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Member postings for Amos Starkadder

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

Thread: Old masters
07/12/2015 11:32:19

Twenty years or so of Good Woodworking takes up a good deal of space so I've been looking to chuck some old ones out.

Can't do it, I came across the August 1999 issue and there's a gem on marquetry in there by David Savage.

What are the chances GW could produce reprints (special mags, books, pdfs) of selected items to help the strain on our rafters?

Suggested topics: All of David Savage, John Brown, the series on shed construction.

Thread: craft fairs
23/11/2015 08:09:01

I sympathise, I've only done a couple of shows myself (Beacon Hill in the rain and a local show) and had very poor sales. Mass-produced boxes at shows are a case in point. I've seen them on sale for as little as £1 and some painted "chests" for £3. Even at antique shows some nice ones are dreadfully undervalued, I buy some for the quadrant hinges which are worth more than the asking price of the box. If you've spent a few days making a nice box from expensive timber (eg bog oak) and spent decent money on good quality hardware it's almost impossible to sell the craftsmanship no matter what you do to make your work stand out from the crowd.

Thread: John Boddy Timber
31/10/2015 11:44:34

In Leicestershire (Notts border) you could try Rowan Woodland Products in Swannington, Coalville. Mick Waldram turns up at the Beacon Hill Show and slices up logs, this time around I got a nice piece of yew. They take planed timber to the same event, talk to him about sawn wet timber if you want better prices. No website (except a mention on the National Forest website) but his card has his email address as which I guess is safe to bung online as he was handing them out freely at the show.


Edited By Amos Starkadder on 31/10/2015 11:46:03

Thread: Flattening sandpaper
02/10/2014 13:54:45

I should add that the sandpaper I have is so tightly coiled that coils up after affixing to mdf with spray adhesive.

02/10/2014 13:51:45

New sandpaper frequently arrives tightly coiled. It's no use in this state, it needs flattening somehow in order to affix to, say, a sheet of mdf with spray adhesive (a good method for box components & for tool sharpening).

So how does anyone flatten their sandpaper? I'm about to try a light spraying with a garden spray then clamp between a couple of mdf boards - for how long I don't know. Can I do several at once with, say, newspaper in between? Will the glue on the sandpaper come unstuck and ruin it?

Thread: Events Diary
18/09/2014 08:38:13

Second-hand tools at David Stanley auctions.

The next international auction is on Saturday 27th September at 9:00 in Whitwick, Leicestershire ( - don't forget you can make online bids if you fancy anything in the actual auction

Many tool dealers turn up there and set up stalls but you'll need to catch them before the actual auction, so that's the viewing times the day before (26th) from 12:00 until 19:00 (although by that time many of them will have gone for their tea) or really early the following morning (7:00 - and they;ll be packing up around 8:00)

Thread: Workshop advice - large shop I need of some TLC
16/08/2014 07:53:20

I'm pretty sure I got my shed construction right, it's based on reading the old issues of GW when they did a series on sheds a few years ago:

On the outside of a 2 x 4 timber frame, screw OSB board (the 18mm roof quality turned out to be cheap enough to compete with other thicknesses - read up about OSB online). I used Kreg self-tapping pocket screws that require a square-ended driver, turns out they are weatherproof and they fix so well onto the bit that you can reach difficult places easily whilst they are stuck on the end of your electric screwdriver. Then fix builders paper (Wickes again) using a stapler, then vertical tanalised battens, then tanalised tongue & groove cladding + outdoor finish of your choice (yes I even used Kreg screws for this too - and no sign of decay after 5 years).

On the inside, stuff the spaces in between your 2 x 4 frame with insulating material (after you've ensured the electrics are OK), staple up sheets of builder's plastic sheeting/waterproof membrane and screw some thinner OSB boards on top of that, again using Kreg screws. Mark the position of any cables onto the inside OSB because you'll find yourself screwing all sorts of things to the walls. OSB board joints should match up with your frame verticals, the screw and joint positions should be a guide to where the load bearing places are for future shelving etc. but it might be worth pencilling these lines onto the boards too.

Take care to ensure you have a damp-proof layer at the bottom of your frame, or at least have some means of throwing the rain away from the OSB outer walls, the builder's paper ensures a little damp will spread out and evaporate in the cavities behind the cladding but it won't cope with floods or heavy direct rain.

I'm told that's a "25 year build" but I guess with care it'd last a lot longer than that.

Wickes is a good source of a lot of the materials you'll need, check out their instruction sheets.

Thread: Leigh jigs and DeWalt routers
25/06/2014 18:29:02

Thanks for that idea, your link actually shows a baseplate similar to mine and illustrates the problem well.

I enlisted Axminster's help for this as I happened to be in the area. Got their own brand baseplate and a set of Trend fixing screws.

