Pete Bennett

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Everything posted by Pete Bennett

  1. You may feel you've screwed the top but I actually quite like it the 'wrong' way. Listen there is hardly ever a wrong way, it really depends on the finish you're after. If you have as much as 2" overhang a chamfer will be fine, maybe a third of the final thickness, suck it and see, when it looks right to you, and your good lady of course, then it must be right. Your self criticism is rewarding, however, I certainly wouldn't be too hard on yourself. I've seen far worse, and none of us ever become so perfect we never screw things up from time to time. The really important thing is to recognise it when it happens, do what you can to correct it, and if you can't, either make another if really is too bad, or, try no to repeat it on the next one. We all aim for perfection and no matter how close we get, NONE OF US ever achieve it. We just kid ourselves that this one will be. If we didn't we'd pack up, and then what? As my Form Master always used to say 'Great try, better luck next time'
  2. Perhaps it's me, it usually is but have I misunderstood. On the leg frame pdf the grain of the cleats is going in the normal longitudinal direction but, in the Wine Cabinet PDF it is going vertically? If this is the case I'd be very concerned about using short grain at this point. I'm not completely certain of the problem so I'll tell you how I would build it and see what you think. The cabinet I would build as a box, probably with either lap dovetail joints or more likely mitred dovetails. I would mortice and tenon the leg frames to the bottom cross members (cleats) I would make the bridle joints for the top and dry assemble the frames to check fit etc. Then remove the top cross members. I would then cut slots into the top edge of the bottom cross members to accept a dowel let into the base of the cabinet, (as many as you feel are needed to locate and be reasonably strong) Lower the cabinet onto the lower cross members and drop the top ones in place afterwards. This would be a good design point to have these upper cross members actually longer and have a shoulder both sides of the legs and maybe shape the ends in some way, if you follow what I mean. If you feel the need you could include for slots and dowels in these to locate the top surface of the cabinet as well. Normally I would button a top down but in this design that probably wouldn't look too good. You could get really fancy and form sliding dovetails in the top and cross rails and assemble as a unit, but, that maybe is going a little too far. Another solution would be to make screw head slots in the top surface of the cross members and place protruding screws in the underside of the top to slot into these giving a reasonable fixing and allowing for movement. Careful adjustment of the screw depth will give quite a tight fit. But, remember you want all the screws sliding in the same direction! Sounds obvious. It is, but, I have done it the wrong way before now and wondered why I cannot slide my top into position. Hope this makes sense to you and answers your concerns regarding movement. Pete
  3. I'm sure a number of us would like to try and help. Why not post a few pics onto this forum then we can take a look see. Pete
  4. These type of chairs are traditionally glued using animal glue. The easiest way to check for that is to gently heat one of the joints with a hot air gun or better still if you have a sprung joint get a hot damp cloth and wrap around the tenon. If it goes gooey its probably animal glue. If it is there will no problem in releasing any or all the joints. One way to repair them and get a strong joint is a bit drastic but, if done right will certainly cure them. Take a joint apart, let's say a cross rail into a leg. Take an in canal gouge of slightly smaller diameter curve as the mortice and chisel an arc shaped fan shape into the mortice on the top side and another on the bottom side, maybe a 1/16" inch or so apiece. The effect is to have a kind of curved dovetail recess in the leg. Once you're happy with that, cut a slot in the tenon at right angles to the vertical, and form a thin wedge that should just fill the mortice dovetails when driven in. If you know what I mean by 'Fox Tail wedges' you'll get what I mean. The reason for cutting these in to the end grain rather than at the sides is to prevent, as much as possible, the tendency for the expanding tenon to split out the side of the legs. As for the tops of the legs they are normally through morticed in the seat. It is quite an easy matter to cut a slot in these mortices and drive a thin wedge in from the top once they are all in place. If, on the other hand your chair has been assembled using epoxy or a modern PVA you may have a lot more difficulty in disassembling the joints. Things then become much more involved. Having said that if they have been assembled using something like epoxy they are unlikely to have failed so easily in the first place. It is possible to drill through to meet the ends of the tenons and carefully make a notch in them, drive in a thin wedge to tighten the joints followed by a tight fitting plug to disguise the hole and re-finish almost invisibly but this does require a great deal more time and care. Let us know how you get on. If I think of anything else I'll post it. Pete
