to cut large, unwieldy panels or timber.?
Steve also highlights the importance of good lighting,
especially in spaces with few windows, such as his, and
working on such intricate pieces and with fine veneers
makes this even more of an important consideration.
The notion of box-making
FURTHER
INFO
To find out more
about Steve and his
portfolio of amazing
pieces, see his
website: www.
myworkshop.com
Although, ultimately, his boxes only exist for decorative
purposes, or as Steve refers to them ?bits of eye candy
perched on a dresser, sitting on a desk, or plunked
down haphazardly on a table,? these pieces
undoubtedly invite the viewer to take a closer look,
and they also provide a glimpse into wood?s infinite
possibilities: sight and touch, colour and shape,
figure and texture, revealed aspects of natural
wonder, and arrangements bound by simple human
e?ort, plus, as Steve rightly says: ?they hold things!?.
Steve?s website contains a huge amount of information
about each of the pieces he has made, a narrative
behind the reasoning for making that piece, his
choice of materials, and a commentary detailing why
he enjoys box-making and how he got to where he is
today, which he describes as an ?actuation as opposed
to a profession.? From reading all his anecdotes and
from having the opportunity to only partially delve into
the mind of such a talented maker, it?s obvious that
Steve is a very bright man with a head full of amazing
ideas. I hope his box-making journey continues for
many years to come, as I have a feeling that we have
yet to see his best work... GW
STEVE?S TOP BOX-MAKING TIPS
1. It doesn?t matter how you do it, every method works,
so remember to keep your tools very sharp
2. Make a regular maintenance schedule for all machinery,
and ensure to follow it
3. Remember that mistakes are not necessarily errors.
Your project might be reminding you of something
you probably already know
4. Mock-ups, both for design and of details, are your friend
5. If you?re going to cut dovetails by hand, practice a few on
the same wood you?re going to use for your project BEFORE
you start cutting the joints for real
6. For cabinetmaking, think square, level and plumb all the time,
every day, everywhere. Get good at perceiving, at feeling
whether something is out of square, not level, or not plumb
7. Never, ever say to yourself ?I?ll figure it out when I get there.?
Save yourself some grief and figure it out now
8. When you?re planning the layout of a ?shop, think empty,
not full
9. It?s nice to have a place for everything, but, honestly, that?s
impossible. So make sure your storage methods are flexible,
not fixed
10. Woodworking is still primarily an analogue process,
especially hand work. Don?t place your faith in numbers.
Use rods, full-size drawings and physical offsets in jigs
11. Sneaking up on a size is often the best way to get a good fit
RIGHT: Steve working
on his current piece:
the watch display case
60 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
12. Have fun; it?s really why you?re doing this
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Expert advice: Professional woodworking
Four routes into a
career in fine woodwork
John McMahon of the John McMahon School of Fine
Woodwork shares his advice on turning professional
and suggests a number of routes you could take, as
well as discussing the pros and cons of each
I
ABOVE: A good school
will provide plenty
of excellent tuition...
blame The Great British Bake O?; a large portion
of the UK has now become addicted to making
things that we were quite happy to buy a couple
of years ago. This sorry state of a?airs has spilled
over from food to clothes to pottery and even furniture.
For most addicts, this leads to weekends and evenings
locked in the shed or poring over tool catalogues until
3am, resulting in sleep deprivation and relationship
breakdown, but at least they don?t give up the day job.
In the worst cases, there is just no going back
and the only answer is to do the woodworking
equivalent of running away to join the circus.
I am not advocating this rash course of action of
course, being a responsible adult, but I do know
what it?s like to change direction in life and work.
I certainly would have appreciated some advice
at times, so if you?re contemplating a move to
professional woodworking, I do empathise and
hope this helps.
to �,000 for a one-year course). There are several
schools of furniture making dotted around the country
and it?s also worth checking out the boatbuilding
schools. Building wooden boats is a glorious way to
spend your days and work is available around the world
for good shipwrights. The IBTC and the Boatbuilding
Academy o?er a furniture making option for landlubbers
and have a great reputation for quality training.
This option requires a huge investment of time
and money, so do your research carefully. If possible,
talk to past students before you commit to a full-time,
full-cost course.
For those of us who can?t a?ord to give up a year
of our life and �,000, there are a growing number
of less expensive options. I feel I must declare an
interest here: my wife and I run a woodwork school
so first on my list of these is us! At the John McMahon
School of Fine Woodwork (too long, I know) we o?er
a?ordable evening and daytime classes with a trackrecord of getting students working to a very high
standard. We also o?er careers advice for those
wanting to set up their own business.
Another option could be to contact organisations
like the National Trust that o?er training in heritage
skills. They are often looking for mature trainees and
may be able to o?er support bursaries to help with
living costs while they train you in traditional skills.
Route one: back to school
This was once an option solely for rich accountants
who were having a midlife crisis ? an alternative to
buying a Harley Davidson when you hit 40. You had
to give up your job and move to Somerset or Scotland
to retrain as a furniture maker, but happily, there are
less drastic alternatives.
You could still give up the day job of course, if you
have enough money and time (fees are around �,000
62 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
In summary: Do your research and talk about your
aims with a good trainer. Remember that developing
your skills will take time; it?s not an overnight fix.
For: Learning to work with wood is a joy! You should
have a great time learning new skills and making new
friends, and, if you work hard, there is a good chance
of a new career at the end of it.
Against: Depends on where you go, but this could
be very costly in time and money.
Option one is great for those without existing skills
or experience, but the next three are aimed at good
amateur woodworkers; the sort of person that would
be likely to read this magazine?
Route two: set up your own business
In these times of financial crisis, this could seem
like a very dangerous idea and I suppose starting any
business carries an element of risk. However, if you
are reading this, then you?re probably already a pretty
good woodworker. Amateurs are often capable of
professional quality work, they just lack speed and
confidence. The transition to high specification
woodwork will be easier for you than for a complete
beginner. Build up a reputation by working for friends
and family and be prepared to work cheap (or even for
free) at first. Use this time to assess the market and
use the day job to finance the transition. Business
advisors and banks are much more likely to be positive
about your furniture making business plan if the
first year or so is supported by an existing income.
Let?s list some more positive factors:
1) At present, local government is keen to support
new business (someone has to get people spending).
2) There is a growing realisation among policy makers
at national level that we do actually need to make
things.
3) They have also worked out that our historic buildings
need skilled craftsmen and women in order to keep
them standing.
