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Monday, 26 July 2010

Clifton Anniversary Planes

The first delivery of Clifton Anniversary Planes arrived this afternoon and are packed up and booked for collection by UPS tomorrow. Once the sold ones have all been processed we will receive the remainder for stock. We still have one complete numbered set available, if this has not sold by the time the planes arrive we will split the set and offer them individually.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Quangsheng Block Planes

Quangsheng Low Angle Block Plane

This morning we received a shipment of planes from Quangsheng. Megan has been working like a Trojan getting all the back orders processed and booking the rest into stock, so if you had one on back order it was dispatched today.

The production department managed to get all of the V2 upgrades into the low angle block plane but couldn't get the 38 and 50 degree blades ready in time for this shipment.

The V2 low angle comes with a 25 and 38 degree blade as standard, so we are sending them out with the 25 degree blades installed and the 38 degree blades will follow automatically as soon as they arrive.

The rebating and standard angle block planes have some of the V2 modifications but not the fine thread adjuster, so we have put them back up on the website as V1's and reduced the price accordingly.

Customers who had on order a V2 standard angle block plane or low angle rebating block plane will be sent a V1 spec plane and given the option to swap it (all expenses paid) for a new, full V2 spec one when the next batch arrive. We will put up separate listings shortly so that customers who want to pre-order full V2 spec rebating and standard angle blocks can do so.

Apologies for the confusion, the guys in China have worked extremely hard to accommodate us and have carried out our instructions beautifully. I managed to find a few moments to play with one of the V2 low angle block planes today and it is just the sweetest little thing in the whole world.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Mastercrafts Series 2 Petition

For some reason the BBC have seen fit to abort plans to film a second series of Monty Don's wonderful series Mastercrafts, shown a few months ago on BBC2. I believe that they should revise that decision and go ahead with the second series.

If you agree with me, you can join me in contacting Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC2 and let her know your thoughts.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

A Visit to David Charlesworth

I dropped in to visit to David Charlesworth's superbly appointed workshop on the beautiful Hartland Peninsula in Devon last week. David and his students were examining the task of sawing to a line. David has a painstakingly methodical approach to woodworking that drives some people nuts, however the result of his academically thorough analysis is often a simple 'now-why-didn't-I-think-of-that-before' alteration of technique that saves a bunch of time and effort. Here's an example:

When sawing to a line you normally rest the saw on the compressed side of the cut. If you are holding the saw with a light touch, have the timber perfectly horizontal in the vice and keep the blade perpendicular to the workpiece, the saw drops in diagonally during the first couple of strokes and the left hand side of the kerf proceeds along the line. Rob Cosman advocates starting the saw on the solid timber adjacent to the knife line to take advantage of the way it naturally moves along the path of least resistance until it reaches the mark like this:

Now consider a situation where you are forced to cut on the uncompressed side of the knife line - for example cutting dovetail pins that have been marked out using the tail board as a template:

If you try to balance the saw on the waste it will naturally want to fall towards the unsupported side and you will end up cutting the component rather than the waste. One solution that David picked up from Robert Ingham is to offset the template component to compensate at the layout stage. The amount of offset required varies depending on the kerf of your saw and the angle of your dovetails but Robert's rule of thumb is to have the tail board overhanging towards you by about 1.5mm.

The alternative method that David and I arrived at was to mark out on the line that you want to cut and then lay a chisel into the layout line to guide the saw for the first couple of strokes until the cut is established. Metal on metal is not ideal, so making a simple wooden chisel from something harder than the workpiece for the purpose would be the best solution. Because the fibres on the bevel side of the cut have merely been compressed rather than cut, they can be made to expand back to their original position with the application of a dab of water after the joint is assembled, indeed the fact that they are compressed makes for easier assembly and a reduced chance of damaging the edge during the process:

David runs short 5 day courses throughout the spring and summer and a long 12 week course starting in September.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

And the FAMAG quiz winner is...


Many thanks to all who took part in our FAMAG quiz, the response was fantastic and the standard of entries very high so we did end up having to draw names out of a hat.

Before we announce the lucky winner here are the correct answers:

  1. Who invented the Forstner Bit and when? Benjamin Forstner - 1874.

  2. What are the smallest and largest diameters of bits in the 3500 series? 3mm and 30mm.

  3. What do the letters F, A and M stand for in FAMAG? Friedrich August Mühlhoff.

  4. Should a plug cutter ideally be used in the middle of a board or close to an edge? Close to the edge.

  5. I want to bore through timber, thin metal and brickwork in a single pass, which series of FAMAG bits should I use? FAMAG 2183 Multi-purpose bits.

  6. What range of bit sizes will a 2202.000 Vario countersink fit?3mm and 8mm.

  7. The photo above shows a set of hollow Bormax forstner bits that allow the centre pin to be replaced with a standard drill bit. In what situation would this be useful?Drilling a hole at an angle.

  8. Bormax3 are the only carbide tipped forstners in the world that can be used safely in which type of drill? Freehand.

  9. I want to drill a hole in some Lignum Vitae, should I use CV or HSS-G bits? HSS-G.

  10. In which German town have FAMAG been continuously producing drill tooling since 1865? Remscheid.

And so, without further ado...

The winner of the Workshop Heaven FAMAG Quiz is... Alastair Hislop!

Congratulations Alastair and well done to all who entered.