Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Indecisiveness and Dovetails

Yes, yes, all right. It's been three weeks since my last confession. Deary me. It's not my fault, really it isn't. A combination of not doing any woodwork and a broadband connection that keeps going awol in the evenings - when I usually feel the urge to Blog - is all to blame. But I'll try and make up for it a bit as I have actually been in the workshop in dribs and drabs!

First up I decided to have a go at a 45deg included angle in the BUS, and play with the L-N #4.5 at the same time. I'm absolutely not going to be drawn into calling it a comparison. It's not anything vs anything else. It was just for my own amusement; as witnessed by the "pitstop challenge" I set myself; the detour to do a "Charlesworth" on the L-N's cap iron; and the step-by-step pics of removing a cap iron, just in case it might be helpful to a novice. I did try to apply some scientific parameters at the beginning, but I soon gave that up. It's just not me. So essentially I now have a bundle of odd pictures, some definitely personal conclusions and a long, rambling report buzzing about in my head. The thing is, with the likelihood of some people almost certainly being unable to get their head round the idea that it's not some kind of L-V vs L-N review, I'm not at all sure I'll write it up - regardless of whether it contains anything of any value anyway, which is debatable. On the other hand it'd at least give folks an idea of where I'm coming from if they should be foolish enough to take my advice in future. I dunno. I've been sitting on it all for nearly a fortnight already, and I just can't make up my mind. But if I don't do it soon I'll have forgotten what I did...

Then, somewhat to my horror, I had a sudden desire to do some woodworking - but not too much in case it scared me away again... So I rustled up a couple of bits of the nastiest African Mahogany I've come across (at least I think that's what it is. As usual my habit of buying offcuts and such means I don't actually know), planed 'em up all square, and took a shot at a set of dovetails. It's been, erm, well, too long since I last cut any, but, considering this flippin' wood is a total bear to saw; I haven't sawn anything at all for months; I didn't do any practice cuts first (fool); and I failed to refresh my memory with a quick burst of Rob Cosman before I plunged in (busted VCR), well, I don't think they're too bad. I was hopelessly over-generous in the thickness of the outer pins, which is annoying, but other than that it was the sawing that let me down and left me with two wee gaps. Maybe it's the Knockers*, but a previously sweetly-running saw became a binding, biased nightmare and nearly took a high velocity trip to the opposite wall... The L-N chisels though, were brill. As was BugBear's super-tuned, ultra-sharp cutting gauge. Who needs a stinkin' Tite-Mark? ;~) But all in all, not too bad at all after a long hiatus. All those long years of making really, really bad attempts at dovetailing, when even lots of practice never seemed to help, that counts as a major success to me. All credit has to go to Rob Cosman. Now I know I can get 'em better than that though, and there's still plenty of length left on that mahogany, so if only I can keep up the enthusiasm and have another go before too long, maybe I'll be able to post something better...

Meanwhile the countdown to Tools 2005 continues; not long to go now. Gonna be a busy preview day for me, it seems. If I thought I had a full social diary last year, this one is a total 'mare. I could name-drop like crazy with all the persons who've said "see you at the show then", but I wouldn't do that... Suffice to say if I get to look at a single stand of Normite delights it'll be a miracle, never mind the competition entries. DC is on the L-N stand this year, apparently, and rather than Rob Cosman demonstrating it's the 'Murrican chap they have called Deneb Something-or-other-that-slips-my-mind, so it'll be interesting to see what he's like. I keep thinking I ought to dig out some tools for this Tools for Self Reliance thing, but it's so far away from the entrance, and I'm likely to be a bit loaded down as it is, I'm not sure it's going to happen. :~( Oh well, plenty of time to decide yet.

*Knockers: piskies, sprites etc that live in mines and got the blame for losing tools, accidents etc. With all the mines in Cornwall closed, I'm convinced they've all moved into my workshop instead...


  1. Three weeks! Say 10 "Hail Mary's", my child....;)
    Looking forward to your 45 degree observations-please don't hide them away. This woodwork malarky is not as scientific as some would like to make out-personal observation is the way.
    Practising cutting joints!!!!! My, my-thinking of some Xmas trinket-making? Came out nice, though!
    Tools 2005 draws ever closer-there's a tingle of excitement in the air! (either that or my ears are still wringing from the planer-thicknesser) Gonna be a looooong day!

  2. Mike Wenzloff (MikeW)10/26/2005 07:29:00 am

    Good to see you back at it. Well, both things really. Bloggin' and the woodworkin'.

    Have fun at the show. I just did a veneering seminar at ours over the last 3-day weekend. Even though I tried to run off all the customers at the LV booth, they still invited me to the pub on Sunday when it wrapped up. Killing me with kindness!

    The DTs look fine. Pity about the saw. Maybe you could do a little ditty for the forum on how to correct a previously well tuned saw to its former glory. Seem to be a renewed interest in saws lately.

    And I too would like your take on the #4.5--I'd vacilated concerning selling mine. In the end I sold some others instead.


  3. As was BugBear's super-tuned, ultra-sharp cutting gauge. Who needs a stinkin' Tite-Mark? ;~)

    You're too kind.

    BugBear (for it was he)


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