The above factors are reflected in the level of support
currently available for craft businesses. However, all the
business support in the world means nothing if you
can?t do high quality woodwork, so this route may need
to go along with the retraining option. If your work
and customer care is good, word will spread and pretty
soon you should be busy doing something you love.
In summary: Do your research, make a good (i.e.
realistic) business plan and get plenty of help from
people who have succeeded in what you are trying to
do. Find a local government scheme o?ering business
advice, grants, loans etc.
For: There is a good market for high quality bespoke
work, you are your own boss, and it?s a great excuse
to buy nice tools.
ABOVE: Practising and
refining your skills in
the right environment
is also very important
TOP: Setting up your
own woodworking
business is really
challenging but the
rewards can be fantastic
LEFT: Dovetail
demonstration at
the John McMahon
School of Fine
Woodwork
Against: Risky and very, very hard work at the outset.
If you don?t keep it under control, your business can
become a monster that you can?t wait to get away from.
Route three: working as a contractor
This could work if you can relocate and don?t have
family ties. Contractors often work in the luxury yacht
market, which has major centres in the south of France,
Portugal, the Middle East, New Zealand and other
exotic locations. There is also some UK work, generally
concentrated on the south coast. Contractors also
work in aircraft completions (fitting out) and on
more static projects like luxury hotels. You will need
demonstrable skills before you start on this one. Not
for the fainthearted or the complete beginner, but it
might suit if you already work in wood and want to
step up to a more prestigious level of work.
Summary: Getting into it is relatively easy: in my
experience, they find you. Make sure you have a
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 63
Expert advice: Professional woodworking
have specific qualifications. Be honest about your
experience and be prepared to start at the bottom to get
a bench. Maturity might be your strong hand here: lots
of employers want someone they can rely on and, rightly
or wrongly, can be reticent about employing very young
sta?. Proof of certified machinery training could help you
to get an interview too, so it?s worth taking a two- or
three-day course if you can find one.
Summary: Just use job search websites and keep trying.
You will need to make a strong case for yourself if you
don?t have the specific experience they are asking for
and you will probably have to pass a skills test at your
interview ? often a bit nerve-wracking, so be prepared.
You will probably need your own hand tools and portable
power tools, and these should be good quality or you?ll
be laughed at!
For: Secure, and great for gaining experience if you
keep your eyes and ears open.
ABOVE: At the IBTC all
students start with a
comprehensive joinery
course and can progress
onto a furniture making
qualification
RIGHT: There is high
demand for good
boatbuilders and
the vast majority of
these graduates move
straight into work
good CV registered with as many recruitment agencies
as you can find. Get the right key words (qualified,
experienced, etc.) in early as they usually only read
the first page. Make the most of any relevant experience
you have, and don?t worry if you don?t have specific
experience of boats or aircraft; recruiters will often
take a chance if you have general woodwork experience.
However, be aware that some companies will ship out
more workers than they need then send anyone home
who doesn?t measure up, so make sure you can do the
job before you commit.
Against: The pay isn?t usually great (�-14 per hour is
about average for a fully-skilled cabinetmaker, but you
could be looking at much less if you?re just starting out).
Also, you are an employee, which means you have to do
what somebody else says (this doesn?t suit everyone!).
Let?s keep talking
These four routes into a career in fine woodwork don?t
constitute a definitive list and other professionals?
experience will certainly di?er from mine, so if you
have questions or experience to share, please get in
touch. Fine woodworkers are a rare breed and we are
stronger together? GW
For: Travel, great locations, interesting work.
The money is OK, often with tax advantages. If you
like overtime it is almost always available in bucket
loads. So, for example, when I was working in aircraft
completions in Switzerland a couple of years ago, typical
wages were in the region of � per hour � 60 to 70
hours per week with very little income tax to pay.
Against: Not secure, and usually little or no holiday/sick
or pay. You will be expected to work silly hours, which
doesn?t suit everyone. Seriously bad for your family if
they don?t want to move away with you (there are lots
of divorced contractors to prove this).
Route four: just get a job
I have left this until last, but it?s still a good option,
especially if you want to gain experience in furniture
making before striking out on your own. Some
employers will give you a trial even if you don?t
JOHN MCMAHON
John has been designing and making fine furniture for almost
30 years. Over this time he has fitted out yachts and luxury
aircraft at home and abroad, as well as having designed,
made and fitted architectural joinery, built musical
instruments and worked on historic buildings. For most of
this time John has run his own business as a designer-maker,
and since 2008 he has also taught woodwork. To find out
more about him and his furniture making school, see www.
schoolofwoodworking.co.uk
64 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
FURTHER INFO & RESOURCES
IBTC International Boatbuilding Training College Lowestoft
Web: www.ibtc.co.uk
Boat Building Academy Ltd
Web: www.boatbuildingacademy.com
The National Heritage Training Group
Web: www.the-nhtg.org.uk
National Trust Jobs
Web: www.nationaltrustjobs.org.uk/jobs
The Traditional Building Skills Bursary Scheme
Web: www.buildingbursaries.org.uk
Setting up a business
Web: www.gov.uk/set-up-business
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Woodworking adventures: Small workshops
it all a second sheet to double the thickness
and strength (Pic.3). 30mm strips of 3-ply
were cut to decorate the doors, and a pair
of old tools were used to create a crossedswords motif. When painted up white with
green highlights (Pic.5) the toolshed looks
fantastic, and best of all, it doesn?t take up
too much space; it easily fits in our carport
area against the side wall.
One idea I considered, but ignored,
was fitting a hinged benchtop connected
to the shelf and supported with a folding
bracket ? you might like to explore this
if you?re looking to make your own cabinet.
For a while I used a normal folding
table as a workbench, a reclaimed ironing
board fitted with a new top as a side-table,
and a converted fan as a power tool basket
with built-in power supply. In time I almost
completely reconfigured the cabinet as
tools were added and needs changed.
Additional shelves have also been fitted
into the main section, and into the doors.
On the right-hand door (Pic.6) you
will see a mallet, which I made myself.
With this setup I was able to make a cake
stand, candle rack, bookshelf, desk, and
a jewellery cabinet for my wife, all of which
you can see on my blog. So, don?t allow
yourself to be limited by what you have ?
instead, let what you have open your mind
to new possibilities. GW
PIC 1: Cutting a plank
into four strips of equal
width to frame the doors
PIC 3: Plywood encloses
the cabinet and tools will
hang from it
As David Moody shows here, don?t allow yourself to be
limited by what you have ? be open to new possibilities
S
o, you?ve crossed the bridge,
hopefully, and you?ve made a start.
