Busy Week, Tired but Rewarded With Wonderful People

A day in work for me creatively unfolds into many options and I usually start early enough to answer emails that came in from countries in time zones ahead or behind mine. I like to keep on top of the emails even though the demands increase each week; that translates into an early start to free up my day for what I do better. P1020786 We’ve filmed the last three days to resolve some issues that need taking care of and one of them is using chalk paint. We’ve been testing them out for effect and comparing them to protein paints. Its going well and we’ll have the results out soon I’m sure. Chalk paints are truly amazing and the results of Annie Sloan paints show that there are many choices that give diverse options for solid colouring, staining, transparent colouring, texturing, layering, antiquing, ageing crackling, and so much more. You can develop your own colours by mixing, thinning so if like me you like painted woodwork in solid subtle to vibrant colours, stained woods and so on it’s worth looking at Annie Sloan. P1020788 Hold on though, we have other paints we’re considering too. Oh, another video we wanted to take care of was on making and installing split cleats to hang wall shelves. We’ll have it up soon I am sure.

P1020780 My new name stamp came in from Ray Iles but my order slipped through the cracks and I am not really sure how long it normally takes. The stamp works fine, though I might have liked it a little crisper. All in all it’s utilitarian and compared to the ones made in Britain in the 1700s with beautiful sweeps and curves and beautiful edging I feel perhaps I should have put a little more effort into generating the right one. If anyone knows of UK makers can you let me know? I’d like to resurrect  some of the old patterns and standards.


  1. Do you put a makers mark on any of the pieces you create, or is that stamp just for your tools?

    1. Just for tools. I generally sign and date my work when it’s a new design or someone asks me to. Stamps and brands are not very personal and I don’t like the way they look. I like name stamps on tools though.

  2. Not in the UK, but Peter Ross makes wonderful hand forged name stamps with borders of the type seen on our wooden planes. He also make forged hardware and locks for chests. Pricey, but excellent quality. He’s appeared on Roy Underhill’s show many times.

    1. OK, this is also called Spanglefish. They seem well established so will look at them.

    2. Hi all,

      I can confirm that the stamps made by Ian at Chalco are the best you are likely to find, hand made and very crisp. Just speak to Bill Carter (Planemaker) or Richard Arnold (Old Wood Planes) and they will give you a good reference I’m sure.

      I used them to hand-engrave a hand plane I bought for my father’s birthday and the work is fantastic.

      Cheers, Stephen.

  3. I took a look at those, Matt. They sure look good. I’ll get a price estimate from them. Thanks for the info!

  4. Your new one looks to have been CNC cut on a milling machine. The old ones were hand cut with counterpunches, fine triangular files and gravers. Slow, skilled work, but it really makes a difference.

      1. Paul just wondering if you have an ideal size in mind for this? Are there any reference images of name stamps that you love?

        1. Not really. I certainly don’t like big ones. There are many examples of wonderful name stamps in an out of print book on planemakers from the 1700s by William (Bill) Goodman.

          1. Eww that looks interesting I can buy the 2nd edition online cheap enough but the 3rd edition seems to be greatly expanded, highly sort after and pricey to match. What edition were you referring to?

  5. HI Paul,
    Could you elaborate on the interesting looking cantilevered shelf in the photo of you where you are painting the lid ? I have noticed over the years several additions to benches which are not mentioned. I once saw what appeared to be a leaf extension on the end of a bench for sharpening. These appear to be clever devices used to enhance working with the bench. Would you explain their use? Also perhaps your thoughts on their design and making?
    Thank you again for all you do.

    1. The shelf is in the process of being refined and finally fitted. It’s my shop desk. I started to sit there but decided it was good enough to make permanent. It’s hinged and drops down when I am working. On one of my benches I have an extension board that pulls out from under the bench top. It give me extra space for placing stuff and cantilevers under the support of the benchtop.

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