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Member postings for Matthew Platt

Here is a list of all the postings Matthew Platt has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: wanted bench morticer
24/03/2011 00:34:16
Just for the sake of throwing a cat amongst the pigeons, have you considered mortice chisels?
They are a fraction of the price of a morticing machine, require no set up, and if you are doing less than a dozen mortices on a piece, probably end up being quicker too.
I have just finished a quick you tube video on how to sharpen and use them.
Please don't think I am trying to jam gear down your throat - I'm not - it's just that people have often become so desensitised by machine tool marketing that they don't realise that there is a faster, easier, cheaper option for cutting small numbers of mortices.
If you are making hundreds of mortices grab a good quality machine like a Record, bin the bits that come with it and invest in some proper Clico ones and you're good to go, but for a guy making a couple of tables for his own home, hand marticing chisels are by far the better option.

Edited By Matthew Platt on 24/03/2011 00:35:20

Thread: Feeling Gutted!
15/12/2010 23:18:43
Hi Steve, Have you tried calling Fox to see what they say about it? I don't know what their returns policy is like but most companies are happy to help put things right.
Thread: Saw subject
10/12/2010 18:16:32
Hi Derek,
Nice haul! with a little bit of elbow grease they'll soon be cutting sweetly again.
Here's a couple of links that might help:
If you decide to sharpen them yourself:

There's also a download link to our saw sharpening pdf on our atkinson walker saw kits page, if you feel like making some fancy handles for them there are downloadble instructions and templates that you can adapt there too.
Saw files listed with the tpi that they are appropriate for in the saws section.

If you want them sharpened we do a postal sharpening service at £10.81 (or £15.28 if the teeth need recutting) including return postage.This will drop a bit if you have several done together as the postage will be more efficient.
Oh, and for shifting the rust this stuff is very effective.
Hope this helps.

Edited By sparky on 10/12/2010 19:53:35

Thread: Rusty diamond stone
10/12/2010 18:03:33
Shield Technology do a water additive called honerite gold, you mix it with water and it stops the water from being corrosive.
I use honerite #1 from the same manufacturer on my trend diamond stone  without any problems. It is spirit based so I doubt you would have problems with any kind of petroleum based lubricant damaging the bond.
Thread: Just Starting - what would you buy?
04/08/2010 18:53:13
You could have had it finished by now!
Thread: expensive tools
04/08/2010 18:39:17
There are tools on the market that represent extremely good value for money.
I won't stock anything that I wouldn't use myself, it's just not worth the hassle of dealing with returns and upsetting customers. Here are some examples:
Narex chisels for example are beautifully made, correctly hardened and only about a fiver each.
Scary sharp is a very accesible route to extremely sharp hand tools and with a couple of sheets of 100 micron film ( £1.90 each) regrinding is taken care of too.
Gyokucho saws are used by some of the best cabinetmakers in the world and only cost around £35 each.
Quangsheng planes are extremely affordable and they are within a gnats of the more expensive top end planes in terms of performace.
Aldi recently had some European style planes for about a fiver, I'm not sure if they were good enough for smoothing but for converting to a scrub they would be perfectly adequate.
With just those few hand tools and some timber you could conceivably build a decent bench and quite a considerable number of priojects. Machines are great to pick up as you go on and a bandsaw is an excellent choice to start with but as others have said the big cast iron ones that you buy once and love forever are the ones to get and well worth saving up for. Good ones do save time and effort but it's worth bearing in mind that people have been doing incredible things with wood for thousands of years without them.

Edited By Matthew Platt on 04/08/2010 18:40:08

Thread: is iroko safe for a bowl
18/07/2010 22:59:50
I've heard of some people having nasty reactions to Iroko. It seems to be that people can work with it for years and then they suddenly develop an allergic reaction to it - blotches, swellings and flu like symptoms. Once they've had the reaction they can't go near it or the symptoms return.
For food use I'd go with sycamore (maple) as it has natural antibacterial properties.
On the bright side that lump would make a lovely solid base for a bird table.
Thread: Powerfix chisels
18/07/2010 22:51:55
There are inexpensive chisels on the market that will hold an edge beautifully (I wouldn't stock them if they didn't).

Ashley Iles may not be the cheapest but they are massively underpriced for proper handmade cabinetmaking chisels.

C.I Fall bevelled firmers are made from excellent steel and a bit more chunky - better for coarser work.

Narex are somewhere between the two - good machine grinding, isothermally hardened so there's no 'if's, but's or maybe's' about the hardening and extremely good value for money.
If you want to try any of our chisels out Jim, just drop me a pm and I'll send you a sample.

Thread: Grain tear
02/07/2010 00:04:18
Hi David,
It's pumice powder and tung oil to fill the pores, then several coats of shellac to seal the oil, rubbed down in between to provide a perfectly flat base for the varnish. The varnish was Italian marine varnish - the stuff they use on godolas - laid on with a foam brush (don't squeeze out the excess, just give it time to drip off the corner or you'll get bubbles).  Then a light coat of beeswax and natural turpentine to bring out the shine.
I did multiple coats of shellac and varish as it was going into a bathroom but for a trophy cabinet you could get away with a couple.

Edited By Matthew Platt on 02/07/2010 00:05:55

01/07/2010 01:56:52
A good smoothing plane with a back bevelled iron or a cabinet scraper will fix tearout as long as you haven't machined the components right down to finished dimension. Unlike sanding they also leave a cleanly cut surface that allows light to penetrate the finished surface and refract. The gold and red colours in sapele are particularly beautiful if finished in this way. 

