The Woodworker - July 2017

Stuart Gooda’s completed sawhorse – strong enough to work on, sit on, and even stand on!
Stuart Gooda’s completed sawhorse – strong enough to work on, sit on, and even stand on!

As many of you will no doubt agree, traditional methods are often the best: they stand the test of time and continue to work well. One such case in point is Scotch, or animal glue, which, as Fredk G Page shows in his article, remains an age-old product that now enjoys modern technologies of production, and chemist control and understanding. Also this month’s cover star, the humble cast-iron glue pot containing this mixture is still used today in many modern workshops, and it’s great to see that it’s no longer the empirical concoction of the 17th century.

If you bought last month’s issue, you’ll be familiar with Ian Wilkie’s wonderful toy aeroplane build. Part 1 saw him making all of the turned components, but here, he finishes off the propeller, wings, tailplane and undercarriage, then we’re ready for take off! We also have another fun project from Tony ‘Bodger’ Scott, who fashions a magical opening in the form of a fairy door, which he made for his granddaughter. It can be made out of any offcuts you have lying about - Tony’s was provoked by a scrap of oak flooring of the kind that’s sold in packs in Homebase or B&Q, and the left-over end of a plank of meranti. We also have a couple of weekend projects for you to have a go at: Peter Whittle’s toast rack and scissors, which will help you avoid burnt fingers and soggy toast! Lastly, Stuart Gooda shares his guide to building your own workshop sawhorse quickly and easily. As he rightly says, everyone should have at least one, and they make excellent benches, inside or out. All you need is a piece of 4 x 2, 900mm long, four pieces of 2 x 2, approximately 630mm long, and an offcut of ply for the end gussets. Simple!

The Preston woody flanked by the Stanley No.4 and Spiers infill smoothers
The Preston woody flanked by the Stanley No.4 and Spiers infill smoothers

In terms of technical articles, we have a whole host of exciting content for you to get your teeth into. Robin Gates is the first up, with his tale of three smoothers. As he goes on to show, once tuned and put through their paces, he was surprised by the results, and all three planes - the Preston woody and the Stanley No.4 and Spiers infill smoothers - performed equally well. We’re then joined by David Oldfield, as he shares the story of how he went about reproducing a Regency-style bookcase, and he believes that you can learn a huge amount in trying to emulate a classic piece such as the one in this article, and Michael Forster is last up with his interesting take on timber movement, as he explores the idea that timber has a life of its own…

Colin Simpson’s elegant Moiré effect tea light holder
Colin Simpson’s elegant Moiré effect tea light holder

We’ve also got some great turning articles for you, the first of which is from Niall Yates, who looks at the turning of an elegant Roman leg. Taking influence from a traditional leg used on an ancient Roman couch, he sets about turning a replica and experiments with using a selection of casting materials. Colin Simpson also brings us another great project - this time an attractive Moiré effect tea light holder in walnut. Requiring a number of techniques, this piece is both elegant and a test of technical turning skill.

Using the WoodRiver No.92 medium shoulder plane in a conventional manner on long-grain work
Using the WoodRiver No.92 medium shoulder plane in a conventional manner on long-grain work

As ever, we give our views on some great woodworking kit and this month we start off by looking at the WoodRiver No.92 medium shoulder plane, which is an absolute cracker! Undoubtedly worthy of its five star commendation, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better medium shoulder plane, as Andy King discovers. Very comfortable in standard planing work, such as easing tongues and rebates, as well as on its flat for trimming shoulder lines, the sculpted lever cap along with the polished eased edges of the body give a great feel in the hand. And as many of you will agree, a good, solid vice is a workshop staple, and we take a closer look at this offering from the Axminster Trade Vices collection. This clever vice swivels through 360° in both the vertical and horizontal positions and features a carefully machined cast-iron construction - it also represents great value for money. Other tests include Phil Davy’s review of the Matsumura chisels and hammer, available from Niwaki, and the Editor takes delivery of Axminster’s Trade Series ATDP16B bench pillar drill, which he found to be solidly built, accurate and steady in use.

A visit to the factory from Louis H Lebus in 1959, who retired in 1947
A visit to the factory from Louis H Lebus in 1959, who retired in 1947

It’s also with a heavy heart that we bring you the last instalment of Peter Baker’s long running ‘Timeslip’ series. Over the last 15 issues, he has painted an extraordinary picture of what it was like to work for Harris Lebus Ltd - the biggest furniture manufacturer in the world, and his affection and gratitude to the company is clear to see. In this article, describing the company as “the Ford of the Furniture World,” Peter reflects back on his association with the magnificent company. And for those of you wondering ‘what’s next’, tune in next month as we enter the world of traditional ladder making with Stan Smith.

As well as all this, we also have all your usual favourite pages, including AOB, which sees the Editor urging you, the readers, to get in touch and let us know what you’d like to see, as well as archive, which explores the technical aspects of turning from 1919, letters, marketplace and next month.

We hope you enjoy our July issue!