Monday, September 28, 2009

Square-eyed woodworker

A reader in the Great White North has recently decided to test the following hypothesis: "Combine the correct proportions of nagging, flattery, guilt and out-right asking and you can make Alf write another blog entry". And has apparently proved it. I'm very easily manipulated, dammit.

So, um...


Er. We've been having some nice weather, eh? Well down here we have anyway. Trees have been growing and so forth. (That's your woodworking reference there. Mark it, dear reader, it will likely be all alone)

Actually, no it won't. I have actually been making an effort to try and think more like a woodworker and less like not-a-woodworker, and it may be sort of (wood)working. Yes, so wandering round the fora and seeing the same old arguments (Bevel Up vs. Bevel Down; Are LN/Veritas worth the money?; I've found the ultimate sharpening guide/stone/regime) has been a little depressing, it's true. 'Specially when it's the same faces with the same arguments and everyone could save a lot of breath if they had a clue how to do a decent Google search, however, it may have had some bearing on my starting to notice Tools On Television again.

Come on, you know how this one works. You're supposed to be watching Costume Drama X, but can't help noticing Random Carpenter Y in the background who's doing murderous things to a green log with a wooden try plane - backwards. Or some poor chap's just been put up against a fir tree and shot by The Evil Nazi, but you can't help pointing out to your eye-rolling friend that the saw that's about to be used to cut the tree down is all wrong and will clog up with sap within three strokes.

It's not just me, is it...?

Anyway, Exhibit A: Seen in the background of Archchancellor Weatherwax's room in The Colour of Magic on Sky telly the other weekend. (And no, Discworld fans, I haven't watched it all, but what I did see was... underwhelming. The opening extract from Pterry's new work is very promising though. I'm counting the days until publication.)

Pretty standard commercial tool cabinet, methinks? Nice back saw though; cabinet screwdriver; coupla pairs of pincers; assorted chisels.

Then I was watching The Victorian Farm the other night - somewhat behind the times, but somehow I completely overlooked it on first broadcast - and was intrigued by what I can only describe as a rolling wedge employed by a basketmaker in combination with his froe. Now green woodworking has never really been my forte, but I can't honestly recall seeing such a cunning device before. No doubt, if it's well-known, someone will inform me...

Froe was started in the usual way, as you see, then the wedge - rather like a dumbbell in shape - was inserted.

Then as the froe was worked down the split, the effects of gravity just let the "wedge" roll on down, keeping the split open.

A close-up. Clever, no? Well it was news to me anyway, and I thought it was most ingenious.

Anyway, there you have it - A genuine woodworking blog entry. Now I must away and try to recall what I was going to say on the website about the Record 044c, now someone has kindly provided me with photographs of same. You won't believe this, but I actually had to go and check that "044c" was the correct model number. Oh, the shame...


  1. ey up alf
    nice to hear from you
    You must drop in on
    sometime - they've all gone mad!

  2. About time, too!!! I have a peek most days and was begining to give up hope......

    Good to see you back, Alf.

    Cheers ;-)

    Paul Chapman

  3. See???

    There's at least 3 of us checking....

  4. Encore, Encore


  5. Ah ha! Was concerned for a moment you had been watching the New Yankee Workshop........ ;)

  6. Wash your mouth out, Philip ;-P

  7. Yebbut it's largely you, Jacob, who is responsible for the insanity.

    Do come back Alf, and help redress the balance. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease.

  8. Alf

    Your contributions to the e-woodworking world are always welcome as far as I am concerned.

    As for the same,sameness of forum debate, you are right, but it is the same with magazines too - how long is it between re-runs of the same articles on some subjects?

    Ah well.

    Please keep letting us know what's happening and give us your perspective on what is going on


  9. "It's not just me, is it...?"

    Nope, although in my case it's more likely to be old woodworking machines..... ;-)

  10. Well, you are still there!

    And I had almost stopped checking... now I'll back to checking every day. Noticing tools on the tv, hugh? A beginning...

  11. Lovely to see you back alf, hope that we can all hear from you again soon


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