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28 December 2014

Fancy a Hands-on Tutorial?

I'm hoping to run a week of short tutorials in late spring. Exactly what will depend on feedback from YOU, so please get in touch with ideas if you would be interested.

Check out the Help & Tuition page for details

26 December 2014

Competition Winner

Congratulations to Paul (@oscarBravo) who has won the Autumn twitter draw. If you get in touch Paul, you can choose a little gift made in the workshop.

I will be launching a Valentine's day draw very soon, so keep checking back for details.

8 December 2014

Living with a Stanley No.45

I have started filming a series of videos based around the Stanley No.45 combination plane.

The series takes you through cleaning up an newly aquired #45, sharpening cutters (making one from scratch too), and how to perform the various functions it can do.

Whether you own a #45, are thinking of getting one, or just enjoy watching me mess about with tools, I hope you like the series, which will be growing over time.

30 November 2014

I recently completed the filming of making a bat roosting box.

Like solitary bees, bats are finding their natural habitat is being lost as cities and towns expand. Modern building practices mean that alternative roosts are not created. By installing bat roosting boxes, you can help avoid bats trying to get where you wouldn't want them, whilst still enjoying their derring-dos at night.

The Bat Roosting Box video is now available on YouTube



I really encourage you to make at least one of these, and if you have kids, why not get them involved too.

12 November 2014

The Solitary Bee Hotel video is now available on YouTube



I really encourage you to make at least one of these.

4 November 2014

Solitary Bee Hotel

Make a winter home for the Solitary bee, as well as other small insects.

Free plans are available, and I shall be uploading a build video soon.

30 October 2014

New Videos for the Joints Series

I have filmed some demonstration videos for housing joints, which should soon be available on my YouTube channel.

Look out for:
  • Through Housing
  • Stopped Housing
  • Dovetail Housing
  • Stopped Dovetail Housing
All should be on YouTube by mid-November

13 October 2014

Plane Anatomy Series - And What Next

Plane Anatomy Series:

Feedback about my recent plane anatomy posts and videos has been very positive.

The information is second nature to me now, after years of woodworking, but of course it is invaluable to those starting out. Indeed, it should help new woodworkers to progress more rapidly, without so much trial and error.

It's a bug-bear of mine, how a lot of experienced craftsmen like to keep secret the techniques they have developed over years of working. I get great pleasure passing on what I know, and the response to this series has been wonderful - big thank you to all that have left messages.

What Next:

There are a couple more plane anatomy titles underway, after which I shall be taking a break from the series to consentrate on some small projects that would make great Christmas presents.

The door wedges were the start of these gift ideas, and I've now got a good supply for family and friends (just don't let on!).

Some other ideas include Bat Boxes, Solitary Bee Hotels, Bird Boxes, Gardener's Dibbers, Tee-Light Holders, Drinks Coasters, Cutting Boards, and Desk Tidys.

Please, please, please, let me know which of these you would be interested in - there's not many weeks until Christmas, so they may not all get done.

12 October 2014

Anatomy of Shoulder Planes

Stanley No.93 and Lie-Nielsen No.73, disassembled, explained, and reassembled, ready to make shavings

Let me demystify the anatomy of the metal bodied shoulder plane. This time I use my Stanley No.93 and Lie-Nielsen No.73.

The video shows all the main points:



Commonly used to fit tenons, and clean out housings, the shoulder plane, with it's iron extending right through to the sides of the body, is also useful for any number of planing tasks which require planing along an inside corner. They come in a variety of sizes, but unless there is restricted width access, the larger planes, with their inherently greater mass, are easier to use.
Both fixed and adjustable mouth planes are available. Some, like the No.93, can be used as chisel planes, with the entire front demounted.

Main considerations for good performance:
  • A flat sole
    Prepared, with an iron installed and set at working tension, by lapping on a surface plate, hand scraping, or sanding on top of a flat reference surface.
  • Squared sides
    Prepared in the same way as the sole, but using an engineer's try square and uneven pressure to correct inaccuracies.
  • If the plane has an adjustable mouth, then it is essential that the contact tracks are parallel to the sole. Otherwise adjusting the mouth will throw the sole out of flat.
  • Well prepared blade
    Since the blade is installed bevel up, the bevel angle will directly affect the angle of attack during a cut, and therefore you can tailor the angle to suit the work in hand. In practice, you would have two or three blades ground at different angles, and install the appropriate one for each task.
  • All sharp edges eased (not the blade edge!) - to prevent injury to either work or user


In Use:
The shoulder plane is designed to be used against two reference surfaces at the same time, and doing so will produce the most consistent results.
The over-wide blade should be set in line with whichever side of the plane body is being used, so that the cut reaches, but does not exceed the corner.
Since the blade is wider than the mouth, take care not cut yourself.

