Friday, September 13, 2013

October 50 Week Course Space Available 12/09/2013

October Space Available

We still have one space left for our October intake of 50 week students for which Marc is offering a discount and a free set of tools. If it's something you've been considering then now is the time to get involved! Marc is also offering the chance to win a two day course at the studio. All you need to do to enter is subscribe to this blog!

Please ring for details:

Tip of the Week

To glue up mitres on smaller items like boxes or the desk sets we made a few weeks ago, we make up small 45 degree blocks to clamp across the joints rather than using something like band clamps. We usually use super glue to glue the blocks to the components and chisel them off afterwards. The problem with this method is that even when taking care when removing the blocks, the glue can still tear out the grain so we came up with a way to avoid this.

Glue the blocks to 2mm MDF which has been cut to slightly shorter in length than your box sides.

Clamp the MDF in the middle to each component to stop it slipping, and then clamp across the mitres. If you are making a batch of boxes then the jigs will make life a bit easier!

Artist of the Month

This month we have chosen Marc's favourite architect, Pierre Chareau. He was an almost unknown french architect/designer in the 1920s. He designed furniture as well as buildings and had a keen interest in mechanical engineering which comes across in his work. See the pictures below of his masterpiece 'La Maison de Verre'.

Tool Review

Every so often we are sent new tools to test out and possibly review for F&C magazine, but they don't like to print bad reviews so in this new section we will give you the honest truth about what tools you should and shouldn't buy. We'll kick things off with something good...

Recently Marc bought a piercing saw made by an American company called Knew Concepts. They have brought out a range of saws, with prices varying from about £55 to £176 (steep, I know...). The cheaper end of the range have aluminium frames while the more expensive ones are made from titanium in a "bird cage" construction. All the frames are extremely rigid which translates well to the blade tension.

I dusted off my old piercing saw (which hasn't seen any use since my first year of college) to compare with the Knew Concepts saws. Upon first picking up one of these state-of-the-art saws, the difference in balance was immediately apparent. They are extremely lightweight in comparison to my clunky, top-heavy £20 piece of rubbish and require no effort to hold at the right angle.

All the saws take standard length blades which are held in place with blade clamps.The quick release tensioning system is a welcome change from the usual method of changing the blade. It makes things quick and easy and even has a screw for fine tension adjustment.

The blade slots into the blade clamps

The quick release lever detensioned

There are only two downsides we can come up with for these saws: The thread for the fine adjust could be about 2mm longer. We found that unless the blade is placed perfectly between the blade clamps then there is not enough thread for the fine adjust screw. The price is also an issue, but then we all know cheap tools are a false economy. If you use a piercing saw day in day out then there should be no question that this is the tool for you.

You can buy Knew Concepts saws from Workshop Heaven.

Item of Desire

Marc came across a video of the Marunaka 'Supersurfacer', a Japanese planing machine that works slightly differently to the ones we are used to...follow the link to check out the video.

Thanks for checking us out,