Using "handrolic" the main?

Axminster offer a very good service and a fine selection of tools…BUT
carpentry is not all about using power tools…can be dusty, dangerous and noisy.
I prefer to use what can be called " handrolic" tools i.e. without electricity. They can be frustrating when consistent accuracy is required, for instance but it’s very rewarding to see a good finish, for example, by the use of hand tools.

Learn to use a sticking board, for moulding…a shooting board, for end grain…I can cut a groove and edge bead faster than using power routers,
I never use a sander but get a far better finish with a sharp card scraper.

So it’s not all about electrical gizmo but learning that good “old ways” can be better.

Happy carpentry to you …John

Every time this old chestnut comes up I always ask myself the same question; if the Festool Domino, powered machinery and modern adhesives were available to the craftsmen in the Georgian era (ie Chippendale) would they make use of them? Of course they would…I rest my case, M’lud.
The good ‘old ways’ are not necessarily better, they’re just older.

Frayed knot old boy…Mr Chippendale would not be using “modern adhesive” in favour of bone and hide glue, he would hate how it cannot be removed when stuck to exterior surfaces …unlike hide glue?
Antique furniture restorers would not be able to dismantle for repair, if modern glues were used.

As for tools, he did not have electricory…all good fun

Hide glue is excellent stuff and has stood the test of time, even though it’s great for antique restoration but I much prefer modern adhesives which are dead easy to remove provided the stuff hasn’t gone off. Hot water and a barely damp bristle brush is the way to clean away unwanted ‘squeeze out’. Once it’s set though, you’re on a hiding to nothing. You are of course right in that contemporary pieces will cause restorers of the future considerable brain ache unless some cunning way can be discovered to enable modern adhesives to be ‘unglued’. Watch this space.

As far as we know, there are no pieces surviving that can be proven to have been made personally by Mr. C…if you own one, you’d be able to write out your own sum on the purchaser’s blank cheque! He had a thriving workshop now long since disappeared in the maze of then streets behind the current Wren church of St. Martin-the-Fields.

Well that’s an interesting method of glue removal. I find that glue removed by water (I use a tissue but will try your brush idea) can leave a diluted trace in a slightly wider band, restricting stain soaking into wood, leaving a lighter appearance. I have tried using a card scraper corner but this can of course alter the pieces shape
When using oak any small amount of moisture can cause a dark stain streak to its course part of grain.

I am impressed by your knowledge of the history and geography of the amazing Mr C …I will be researching him soon.

I see you have commented on the Pro dust mask…I have one for my lathe, I don’t use power tools for my hobby, but had to use it when working on some 1960 cedar ( retrieved from neighbours gable end wall after its removal )
Even sawing by hand, planing and use of moulding planes cause a strong smell and nasal irritation. When using the Pro for a period of some 30 min. I had no sensation of dust.

I have to emphasize that the water must be hot (I keep an old electric kettle on the go for gluing up sessions) and for the brush I use a cut down bristle brush, rather like a stencil brush. Use the minimum amount of very hot water, so the brush is barely damp and keep on going over the ‘squeeze out’ area till all traces of the glue have been removed.
Prior to gluing, I finish the surface with two or three coats of Osmo PolyX, so the glue is being removed from the finish rather than the wood itself. Once the glue has been removed and the joint set, I use a good wax polish over the top to obtain the final sheen.

Vital to put finish on the timber prior to wetting it or it will raise the grain and cause finishing problems, also keep the finish off the glue area or the joint will be weak.

Agreed on both points.

Thank you gentlemen for your advice

Taking all your points on board my problem at the moment is when making picture frames. using reclaimed and clean cedar wood.
I cut section to size and shape profile using circa 1900 wooden moulding planes.
Because these do not give an exact profile along the whole length, with marginal variation, when butting mitres that have on a shooting board.
If I seal prior to glue, as you say and corners are not a perfect profile match ( and I am trying to be perfect) I loose the ability to correct profile without cutting through finish…John

You need one of these: perfect mitres that can be finished after joining, just be careful with the glue in the joint and give it a mechanical bond of some kind, I make a lot of picture frames and join using biscuits if the section is large enough, dowel joints or even splice joints on the external corner surprising how good an edge of plywood can look , if the timber is soft enough I do occasionally use the metal V joints.

Alternatively dry fit everything until you are happy, take apart and tape the mitre then finish to your taste and glue together, immediately wipe off an squeeze out.

Many different ways and they all work.


Hate to appear rude BUT are WOODWAY and WOODBLOKE axminster “plants”??? Seem to pop up all over??

Please correct me if I’m wrong…let’s face it, it would help sales.

I was an academic before retiring and not associated with anything near woodworking, can’t speak for Woodbloke though, but I have my own suspicions.

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Ok Mr WOODWAY …call this a test of your “non compliance”. Tell me you own email…John

Now why would I give you my e-mail address just to satisfy your curiosity? I’v told you I am not an employee of Axminster that should be sufficient. If you care to look on some of the other threads you will see that I disagree with one of the Axminster employee’s on a couple of points that should give you enough indication.

Indeed, I used to be an Axminster employee. I retired in 2011 and had a couple of years doing my own stuff, then in 2014 I had an offer from Ian Styles that I couldn’t refuse and started as a part time Content Writer, working from home. If you browse through The Knowledge pages you’ll see plenty of my articles…feel free to offer abuse as required!
As with all good companies, marketing strategies develop over time and in May of this year my post was made VERY amicably redundant, even though they offered me a full time job which I subsequently declined.
Although I have now have absolutely NO AFFILIATION with Axminster, I still keep abreast of what’s happening through the website.

A hard&fast ideologue with his shirt stuffed full of certainty concerning the best this or that is always a fine beast with whom to interlocute. One can only hope that he can get as good as he gives!

Now then, about this scraping rather than sanding…

Well, a scraper can give a good finish and requires only 36 hours of practice to get right - no scallops, digs, corner gouges and so forth. Then it takes only another 50 hours or so to scrape all the surfaces of, say, a refectory table. And will the furniture user notice that the item has been scraped not sanded, as he plonks down his hot wet mug upon the surface then dribbles gravy on it? No.

Sander it is then.

Or a large heavy plane. These can give that “hand of the maker” finish, which is nice but witnessing the plane actions here and there. Again, the user rarely notices; or complains if he does.

In wore hoose we have some Albert Jeffries furniture. He was apprenticed to the mouseman and thus employs the adze method of flattening wood into planks of all sizes, including the small ones for chair legs and such. No sanding, no planning and no scraping - just the practiced swing of the crude but sharp scalloped blade atween one’s legs.

But that takes 1057 hours of practice to do right, as well as the potential sacrifice of a foot… So I’ll stick with the planes then. And the motorised sanders.

Lataxe, traditionalist but in a modern way.