5 October 2014

Want a WOmadeOD Memento?

Twitter Prize Draw
Check out the Prize Draws page to find out how you can enter a draw for a memento from my workshop.

Anatomy of a Router Plane - The Stanley No.71

Stanley No.71, disassembled, explained, and reassembled, ready to make shavings

Let my demystify the anatomy of the metal bodied router plane. I'll use my Stanley No.71 - an open throat router plane. The No.71½ is a closed throat version, the same in all other respects (as far as I can recall). Veritas and Lie Nielsen both make similar router planes, arguably to a better standard, but my fettled Stanley works just fine for me.

The video shows all the main points:



Main considerations for good performance:
  • A flat sole
    Prepared by lapping on a surface plate, hand scraping, or sanding on top of a flat reference surface.
  • For open throat router planes, the accessory throat closure should lie in the same plane as the main sole.
  • Well prepared iron
    Since the iron is bevel up, the bevel angle will directly affect the angle of attack during a cut, and therefore you can tailor the angle to suit the work in hand.
    My video, Sharpening a Router Plane Iron, shows how I achieve a consistently honed iron.
  • Blade parallel to sole
    Essential to achieve a level depth of cut. Inaccuracy can be corrected by either working on the tool post or the blade. Since this is a multi-blade tool, the tool post faces should be filed perpendicular to the sole, and then all irons ground so that their edges fall parallel to the sole.
  • All sharp corners and edges eased - to prevent injury to either work or user


In Use:
More passes, taking thinner shavings, will achieve the best results, rather than struggling to control the plane because the cut is too deep to make comfortably.
Because of thread backlash and coupling gaps, adjustment of iron height can be counter intuative to begin with. Rather than forcing the iron down with the screw adjuster, it should be held back by the adjuster. Having released the clamping collar, the iron is advanced by applying pressure on it's top, whilst letting it down in a controlled way with the adjuster. After a little time, this becomes second nature.
With grain planing should be in the direction that causes least tearout. Cross grain planing is best achieved with the 'snow plough' shaped iron, or by skewing the plane (in which case one direction of skew is likely to be better than the other).
To work further from a reference face, attach a ridgid sub-base that extends far enough for good support.
Attaching a sub-base with a long fence will give much better control for straight cuts than the standard fence.
To achieve an angled bottom in a groove, attach a suitably angled sub-base to the plane.

3 October 2014

Anatomy of a Block Plane

Block Planes, disassembled, explained, and reassembled, ready to make shavings

Let my demystify the anatomy of these popular 'apron' planes.

The video shows all the main points:


Record No.60½



The 60½ is a low-angle block plane, where the bed angle is 12 degrees. It has an adjustable mouth, and blade advancement mechanism. It has the main features of all metal block planes:

  • Palm sized (the No.60½ is 6½" (165.1mm) in length, 2-1/8" (53.97mm) wide)
  • Bevel Up - that is, the iron is used with it's bevel upper most
  • Fixed bed - the iron rests on a slope milled directly on body casting (standard bed angle of around 21 degrees, low-angle around 12 degrees)
  • Lever cap shaped to fit the palm comfortably, and tightened with either a lever, knurled knob, or spin wheel.
And the additional features that can be found on some models:
  • Advancement mechanism for the iron - usually engaging in a slot on the blade iron



  • Adjustable mouth - locked by front knob, and moved with the lever below the knob

Some block planes also have:
  • Mechanical means of lateral adjustment for the iron
  • Skewed blade
  • Fence
Main considerations for good performance:
  • A flat sole
    Prepared, with an iron installed and set at working tension, by lapping on a surface plate, hand scraping, or sanding on top of a flat reference surface.
    If the plane has an adjustable mouth, then it is essential that the contact tracks are parallel to the sole. Otherwise adjusting the mouth will throw the sole out of flat.
  • Well prepared blade
    Since the blade is installed bevel up, the bevel angle will directly affect the angle of attack during a cut, and therefore you can tailor the angle to suit the work in hand. In practice, you would have two or three blades ground at different angles, and install the appropriate one for each task.
  • Squared sides
    Prepared in the same way as the sole, but using an engineer's try square and uneven pressure to correct inaccuracies.
  • All sharp corners eased - to prevent injury to either work or user
In Use:
Although the block plane is a comfortable grip in one hand, best results are usually achieved by using both. In many instances, skewing the plane will yeild a smoother cut, as this lowers the effective angle of attack and reduces the width of cut. Wrapping the thumb and/or fingers under the plane can provide a 'fence' or stabaliser to lock in an angle when making chamfers. If chamfering the end grain of a component, skew the plane to avoid the mouth droping over the edge and the iron digging in deep.