Edited By Matthew Platt on 01/07/2010 01:59:48

Thread: Hardwood suppliers
30/06/2010 13:36:39
A jack plane will be too big for those - better off with a block plane (perhaps a rebating block for cutting the rebates in picture frames) and cabinet scrapers for preparing your stock.
The first thing I would buy is a fine saw, either Japanese or English.

You will also need a means of holding your workpieces securely - a bench hook and a workmate will suffice initially.
First try some exercises in bits of old pallet wood, sawing multiple lines next to each other - see how close together you can get them and keep them all parallel. Then try sawing to a line - splitting a pencil line with one edge of the saw. Observe the reflections in the side of the blade as they will show you very accurately when the blade is out of perpendicular. Don't be tempted by a saw guide to 'train your hands', sawing is done with the eyes and gravity, all the hands do is provide the motion. Once people realise that they need to keep the wood and it's reflection at 90 degrees to make a 45 degree cut they can usually do it to within half a degree after a couple of minutes practice.
This alone will give you sufficient skills to try a couple of practice pieces, a simple dovetailed box or half lapped picture frame from pallet wood will develop your confidence enormously.  You may not want to give the results house room just yet, but the idea is to establish good habits, confidence and enjoyment early on.
The next things on your shopping list:
some chisels with very fine sides.
a marking knife or scalpel.
cheap steel rule.
marking gauge.
cheap torpedo level.
something to keep your blades sharp.

Edited By Matthew Platt on 30/06/2010 13:37:28

Edited By Matthew Platt on 30/06/2010 13:40:01

28/06/2010 20:59:01
Hello Jack,
I'm a hand tool dealer so I get asked this question quite often.   The first response is usually - can you be more specific? For example if you want to do 'sport' most people would recommend a good pair of trainers but if you want to go swimming a pair of trunks should be top of the list.
There are many types of woodworking requiring different tools, carving, turning, furniture making etc. The only general advice for all is to buy only what you need when you need it and get the best quality you can afford. (note; this is not necessarily the most expensive you can afford).
Perhaps if you list out the first few things you are thinking of making we can put them in order of 'tools required to complete' and give you some exercises to get you used to using and caring for your tools correctly before you attempt each one. 
Thread: FAMAG passaround!
18/06/2010 22:52:35
I am seriously chuffed with our latest supplier FAMAG, everything I try from their range knocks my socks off.
Cheap- No, but well worth a modest extra investment. 
So we have a Bormax forstner and a 1594 series lip and spur bit up for a passaround.
If you would like to partake please add your name to the list:
Thread: Any views on this package please?
15/12/2009 14:19:41
We've just had a pallet of these arrive from China and they are quite remarkable.
Proper bedrock pattern frogs, casting and grinding are as you would expect from the top end brands and a thick, precision ground, carbon steel iron that takes a beautiful edge. At just under £100 for the No.5 shown above they are a bit more spendy than the  bottom end of the market but in terms of bang for your buck they are an absolute steal.

Amazing what happens when you ask the Chinese to make something up to a standard rather than down to a price!
Thread: Lie Nielsen O1 Tool Blades
09/11/2009 23:21:31
Finally they've figured it out!
Next they'll be hand forging it from a round bar like they do in Sheffield to compact and refine the grain structure so that it takes the ultimate edge and holds it for 95% as long as A2.
LN were heavily invested in the properties of A2 and it has taken serious guts to recognise the advantages of O1 for which I applaud them. You still do get some of the advantages of forging with rolled O1 gauge plate and it is much, much less expensive to make, I'm pleased to see that Axminster are passing some of this benefit on to the customer with appropriate pricing.


Thread: Hand Planes
12/10/2009 09:00:27
Hi Sam,
If you haven't already I'd snap them up at those prices!
Go for the 4-1/2 as this takes the same blade as the 7, that way you can hone a slight camber on the smoother iron and swap them out when you want to use the jointer for surfacing.
Thread: To square or to square, that is the question
07/10/2009 17:14:04
Hi Woodie,
From a point of strength, square ends have an advantage as the ends of the mortice are usually endgrain and therefore valueless as a gluing surface. Rounding gives a smaller cheek area and therefore less gluing surface and less strength.
If the tenons are beefy enough anyway, rounded ends are much easier to produce - especially in quantity. If you use a rasp or coarse file to round the tenons you will avoid the wander issue that Olly mentions.
Thread: Hardwood suppliers
01/10/2009 13:46:48
Hi Dave,
Thanks for the info, do you know if there are any similar organisations operating south of the border?

Thread: Matthew's Benchmarks
30/09/2009 02:39:24
No worries Marc,
Glad to be of help.
Thread: Fusion Woodworking
30/09/2009 02:34:39
I''m inclined to agree with Ralph on this subject.  I use power tools to bring the timber close to dimension, then when the dust has settled, move on to hand tools.
Well adjusted power tools with good quality blades / cutters can be pretty accurate, but the finish will never be quite as perfect as that which can be achieved with hand tools. I also find hand work much more pleasurable and I get more ''makers satisfaction'' from cutting a joint with a chisel or planing a surface than I ever would from setting a stop and pressing a button.


Edited By Matthew Platt on 30/09/2009 02:35:38

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