Perhaps you are working out of a
toolbox of some kind. That?s exactly
how I got moving, and as the momentum built
up soon the time came to get serious, and
to build a tool cabinet, though I like to call
mine a toolshed! I spent many hours of many
months scouring the internet, especially
Pinterest, for ideas, and finally sketched out
a design that I hoped would suit my needs.
Sourcing materials
The first step in building this cabinet was
to source the suitable materials. A local
hardware store sells planks of composite
wood, which I felt would be ideal for the
main structure. I would then sheet it up with
some of the recycled 3-ply that I had stored
away. When determining the size, I didn?t
design the shed first and then hope that I
could a?ord enough material to build it ?
I bought all the planks that I could a?ord
at the time, and measured the cabinet to
make the best use of the planks, which were
3m long. When building your own cabinet,
you will need to determine a size that suits
your needs, budget, and available space.
PIC 2: Simple glue-andscrew joinery for the
cabinet?s main body
PIC 4: Exterior white
protects it, even though
it is under a roof
Cutting materials
I started by cutting my material ? I used
the width of the planks to determine the
depth of the cabinet (Pic.1) ? and simply
drilled and screwed all joints (Pic.2). I made
the doors hollow so that I could use them as
additional tool space. The depth of the doors
was determined simply by cutting a plank
into four strips. A single shelf was then
installed at standing height, which gave the
shed strength. The top was framed using
leftover strips and a fake roof top fitted.
The back and doors were sheeted
with the 3-ply, but this proved too weak
to support the weight of the tools, so I gave
66 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
NEXT
MONTH
PIC 5: I miss farm life, so I gave it a barn
style, which suits me well!
PIC 6: Using it for a year resulted in a
few redesigns of the interior, which
makes it much better to use, and it
conveniently houses most of my tools
In GW321, David
offers advice on
making your own
tools, which will save
you money and add
to the enjoyment of
your woodworking.
To see more of
David?s work and to
find out more about
him, visit his website:
http://woodworking.
david-moody.info
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AROUND THE HOUSE with Phil Davy
W
hy is it that property boundaries can be the cause of so much bad
feeling? Recently I was hanging a new side gate for someone when
neighbours challenged me about moving their fence panel. I?d had to
notch the bottom to accommodate a new hinge, though made sure the panel was
refitted in its original position. I was then accused of moving the boundary, which
was not the case. It all seemed so trivial, though things have a habit of escalating;
friends of mine had to call the police after an elderly neighbour physically attacked
them over a boundary dispute! If you find yourself in a similar situation, it?s worth
photographing existing fences or gates before starting work.
BOOK REVIEW:
Decks
Decking may not be quite so trendy here in
Britain as it once was, but this doesn?t seem
to be the case across the Pond. It could be
something to do with the popularity of
materials other than timber becoming
widespread. Synthetic decking (PVC and
composite) offers several advantages
over wood, such as stability, longevity and
colour options. This can lead to interesting
decorative effects (such as curved work) and once fitted, synthetics
require almost no maintenance. Both timber and synthetic decking
require the same tools, and as this book is branded by Stanley
there?s a plethora of DeWalt, Black & Decker and Stanley products
in use throughout the pages.
Hands-on manual
Space is probably another factor (not to mention the weather)
with some pretty imposing designs shown here. Chapters on
planning (imperial sizes only), tools, skills and techniques cover
the basics before getting down to actually building a deck.
Fortunately, not all the projects are big and brash, with a simple
patio deck a great place to start if you want to dip your toe in
the water.
This is very much a hands-on manual, with clear step-by-step
photos detailing every process, from installing footings to final
finishing, installing LED lighting, aluminium railing and repairs.
An element of danger is added in the step-by-step sequence
when using a circular saw (cutting a vertical post in situ), though
the risks are minimised. Not something I'd try, though...
USEFUL KIT/PRODUCT:
Chestnut Net Abrasive
Abrasives have come a long way over the past couple of decades.
Anyone who remembers using glasspaper will know how quickly
this clogs up, especially on paintwork. These days you can still buy
the more traditional sanding sheets, though for efficiency it?s hard
to beat aluminium oxide mesh abrasives. Once they start to clog
you simply tap the sanding block to remove the dust.
If you?ve never tried them before Chestnut are offering a small
sampler pack of six hook-and-loop-backed (Velcro) sheets.
This consists of 80, 120, 180, 240, 320 and 400 grit abrasives
from Swiss manufacturer Sia. Each sheet measures 125 � 70mm,
designed for hand sanding blocks such as those from Hermes or
Mirka. Alternatively, for sanding curved surfaces you could use a
foam Flexipad. If you then decide you want to concentrate on one
or two specific grits, you can buy similar packs of each grade for
�50 (five sheets) or �.50 for 50. Be warned, though ? sanding
could even become enjoyable!
Each sheet measures 125 �
70mm and is designed for
hand sanding blocks such as
those from Hermes or Mirka
THE GW VERDICT
RATING: 4 out of 5
David Toht,
published by Taunton
PRICE: �.99
WEB: www.thegmcgroup.com
THE GW VERDICT
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
PRICE: �per pack
WEB: www.chestnutproducts.co.uk
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 71
Around the house with Phil Davy
SUMMER PROJECT ? OBELISK TRELLIS
TAKES: One weekend
TOOLS NEEDED: Mitre saw, sander, router,
drill stand, block plane, sliding bevel
Pyramid scheme
Climbers will scramble to the top of Phil Davy?s
pyramid trellis ? and that?s a promise
Although an outdoor feature more often associated with more formal
gardens, an obelisk or pyramid trellis can look just as impressive in a
small garden. Positioned in a corner or on the patio, it certainly adds
style. Make a pair of smaller ones and they could be at home either
side of an entrance. Build a decent one and you?ll still have something
attractive while the plant is growing up it.
Of course, with a project like this it doesn?t matter what size
timber you use. I had some 50 � 50mm PAR softwood set aside for
the four legs, but this looked a bit too heavy. With a thicknesser it?s
straightforward reducing wood to size, so finished timber sizes on my
project are 35 � 35mm for the legs, while horizontal rails are 30 x 20mm.
The pyramid consists of two A frames, joined together with rails.
Each leg is 1,900mm long and set at 82�, while the overall width
of each frame is 600mm at the base.