30 September 2014

The Bentley Woodfair 2014

I spent a lovely day at the Bentley Woodfair in East Sussex at the weekend.

Here are just a few of the sights and sounds.



Try and get there next year if you missed it. I'll be going again, and it would be nice to bump into a few of my blog followers.

26 September 2014

Anatomy of Bailey Pattern Bench Planes

Components of a Stanley Bailey Bench Plane, disassembled, explained, and reassembled, ready to make shavings

Let my demystify the anatomy of these popular hand planes. I'll use images of my Stanley Bailey No.4 and No.5 bench planes, but this applicable to many other manufacturer's 'copies'.

The video shows all the main points:



Patented in the mid-1860's by Leonard Bailey, and then developed further by Stanley, the Bailey Pattern Plane is the basis for most metal bodied bench planes produced today.

These planes, classified from No.1 to No.8, are designed primarily to be used at a workbench, for tasks from truing up, flattening, and jointing, through to finish smoothing, of internal carpentry, fittings, and furniture. Of course they are used in a much wider range of woodworking; which speaks greatly of the design.

The Anatomy:

A flat metal sole, with flat perpendicular sides, makes up the main body of the plane. Originally cast iron, modern alternatives are now more common, such as ductile iron and bronze. A thin slot traverses the sole between the sides. This mouth is where the blade emerges.















A cast block, with machined pads and an inclined face, called a frog, attaches to the main body with two machine screws which allow it to be fixed within a small range along the body. This movement is controlled by a third machine screw, set in the body, with a collared neck that rides in a pressed steel collar attached to the frog. Moving the frog forward positions the blade closer to the front of the mouth ('closing up the mouth'), allowing greater support ahead of the cut (leading to less tearout) whilst reducing the maximum depth of cut. 'Opening up the mouth' has the opposite effect.

The frog also has an iron advancement wheel, tab, and yoke, and a lateral adjustment lever. The iron advancement tab engages in the chip breaker (see below), whilst the lateral adjustment lever engages in the plane iron's slot.


The plane iron has a single sided bevel blade, which rests bevel side down on the frog's inclined face. It has a long slot, through which is attached a chip breaker. The chip breaker both supports the iron close to the blade edge, and breaks (by bending) thicker shavings which might otherwise choke the plane.

The plane iron, with attached chip breaker, is held in position by the lever cap, which pivots on a screw into the frog.



The user holds the plane by means of the rear handle ('tote' in USA), and optionally the front knob (greater control is often achieved by simply exerting pressure on or near the front knob, rather than grasping it).























Main considerations for good performance:

  • Flat sole
    Prepared, with an iron installed and set at working tension, by lapping on a surface plate, hand scraping, or sanding on top of a flat reference surface.
  •  Flat frog face
    The face of the frog should be flat to provide good support of the blade. Prepare as per the sole.
  • Well prepared iron
    Since the blade is installed bevel down, the bevel angle does not affect the angle of attack during a cut. It does determine the clearance angle, and if set too high will hinder the blade from cutting. However, the lower it is set, the weaker the edge becomes. So, a compromise must be struck. For softer woods, an angle of about 25°, and for harder woods about 33°, is a rough guide.
    It is also possible to introduce a back bevel, to increase the angle of attack. Something I shall cover another time.
  • Chip breaker and iron well fit(ted)
    There should be no gap between chip breaker and iron along the leading edge of the chip breaker, and that leading edge should flow from the contact point, so as to present as little friction as possible to shavings.
  • Frog and plane body well fit(ted)
    Pads should have as much contact surface area as possible, and all contact at the same position, so that the frog and body move as one, with minimal relative motion in use.
  • Mouth well prepared
    Straight and perpendicular to sides, and level with rest of sole across it's front.
  • Squared sides
    Prepared in the same way as the sole, but using an engineer's try square and uneven pressure to correct inaccuracies.
    Strictly only an advantage if you plan to shoot with the plane, or use the side as a reference during use in some other way.
  • Handles fixed firmly - so the plane is as one with the user
  • All sharp corners eased - to prevent injury to either work or user
In Use:
Best results are usually achieved by using a light touch.
Don't try to take deeper cuts than you can comfortably manage to push.
In many instances, skewing the plane will yeild a smoother cut, as this lowers the effective angle of attack and reduces the width of cut.
Pressing down in front of the forward knob is more stable than on the knob itself.
Start a cut with downward pressure near the toe and forward pressure from the rear handle. Progressively change to lower downward pressure near the toe, and more downward pressure at the rear handle, as the shaving is taken.

