John’s saw continued

John sharpened his first saw and guess what? It cuts! Setting comes next and I will teach him the hammer-and-nail-punch (nail set US) method as this is fast, accurate and highly versatile. This saw is smaller and has fairly small teeth, which is a harder saw to start practicing on, but he did it. It…

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John’s joints progressing

John’s making a dovetailed box and his joints came out really well, almost perfect. One of the things that has struck me over the past 25 years of teaching apprentices and students around the world is how much significance they see in making dovetails. This joint is actually one of the simplest of all joints…

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Replacing a garden gate

I suppose it’s more of a door than a gate, but, aside from that, Penrhyn Castle needs two new ones. Both are to be made from European oak. and both are 60mm thick, 2.5m tall and 1m and 1.5m wide respectively. The old doors have patches on patches and so defy any further repair work.…

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The Hand Tool School

I was busy with visitors at the hand tool school today and demonstrated hand tool woodworking for many people interested in traditional woodworking and conservation craft.  From hand cut dovetails to dovetails techniques and discussions on how we can encourage crafts training in young people I found people were truly keen to know the inner…

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Progress on John’s saw

John finished his saw today. The ‘before-and-after’ is remarkable and this first sharpening lesson stood him in good stead for the larger tenon saw he bought from Tony Murland at the Ally Pally Show. The 10″saw shown at left now has a reshaped handle as you can see. All the hard corners are reconciled and…

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Woodland walks and talks on wood

It’s been a productive week back here in the workshop. My schedule all week has been interspersed with people passing through now that the main Penrhyn Castle is open again. Outside, the snowdrops have vanished and clustered daffodils amass in fielded patches ablaze in bright canary yellow. Part of my apprenticing work is to spend…

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Ally Pally Questions-More on saws

  Paul I very much enjoyed your demonstration on Saturday, and our chat afterwards and came away from the show full of new ideas for further developing traditional-style woodworking in the context of my design technology lessons. We discussed the possibility of sharpening some of the grotty old saws which are available for the use of…

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My Creative Workspace VII

The workshop is almost back in order after the woodworking demonstrations in London and it’s nice to reenter my home Creative Workspace again. Here my tools and equipment rest and wait to work again it’s true, but more important to me is my creative workspace because here with my tools I can move freely within…

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Ally Pally Woodworking Questions-Saws

Q: We saw your demonstrations and they were great. I wondered if you could guide me on which saw to buy for making dovetails? A: A problem I saw (no pun) at the show is that most people there are divided into two categories: On the one side you have people looking for information, while…

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Ally Pally Show questions-Chisels

Q: Recently saw your demo at ally pally and it was great, thanks. Just a question on chisel sets and what you would recommend as a good low to mid range set to purchase? A: In a recent blog I recommended the Aldi chisel set, but not just as a starter set. These are serious chisels that…

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