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Member postings for Steve Fell

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

Thread: Wooden Bench Screws
22/01/2019 21:25:30

Thanks for the comment. I had thought of that. To be honest it's not that loose in the summer and I don't believe making slightly looser in the summer would be a big problem if I can use it in the winter. I've never tried to remove the end vice so I don't know how easy it would be. I have tried using candle wax to easy it but I don't think it worked very well

22/01/2019 16:58:41

I have a Sjoberg wooden bench. The wood has understandably moved and in the winter months the end vice becomes almost locked solid because the wooden screw thread binds. During the summer months the vice there is no problem.

Does any know how to fix this problem? Is it possible to remove the threaded screw and re-cut it somehow to loosen it?

Thread: Veneer Rippling
13/03/2017 21:32:21

I recently made a small 3 legged demi-lune table with the idea of practising my veneering, stringing and French polishing techniques.

For the most part this went well. The legs and base were veneered with mahogany and the top had a central book matched veneer of birds eye maple. This is where the problems started.

Immediately that the veneer became wet (with glue) it caused the veneer to form extreme ripples, below;

birdseye maple ripple2.jpg

Once formed this sheet was impossible to flatten. Initially the ripples formed while under a vacuum press, which normally provides a lot of pressure. It failed and the piece had to be removed before the glue dried.

Since then I have been unable to flatten the dampened veneer even under very heavy weights and it seems the same problem has now occurred with some burr madrona

Has anyone had experience with this problem? if so, is there anyway around the problem?

Thread: Cabriole Leg Holder
14/05/2012 16:56:44

Hi, my first attempt to make cabriole legs for a footstool was fairly successful. The legs were cut out on the bandsaw OK but shaping and cleaning presented a problem. How do you hold an awkwardly shaped lump of wood? Here is an idea that might seem obvious but I though I'd like to share it anyway.

From 2 pieces of 2x4 offcuts 90deg angle grooves are cut on the tablesaw. The 2 pieces are held in the bench vice as shown and the leg clamped with a standard lever clamp. I found that only moderate pressure is required to hold the leg very firmly. It is very important to cut into the base of the groove a slot to accomadate the sharp corner of the leg, as shown in the second photo.

This set up has 3 main advantages.

1) The leg is held at 90deg to the bench, facing the worker which allows easy use of a spokeshave.

2) The quick release clamp allows very fluent and rapid unlocking thus allowing quick and easy turning of the piece in the holder.

3) By reversing the 2x4 holder it is also possible to hold the flat sides of the square top of the leg for further planing and sanding.

I hope this is of help to anyone interested in holding shaped legs of this kind.

Thread: French Polish
26/01/2011 13:17:38
Hi Ian,
Thanks, this is some really useful information. I also like to make heirloom boxes, but when I get to the finishing stage I usually chicken out and reach for the Danish oil which is my favourite. I will try some French polishing next time , promise. Anyway. I've never heard of z-poxy. What is it? and more importantly, where can I get it?. How is this different from the usual grain fillers?
20/01/2011 20:13:38
Hi Julian. I love watching Alan on Restoration man. I re-watch his shows all the time because I'm interested in restoration myself. I've even started to use the same powderedresin glue he uses, and been experimenting with Vandyke crystals. Alan uses commercially made French polish on his TV show. I must admit his use of 1/3rd linseed oil: 2/3rds button polish is a bit scary though. I've tried it and it's very difficult with so much oil.Purple meths for removing old French polish is fine, since all the residue is removed before new Polish is applied. It is also useful for cleaning brushes etc. The original discussion for me was the use of colourless meths to make up your own French polish solution from the solid flakes. I've not tried to dissolve pale shellac in purple meths, but again, why take the risk of wasting the shellac. Methyl violet dye is not volatile so once in the mix it cannot me removed. I hope this has clarified the point I was trying to make. Keep watching the show.
20/01/2011 19:12:18
Hi, As an addendum to my last post I would love to hear from any experienced French polishers on this subject.
20/01/2011 19:10:15
Hi, Generally, if you want to use dark button polish then you will probably won't have a problem with purple IMS affecting the finish. If you decide to use the light (blonde) shellac then I'm not sure it's the case. The colour is due to the addition of methyl violet, a chemical that is used only to indicate that theIMS contains toxic methanol and is not pureethanol.I've also noticed it has a distinctive residualsmell that the colourless IMS does not have. To be blunt, I wouldn't want to take the risk on a final French polish. Most of the French polishing books, DVD's from the US always use colourless IMS., but it is readily available over there and is not an issue. Note, the colourless IMS is still toxic and should always be kept away from anyone who may mistake it for pure ethyl alcohol.
20/01/2011 10:55:57
Hi William, I have 2 DVD's from Taunton, USA.One is called Hand-Applied Finishes, by Jeff Jewitt. This covers all forms of finishing but has a section on French polishing. The second is called Wood Finishing by Frank Klausz of the same type. These DVD's can usually be found in sections from most woodworking tool suppliers like Axminster & Rutlands, but you can search the interent for them. One thing I have noticed is that there appears to be as many variations of French polishing as there are people that use it! But they do give some very useful insights.
17/06/2010 11:31:30
Marc, Today I received the solvent. It is indeed the colourless spirit I've been after. For future reference, and anyone else who might require it, it is sold by Bonnymans (a cleaning company), on eBay and sold as "Industrial Denatured Alcohol, IDA" and with courier charges, cost about £30 for 5litres which will probably last me a lifetime. (NB For this quantity I was able to purchase it without a license). Thanks again for your input, today I'm a happy chappy
14/06/2010 21:15:37
Hi Marc, I went onto eBay via your link over the weekend. It seems that solvent they sell as "industrial methylated spirit" or "mineralized methylated spirit" does in fact contain purple dye. However, they do sell "industrial denatured alcohol" or "IDA" . I phoned them and confirmed it was indeed colourless, and they sell 5litres for ca. £30 including P&P. For this quantity I was also informed that I did not need a license. I've placed an order and keeping my fingers crossed it is what I'm after.
   Just a note of caution to anyone else who is interested. Searching eBay for "methylated spirit" I noticed some of the photos appeared to show colourless solvent. However when I contacted the supplier they confirmed that the IMS does contain the ubiquitous purple dye, so it is well to check directly with the supplier directly. I'll let you know the end of the story!
10/06/2010 23:01:55
Hi Sparky, Thanks for the input. As a retired chemist I used to use IMS regularly. I looked at the link you included on eBay. It seemed a bit confusing since it initially suggested use for French polish and referred to the solvent as being dyed purple! Anyway, I've contacted the seller to confirm the nature of this product.
10/06/2010 21:00:12
Hi, I've been turning my hand to a bit of French polishing recently, as an alternative to the usual Danish oil I use. At the moment I'm using commercial shellac polishes. I've also bought the solid shellac for making up my own fresh polish. I've seen lots of videos, read books etc. but on-one can tell me where to get colourless meths from!. There must be a lot of professional polishers out there and many probably make there own polish. However it seems in the UK at least, the only meths available is the purple coloured solvent we all know, (in the US it's different I belive). Does anyone know what to do about this?. I can't believ pro's would use this for the pale blond shellac.
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