This is m’new tool’s use.

Pretty simple really, but very useful.

I print my own business cards on shavings from the shave horse ops.  I get as many as I can on each shaving (sometimes as many as four).  I then have to chop them to single cards. In the old-fashioned days, before the advent of The Super Card Holder Downerer, the cards flew around when chopped and the loss rate amongst the other shavings on the floor, was quite high, and even when stray cards were retrieved it involved bending – yuk!

M’new tool holds the cards in place and on the first run of about 50 only two managed to escape to the floor.  It works more or less with its own weight and the slot allows the axe to do its job and is wide enough to see that the axe is in the right place between stamps.  I don’t need to be an ace at aiming the axe as I use a maul to drive the axe, unless they are very delicate shavings in which case I just lean on the axe.

I’m posting this in the line of “Ugly jigs that work” that Peter Galbert runs on his excellent blog.

(Still waiting for developments on the mystery fungi front I’m afraid.)

One for Mr D! Sorry I didn’t fix this up earlier :-(

Remember the Veritas dowel cutter.  Well I got it motorised today.

After sorting through quite a number of socket drives and hex drives I arrived at a workable solution ending in a half inch square drive that took the end of the band-sawed half inch square section dry oak.

I fastened the dowel cutter to a block of beech with two screws in the holes provided and clamped it into the vice.  The drill now turns the square stuff and applying pressure, feeds it through the cutter:

This set up works well until the drive gets close to the cutter blade.   Have to withdraw the drill/drive at that point and finish the dowel off somehow – rather tedious to withdraw as there is a lot of friction and a risk of upsetting the blade positioning.  Notice the edge of the bench supporting the outfeed from the cutter?

The solution was to drill an inch hole in the same beech block and inserting a handle (in my case borrowed from the 1 inch auger) makes finishing right through a breeze:

The output is accurately cut 7/16th oak dowel, just right for the dog gate I’m on with for a client.

Shavings that have flown

I often tell visitors that the best part of my job is making shavings, so here is a little collection of current shavings.

These are axed shavings from the chestnut slabs I’ve made into a gate and fence at home:

These are classic ash shavings from the pole lathe, could be from stool legs, rungs or the various treen I make for passers-by:

Here are some shavings from the shave horse:

They are ash mainly.  Yesterday the horse broke, honestly they don’t make stuff like they used to!  The top turned member of the frame that grips the work snapped.  Seemed to be made of beech or sycamore.  It had weakened where the thin part meets the thick, always a weak point.  Mind you it has spent nearly two years out in all weathers so the 1/2 hour turning a new oak one wasn’t too bad an imposition.

The next lot are more chips than shavings. They are made when I reduce a split log to a billet with my axe.  They are good on the fire, but the horse shavings make the premium quality kindling.

And thank Goodness I willn’t be making any of this today:

This is the dust produced when I’m milling.  A nasty mixture in this case of cooking oil, moisture and chestnut.  It sticks to everything and makes anything metal turn black because of its high tannin content.  It is so fine, unlike the chippy normal chainsaw shavings because I use a ripping chain in the mill to cut boards.  Well that’s all done for now.  I even quickly milled some stickers to space the boards as they air dry.  I’ll put those between the boards today.

Main job today is getting ready for Otley Show on Saturday.  Make sure there’s a light shelter frame in usable condition (for a sun shade hopefully!), more stools, dibbers, cockerels, busy busy!