Then I hit another problem:


Shown here is the DW621 baseplate with the thin base sheet removed. The Axminster sub-base plate (in background) needs to be affixed - only two fixings are available for this - as shown. The two bolts (from a Trend pack) are longer than those one would actually use for this purpose, I chose long ones just for this picture to illustrate the problem. On my DeWalt base the rear thread has been tapped at an angle (those bolts are just hand-tightened and it's the first time I've needed to use them - no I didn't cross-thread them). Bolts of the correct length cannot be screwed down into this twisted hole, they catch the edge of the slot on the Axminster sub-base due to the angle and don't screw down far enough, they jam after a couple of turns.

That's a manufacturing fault on my DeWalt DW621. I phoned them at 01753 567055 and they were unable to assist me with this fault (out of warranty - but that doesn't matter, it's not "fit for purpose" and passed me on to PowerToolsPlus in Nottingham who could offer service and spare parts (£90 for a replacement tbase, it looks a tough job so you can add labour and post to that.) For double that figure I get an additional router, they suggested the DW615 or Trend T5 for jig work

I think my best option is the T5, the Leigh adaptor I bought with the Axminster sub-base will fit it perfectly, centring it around the cutter will be a breeze and there'll be no need for my sub-base. I'm wary of DeWalt stuff now and totally unimpressed by their service regarding faulty equipment. Many thanks to the guys at Axminster, Leigh and PowerToolsPlus.

Edited By Amos Starkadder on 25/06/2014 19:11:29

09/06/2014 10:54:06

A cautionary tale. I replaced my trusty ELU Mof 96 with a DeWalt 621 a little while ago. A great router but it's poor on jigs and in particular fails on my Leigh finger template jig.

The reason is the huge aperture in the base of the DW621, this opening extends into a keyhole shape to encompass the dust extraction port. This means that amount of contact that the base makes with the top surface of the finger template is very small when working on the left hand side of the Leigh jig, so much so that its centre of gravity means that it tips towards you rather than sitting flat on the template.

I've tried reversing the router to improve baseplate/jig contact area (the dust extraction hole sits over the finger template now, and there's a lot more contact area) but it's hard to operate the switches using just the left palm (and probably dangerous too).

Leigh were real helpful (but understandably won't comment on any router manufacturers) but DeWalt are pretty well uncontactable, everything sending you towards irrelevant FAQs, USA-only enquiry forms that don't work in the UK or UK dealers. A modified baseplate might work, perhaps if I can obtain some of that bakelite/type material screwed to the DW621.

In the meantime I think I'll have to hunt around for another router, palm routers I could justify on other grounds but it seems they won't work with the Leigh jig, the DW618 looks good but it's not sold in the UK.

I'll be sorry to lose the DW621 but it looks as though its got to go, not fit for my purpose.

Thread: Great neighbours
17/04/2014 14:09:39

You can't have enough routers. I think I underused my first one until I built a table for it, so I'd suggest you look for designs for tables and hunt for some good quality router bits.

Thread: Events Diary
24/03/2014 07:47:26

About the David Stanley auctions:

One thing not mentioned in the Events section about this is that all the tool dealers in the country gather together a couple of days before the actual auction, to wheel and deal amongst themselves and (eventually) to bid and auction off their best items.

So prior to the actual auction, during the viewing, they have their stalls set up in the Hermitage Centre and will sell stuff to the public, this is where the Americans go to acquire vans full of tools for selling in the US (last time I went one guy said he'd got so much stuff - 23 crates - that the British Isles floated a little higher in the water once he'd sailed away)

Oh, and you can make online bids - check out their online catalogue.

24/03/2014 07:31:34

This thread seems to be a useful one to bring events to the attention of the GW team, at least it worked for my suggestions.

In the introduction to Events section, there's only an email link.

As postings on this thread fade away it becomes less obvious that one can use this thread to suggest events.

Can a link to this thread be added to the introductory paragraph at the top of the Events section?

Peterborough show was valuable by the way, picked up a nice little pattern-maker's depth gauge and there were lots of planes around, many poor quality + high price but a heck of a lot of wooden ones, including some nice sets of moulding planes. Next one is 3rd, 4th October.

14/03/2014 07:45:50

I think that's partly my fault, Simon. Steve added my suggestions straight away which led to a temporary bias.

I'm sure lots of southern shows will get into the list gradually.

I like to see well balanced shows with a range of goodies to buy plus a range of made items. When the Warwickshire show was running we used to see stuff from the Rockingham Carvers and others, the Model Wheelwrights, the chap who made wheelbarrows out of different timbers, several marquetry groups, pole lathes and other turners and, most importantly, work by students at the various colleges. They'll all still be exhibiting somewhere, I hope they turn up in this list, I think it's important for the continuation of the college courses that students promote themselves at such events, its where potential customers may be browsing.