You could use pressure-treated timber instead of PAR softwood,
but that?s likely to be rough-sawn rather than planed, so will create
more of a rustic look. To simplify the project even more you could
dispense with the routed housings, although this would make the
structure less rigid, especially as it will probably be subjected to
extremes of weather. Either screw, nail or use a nailgun to fix the rails
to the legs. If screwing or nailing, drill pilot holes first or you?re likely
to split the ends when fixing in place. Use exterior PVA glue as well.
Construction methods
Assemble two ? opposite ? triangular frames together, fixing lower
and upper rails first for rigidity. When this pair is completed you simply
connect them with the intermediate cross rails. It?s important to note
that each leg has housings cut on both exterior surfaces, so a simple
numbering or lettering system is a good idea as it?s easy to get mixed up.
To rout the housings you?ll need to make a simple jig. I used 12mm
MDF screwed to a couple of battens. Because the housings slope both
ways ? left- and right-handed ? you?ll need to rout half of them first,
then change the orientation of the jig.
With two legs held together, loosely cramp the battens either side
so that everything is parallel. Screw one piece of MDF to the first batten
and check the angle of the leading edge with a sliding bevel. Cramp this
to the second batten and add another screw. Re-check the angle and fit
72 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
further screws so the jig is rigid. Do the same with a second piece of
MDF, spacing the two pieces apart to accommodate the router base,
plus the housing width. Make test cuts on offcuts, then you?re ready
for routing.
It?s important to mark the position of each housing with the correct
slope, as it?s easy to cut them the wrong way if you don?t. Rout all the
housings that slope one way, then remove screws on the jig and swivel
the MDF pieces to suit the opposite slope.
A mitre saw is handy for cutting the battens, though not essential.
Bear in mind that there are 60 mitres to cut, though, so this is by far
the quickest method. You could cut the housings with a sliding mitre
saw, though they will not be as clean as they will be if routed.
And to cap it off
Once assembled the trellis needs something at the top to finish it off.
I cheated and used a turned oak newel post cap, left over from a previous
stair project. Whatever you choose, add a cap first to protect the endgrain of the legs from the elements. Ideally this should be bevelled so
that water will run off.
If you want the trellis to blend in with its natural surroundings, finish
it in green or brown if the position will be close to a fence. If it?s being
used as more of a feature, however, a contrasting colour will really make
it stand out. I used Cuprinol Shades (County Cream). A word of warning,
though: if you?re not keen on painting, persuade someone else to finish
this project for you. It?s very tedious, especially as you?ll need to apply
at least two coats. If building another obelisk I?d consider painting all
the components before assembly. Alternatively, you could thin and
spray the finish, though you?d probably waste quite a lot of paint if
you did choose to use this method.
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STEP 1. Lay two of the rails across the legs to estimate
the spacing. Around 200mm looks about right
STEP 2. If the timber looks too heavy and clunky,
reduce the size of the leg material with a thicknesser
STEP 3. Use a board to set out the angle of each
frame. This should be about 82�
STEP 4. To make the jig, screw a piece of MDF
to battens placed either side of the legs, checking
the angle
STEP 5. Fix the second piece of MDF so that your
chosen router bit cuts the exact housing width
required
STEP 6. Cramp the jig in position and make a test
cut. Check the rail fits snugly and adjust the jig if
necessary
STEP 7. Align the marks on the legs and rout
housings 6mm deep, keeping the router against
the MDF edge
STEP 8. Slide a rail across the housings to keep
the legs aligned while you move the jig along
for the next cut
STEP 9. Saw legs to length, with compound mitres
at the bottom. Sand after routing and remove arrises
STEP 10. If using PAR timber, brush on two coats
of preservative such as Cuprinol Clear
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 73
Around the house with Phil Davy
STEP 11. Cramp a pair of legs to the bench so they
meet at the top. You can then mark the length of
each rail in turn
STEP 12. Set the mitre saw blade to crosscut at 82�.
Cut each rail exactly to length
STEP 13. Drill pilot holes at both ends of each rail,
then screw to the legs. Fix top and bottom rails first
STEP 14. Once two opposite frames are assembled,
join them together with the remaining rails
STEP 15. Trim ends that may be slightly proud with
a block plane, then sand the edges so they are ready
for finishing
STEP 16. Carefully run a chamfer around the end of
each leg, using either a small router or block plane
STEP 17. Trim the upper ends of the legs level
if necessary, taking care not to split the wood
STEP 18. Brush on two coats of a suitable
exterior paint, such as Cuprinol Shades.
Spraying is much faster!
74 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
STEP 19. To complete the trellis add a decorative ball or tapered finial, glued into a cap that tops off the legs
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USEFUL KIT/PRODUCT
AXMINSTER RIDER
SHARPENING
STATION KIT
We probably all have our favourite method of
sharpening chisels and plane irons, whether it?s
the way we were taught or one that we stumbled
across by trial and error. This sharpening kit from
Rider provides most of what you need if you?re
looking for a reliable system. It consists of a
13mm-thick rigid synthetic resin base with recess
(228 � 88mm) for a sharpening stone, plus a
fixed leather strop and polishing compound
block. Overall size of the board is 315 � 250mm
and rubber feet means it stays put on the bench
top when in use.
Stepped cut-outs at opposite ends enable
you to set up either a chisel or plane iron easily
in a honing guide, without having to measure
back from the tool?s edge to get the correct
bevel. These cut-outs give primary and secondary
bevel options (25 and 30�), the most common
angles, plus 45� (plane only) for difficult grain.
Sharpen up
The heavy diamond stone supplied is reversible,
with 400 and 1,000 grit faces. Its coarser side is
for reshaping an edge tool when necessary, while
the finer surface is for honing the secondary
bevel. This is still quite
coarse if you?re used to
having a polished steel blade
from a finer waterstone, say,
but good enough for general
woodworking use. A rubber surround
means it will also remain in place if using
the stone away from the base. This stone
is a standard size at 202 � 64 � 8mm,
so you could use an alternative type in the
recess if you prefer. A cheaper kit is available
without the diamond stone for �.95.
You do need to buy a suitable honing guide
as the board is designed for setting up a generic
Eclipse tool. Using the stops provided enables
you to hone plane irons or chisels only at 25 and
30�. Fine most of the time, though� with some
hardwoods or tricky grain you may need to alter
the secondary bevel. Each end is clearly marked,
so unless you have poor eyesight it would be
difficult to get the wrong setting for plane or
chisel. Owners of Lie-Nielsen bench planes or
similar with 5mm-thick irons will have to resort
to measuring or using a homemade stop, though.
