Monday, November 28, 2016

Sometimes Hand Tools Are Faster

People are constantly giving me grief about my preference for using hand tools instead of machines for most of the work I do. They are always telling me how much "faster" it is. In most cases they are right, but for me I don't  usually care, and speed is not really my primary goal anyway. I use hand tools because I like using hand tools.

Once in a while, however, I find that hand tools really are faster, as was the case this past week. I was building a new banister for a client but re-using the old moulding from the edge of the stair, under the bull-nosing. Somehow in the removal and clean up process one piece went missing. I spent more than an hour searching for it, but realised the best thing I could do was to just make a new one.

Were I a machine only guy, I would have been completely screwed as no one sells a router bit that has this profile. but because I have and know how to use moulding planes, this was not a problem. I wound up using my modern planes though, because none of my wooden ones had the correct profiles either. The end results were that in 15 minutes I had a replacement moulding of the one which disappeared.

Stanley no 55; sometimes it is a pain to use and I much prefer wooden ones,
but this guy has gotten me out of many jams when I did not have the
correct wooden plane!
Starting with a Record no 778 to plow a rebate

I did not have a cutter to make a single bead but that was not a problem
I just cut off the second one. The hollowing blades are tricky to use on
outside edges.

Finished strip of moulding beside a section of the original

To be fair, just as I made this with three different blades, someone could have also done it with various router bits, but I am sure that process would have taken more time, and certainly would have made a lot more noise and mess! For me there is a joy in using hand tools.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Dining Room Project - Part the Last

It has been a busy couple of weeks finishing up this dining room, but the results are rather pleasing and the clients seem very delighted with the results.

Fireplace and mirror, seen looking towards the bar

View towards the kitchen

Kitchen two-way door

The ceiling. Unfortunately this picture does not convey the way the sky
seems to glow with the chandelier lit up. Seeing that was a very pleasing
surprise the first time the light was turned on after it was installed

A reminder of what the room used to look like;
the chandelier looks so forlorn hanging there by itself

Finished mantel and mirror