I had a mixed day yesterday trying to wrap my mind around a man I met at a car boot sale. I bought this table from him for £10 and took it into the castle to strip down, measure, draw up for records and to replicate and restore. He said that last week he had a nice big mahogany table and broke it up for firewood. Said he gets them all the time. I said I’d gladly buy them from him so he said he’d bring some next week. it’s a tragic thing to burn wood from our excesses but people have no knowledge in the seas of mass information and less so today than ever it seems. You see it’s not that the information isn’t there it’s that in the mass of information we can’t process it because we can’t pay attention to so much of it. John is using old mahogany for something he’s currently building and of course I can always use good wood like that.
I made some coaster sets from off cuts of my last tabletop and that project came together well for me. Another Christmas gift for someone but also an upcoming short series for Woodworking Masterclass online broadcast shortly. We’re trying to get you ready and in the Christmassy mood. John made a lovely box for a wedding gift as you know but he also made a lovely sliding lid box for my wife’s birthday present.
Currently he’s in the middle of building his tool chest from oak and mahogany to take back to Patagonia with him when he leaves.
This week I ordered a new name mark (not really called stamps) to retire my old one after 50 years of stamp marking my personal tools. John, Phil and I restore old tools each week and of course we accumulate a lot that way. It becomes all the more necessary to have positive ID and we want to make certain our tools are all stamped properly as we keep accumulating from different sources.
Working on the coaster sets and other thin wood sections.
Clamping thin wood for wider sections or laminations of different woods for colour and texture often doesn’t work with large clamps because of pressures in the wrong places. Small, narrow, thin stock often posses the greatest problems and whereas there are several products ranging from elastic bands made from inner tubes to bungies and wedged string, there’s a certain confidence that comes when you see the joints close with something perhaps more obviously mechanical.
These ‘clamps’ are quick and easy to make and use. In a matter of minutes you can have your wedges and cross beams made and be on your way. Flipflopping them from face to opposite face on longer lengths gives opposing counter pressures that stagger and distributes more even pressure in the overall glue up.
With multiple strips like the one shown I found it best to true the edges square rather than using the normal edge jointing methods where you plane the jointed edges together so that out of squareness is compensated for when the two edges are brought together. That way then the parts are interchangeable, which gives the necessary versatility when choosing grain colour and orientation of grain etc.
Eleanor and I are working on plans for a woodworking workshop aimed at behavioural change through craft work for next March here in North Wales. We feel that input from the craft world like woodworking can impact present cultural trends with an alternative that would give opportunity and provide a vehicle for change.