As the recess in the base is 4mm-thick the edge
of these heavier blades overshoots the
stop, so you cannot secure the honing guide.
Final strop
The leather strop is a similar size to the stone and
is glued to a backing board fixed to the base. To
use it you simply rub the compound up and down
like a crayon, then draw your blade back across
the surface several times, maintaining a constant
angle. Many woodworkers never use a strop
when sharpening tools, though if you?re looking
for the ultimate edge this can give a razor-like
finish. That said, don?t forget you?ll really need
a finer stone to polish backs of blades.
This kit is definitely a handy sharpening system,
which will give consistent results for the novice
woodworker, with a decent quality diamond
stone included and leather strop if required.
It?s certainly cleaner than using an oilstone or
waterstone, and reassuringly sturdy in use.
THE GW VERDICT
RATING: 4 out of 5
PRICE: �.50
The cut-outs give primary and secondary bevel
options (25 and 30�), plus 45� for difficult grain
The heavy diamond stone supplied is reversible,
with 400 and 1,000 grit faces
You do need to buy a suitable honing guide as
the board is designed for setting up a generic
Eclipse tool
Using the stops provided enables you to
hone plane irons or chisels only at 25 and 30�
WEB: www.axminster.co.uk
To use it you simply rub the compound up and
down like a crayon, then draw your blade back
across the surface several times
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 75
Around the house with Phil Davy
USEFUL KIT/PRODUCT
BETSY PAINT MATE
Working from a ladder can be hazardous at the
best of times, but when you?re forced to take both
hands off the rungs when several feet above the
ground, things can get dodgy. Holding a paint tin
or kettle with one hand while using a brush in the
other means you have no way to hold on, unless
there?s a tray attached. Any product that reduces
this risk must be worth a closer look, which is why
I was so impressed with the Betsy Paint Mate.
Designed predominantly for paint or varnish,
the Paint Mate frees up one hand and enables
you to hang on while climbing or descending.
Clever design
It consists of a shaped plastic tray attached to
an adjustable waist band that?s strapped around
you. There?s a circular cut-out in the tray for a
clear plastic pot, which is provided. A diameter
of about 125mm means you can use a 100mm
brush, so painting a fence or similar large area is
feasible. A couple of clips enable you to store a
brush while shinning up the ladder, while you can
slide the lid under the opposite one when ready
USEFUL KIT/PRODUCT
BOA TRI-LEVEL TL90
Most of us probably have a spirit level hidden
away in the workshop, though unless we?re in
the trade it may rarely see the light of day, except
when used as a straightedge to guide a craft knife.
Apart from the short boat or torpedo variants,
most levels appear much the same. You obviously
pay more for increased shock proofing and build
qualities, with greater accuracy and reliability.
Unique design
Boa?s Tri-Level is somewhat different, apart
from the ubiquitous yellow paintwork. The TL90
sits in the middle of the range, with an overall
length of 915mm. Made from sturdy aluminium
alloy, it?s unique in having a V-section profile,
making it bulkier than normal though not overly
heavy. This design gives several advantages
over conventional levels as it?s far more stable,
whether used horizontally or vertically. The
Made from sturdy aluminium alloy,
it features a V-section profile
for painting.
Once you?ve finished using the
Paint Mate its contents can be
stored for several days in the pot without going
off, the lid forming an airtight seal. The container
can then be cleaned out ready for the next job.
Betsy to the rescue
The Paint Mate came to the rescue a few
weeks back when replacing barge boards on
my cottage. Although the oak could have been
left to weather, I wanted to finish it with Rustins
Flexterior. Working off the roof of an adjoining
outbuilding meant having to use a roofing ladder
for access. Clambering up there holding a tin
would have been asking for trouble, not to
mention then reaching up to apply the varnish.
Of course, the Paint Mate is just as handy at
ground level, too.
There?s a choice of six Betsy colours, while a
pack of three replacement pots costs �99
(plus postage), which seems pretty good value.
THE GW VERDICT
RATING: 5 out of 5
PRICE: �.99 (plus P&P)
WEB: www.betsypaintmate.com
V-section enables two adjacent faces to be
read simultaneously, so the Tri-Level is perfect
when installing gateposts or fencing, for example.
I used the TL90 when installing a door frame
recently and it did simplify the task. The blue
acrylic vials are particularly easy to read,
though there?s no 45� option.
Ideal for building work
A large cut-out handle makes it simple to carry,
plus a hole at one end so you can hang it up for
storage. Rather than completely smooth, bearing
surfaces are lightly ridged to limit movement, so
the Tri-Level is less likely to slip on angled timbers
or roofing. As a straightedge this is easier and
safer to use than a standard level, especially
when cutting through plasterboard with a knife.
There are metric graduations along one edge,
imperial on the other.
For general building work the tool comes into
its own, making it ideal for straddling ridge tiles
or pipework, not to mention blockwork. If you?re
planning to lay paving slabs the Tri-Level is bound
The V-section enables two adjacent
faces to be read simultaneously
76 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
It consists of a shaped plastic tray attached to an
adjustable waist band that?s strapped around you
to make life easier. Several sizes are available,
from 400mm (�.95) up to 1,800mm (�.95).
If you enjoy occasional renovation work or outdoor
woodwork this could be a really useful addition.
There?s even a 10-year warranty included. GW
THE GW VERDICT
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
PRICE: From around �.95
WEB: The manufacturer?s website doesn?t
allow you to purchase products directly,
so your best bet is www.amazon.co.uk
The blue acrylic vials are easy to
read, though there?s no 45� option
As a straightedge this is easier and
safer to use than a standard level
Betsy Group UK Ltd is a family run company,
producing truly innovative painting and decorating
supplies for Professional and DIY painters.
buy
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A one-of-a-kind DIY tool which makes painting safer and faster up a
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t: 01425 483964
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Northfield House, 92A Christchurch Road,
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@BetsyPaintMate
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Turning: Two-part textured vase
A
lot of you have a workshop at home and I
would say that most of you will think it?s far too
small for your woodworking and woodturning
needs. This limits the size of machines that many
turners can own, and as a result, we have seen a number
of mid-size lathes being introduced in the last few years.
