Pete Bennett

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Everything posted by Pete Bennett

  1. Hey Man I don't know you but, I know how it is, I spent ten months without moving at all more than twenty years ago now, Believe me it does end. Some how you have to keep thinking of all the things you're definitely going to do when you get out. Please keep your chin up and when ever its possible no matter the pain, make someone including yourself LAUGH!!!! All the very best Pete
  2. Hi Marc I would like to link this site to my website my man tells me I need some URL's???????? would you mind if we did and could you supply the URL's?
  3. Yep except mine was a four way splitter to 8" on a five horse two bag extractor you will be amazed at the difference. Don't wear floppy underwear or you'll really freak the nosey neighbours
  4. Just a though for you Romain. If you are just starting out you will find tools in France are incredibly expensive! go to the online catalogue is obviously in English but the photography is universal and the prices for top quality stuff is moin chere. And yes they deliver to France no problem
  5. Take it from me Marc. Don't go there. Deadlines in furniture making are bad enough but, DEADLINES in the Magazine business is brown lining your pants time! believe me. And there are absolutely no EXCUSES.
  6. Does this apply to people in Europe using Amazon? Perhaps you should try to get Axminster Power Tools interested they probably sell more tools, machines and equipment for almost anything in UK and Europe than just about anyone else. a great idea. I hate going on sites that swamp you with ads even before you can access the site.
  7. Beechwood has a very good point there. Which once again highlights the difference between nowadays and Good old Mr. Chip..It's all a matter of our obsession with time. Even when I started out it was customary to make doors etc. roughly to size, then stack them half assembled in stick for at least a month before final joint trimming and assembly. Chippendale would rough out a piece and deliver it to the client's house where possible and leave it to 'balance' before final assembly. finishing etc. These days even when dealing with regular clients who know what bespoke means, can't wait for the piece to be finished. We are so used to ready made off the shelf everything, twelve months of the year we aren't prepared to wait for anything anymore. I once did a very special restoration of a Chinese Laquered cabinet, on researching the methods used by the ancients who made it I discovered that the gum of the urushi tree would be applied in stages that took over one hundred years to complete for the best work. Imagine telling your client that the piece they've just commissioned they will never see actually completed? To be specific regarding those twisted boards though it may have been better to edge joint several narrower ones. I built a table last year which was 10feet long and five feet wide, well actually it was 3050mm x 1500mm I tried to explain to the client that one percent of shrinkage was over five eights of one inch!!
  8. The change in temperature will only have an effect if there was a change in relative humidity. It sounds as though the two that have twisted were in tension anyhow within the board. Were they the two middle sections or the two from each end. It is possible that buying a thicker board may have helped but I doubt it. If the tension is within the plank putting it through a thicknesser will usually increase it and make matters worse. Here in France it's virtually impossible to buy anything other than a sliced up tree and the French idea of dry is to stack the tree in stick out side (not under a cover of any type) for three years no matter what the thickness. It is then considered dry, you buy the whole 'plot' as it's known, throw away the top three or four planks and work the rest. I usually buy 54mm a standard thickness here, deep rip it to whatever I require and then thickness. I've had boards straight as an arrow even after ripping, thicknessing and leaving to settle for a week or so only to watch some of them turn into propellers or worse. If you have a way of framing them when making the project that holds them flat and out of twist, go for it. Otherwise I'm afraid it's the old old story. Replace them and start over. It's a part of working with wood I'm afraid. You'll hear people constantly complaining that 'The thing would have been OK if only he'd seasoned it properly' Bullshit!! Seasoning is only drying, nothing else. You take a piece of perfectly dried timber at say 8% make a piece and place it somewhere it remains pretty near that MC and it'll be fine. But take it outside or place it next to a boiling radiator for a while and watch it GO! Two hundred years ago it was relatively simple. Craftsmen like Chippendale didn't have moisture meters. They knew that the houses their furniture was going into were drafty and usually quite moist with a fairly constant EMC they knew from centuries of experience that one year per inch in a covered, but open sided shed was enough. They had plenty to choose from and discarded the bent, split and twisted. They did not have to think My workshop is cold and damp or roasting and dry, whilst the client' house is air conditioned twelve months of the year. That's why we now need to kiln dry to around 6 or 7%. Also don't forget we've had two hundred years to scrap all the pieces they made that did eventually split, twist or fall apart. It's sad what you've had happen but, unless you've been careless, which it doesn't sound like, then it's probably either a piece that was going to twist anyhow, or the change in the weather has caused it to do sooner what it would have dove eventually anyhow. Keep making Worse things happen at sea
  9. Sharper than a Nielsen Plane, I tell ya. But he's a hell of a kid thirteen going on thirty, if you know what I mean, speaks two languages fluently already and looking for a third, but doesn't yet which to choose. I know I'm his grand dad and probably biased but why the hell not.
  10. Hi I am not French but I live and work in France. The hamlet I live in which has been here since the late 1500's is called Le Bois-Servant hence my name 'The Wood Servant' It's about an hour south of Poitiers I'm not too sure how far away we are from you but if there's anything I can help you with please do not hesitate to call. I am afraid my French is very little but with wood we should be somewhere in the same language. The name is Pete by the way not quite a 'fart'
  11. A little something to impress the in-laws! When I was young my father constantly told me if I wanted to get anywhere in the life ahead of me I must become an 'ist' and practice an 'ology' Well after all these years of struggling in anonimity my grandson informs me I am a Xylopolist and I practice Xylopology. So if you're out there Dad, I guess I finally made it!!