24 September 2014

Wedges With Knobs On

If you enjoyed the simple wedges I showed last week, take a look at how I make them with knobs on. Easy to do if you have a lathe, and so many possibilities with the design of the knob itself.




Go on, give a a go.

19 September 2014

Clamping with wedges. A tail vice alternative.

If you don't have a tail vice, you can still use bench dogs to hold work, and with a pair of 'folding' wedges you can clamp it too.

This short video shows you how.



The wide stop of my Japanese Planing Board Plus should not be forgotten, as it provides great support for small work, and resists workpiece rotation well. You can find plans for it on my 'YouTube Support - Plans, etc.' page.

16 September 2014

Make A Door Wedge or Doorstop

Simple project to start with in the new shop.

These door wedges make great stocking fillers, and demonstrate your planing skills.


14 September 2014

Ready for Business

Finally I'm set up enough to begin producing video again!

The workshop isn't finished (whose ever is?) but it is clear enough and organised enough to get started.

Initially I will be tackling some simple stuff - a month without using hand tools is long enough to loose one's edge, and so some basic exercises using up scrap seemed like a good idea!

I'm hoping for some input as to what my next video project should be. So all suggestions are welcome.

Big thank you to all my subscribers who have stuck with me while I've been so quiet.

6 September 2014

The Multi Skills Workshop Open Days

I was at the Multi Skills Workshop this morning, and I shall be again next Saturday 0900-1300.

The workshop is a great community resource, and I encourage anyone in the area to pop along to see how it might help you out.

MSW, Unit C3 Chaucer Business Park, Dittons Rd, Polegate BN26 6JF
Tel: 01323 488886

31 August 2014

New workshop - update

Got my radio up and running. A most important milestone for the lone craftsman!

28 August 2014

Fred Dinenage Rocks

Fred Dinenage, presenter of Murder Casebook, and co-presenter on How, How2, Meridian News, Coast to Coast, and official biographer of the Kray Twins, takes a rock in my Maloof style rocker.


Unfortunately, I was away from the stand at the time :(  but I'm told he liked it :)

8 August 2014

A Little Down Time

Just to let you know that, as a result of my house and workshop move, I will have no broadband connection between now and the 21st August.
It sucks, and I have no idea why my service provider cannot do any better than that.
The upshot of this is that I shall not be able to upload any video, or easily reply to comments on my website, or YouTube channel.
Of course this does give you all the opportunity of reviewing some of my earlier videos on YouTube, which, despite my obvious lack of presenting experience at the time, still have plenty of useful tips for woodworkers.
Hope to be back in the saddle again soon. Until then, happy woodworking!

7 August 2014

New Workshop - A Sneaky Peek

With my house move now a week away, I've been able to transfer all of my tools to my new workshop.

Here's a sneaky peek inside, together with a look at my bare tool cabinet. I'm considering making a sketchup model of the tool cabinet to post on this site, if there are enough requests.

1 August 2014

Planer/Thicknesser Setup Gauge

Having been asked about the knife setting gauge I used in my video 'Setup of a Planer Thicknesser'...



I decided to photograph it...





adding dimensions and details...



 then I thought why not publish a short video on it too:



The gauge is for use with a 63mm diameter cutter block, which is found on many of the small hobby/light trade machines.
The idea is to set the knife blade the in the little notch, so that it just touches, and then snug the locking bolts up, checking each end and the centre for blade height. My machine uses grub screws to raise and lower the knives, and so I can set the blade height along it's length before locking it down. If you have a spring system, then you would benefit from having at least two of these gauges; using one towards each end at the same time, whilst snugging up on the locking bolts.
Don't forget, your machines tables need to be set parallel to the cutter block for this system to work. If they are not, and can't be altered, then you will need to 'shim out' the error when using the gauge at one end of the block. Once perfected, make a pair of gauges. One for the left and one for the right.
An improvement on this gauge would be to make the 'feet' wide enough for it to stand up on it's own, freeing up both hands.

