Shoulder Planes

How to make a Shoulder Plane

Shoulder planes are a useful addition to a woodworkers arsenal, they are used for adding a rabbett or groove to a piece of wood.

A lot of woodworkers use a router for this task, however there are times when a hand tool is more appropriate, particularly if you want to work quickly without the hassle of setting up a router.

This is a Shoulder Plane I made out of Purple Heart, although any hard wearing wood can be used.


By |Tuesday, 30 September, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Yew Shoe Rack

Yew Shoe Rack

This is a wany edged shoe rack made of Yew. You can see the starting material in one of the photos. It was chosen becuase of its unusual grain pattern rather than in spite of it. The twisting grain, knots and hollows made it a difficult bit of wood to work on.

I made a sander thicknesser and disc sander that run off my lathe to help me build this. You can see more about them on my other posts.


By |Sunday, 26 May, 2013|Project|0 Comments

Banksia Nut tea light


This is a small Tea Light made from a Banksia Nut as a bit of an experiment.

The nut is a bit like a pine cone, its full of holes and has several layers of different qualities. The outer is a hard nut like shell, underneath that is a mass of fibres and this gives way to a harder layer underneath. Its strong enough to be turned into intricate shapes.

Warning. The dust from this is fairly toxic so use a dust mask when turning these!

By |Sunday, 19 May, 2013|Project|0 Comments

Beech Bowl

A small bowl made of Beech. This is one of a pair I made with my daughter.

The dark banding is applied by holding a chisel edge to the wood until the heat builds up enought to scorch the wood.

Finish is Shellac.

By |Sunday, 19 May, 2013|Project|1 Comment

Purple Heart Bowl

This is a large bowl made of Purple Heart (Peltogyne).

This is one of the hardest woods in the world. Its very difficult to work (this broke a roughing gouge clean in half). The colour of the wood is light brown when cut and it turns shades of purple once the fresh wood is exposed to light or heat.

This was turned in one cut from outside through to inside (rather than remounting it on the lathe to cut the inner and outer parts. After turning the shape I heated the outside of the bowl with a blow torch to darken the wood. The heat produces a natural protection in the wood and it polishes without the aid of shellac etc. The inside of the bowl was left to change colour slightly then sealed with friction polish.

Dimensions: 9 1/2 Inches x 3 1/2 inches.



By |Sunday, 19 May, 2013|Project|0 Comments

Oak Longbow

This is an Oak longbow with a pine face.

It has an 80lb draw so its fairly powerful and is 6ft tall. It draws to full stretch with no creaking.

Oak was a traditional English Longbow material, however Yew is more widely known for building bows.

To add some additional spring to the bow I laminated it with pine as shown in the sketch.


Once it was all glued up I shaped it with a spoke shave, testing the draw and balancing the weight and flex until I had a bow with a matching curve at the top and bottom.

I shaped the handle to suit and added some leather to protect the bow. I still need to add something to stop the arrows wearing on the side of the bow.


The arrows are ash and fletched with pheasant feathers (all I could find!, Goose feathers would be better).

This took about 5 hours to make.


By |Sunday, 19 May, 2013|Project|0 Comments

Lathe Driven Bench Sander



As space is at a premium in my shop I built this low cost Bench Sander as a lathe attachment.

Its constructed from 6mm Ply and 40mm Square stock from the off cut pile.

I incorporated a mitre guide for accurate sanding and dust extraction.

The sanding disc is two sheets of Ply, cut square to 22cm. A 10mm dowel was placed in the centre of one sheet to ensure the lathe face plate remounts accurately and fits in the headstock of the lathe when mounted.

9 x M6 bolts were drilled through to mount the faceplate and counter sunk before gluing and dowelling the second sheet , the combined sheets were then trimmed to the size of the self adhesive sanding sheets on the lathe. The off cut became the bottom part of the dust extractor.

The box is made from 40mm square stock spaced to create the dust extraction system, then 6mm  ply is used for the top, bottom and sides.

To create an accurate mounting for the  lathe I cut some 40mm stock with 45 deg angles which fits in the lathe bed. Some scrap pine, M8 threaded bar off-cut and a wing nut were used to create the clamp.

Total cost:
6mm Ply – £ 0.80
Self Adhesive Sanding sheets – £6.00
Everything else was surplus from other projects.

Router Table Work Bench

I needed a router table in my workshop and decided the best way to achieve this was to build one into my work bench.

I have made one previously and I wanted to incorporate the lessons I learned from that into this one.

I need to achieve the following functions with this one:

Accurate router bit height adjustment.
Easy access to change router bits
All controls need to be accessed easily
It needed to reduce the noise of the router.
It needed to be inexpensive to make
It needed to be relatively simple to make (no complex joints or machining)

So after a bit of research I came up with this design and drew it up on Sketchup to see how it would work.

The hardest part of the design is creating a power transfer system to translate horizontal movement into vertical movement.

To achieve this I made a horizontal sliding frame with a 45 deg channel. This was mated to vertical sliding frame and a bearing transferred the horizontal movement into vertical movement.

The frames have to be strong enough to support the router solidly in use and transfer power from one plane to another.

The initial design called for two frames of similar construction, however I modified it as I went and made the vertical slide out of two of the off set routing bars that came with the router.

I decided to bolt the frames and slides together to allow disassembly during the build and for future servicing.

Simple skateboard bearings were used for the power transfer and work very smoothly.

The router cradle was made in two parts. Both parts were single pieces of timber with the router body holes cut out of them then sawn in two to create the clamp part of the […]