I made a kitchen board yesterday and today in the workshops here at Penrhyn castle. It’s the Penrhyn Castle kitchen board made from oak, but the originals, there are many of them, were made from sycamore, which was very traditional for kitchen worktops and drainers in the pre-engineered wood years when real wood was used to make things that lasted a century or two or three. This unique board will be available soon via woodworkingmasterclasses.com and further expands the massive work we just did on mortise and tenon joinery through the craftsman-style Coffee table here.
The simplicity and complexities of this board made an ideal teaching vehicle for a basic breadboard-end utensil. The original was a little larger and thicker but the whole process is scaleable. I made this one for today’s kitchen, ours, but you can make one to suit your personal needs or use the process as an exercise for developing manual skills. You can of course adapt the techniques and methods to other projects and indeed that is always our hope, but our goal as an educational provider is and will always be to both teach the essence of real craftwork and preserve every aspect of in the doing of it in and through the lives of others. This one is brand new and has as far as we know never been filmed to camera for this purpose before. It has some very unique aspects to its construction as well as some very common aspects that had we not filmed it for woodworkingmasterclasses might well have been lost and forgotten.
Aside from that, the new chairside table came out fine but now I may rework the apron to match the coffee table we made. It’s much lower because I used some scraps, but its perfect next to an armchair.
This week I bought in planes for a plane restoration, maintenance and use class we will be giving later. We have a couple of free one-day classes we will be offering in the form of a symposium of lectures and demonstrations around the bench with myself, Joseph Sellers and Phil Adams. these promise to be informative and fun and attendees will be limited by a drawing for places as space will be limited. I also bought a few tools for my own use; two eBay saws I could believe would go for so little, especially the 18″ Disston for £16 and the Keystone Disston for only £10. I love the UK pricing on tools and the availability too. I bought half a dozen gouges for carving, two Eclipse saw sets for £5 each, a very nice Arkansas slip for £5 and a 20’s combination gauge by Marples. I learned that disc marking gauges are difficult to use in hardwoods such as oak as even with light pressure they are held in the wood and often wont move. Whereas I like the gauges, I think that there is stil a place for the older pin-style gauges.