14 June 2014

Birth of a New Chair

With the house and workshop move, my mind is now occupied with designing new pieces to build once we're settled in the new place.
Most of my tools are packed up, so I'm back to just paper and pen!

5 June 2014

Moving House

Just a quick post to let you know that I'm moving home in the near future, and so WOmadeOD projects are prety much on hold until we're settled in our new home.
I have some 'film in the can' and so will aim to post new YouTube content until I can start a new video project series.
Hope you stick with me.

4 May 2014

Charity Workshop

I'm giving up some time to help organise a woodworking workshop for a local charity.

They have far more space than I've ever had for a workshop, so it's nice to be able to setup permanent positions for the main machines. The machines themselves have been donated or acquired second hand and, although in need of some TLC, they are good quality. No user manuals with any of them, so I guess I'll be tralling the net for help.

I hope to be filming for my YouTube channel, and posting some videos of the work.

So far, all I've done is create a draft layout of the major items.

17 April 2014

Turned box

When I was turning my yew bowl, I found the two halves of a turned box that I had started making sometime last year.

Since I was "in the zone", I chucked these well seasoned pieces, one after the other, and turned them true. Then I formed the lips for the press fit joint, mounted the closed box between centres to perfect the flowing curve, used a jam chuck to allow the top and bottom to be completed, and finished the box with tung oil and wax.

I don't consider myself experienced enough to produce an instructional video on turning just yet, but I'm trying to get plenty of regular practice, so maybe in the future!

My largest bowl to date

Well here it is.

I'm pretty pleased with the finished bowl. It must be at least three times larger than any of the other facework turnings I've done to date - with the exception of my bandsaw wheels that is.

I roughed the bowl out in one session to a thickness of about 10mm max. Then two days later cleaned it up and applied some ring oil finish.

Hopefully it will survive drying out - I think perhaps I should have consulted a turning book first!

Makin' shavings at the lathe

I use the lathe mostly for turned parts of furniture projects, so my experience is almost exclusively spindle turning with just some small facework for knobs, etc.

Having just been gifted a couple of slices of a modest yew butt, I decided to experiment with a bowl.

After half an hour roughing out a blank on my home made bandsaw, I was at the lathe. The shavings sure flew from the wet wood.

23 March 2014

Well it is a picnic table!

Time for another coffee break on the latest build.

Videos of the Picnic Table project will be appearing soon on my YouTube channel, and a SketchUp model will be published here on the blog for those inspired to build one themselves.

21 March 2014

Small Cabinet on Stand - Finished!

The small cabinet on a stand is now finished.

The proportions seem to work well, and despite the stand being quite 'lite', the cabinet does not overpower it.

My final design for the door pulls is especially pleasing, and I can see myself using these again in the future.

I'm really pleased with the result. Judge for yourself, and let me know what you think of it.






See the entire cabinet on a stand series on YouTube

20 February 2014

Small Cabinet Progress - Update 3

Just some finishing touches left for the cabinet, and I have just started on the stand.

You may notice that I've made a few design changes, hopefully for the better.

See the latest videos on YouTube

31 January 2014

Small Cabinet Progress - Update 2

With the doors completed, I've started to construct the cabinet 'box'.
Check the series for the latest video: Playlist

Now that the dimensions are pretty much set, I shall be completing the SketchUp model. Once that's done I will put it up on the site for download. For those without SketchUp, I will publish some simple plans too.

22 January 2014

Small Cabinet Progress - Update 1

The new build, a small cabinet on a base, is underway now.

See link to series in previous post, below.

Here's a picture of the first completed door:

14 January 2014

Small Cabinet on a Stand

Watch as I build a small cabinet on a stand. Free plans available.

7 January 2014

Sexy Low Back Chair Prototype - 17. The Finish!

I finally got round to finishing this prototype. It's real comfy, and I now use it while I edit my videos and update the website!







4 January 2014

Stub Twin Mortise and Tenon Joint

Often used when components are joined in their width rather than their thickness. Doubles the long grain to long grain glue surface area. The long grain to long grain glue joints are closer to the face edges, for the same mortise cross sectional area, reducing the chances of joint line distortion whilst maintaining component strength, and keeping joint lines tight.



3 January 2014

Mitred Halving Joint (a.k.a. Mitred Half Lap, Lapped Mitre Joint....)

Another joint for you. This time a mitred halving joint.



Another way to reinforce a simple mitre joint. The half lap is only visible from one edge, and so in many cases could be orientated so as not to be seen, yet it's superior joint strength (over that of a simple mitre) should hold up well in many applications.