  12. To be honest I never tried as it was actually a finished design that I showed him. He wasn't greatly impressed with what I'd tried to make it look like Ripple Sycamore framing with Burr Walnut panels. Unfortunately I no longer have the design as it's with the clients and I' waiting for them to return from Sweden later in the year. But, I might try something else.
  13. Thanks a lot guys. I have yet to try it but it looks good to me. Once again thanks.
  14. My son who is a senior designer at Jaguar in the UK showed me a really great way to get realistic wood surfaces into my sketchup designs. What we did was go to chose the veneers we required and they list virtually any veneer you can think of. placed them on the desktop. Then I scanned my sketchup design into photo-shop and using the modify tools etc. we placed the woods where ever we wanted them into the design. Re-printed them and they looked just like a real wood cabinet. He even showed me how to drop the cabinet into photographs of the room setting which really made the whole thing look professional. Apparently they do this kind of thing all the time at Jag, as those that can afford it can choose virtually any veneer they want for their interiors. Hope this is of some use
  15. I am designing a ten sided table that will sit on a pedestal that is also ten sided however it will be waisted. That is it will curve in from top and bottom to have a much slimmer central section. The curves are a constant arc if viewed from the side each segment will be about 8" top and bottom curving gently in to about 2-3" at the centre height. Anyone have any ideas how I can achieve this in Sketchup please?
  16. I'd hate to think how many mistakes I've made particularly with pricing. Who ever conceived the idea of Free Estimates ought to be shot!! I have quite definite pricing schedules set up in Excel that cover in real detail my machine time costs including an allowance over a five year period to provide any replacement costs etc. My expected time scales for virtually every conceivable piece of handwork joints, assembly finishing, electricity charges per workshop hour etc. But, even with all this and more that forty years of trying to get it right I often don't make as much as I should. Having said all that nothing would induce me to stop what I enjoy so much, making great piles of sawdust!!
  17. Hi As my first name is Peter you can imagine the fun my French friends have. Infact, around here I'm known as 'the old fart'
  18. Here in France it's law that you supply a quote termed a devis, this must be in duplicate. The client agrees to the contract, which is legally binding, by signing one copy and returning it to you. Almost always with an agreed deposit. I've always found that by including as much detail as possible within this quote both you and the client know exactly what they are going to receive in return for their money. It is not uncommon for a client to state firmly that they expected such and such more or that there were other things discussed and 'added' after, that they have not received. However if there is a detailed specification with the quote and any 'extras' are then agreed, and signed for, there is little chance of a dispute. I know sometimes I've given a detailed spec etc. and been undercut by someone who has not included for all manner of things in order to reduce the price, this has almost always resulted in the client being unhappy after the event. It's easy for me to speak I guess and believe me I do know the problems, particularly when dealing with friends of friends to simply have even as little as a verbal agreement. But, this is fraught with danger for both parties. I've always done my utmost to avoid these situations. It is much better to make friends of clients than it is to make clients of friends. I've yet to meet anyone who decries you for being 'Professional' after all if someone is paying you for your services, no matter how trivial, it is a professional transaction. Incidentally here in France no matter how trivial, you are, in theory at least, required to declare all moneys earned to the Tax authorities.
  19. Hi I find myself agreeing with most of what's been said here. However, having been a 'pro' since February 1970 I have met a great many masters who are not professionals in the sense that they do not earn a living from their woodwork. Equally I have met some, though thankfully only a few, Professionals who could never be regarded as masters at their craft. In the UK they are usually termed 'Cowboys' not to offend you guys in the US I hasten to add, but merely a term to describe those that do the job and move rapidly on. For myself I served an apprenticeship before being more or less forced to go on my own as the company went bancrupt. (probably as a result of all the wood I wasted trying to get things right) Anyhow I've been at it ever since. Quite apart from developing the skills to design and make fine furniture at a price people can afford I've always bent over backwards to be 'Professional' in the way I approach and deal with the client, not only up to when I get paid but, my after sales, which thankfully is very rarely needed is second to none. If it needs fixing I fix it. And believe me over all these years it has always paid off. The last time I advertised for work was April 1970!!
  20. I agree absolutely with what you say. There is no excuse for any shoddy workmanship. He who never makes a mistake never makes anything, By definition The more you make, the more mistakes you will make. When I was an apprentice more than forty years ago now, My master maker always instil in me one Golden Rule 'It is not that craftsmen never make mistakes it's how they overcome them that counts' I've tried desperately to stick to that maxim ever since. On another note it just goes to show the slight differences in definitions between the US and Europe. A Cabinet maker here makes furniture, whether it be cabinets, tables, chairs or what ever, and another thing I disagree with the statement that Knots are flaws. I often say to some of my clients 'if you don't want knots go get some printed paper version of the wood you think you like, I'll stick to the real thing.
  21. Hi Guys Interesting one this. I've been designing and making now for over forty years and it is not an easy one to answer. On most jobs I will charge. At present it would be around €200.00 which covers initial sketches and the working drawings this is then included within the project costs if the client goes ahead. However, some clients get very put off at the though of paying for something they don't have if they decide not to go ahead. I have been caught in the past by presenting a design that is not commissioned only to find the client has got someone else usually cheaper and almost always a crap job. I've even had some come back to me afterwards to ask if I'll put things right. I'd rather not say my answer. Nowadays I charge, I tell the client I'm going to charge and why. If the project goes beyond initial sketches etc. and becomes more involved then I'll make extra charges. Normally these are nominal to help cover things like mock ups etc. All of which are rolled up into the final quote. Hope this is of some help Pete
  22. hi, I'm very new to all this forum stuff but is there anyone out there? apart from one French Ebiniste who has no time for the English I know no one else in my line here in France. It would be good to learn more of just exactly what you do with a forum. It seems you really are never too old to learn. Pete (the wood servant)