A small lathe with a big heart is a fantastic addition to your
workshop whether it?s your main lathe or to complement
a full-size machine. The problem with having a smaller
machine is that it seems to be human nature to want to
push it to the limit by making something that?s too heavy
or too big for the lathe to handle. With a little thought,
however, you can make some bigger signature pieces
by just thinking about the process, and the vase I?m
making here is a perfect example of this. A piece this
tall would be almost impossible to make on a small
lathe because even though the bearings on the Nova
are good, you would struggle to hollow it as the
distance from the headstock to the top would be
too great and you would almost certainly experience
some vibration. Obviously making the piece in two
parts means that we have to come up with a way
of either hiding the join, or as I have done, make
a feature of it. GW
Large
vase on a
small lathe
Owning a small lathe doesn?t have
to limit the size of project you turn.
Here, Les Thorne offers a clever
solution that will allow you to make
a large vase in two parts
80 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
STEP 1. I wanted to try and get the maximum out of
the lathe, so I started by drawing the piece out first,
which would give me an idea as to the proportions
required. I needed the join to be just over halfway
up the vase
STEP 2. As I intended to colour and texture the
turning, the choice of wood was therefore not
too critical. I decided that a piece of sycamore
for the body and robinia for the neck would be
fine. The blanks need to be cut off to pretty much
dead length
STEP 3. This lathe has electronic variable-speed,
but I set it on the middle belt ratio as this gives a
speed range of up to 1,500rpm, but more torque
than the higher ratio
STEP 4. Mount the blank between centres and
rough the timber down to a cylinder using the
spindle roughing gouge. Cut a dovetail to suit
your chuck jaws and mount the blank up using
the tailstock to align everything accurately
STEP 5. On a shape like this, I like to have the swell
or largest diameter somewhere around one-third
to two-fifths up from the bottom. Mark this out
with a pencil line that is around 15mm wide; this
will become important later in the process
STEP 6. Shape the vase using either a bowl or
spindle gouge. A push cut will give the best finish
and, where possible, with the grain by working
from the larger diameter to the smaller
STEP 7. Leave the wide pencil line as a flat for as
long as possible, which will stop you making the
shape too pointed. When you are happy with the
curve, the final bit can be completed using either
a tool or even some sanding
STEP 8. As I intended to use a dedicated hollowing
tool, I therefore needed to drill a depth hole. I only
had just enough distance between centres to do
this, and this was more luck than judgement.
Remove the drill frequently to clear the shavings
STEP 9. The Rolly Munro hollowing tool is perfect
for this sycamore. One of the main advantages of
using a tool that cuts rather than scrapes to remove
the bulk is that it puts less strain on the headstock
and can be used at a lower speed
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 81
Turning: Two-part textured vase
STEP 10. A big plus with using a small lathe is
that you can work on the end of the machine rather
than leaning over the bed, which is an important
consideration to take into account when setting
up your workshop
STEP 11. If you aren?t lucky enough to have
compressed air in your workshop, you may have
to resort to something like my special spoon
shaving removal tool ? it certainly saves me
having to stick my fingers inside the piece
STEP 12. It?s important to always be thinking of
the next stage, so you?ll need to cut the step to
accept the neck before you thin the work out too
much. Use a parting tool and cut a 3 � 3mm section
STEP 13. Measuring a shape like this is much easier
when you are using the correct tools and these
callipers are specifically designed for gauging
wall thicknesses in awkward shapes. Here I
was aiming for somewhere around 6mm
STEP 14. Getting into the right position is critical
in order to make the cuts in the right place on a
hollowed pot like this. I have found it?s important
to get the tool to cut where you want it to, rather
than where it finds it easiest
STEP 15. The Rolly tool will give a pretty good finish
but for the final smoothing a light scrape will be
better. The Stewart System from Robert Sorby is
without doubt the best tool for this as it?s so robust
? just remember to take light cuts when using it
STEP 16. Now it?s time to work on the neck. Mount
the robinia between centres and put a chucking
point on one end; this will be the top of the vase
and you can then mount the piece in the chuck
STEP 17. You need to transfer the measurement
from the base to the end of the piece you have just
turned. Using Verniers is the most accurate method
of doing this
STEP 18. Remove small amounts of timber and
keep offering the base up to the neck. It does need
to be a tight fit but do be careful not to force it
on, especially if you?ve got the base nice and thin
82 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
STEP 19. After drilling a hole all the way through,
using a spindle gouge, hollow the neck to make
a trumpet shape. Pull the tool towards you and
keep the flute pointing to 10 o?clock
STEP 20. When you offer the base up, draw a line
around the top to give you a rough idea as to what
diameter the neck needs to be in order to match
the sycamore
STEP 21. Even though you?re not going to be able
to see or feel this part, professional pride means
that I do like to finish my work well, so I sanded
this section of the neck
STEP 22. You now need to turn the piece around
and grip on the spigot that will become the join.
It?s then time for some light cuts as you?re only
gripping on a small area
STEP 23. To achieve the correct thickness of the
neck, I like to work on the inside and the outside in
tandem. If you experience any vibration, you may
need to move the tailstock into place for support
STEP 24. Once you?re happy with the inside you can
mount the whole thing back on the lathe. I have an
aluminium cone for my centre, but you could easily
make a wooden plug to do the same job
STEP 25. Carefully merge the two parts together
by taking light cuts across the join. You may
experience some vibration, but if it?s not too
bad then you can sand it out afterwards
STEP 26. I decided to put different textures on the
piece so I took the neck off and carved the surface
using a rotary carbide burr in my Proxxon mini drill.
I let the burr carve the entire surface so there were
no gaps in the texture
STEP 27. The texturing can leave the surface
rough with fluffy bits of wood sticking up. To
remove these, I use a shop-built sanding arbor
made up from layers of abrasive that are clamped
and bolted between a couple of MDF discs
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 83
Turning: Two-part textured vase
STEP 28. I textured the neck using a rotary rasp in
an Arbortech angle grinder. I mounted the wood
on a pine jam chuck to keep any steel away from
the spinning disc
STEP 29. Mount both pieces up between centres
and glue them together using a good quality wood
glue. When it?s dry, turn a small punctuation point
at the join, which will act as a break between the
colours and the textures
STEP 30. Spray the whole piece with an ebonising
lacquer. Paint will be better suited than stain as it
will not penetrate the wood so far, and will allow
you to complete the next stage
STEP 31. When the paint is dry you can sand off
the high points of the texture to expose the natural
wood underneath. I start off with 120 and work
through to 400 grit. Stop the lathe frequently
to check your progress
STEP 32. The advantage of using spirit stain is
that it will not show up on the black because it?s
translucent. I decided to use red on the sycamore
and I thought that yellow would complement the
robinia perfectly
STEP 33. Removing chucking points at the end
of the project is always a leap of faith, but with a
little thought most things can be remounted and
finished off. I protected the neck with a little thin
foam packaging placed over a shaped pine plug
STEP 34. Using a small tool means that you will
only experience a small catch if something goes
wrong ? well, that?s the theory anyway. I used
the signature gouge to remove the waste, which
left only a tiny amount to be finished by hand
STEP 35. Sand off the base using a sanding arbor ?
