Saturday, May 28, 2016

Safe in Finland

Heikki’s Standard mandolin is complete! We had another tense few days following the progress of it, to its new home in Finland and I'm glad to report that it arrived safely.
Here are a few photos of it before it left home….
 And here is a rather contented looking Heikki with his new mandolin. It's always good to put a face to a name.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

And a bit more on Paul's.......

Just completed carving the neck and cleaning-up Paul’s Standard Plus mandolin, prior to setting it up, “in the white.”
Looking good, even if I say so myself ;-)

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Paul’s Standard Plus Mandolin

Just in case you’ve been wondering what’s happened to Paul’s mandolin, here are a couple photos of the purflings and bindings. The herringbone has come out really well- I like to use brown (as opposed to black) herringbone so that visually, it merges with rosewood bindings.
 
 Here’s the completed tailpiece.
 

And the story so far!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pavemaster Rustoration

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may remember that two years ago I bought this kid’s Pavemaster bicycle, probably made in the late 50’s, early 60’s.
 
So now Jacob has turned 3, I thought it was time to get it back on the road and ready for him to ride. I stripped it down completely and greased all the bearings etc. The idea was to get it safe to ride, relatively clean, so that Jacobs doesn’t get grubby whilst riding it, but keeping the patina of age; after all it’s taken 50 years for it to look this good.
 
As you can see it turned out really well; I was very impressed with its quality throughout; clearly built to last!
 Talking of built to last; at the weekend I picked up this old Stanley 4½ plane. 
Fortunately, there are so many "old tools" websites about, that it was easy to date this one; 1925, made in the USA. What a story it could tell- 91 years old, born in Connecticut, and found on a market stall in the Fens- what happened in between?
It’s going to be very satisfying giving new life to this piece of woodworking history.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Heikki’s Standard Mandolin in the white

This week saw all of the construction completed on Heikki’s mandolin and it strung-up in the white. Once I was 100% happy with it (action and intonation), it was stripped back down and cleaned-up, ready for the finishing process.
In the “before and after” shots below you can see what a difference a few coats of shellac make.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

More old tools…..sorry, “Vintage Tools”

With the finer weather, we see the return of open-air markets! I saw (and coveted) these three lovely Stanley USA Hercules butt chisels on one stall. Old, but completely unused and just the right size for mandolins! 
They were a bit pricey for me, but Amanda snuck back and bought them for my birthday! Here’s the box that they came in, someone must have bought these mail-order, stuck them in a drawer for years and years, waiting for me to come along and use them.
 
I also came across this 3 inch Record Junior clamp, I really like these nickel plated clamps- they always seem very precise for instrument work. You can see the original price label; £1.43.
 And after a bit of a clean-up, it’s ready to take its place with the rest of my Record Junior collection! The 2 inch ones I’ve had for about 40 years.
 
 It occurred to me, as I was sharpening this Stanley #102 plane that I also must have purchased it 40 years ago. 
Tools that I bought new whilst at the London College of Furniture in the 1970's are now probably considered vintage! I bought this and many of my tools from Parry’s in Old Street, East London.
These days, Old Street is a very hip place- those days… not so!
 I never really got on with this plane- probably due to the lack of adjustability, and I’ve only really been using it regularly for the past two years or so. What I like about it now, is that it’s light and can be held in one hand.  This is essential for the rough shaping of braces as I never clamp down my soundboards whilst working on them.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Chris's Electric Mandolin

Just in case you were wondering…….Chris’s left handed electric mandolin has been completed and he came over during the week to pick it up. I’m very pleased with the way turned it and I’m glad to report that Chris is too!
Below is a video that we (Amanda and I) made during its construction- it’ll give you an insight in to how it was built.
And here are a few photos for you too.....

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