13/03/2014 08:44:20

Can these be slightly off-topic events? I'm thinking of things like the Patchings craft show in Nottinghamshire where a few wood makers turn up amongst the painters, wood engravers and block printers who I've seen there are very much an "allied trade". The tool dealer show that coincides with the 6 monthly David Stanley auction, the Peterborough 6 monthly antiques show, amongst its 1700 stalls are a few tool dealers and a lot of furniture (real Arts and Crafts if you're lucky) plus hardware and the Ferrers Centre where some nice wood crafted items turn up from time to time (they publish that Craft & Design magazine which lists events and competitions - wood is a whole section so you do see some of our best makers featured there)

Incorporating ideas from other crafts into wood designs can be inspirational too, I keep an eye open for leatherwork (centred on the Identity shop in Matlock), there's a handbag catch there that looks perfect for a box catch, conchos (metal discs with simple to elaborate patterns) that are designed for furniture such as drawer pulls and a whole bunch of studs that might work on boxes. Box makers use leather for hinges sometimes too, so it's worth learning the basics.

Thread: East Midlands Woodworking Show
11/03/2014 08:32:25

Looking forward to that one, how long is it since the last Woodex show in the Midlands?

The list of exhibitors on that link isn't complete. I've pre-ordered another dust extractor from Camvac to pick up at Newark (nice little town too!), to save on delivery costs (they make them to order so the one you'll see is mine smiley).

Edited By Amos Starkadder on 11/03/2014 08:50:50

Thread: Sourcing Oak
16/01/2014 07:01:37

I usually pick up a couple of oak planks at the Beacon Hill wood show in Leicestershire each year from Mick Waldram of Rowan Woodland Products ( He slices them off the log at the show and it's fairly cheap when bought wet. The rest of the time I think he does a lot of oak floorboards.

Thread: Dust extraction outlets
04/12/2013 12:14:50

I've two more discoveries to add to this:

1. I've found something that seems to work, this link will get you an "Outer Sleeve for 100mm ID Round Pipe Duct 1M" from Fastlec (electrical suppiers - well done them). I ordered a length of it and whilst it's not exactly snug over the 100m outlets on the thicknesser and bandsaw and connectors its a lot closer than 4" soil pipe and I reckon a bit of tape wound around the outlets (maybe even as thin as plumbers tape) and you'll have an airtight fit. Beauty is that you get a great long length of it so that's plenty of big pencil holders for Christmas smiley

2. I got a reply from Record. They've read this thread but oddly say "still not exactly sure what it is you require.". The respondents to this forum do and frankly I've run out of different ways to explain it now, I anticipated such comprehension failures even though I spent some time trying to explain to Record at the Harrogate show. (and about 10 seconds to explain to Camvac who said "I know - we get lots of complaints about that"

They tell me "The BS12 has 100mm outlet and we also do 100mm to 100m short rigid external sleeve" and direct me to The DX100S Straight 100mm dust extraction Hose Connector is described as "Straight connector for use in 100mm diameter workshop dust extraction systems" - that'll be their 100mm dust extractions systems won't it? I opened this thread with an observation about the suitability of systems for the tiny amateur garage workshops and yet Record say of the above posting "On there it talks about a 62mm reducer I am not really sure why and what you need this for" Put simply there's no room for the piping for the 100mm behemoths in a small garage workshop so many of us have opted for those terrific 62mm systems by Camvac and Axminster - that's what I started this thread with.

So no luck from Record either at the Harrogate show or through their enquiry system.

Straight connector for use in 100mm diameter workshop dust extraction system
29/11/2013 06:48:02

Thanks Ron. That's the method I've been using on my thicknesser for some time. The slackness of the fit does mean that it occasionally comes loose. These machines produce an amazing volume of dust and chippings, a whole plank's worth of it suddenly spurting out all over the the garage is no fun,

I'll see what progress I can make with the machine manufacturers now, there's an obligation on them to provide something that's fit for purpose. We shouldn't have to be coming up with these less than ideal solutions.

28/11/2013 11:22:55

Regarding Derek's second link, I've just telephoned Axminster again. They think that item won't go over a 100mm pipe but very kindly they're going to send me one to check it. Don't hold your breath.

The nearest I saw was one side of a blast gate that Camvac were selling, you'd have to saw it in half to get the 100x100 external sleeve but it'd maybe be a little short.

Back to my main contention that there's no such thing as a short rigid 100mm to 100mm external sleeve

28/11/2013 10:53:23

Thanks, Derek. I spoke to Axminster on the phone a while back and they weren't able to solve it. The item you linked doesn't fit the bill for 100mm internal diameter, something that would fit over an existing 100mm pipe.

As I say there are some good sets that will get all the way up to 100mm external diameter, that nested set from Charnwood (a mere £10 at the Harrogate show) is superb.

Inside fittings won't work with the Records BS12 bandsaw as there's an inside grille about 1cm in. I've never found anything that fits inside a 100mm pipe - that would work for the thicknesser but not the bandsaw.

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