I like to mount the arbor in my drill press, which
makes the whole process of getting a good finish
easier with less chance of the sanding pad slipping
and ruining your work
STEP 36. The completed two-part textured
vase should look something like this
84 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
WEB DIRECTORY
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GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 85
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86 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
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88 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
Next month
GW321 on sale 21 July
A TALL ORDER ? MAKING
A BESPOKE GROWTH CHART
Mike McCrory?s wonderful growth chart project
is not only hand-crafted, but also visually
appealing and entirely functional
WIN A BANDSAW!
Don?t miss out on your chance to win
an Axminster Hobby Series HBS200N
bandsaw ? worth over �5!�
HANDY TOOL BOX &
STEP STOOL IN ONE
This simple project by Janice
Anderssen uses basic materials
to make a tool box that also
doubles up as a step stool
MILWAUKEE BERLIN
CONFERENCE
Andy King recently took a trip
to Berlin, eager to find out what
new offerings Milwaukee had
up their sleeves
HOME TRUTHS
The panel: a basic unit of
woodwork, centuries old and
as fresh as the day ? Edward
Hopkins? blow-by-blow guide
takes the fear out of framing
PLUS TURNED WOODEN STOOL
PLUS:
HARVESTING TIMBER
RUSTIC WINE RACK
DAVE ROBERTS? ?WHAT THE DICKENS??
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 89
Feature: End-grain
Album artwork reproduced courtesy of EMI Classics
Gabriela Montero?s Baroque is
a delightful album consisting
of improvisations on themes by
Vivaldi, Handel, Bach and the rest
Playtime:
ringing the changes
Can we walk into the workshop and begin a project without even knowing what it is?
G
abriela Montero is a classical pianist with a string
of recordings. I recently came across Baroque, a
delightful album consisting of improvisations on themes
by Vivaldi, Handel, Bach and the rest. In the sleeve
notes, she explains that the pieces are not at all premeditated.
She enters a ?white void? and spontaneously creates music without
thought, formulae or patterns. Many artists talk in this way. They
consciously absent themselves, and allow the work to unfold of
its own accord. Subconsciously, of course, their mastery remains,
but it is freed from preconception, loosed from intention.
There is a story about Keith Jarrett, a classical and jazz pianist whose
improvisations are magnificent (if you don?t know him, start with the
K鰈n concert). At the beginning of one performance, he sat in silence
at the piano for so long that the audience shared his discomfort.
Finally someone shouted out ?D flat!? He hit D flat, and o? he went.
It could be a co?ee table. A shelf unit. This is your theme. Now
come your variations. Don?t try too hard. Don?t try at all. Don?t
think about what you want. Allow ideas to bubble up through the
cracks in your mind. Sketch. Doodle. Be free. There will be plenty
of time to press these fantasies down into fact; don?t do it now.
From mundane to magical
A place for the original
Painters, comedians and cooks can all add a splash of this and
a dash of that on a thoughtless whim, transforming the mundane
into the magical. Can we do the same? Can we walk into the
workshop and begin a project without even knowing what it is?
That doesn?t sound likely. Furniture has a function and unless it
fulfils it, it fails. There is no room for spontaneity when adjusting
a tool or setting up a machine.
Spontaneity arises earlier on. Paper napkins, backs of
envelopes and half-dreams as you?re falling asleep are not bound
by practicality. Anything is possible. Sometimes that means that
nothing is possible. Ralph Steadman has an image of Leonardo
da Vinci gripped by horror and panic as he stands in front of
an empty canvas. Writers talk of being blocked by blank pages.
When Gabriela Montero improvises Handel?s Largo, we have the
best of both worlds. There will always be a place for the original
version (though Handel too used to improvise). Here we have
those recognisable cadences and phrases shone through a
lens that breaks them up and projects them in a fresh light.
We hear Handel and, despite her unknowingness, we hear
Gabriela Montero too, the both of them in synchrony. She doesn?t
feel the need to shock by ripping Handel to shreds. She doesn?t
assert herself. She bows to his mastery and o?ers her own.
We don?t need to be outrageous. The co?ee table or the shelf
unit will be all the more successful if it is recognisable as such.
But neither do we need to repeat the past. Reading sheet music
can be like painting by numbers. The writer who copies another?s
writing is not an author but a scribe. The woodworker who follows
existing plans is a maker, not a creator. Maybe that?s alright.
There is still huge pleasure to be had, but there will be a
pleasure quieter, deeper, and more mysterious missed. GW
Think of a letter
I think it?s a good idea to start with a letter of the alphabet ?
whichever one you fancy ? and then another. Soon you?ll have a
word that invites another word, and before you know it ? literally
before you know it (literally, literally) ? you?ll have a sentence.
90 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
� Edward Hopkins 2017
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ally delve into
the mind of such a talented maker, it?s obvious that
Steve is a very bright man with a head full of amazing
ideas. I hope his box-making journey continues for
many years to come, as I have a feeling that we have
yet to see his best work... GW
STEVE?S TOP BOX-MAKING TIPS
1. It doesn?t matter how you do it, every method works,
so remember to keep your tools very sharp
2. Make a regular maintenance schedule for all machinery,
and ensure to follow it
3. Remember that mistakes are not necessarily errors.
Your project might be reminding you of something
you probably already know
4. Mock-ups, both for design and of details, are your friend
5. If you?re going to cut dovetails by hand, practice a few on
the same wood you?re going to use for your project BEFORE
you start cutting the joints for real
6. For cabinetmaking, think square, level and plumb all the time,
every day, everywhere. Get good at perceiving, at feeling
whether something is out of square, not level, or not plumb
7. Never, ever say to yourself ?I?ll figure it out when I get there.?
Save yourself some grief and figure it out now
8. When you?re planning the layout of a ?shop, think empty,
not full
9. It?s nice to have a place for everything, but, honestly, that?s
impossible. So make sure your storage methods are flexible,
not fixed
10. Woodworking is still primarily an analogue process,
especially hand work. Don?t place your faith in numbers.
