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One of those handy little jigs that I've been intending to make for years !
These are a simple to make little gift item that involve using a variety of hand tools and techniques.
For many years I have primarily made pens and other small spindle turnings which has only ever required a small lathe and a few other nice-to-have items of machinery such as a bandsaw and a drill press.
Wanting to do more "flat work" posed a couple of issues, not least of course being the cost of machinery, and the biggest problem of all, finding room to house it.
Whilst I have added to my collection of machinery, I am also developing an appreciation for hand tools, particularly older ones, and eBay has become one of my favourite haunts. Two months before writing this I didn't have a single spokeshave, I now have three and have my eye on more - I love using them!
Spokeshaves, like planes, chisels and saws, are only enjoyable to use when they are properly sharpened, and investing in a good quality sharpening system and practicing this essential skill is vital. I certainly don't profess to be an expert in this area, but I improve every time I sharpen a tool.
I tend nowadays to look to hand tools before resorting to machinery far more than I ever did previously. Cutting sheet material or docking lengths of lumber is so easy with a decent hand saw and a couple of saw horses. Using a plane and/or a cabinet scraper instead of a powered sander is a joy.
The sound of a machine, which is usually added to by the dust extractor, is not something I miss while working with hand tools.
I intend in these pages to document the making of some of my products and also feature some of the equipment, materials and tools I use.
I hope you get something out of it.
Please bear in mind though, that there is every chance that a lot of what you see me do is back-to-front compared to you - I am left-handed !