  5. For the first five years of being self employed I worked from a shop twenty feet from the house. Although I only have one daughter we had a strict rule. From 8 in the morning until 10.30am Daddy was at work. Then for about twenty minutes I'd be in for a cuppa and usually a cuddle. The it was back to work until 1pm. from then until 2pm I was having a shared lunch with my wife and daughter. From 2pm until 4pm I was back in the shop, then ten minutes or so for another house session. Then I'd work on usually until 6pm before coming in and staying with my wife and daughter until my daughter went to bed. At that time I'd read to her and she'd be in bed before 7pm usually 6.30 then, if something was pressing I'd go back into the shop. It was great fun and don't ever remember any complaints. except from neighbours if I made too much noise late at night. I then bought a larger shop ten miles from home, but after six years I got fed up with travelling to it and sandwiches for lunch, so I sold up and moved us all to another house with a bigger shop in the garden which did until I moved to France. Now of course my daughter is grown with kids of her own I have different wife but my shop now is fifty yards from my front door and I love it. It's still out of bounds to everyone except me and my wife though, that's mainly to do with insurance. I'm sure if you adopt a sensible structure, explain it carefully to your wife, and, if they are old enough yet to understand, your children. You can actually make your visits to the house during the day into something of an adventure for them. Best of luck, one word of warning though. Be very careful that you don't allow the work to take over completely. I know from experience how easy it is to just 'spend a few more minutes on this', that suddenly becomes midnight. Pete
  6. I doubt this guy does kits but, if you really want the Rolls-Royce of hand planes these are the business. www.holteyplanes.com Take a look but be prepared to dig DEEP Pete
  7. Thank you very much guys. Once I realized I was using the wrong 'move' tool? things worked well. Now all I have to do is make them Anyone out there an expert with Mercator's projection?
  8. Some peolpe have all the luck!! I agree with the posts so far. Check the moisture with a meter if you can. Also I think it would be a very good idea to place at least as much as you are likely to need in stick in the room or as near to the general conditions heat, humidity etc.as you can for as long as you can before commencing. If they are going to move it is best before and not after they are a desk. Once you're happy with the stuff enjoy. Say a big thanks to your parents and give them my address for what's left over.
  9. Hello and welcome to the forum where you should find all the help you are likely to need. Not too sure about Latvia but you could try Dick Tools in Germany http://www.mehr-als-werkzeug.de/page/homepage/detail.jsf they may deliver to you. Also you could try Axminster Power Tools in England www.axminster.co.uk They certainly deliver across Europe and maybe to Latvia, but, at what cost, I have no idea. I'll see who else I can track down and let you know. Pete
  10. Looks like none of us are going to be bored, or allowed to die
  11. And let's pray it never changes. Thank you Marc and everyone on TWW the best by far anywhere
  12. Never used a track saw but I've clamped a straight edge and used a hand held power saw many, many times over a lifetime and never had a problem. Hell of a lot cheaper to boot. Pete
  13. The top looks to be the same but, it is hard to be certain, but, the end is absolutely quarter sawn Oak. No other timber displays medullary rays like it. No idea the finish as pics are never that good for deciding. If it were mine, and assuming the whole is solid timber and not veneered. Id start by trying an unseen surface with a good paint stripper to get rid of the finish. The top doesn't look to have anything much left of any finish. This I would start by scraping or belt sanding CAREFULLY. Once you've got it back to bare wood the finishing world is your oyster. Loads of elbow grease with ever finer grades of sand paper until you're certain you cannot improve it then apply your chosen finish. Traditionally it would be an oil finish, or wax. Or what ever you feel you like. thankfully there are no longer any hard and fast rules on what is 'proper' All the best Pete
  14. If you simply screw the top to the skirt it will split. Especially one that has been wetted to make it swell. Take my word for it. I've been making tables for a lifetime. As you don't have many tools the easiest way to do this is to fix a half inch by half inch batten around the inside of the skirt flush with the top edge. If you wish you can glue and screw this in place. Make some buttons by cutting a piece of two by one inch to form a half inch by half inch tongue on the end, then cut this off at about 2 inch length. Make as many as you think you will need and hook the tongue under the half inch batten and screw into the top making sure you don't use a screw that is too long. Do this all the way around. this will pull the top tight to the skirt and allow for movement. Which if you've soaked the top trying to flatten it will mean shrinkage. Once you've done this plane, scrape and sand the top. If it's too cupped you'll just have to accept that it won't be completely flat. But on an old table is this really critical?