Use rods, full-size drawings and physical offsets in jigs
11. Sneaking up on a size is often the best way to get a good fit
RIGHT: Steve working
on his current piece:
the watch display case
60 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
12. Have fun; it?s really why you?re doing this
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Expert advice: Professional woodworking
Four routes into a
career in fine woodwork
John McMahon of the John McMahon School of Fine
Woodwork shares his advice on turning professional
and suggests a number of routes you could take, as
well as discussing the pros and cons of each
I
ABOVE: A good school
will provide plenty
of excellent tuition...
blame The Great British Bake O?; a large portion
of the UK has now become addicted to making
things that we were quite happy to buy a couple
of years ago. This sorry state of a?airs has spilled
over from food to clothes to pottery and even furniture.
For most addicts, this leads to weekends and evenings
locked in the shed or poring over tool catalogues until
3am, resulting in sleep deprivation and relationship
breakdown, but at least they don?t give up the day job.
In the worst cases, there is just no going back
and the only answer is to do the woodworking
equivalent of running away to join the circus.
I am not advocating this rash course of action of
course, being a responsible adult, but I do know
what it?s like to change direction in life and work.
I certainly would have appreciated some advice
at times, so if you?re contemplating a move to
professional woodworking, I do empathise and
hope this helps.
to �,000 for a one-year course). There are several
schools of furniture making dotted around the country
and it?s also worth checking out the boatbuilding
schools. Building wooden boats is a glorious way to
spend your days and work is available around the world
for good shipwrights. The IBTC and the Boatbuilding
Academy o?er a furniture making option for landlubbers
and have a great reputation for quality training.
This option requires a huge investment of time
and money, so do your research carefully. If possible,
talk to past students before you commit to a full-time,
full-cost course.
For those of us who can?t a?ord to give up a year
of our life and �,000, there are a growing number
of less expensive options. I feel I must declare an
interest here: my wife and I run a woodwork school
so first on my list of these is us! At the John McMahon
School of Fine Woodwork (too long, I know) we o?er
a?ordable evening and daytime classes with a trackrecord of getting students working to a very high
standard. We also o?er careers advice for those
wanting to set up their own business.
Another option could be to contact organisations
like the National Trust that o?er training in heritage
skills. They are often looking for mature trainees and
may be able to o?er support bursaries to help with
living costs while they train you in traditional skills.
Route one: back to school
This was once an option solely for rich accountants
who were having a midlife crisis ? an alternative to
buying a Harley Davidson when you hit 40. You had
to give up your job and move to Somerset or Scotland
to retrain as a furniture maker, but happily, there are
less drastic alternatives.
You could still give up the day job of course, if you
have enough money and time (fees are around �,000
62 GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com
In summary: Do your research and talk about your
aims with a good trainer. Remember that developing
your skills will take time; it?s not an overnight fix.
For: Learning to work with wood is a joy! You should
have a great time learning new skills and making new
friends, and, if you work hard, there is a good chance
of a new career at the end of it.
Against: Depends on where you go, but this could
be very costly in time and money.
Option one is great for those without existing skills
or experience, but the next three are aimed at good
amateur woodworkers; the sort of person that would
be likely to read this magazine?
Route two: set up your own business
In these times of financial crisis, this could seem
like a very dangerous idea and I suppose starting any
business carries an element of risk. However, if you
are reading this, then you?re probably already a pretty
good woodworker. Amateurs are often capable of
professional quality work, they just lack speed and
confidence. The transition to high specification
woodwork will be easier for you than for a complete
beginner. Build up a reputation by working for friends
and family and be prepared to work cheap (or even for
free) at first. Use this time to assess the market and
use the day job to finance the transition. Business
advisors and banks are much more likely to be positive
about your furniture making business plan if the
first year or so is supported by an existing income.
Let?s list some more positive factors:
1) At present, local government is keen to support
new business (someone has to get people spending).
2) There is a growing realisation among policy makers
at national level that we do actually need to make
things.
3) They have also worked out that our historic buildings
need skilled craftsmen and women in order to keep
them standing.
The above factors are reflected in the level of support
currently available for craft businesses. However, all the
business support in the world means nothing if you
can?t do high quality woodwork, so this route may need
to go along with the retraining option. If your work
and customer care is good, word will spread and pretty
soon you should be busy doing something you love.
In summary: Do your research, make a good (i.e.
realistic) business plan and get plenty of help from
people who have succeeded in what you are trying to
do. Find a local government scheme o?ering business
advice, grants, loans etc.
For: There is a good market for high quality bespoke
work, you are your own boss, and it?s a great excuse
to buy nice tools.
ABOVE: Practising and
refining your skills in
the right environment
is also very important
TOP: Setting up your
own woodworking
business is really
challenging but the
rewards can be fantastic
LEFT: Dovetail
demonstration at
the John McMahon
School of Fine
Woodwork
Against: Risky and very, very hard work at the outset.
If you don?t keep it under control, your business can
become a monster that you can?t wait to get away from.
Route three: working as a contractor
This could work if you can relocate and don?t have
family ties. Contractors often work in the luxury yacht
market, which has major centres in the south of France,
Portugal, the Middle East, New Zealand and other
exotic locations. There is also some UK work, generally
concentrated on the south coast. Contractors also
work in aircraft completions (fitting out) and on
more static projects like luxury hotels. You will need
demonstrable skills before you start on this one. Not
for the fainthearted or the complete beginner, but it
might suit if you already work in wood and want to
step up to a more prestigious level of work.
Summary: Getting into it is relatively easy: in my
experience, they find you. Make sure you have a
GW320 July 2017 www.getwoodworking.com 63
Expert advice: Professional woodworking
have specific qualifications. Be honest about your
experience and be prepared to start at the bottom to get
a bench. Maturity might be your strong hand here: lots
of employers want someone they can rely on and, rightly
or wrongly, can be reticent about employing very young
sta?. Proof of certified machinery training could help you
to get an interview too, so it?s worth taking a two- or
three-day course if you can find one.
Summary: Just use job search websites and keep trying.
You will need to make a strong case for yourself if you
don?t have the specific experience they are asking for
and you will probably have to pass a skills test at your
interview ? often a bit nerve-wracking, so be prepared.
You will probably need your own hand tools and
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