I was born on the 21st of November, 1995.
Put it in your calendar folks.
I am about 6′ 1″ People are often suprised when they meet me as they expect me to be smaller. I'm convinced my workbench dwarfs me.
Fiorientina if I'm feeling sophisticated. A large Hot and Spicy pizza from Dominos if I'm in the company of people I don't need to look attractive in from of. You know what Ben Stillers character looks like in the final scene of the movie Dodgeball?
Sausages and copious amounts of HP sauce for me. Although a bacon sandwich is always needed the morning after a few pints.
Don't care. Just give me a 4 pack of blueberry muffins and watch it dissapear in a few minutes.
But if I had to answer, it would be cream then jam. You don't put butter on top of jam when on toast… do you?
Soon to be the best gaming channel on YouTube. It's a collaborative account between myself and my cameraman Rob where we film ourselves playing games.
I trained at Rycotewood Furniture Centre in Oxford for 5 years on weekdays. Alongside this, I also worked at Axminster Tools and Machinery on weekends. Read my ‘About' page for more information
As of September 2021, I no longer teach in person classes.
Now that I've become proficient at working with wood. I'm now setting my eyes on engineering, blacksmithing and leatherwork. I'd love to be able to incorporate metalworking into my projects.
I would also like to learn programming, coding and electronics.
I had many tutors throughout my time at Rycotewood, all of which have contributed to my overall skill now. On top of that, in my early woodworking days I learnt a lot from the likes of Chris Schwarz, Marc Spagnuolo, David Barron, David Charlesworth and Rob Cosman.
Nope! I went straight from GCSE's into City and Guilds Furniture Making at Rycotewood. It was the best and scariest decision of my life as it meant leaving my friends behind and studying at a completely different college. But it all worked out in the end!
They were average. The only subjects I got a top grade in were Resistant Materials (Wood, Metal and Plastic) and Business. Although, I completed 3 years worth of coursework for the latter subject in the 2 weeks prior to the deadline.
Most other subjects were B's and C's. I got a D in French and Ungraded in ICT.
Yes! Although unfortunately my current workshop doesn't have the space to fit one. The site stand it's currently sitting on is ok, however it's not quite up to Jay Bates' standard!
Every year or so I sand back the top of my workbench to remove the glue and stains that have accumulated. I'm not too fussy about a perfectly flat workbench though. I re-finish it for cosmetic purposes and coat it in a layer of Matte Osmo.
At some point in my career, I want to make an infill plane that's so beautiful and functional it forces me to sell my Lie-Nielsen and Veritas tools. One day…
There's a lot of gray areas in this response but as a general rule I like A2 or PM-V11 for chisels and blades that are subject to impacts. And I like 01 for plane blades. Watch this video to find out why.
Axminster Tools and Machinery, Classic Hand Tools and Workshop Heaven.
Personally, I love the Lie-Nielsen Bench Planes and Bevel Edge Chisels. But Veritas joinery/specialist planes are revolutionary. Not to mention their measuring and marking accessories. I'm afriad it's a mix of the two!
I bought a new Stanley Plane for when I started at Rycotewood and it was awful. Even after tuning up I'm convinced it would not have worked properly. If you're going to buy a Stanley Plane, make sure it's an old one. There's a lot of great videos on how to tune them up. For me, I would prefer someone else to do the hard work for me, hence why I buy premium tools.
I've always preferred using metal bodied planes as opposed to wooden ones simply because it's what I trained with. However upon using a Japanese Plane for the first time during my visit to Vic Tesolins workshop, that opinion started wavering.
Making my own tools is one of the most rewarding things I do in the workshop. So far, I have made Dovetailing Mallets and Marking Knives.
There are too many variables in this question to give a straight answer as it depends on the machinery you have, the size of your workshop, and the work you do.
Generally, you will find a 1/2 router in most workshops and I recommend the Bosch GMF1600 for the most versatility.
They certainly have their place for quick jobs here and there, but I don't use them often in my work.
I do have the Bosch 12v cordless planers and think it's amazing. However you wouldn't catch me planing drawer sides with it!
The school I trained at was kitted out with old Wadkin Machinery which were things of beauty. Just make sure to ask the sellar to turn it on before you take it to your workshop!
Depends entirely on the work you do! As a bare minumum, make sure to get a Truing Tool and a Stone Grader. Seek guidance from Tormeks website on any further query.
If I was looking at a similar price bracket, Record Power would be my next option. Realistically, they're probably all made in the same factory anyway. My advice would be to buy from the company with the best customer support and after sales service.
My main clamps are the Axminster Parallel Jaw Clamps which are suitable for a variety of operations. I have a mixture of the standard duty and the heavy duty clamps for extra versatility and clamping distances.
I also have Bessey F-Clamps, Axminster Quick Release Clamps, and Veritas 4 way speed clamps for small boxes.
I already have! Watch it here.
My main goal with laying out the workshop was ensuring it was not only a functional space, but an inspiring place too. This makes the workshop an even more enjoyable place to be and makes 14 hour days a breeze!
As a beginner, you want something that is low maintenance and simple. For me, there is nothing that suits these requiments more than a diamond stone in combination with an eclipse style honing guide. Watch this video to see how to sharpen your tools.
Absolutely not! A Tormek is a luxury, not a necessity. It gets the job done quickly and accurately however there is nothing stopping you from re-grinding on 120 grit wet and dry sandpaper stuck to float glass. However this takes a lot of elbow grease, hence why the Tormek can be nice to own.
Yes you can but you need to be very careful not to heat the steel when grinding chisel and plane blades as it will soften them. Make sure to have a water pot nearby to cool the metal. This however is not a problem with High Speed Steel which is why woodturners often use a grinder to sharpen their tools.
I prefer waterstones simply because they cut quickly and the mess is relatively easy to clear up. Whereas an oilstone makes it easy to get oily fingerprints on your work if you're clumsy like myself.
I've seen lots of blades that are more akin to a shovel than a sharp edge as a result of a beginner not using a honing guide. But the reality is if you're willing to go through that pain and train your muscle memory, you can achieve equal results free hand than you can using a honing guide. For me, I use a honing guide because it takes me 10 seconds to setup and I can be sure that I'm accurate.
The Veritas Honing guide is a foolproof piece of equipment and is perfect for a beginner. But my preference is an eclipse style honing guide simply because there is only one knob to tighten, therefre making setup of the honing guide much faster. If you're on the fence, I would recommend going into a tool store and trying one out.
A router jig is easily the best way to batch produce dovetails.
But if you're looking for hand tool methods, I would recommend gang cutting the tails. This involves stacking 2-4 of the tails in the vice at a time and cutting them all at once. Not only does this make it quicker, but it also means they match perfectly and makes it easier to cut square along the endgrain.
A common question I get asked is advice on what joint to use for a certain part of a project. Due to many variables, this is a difficult one to answer. However I did cover the topic in this video which will help you make a more informed decision.
Every now and then I will create a batch of bowls, pens, mallets or knives that can be purchased. While there is no schedule on these releases, Patrons of $10 or more have priority access to these items when they become available.
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