  15. Thanks for the memories. I think I may make the trip again this year now you've rekindled the pleasure.
  16. At last I feel good!!! I moved to France ten years ago into a 500 year old derelict with 43 acres, which we gave away, I am no farmer. No water, no toilet facilities what so ever. One 11 Watt light bulb (never seen one that low before) and one socket. First thing the electricity company refused to turn on the electric and returned three months later to put in a new supply. There are six very large rooms down stairs and until last year two open to the roof ( I was going to say open to the sky, but I did put all 117 feet by 30 feet roof on in 2001) attic spaces, which are now four, soon to be five bedrooms and four bathrooms, almost completed. But, like you if I had the money and didn't have to work very full time it would now be finished. Probably another two years, I hope. Then another ten maybe to re-do the cock ups and finish all the niggling little unfinished bit and pieces that shout at me every time I pass them by. Wouldn't change it for the world.
  17. Yep. In 94 I arrived in France with my then lady friend now my wife it was 5 am at Calais and she said where are we going. Reply well back in the fifties and sixties I fell in love with work of Corbusier particularly his church at Ronchamp, why don't we go see it? Where is it? I dunno, somewhere in France I think. Oh yes, but, it's a hell of a long way from Calais. Neither of us have ever got over the experience. Awesome! I still do an odd drawing or two for people but, I found I could not live in an office. Sad really cos as I've got older I reckon I'd like the comfort and air con, never mind, my draughty unheated wonderful workshop is a good second best. All the best Pete
  18. I'm guessing that like me you started out to be an Architect. I studied Corbusier and his contemporaries mainly, and couldn't agree more with what you say. Another thing wine and sex have pretty much the same effect on me and at my age that's probably indecent but, what the hell.
  19. Without pictures it's hard to say but, when I used to restore antiques the favourite method for drawer sides was to plane them back to good wood and then glue a fresh piece of wood to them and trim gently to fit. In most cases here in Europe regardless of cabinet timber the drawer sides would be quarter sawn Oak. It's not a difficult job but, does need time and care. Pete
  20. Well Paul, what can I say? and my lovely wife was thinking you'd make a great second son, or something like that. Keep em coming man. great stuff.
  21. Obsessive. I met a guy here at New Year who's house internals are almost entirely Macassar Ebony. Like most really great things they're best in small doses. For me the my dream is to get these Acorns built that I am designing. Believe me if I can pull this off I shall feel sublime.
  22. Absolutely!!!!!!!!!! I'm not even sure if I know any 'rules' and if I did I'd be hell bent on breaking em
  23. Three years ago I purchased an expensive German sliding mitre saw 'Elektra Bekaum' (I think that's how you spell it) and believe me if this is an example of German engineering It is crap. It has never been consistently accurate. Fortunately I only use it if I'm away from the workshop where I have dedicated Radial Arm saw of real quality. Prior to this I had an Elu flip over for more than twenty years that never ever needed tuning and only got replaced because some kind soul stole it.
  24. Your main problem is going to be rust. Most hand tools if they are used regularly and sharpened often using an oil stone instead of water will have a fine film of oil and grease from your hands in useage, so should be OK. However if you sharpen using water stones you may like to think about wiping the tools with an oily rag from time to time. Here in France I find the problem days are from Nov through Feb when we seem to get strange days of obviously high humididty and I can enter the workshop in the morning to find a fine orange layer on all my cast iron surfaces. I regularly cover them with a fine coat of wax and so far this winter I have not suffered. It is simply some of my wax polish that I use on Oak. Bee's wax dissolved in turpentine to form a stiff paste. I understand from friends that Camelia oil is particularly good but, I've yet to try it. All the best Pete
  25. thanks guys. Can't get back to it before the weekend but, I'll give it a try. all I got to do now is figure how to make them in real wood.