Pen on the LathePen Blanks Preparing Pen BlanksPen Making Pen Making is interesting as you can make nice pens with what amounts to fine timber veneers. Using relatively small amounts of timber great results can be achieved. Typically a timber blank somewhere between 15mm square to 25mm square will suffice. It's a great way to use up offcuts and scraps The pen on the lathe picture shows a completed pen which has a celery top pine veneer Phyllocladus aspleniifolius. I also used some applewood which does look quite similar in colour. The last picture features some fish tail oak Neorites. This is a darker timber but proved a little troublesome when turning. I have tried to stabilise it with this superglue. I usually glue the brass tubes which reside in the timber blanks with five minute two part epoxy. However this time I decided to use up some old regular epoxy , this usually cures in 24 hours. This time around a week later the glue had not set causing me quite bit of grief. I had to use superglue to to reinforce the two part epoxy. Even then when I was squaring up the ends some of the brass tubes worked loose. A lesson learnt in penmaking dont use old two part epoxy. I have managed to get on and make the pens.
I have been absent from the blog for a bit. I keep thinking that I will post some woodworking but I never seem to get around to it. As the title suggests I have delved into some leather work. I was prompted to make some covers for a range of spoon carving knives that I have. Being new to leather working I have got diverted from what the original idea of making covers for spoon carving knives. Theses will require wet forming which is a little more difficult. The first thing I had to investigate was saddle stitch. But before I could do that I had to make a stitching pony. I made the stitching pony as it was a fraction of the price of buying one. Then of course I needed thread and needles. Luckily I had been given some leather work tools some years ago so this was a starting point. Laying out and cutting hasn't been too difficult. The skiving knife and saddle knife pictured below were laid out using the tool. By the time I did the axe sheath I made a pattern which in hindsight was a better idea. I'm still coming to grips with the stitching. They say the tread should be four times the length od the stitching, I have found this to be an underestimate. Thanks to YouTube there are many channels out there some better than others and a local leather supply shop DS Horne I have managed to get on the bandwagon. There will be some YouTube video when I get around to editing it. The images below are some of my first attempts at saddle stitch and finishing leather with neatsfoot oil.
The Kreg K4 jig is very handy for setting up and making pocket holes to accept screws. It is quick and easy making relatively strong joints. The only downside is a rather cumbersome clamping mechanism. It has to be adjusted to timber thickness and is fiddly. There is a more advanced jig called the K5 but for my needs the K4 is perfectly satisfactory. Currently the K4 can be purchased in Australia for about $140 and the K5 for somewhere between AUD $220 and $299. I bought my jig some years ago and paid around AUD $100. The Aussie dollar was stronger then. I was very pleased to to see that a company Armor Tools offered an upgrade to the clamping mechanism. A quick and easy upgrade that really works. It was less than $50. even better the K4 still fits in the original box. I have included a video link to the company video on this product. It is available in Australia from Timbecon KReg 4 with upgrade https://youtu.be/f48HUeYUOdw
One of those small projects that comes along. A small knife with a plastic handle. Could easily have been tossed in the bin. The tang was very short which contributed to the demise of the handle. The only reason I bothered resurrecting the small knife was because it has a nice practical scabbard. I didn't make a video as it was too stop start. I only managed a few photos. The first problem was how to secure the blade in a new handle. I came up with the idea of drilling two holes in the blade and pinning it through the handle. The blade was too hard to drill. I heated the tang to soften it and drilled two 4mm holes to accept the brass rod. Following this I hardened and tempered the tang. The handle was fashioned from Silver Birch and made in two halves wiht a small recess routed out to house the blade. The blade is so thin that I only created a housing in on side of the handle. The two parts were glued together with 5 minute two part epoxy. I modeled the handle for the small knife on the original plastic handle. After a bit bandsaw work and trip to the belt sander the handle took shape. I finished up with a bit of hand sanding and then uses a food safe oil from Ubeaut to protect the handle. About an hour of actual working time. So the plastic goes in the bin and the blade lives on.
I purchased a couple of old chairs online for $15 each, The woman I bought them from said optimistically that old chairs only needed a quick sand and the vinyl was still good. This was an optimistic assessment of the old chairs. I have started the lengthy process of dismantling one the old chairs so I can repair both. This involves carefully taking the covers off so that you have a pattern for the new material. I have made a short video of the process thus far. The extensive rotting of some parts has requires a bit of repair. I'm confident I will get a good outcome. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El_pOjWCtS4&t=3s
The link Below contain a post about kermodes pots and such mostly form 18th Century. It not only informative but also surprising. The range of seats and hidden potties is inventive. All I can say is hallelujah for modern plumbing and sanitary ware. https://wp.me/pDK0g-3Pn
The cheese graterI'm not really happy with my WordPress Google Photos integration. It's a bit of a pain downloading and the uploading images.Haven't been able to smoothly intergrate a seamless workflow. Annoying but not the end of the world. Apple Wood
This is a very handy bandsaw video. I have reposted this for two reasons one I have stated the other is my ongoing testing of the new WordPress editor Gutenberg. It's not the best idea to mix two unrelated topics in a single post but I have done this because the the video is useful and I;m testing Gutenberg. The code generated by YouTube slotted right into a block in Gutenberg without any fuss. I previewed the post and all is good. I did not use a block designed for code. I have noticed that it takes longer to generate a preview of a post using Gutenberg than the classic editor. I should add that there is some useful content in the video in particular a very practical way to re-saw boards for veneers.
The Shaker Inspiration by Christian Becksvoort is another excellent publication by Lost Art Press . The book has great style and is very readable even in some of the dryer parts. The book itself is great albeit with a North American focus. Then again it's about the inspiration of the Shakers. The link in the previous sentence is to an article about the last active Shaker community in the United States. They are all celibate which is self limiting. The Shakers were or still are a religious sect who are probably best known for their furniture making simple elegant and functional. The book itself has lots of stuff about timbers and timber movement. Differences between hardwoods and softwoods and so on. Then delves into the hows and whys of furniture construction. There are lots of great photos throughout which add to the excellent text. Timbers are for the most part not easily accessible in Australia. The book is rounded off with some measured drawings which would be a great help for anyone who is inspired to build one of the projects. The Shaker style is appealing for its simplicity . Shaker Inspiration does highlight some great problem solving and innovation in this type and style of furniture. I was disappointed that Lost Art Press don't ship to Australia. I was prepared to pre order the book and PDF. Alas I have had to settle for the PDF version only. International buyers are directed to local businesses. There was no option to preorder or even by the book. That's my only whinge.
Not really a woodworking topic but I think that Gutenberg will change the way I write. What I'm not really sure about is how this will manifest itself. Each iteration of the Gutenberg plugin sees more polish and refinement as we move forward to WordPress 5.0. This is when Gutenberg becomes part of WordPress core. I have taken the chance and installed the Gutenberg plugin so that i have some opportunity to use it before it becomes mainstream. Maybe its me but I find adding media from cloud based services a bit clunky. I primarily use Google photos and would love to be able to directly import my photos from there. The old tried and tested uploading to the site almost always works The PrinceJust JoeyA Yellow Rose