Thursday, 16 July 2015

Woodworking Book Review: Woodworker's Pocket Reference by Charlie Self

If you are ever looking for a crash course in woodworking terminology, and a quick reference for sizing, angles and tools then this little gem does exactly what its name suggests.

The Woodworker's Pocket Reference is ideal as a ‘swat up’ before you chat with your woodworking mates - especially if you’re a relative novice trying not to draw attention to yourself! It’s also the ideal companion for those moments in the workshop when all logic seems to desert you and you really need to get your head round an essential fact fast.  Best of all, if you know what you want from the store but can’t remember the terminology, this is your reference so you can talk to the guy at the counter with some authority.

That’s not to say this small book - now in its second edition - is just a way to cheat the system. Far from it. There are some really useful reference tables - from screw sizes to which adhesive to use - as well as more in-depth explanations of native and exotic woods, including which have potential allergy issues, and a useful reference of joint types.
So who would use this book? For the experienced woodworker it’s a timely reminder that we don’t know everything and a flick through will turn up the occasional “I didn’t know that!” moment. For the novice it’s a great place to start exploring terminology and techniques, and to kick off the never-ending shopping list your new obsession will inevitably generate.  There are more extensive books on timber, finishing, joints and tools, but that isn’t what this book is aimed at. It’s a workshop book for use in the workshop when you need answers in a hurry, and with that in mind it does very well indeed.

A word of caution to our European readers; lots of the information here is for a North American audience, so some terminology and sizing is different. That said, I still found it a useful source of information - especially if you are a fan of the various online international woodworking forums where an understanding of fractions of an inch and weight in pounds are often key factors in the debate.

Woodworker's Pocket Reference by Charlie Self is published by Fox Chapel Publishing

Friday, 3 July 2015

Best of the Woodworking Web - The Wave Cabinet by Sebastian Errazuriz

We stumbled across this video from artist & designer Sebastian ErraZuriz this week and thought it would be the perfect addition to our Best of the Woodworking Web collection.

The Wave Cabinet is a truly mesmerising piece of craftsmanship; each slat of wood pulls the next slot mimicking the motion of a fan. The amount of shapes you can make with the table seems endless.

Wave from Sebastian Errazuriz Studio on Vimeo.

You can find out more about ErraZuriz's work on his website

If you have something you think we should share in our Best of the Woodworking Web series, post the link to us in the comments below.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Woodworking Book Review: Jigs and Fixtures A Taunton’s complete illustrated Guide by Sandor Nagyszalanczy

When you visit a woodworking show or a craft fair, the selection of handmade and ‘one-off’ original products can be really impressive. Regular woodworkers, however, will know that the next best thing to a ‘one-off’ is being able to repeat that extraordinary shape, curve or precision fit. This is where we enter the world of Jigs and Fixtures – to guide tools precisely, predictably and safely, time and again.

This book - from the extensive stable of Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guides - is an indispensable reference to creating some of the most common and basic jigs, as well as more complicated set-ups that will extend your woodworking repertoire considerably. From basic function and design to selecting materials and hardware, the book provides a series of well-illustrated and clearly-written projects that will help you create an extensive collection of useful jigs.

You could start with a simple fence to use with your table saw for cutting a cove, or perhaps a zero tolerance fence for your router table for use on short stock or problematic grain, eliminating chatter or splintering while keeping the entire operation safe and accurate. If you have a router table, why not make a biscuit jointing table, which will enable you use this quick and secure joint form without investing in a separate machine. For the router enthusiast, there are plenty of model templates that can be created to speed up regular tasks such as mortising, as well as opening up new opportunities such as creating simple box joints.

One of my favourite sections offers a range of solutions for dust collection.  This includes planning dust extraction points into the design of your jigs as well as making specific dust management hoods and tables for a range of portable and static machinery.

In conclusion, this book is an excellent addition to the library, and though the purpose of making the jigs is to improve your projects, the process of designing and building intriguing solutions is in itself a fascinating pastime.

Jigs and Fixtures A Taunton’s complete illustrated Guide by Sandor Nagyszalanczy
 ISBN 978-1-63186-084-3

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

What happens in Vegas, can be shared worldwide!

The Triton team recently exhibited at the annual National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, USA. We were presenting the full extended range of products now available to order across the United States from both online retailers and traditional stores

We had a great reception for the extended range, in particular the new cordless products in the T12 and T20 collections.  For the first time we were also able to show the retail execution of the new Triton TWX7 Workcentre with the Router Table Module and Contractor Saw Module in their final release format. We had a great reaction from retailers and end users alike, as well as lots of interest from the press and other exhibitors at the show.

If you would like to know more about the products on show or where to find a retailer, just drop us a line at

Friday, 17 April 2015

Best of the Woodworking Web - How to Choose Timber for Woodworking

The week's post is from our best of the woodworking web collection.  If you are relatively new to woodworking, visiting a timber yard to buy your wood directly can be an intimidating experience.  However this short film takes some of the mystery out of the process and offers some really useful tips both on terminology and choosing the right kind of wood for your project.

Thanks to Wood & Shop for an excellent film.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Chainsaw Carving, Woodworking with Teeth

Much of the woodwork we see involves delicate measurements, precision cuts, and stable, square-edged, well-seasoned timber, with a degree of predictability about how that will behave. This week’s Master of Wood is Dave Lucas, whose work is from the other end of the spectrum.

Dave (aka Chainsaw Dave) creates extraordinarily detailed carvings in timber with - as his pseudonym suggests - a range of chainsaws. The process is very creative; Dave works by adapting to the vagaries of the timber selected for each specially-commissioned piece of work.  On the day we filmed him, in a very wet corner of Sussex, England, we were surprised to see the speed at which a form can emerge from the timber. He created such delicate details with what is (for many), such an aggressive and intimidating tool.  In this short film Dave explains the process from commission to production, including some interesting techniques for colouring the finish with a blow torch. 

You can see more of Dave’s work, including some terrific time-lapse sequences, on his web pages and If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else as a Master of Wood, please leave a comment and we could be along to share your work with the world.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Best of the Woodworking Web - The Makers of Things

It's been a while since we served up a slice of woodworking goodness from the web, but today we stumbled across 'The Maker of Things', a short film collection by Anne Hollowday. This video features Norman, a scientist by trade, who feels most at home when surrounded by wood chippings and his extensive chisel collection.

You can see the other videos from the collection here: