My Work Week

My work all last week quite mixed. It’s been something of a strain really. I always feel this way when a new design hovers within my radar and I don’t know what I am thinking of doing to make something come together. In my peripheral vision other things hover too and I have been able to make some new decisions affecting the future. In this mix some might at first call soupy the builders have started taking stuff apart and out of the house, replastering walls and bringing things up to date with electricity, outlets and such.

We have ordered new windows for the front bay and entryway and our neighbours think the new pressed fibreboard or really OSB doorway “Looks very attractive!”

So, though not at first glance exactly therapeutic, it is all in preparation for the home pieces by way my new furniture designs and I am building these in step phases with place holder cardboard models and then prototypes, all of which for this massive venture of unknowns is all the more essential.

We have been interviewing for two new members of staff these past few weeks and have yet to find the successful applicants even though there have been over 100 of them. Sensitivity in filming my work and my way of working must match my own sensitivity. Sensitivity and accuracy are interchangeable words in my work and in the work of true crafting artisans too. Without this level of connection to the work you either produce mundane work resulting from mundane methods or poor quality. To capture what I feel and try to convey is the art of the videographer who might have only one shot at that capture.

I found some new old stock saw files and then three-square files that can work on saws on eBay and it made me ever more thankful for eBay because before this such hand tools equipment might never have come to us. Well done eBay. You may be an international conglomerate worth multiple millions but you are also a market for what might be lost or even in the landfill rotting to no real earthly good.

These are the Stubbs saw files spoken of as “the best” by my mentoring craftsmen in the 60s but who soon after lamented the loss of as the factory closed. Anyway, I bought just a few, enough to keep me in luxury in my saw sharpening. Who knows when they will come up again as I haven’t seen them in many years.

14 thoughts on “My Work Week”

  1. Michael Robertson

    I am thrilled to follow this project. I am a beginner woodworker and this is the reason I started–to build furniture for my home.

    One topic I hope you’ll cover is how to hand cut a circle (or semi-circle) such as a demi-lune hall table top.

  2. I found some Nicholson Triangular single cut, miniature files that are about 8 inches (20.32 cm) long. They fit just about all of my smaller saws and a 12 tpi rip saw. These files do an excellent job on both the rip and crosscut teeth and clean out very easily. For my lager saws, I found larger Nicholson single cut files to be not too bad but do require constant cleaning out in order to do a good job.

    1. Afraid Nicholsons are not on my radar since they switched production to Mexico as the standards fell so badly one of their files would not sharpen a complete saw and we tested several of them over a number of months.

  3. I’m sorry Paul, I was hasty. I have found your past reference – 6mm as shown in pic is good for 12-14tpi. I got some Stubs files today with the purpose to sharpen a tenon saw I haven’t got yet.

  4. I would like to think that I speak for most who watch and enjoy your videos, that we would like to thank Ellie for her wonderful videography over the past three years. It has been of the highest quality. Also to wish her well in her future adventures. I’m sure she will excel in that too. Thanks also go to the rest of the team for producing top quality content and of course to Paul for inspiring us all and making us realise that WE can do these things.

  5. Off the subject Paul, but I recently ran across videos on YouTube where instant glue and baking soda are used as a filler and for repairs. Are you familiar with that technique? In one video a chap making a fishing lure on site on a river bank even used sand instead of baking soda.

  6. Arches look good in plywood with an architectural edge like striped cordylines. Figuring what would look good in a very fixed space like a bay window I suppose you can tweak a well proven and proportioned previous idea, reflect the style of the house, or break down the function behind the object and flesh from there.
    It really is such a good opportunity to rethink when you have every piece on blank canvas.

    1. Thinking about it and doing it are two different things. I did look at it and quickly dismissed it. My day comprises about 8 hours a working day in the making and developing of woodworking projects and about four hours a day writing and drawing things woodworking. I am sure most of my audience see that or at least suspect that the amount I put out is not done in an eight-hour-a-day five-day week. I have always worked six days a week since I was 25. So the thought crossed my mind but I would have to stop filming writing and teaching for a month just so I could make windows. Then that’s just for the living room, front door and hallway, beyond that there are a dozen more. Taking 12 more weeks out of a year? Not very reasonable. Also, I have done enough of that in my lifetime not to want to repeat it.

  7. Pity about the windows and frames. I’d be very interested in a video showing how to make those, as I will need to replace a lot of them next year. I intend to make them myself, for reasons of both cost and pride and sense of ownership. But understand mr. Sellers’ reasoning. Ah well, hopefully with the techniques he taught me I’ll be able to forge my own path making them.

  8. Hi Paul, following your comments about Stubs files and ebay, I thought I would look for myself and found a Stubs half round 10″rasp, in near perfect condition, really clean and sharp for less than £10 posted. I have fitted a handle to the tang and now have a very respectable vintage woodworking tool for years to come. Thanks for all your excellent tips and above all the advice and tuition.

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