Thursday, October 17, 2013

Professional Stockmaking, By David Wesbrook

Recently I acquired a copy of David Wesbrook's book on stockmaking. I had been aware of this book for a quite some time and had always meant to pick up a copy. Dave had one of the older copies in his possession and was kind enough to let it go. I first met Dave while on a pilgrimage to visit Fred Wells shop almost 30 years ago and we have kept in touch ever since that introduction all those years ago.

I enjoy reading right around dawn with a strong cup of coffee when the house is still quiet and the day full of possibilities. I usually read 10-20 pages and then head to the shop. I finished this book in two mornings and have since gone back and re-read a few select chapters. As a professional in the trade I found the text concise and very well written. The pictures are simply superb. If I were a budding hobbyist or journeyman the pages would be dog-eared and covered finger prints within a month.

Anyone interested in stockmaking from the casual observer or the seasoned practitioner will find this book an excellent addition to their library. Two thumbs up !!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Final Stretch, Finished With The Finish

Like they say about the Fat Lady singing? The same applies with checkering as it's only talk until you apply the finish. I apply at least 4 soaking coats. Then rub the stock out one last time with finish and rotten stone. Laps time from start to finish was 52.5 hours.

Remember the previous post entitled Into The Void? Below are some pics of those same voids that fell into or on the edge of the pattern. Had these voids been filled with glass only and not carefully fit with dutchman's the voids would have likely shown up as a less than stellar repair. In the end it's all about the details on the journey.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Final Stretch, Grip Layout Continued

The task of bringing all the lines to depth at the grip must be done with the same care as the forend. Additional care must be taken in the curve of the grip to keep the deepening cutter from skipping out of the groove, the length of the cutter comes into play in this area and the shorter the better. Care must also be taken to keep these lines a parallel as possible. Due to the geometry of my grips and the style of this border some additional tooling is required. There are 6 of these tools, the 2 curved and modified rifler files, 2 engraving tools and 2 dog leg tapered chisels for trimming and cutting into the V's on the borders. I like to use a 3/32" square engraving tool sharpened on an angle to allow me to cut the diamonds to depth in this tight area. I also use a # 2 curved rifler files that I have surface ground to the same approximate width of my border to smooth out my initial chisel cuts. Where the border at the rear of the grip makes a radial up-hill curve I use another 3/32'' square engraving cutter with more heel ground onto it's cutting face instead of a veiner to establish this tight corner. With the pattern cut to depth I then begin to cut in the angular border flats on both sides of the grip. Time is now spent cleaning up the borders and looking for any diamonds that are still slightly flat topped. Apply finish is right around the corner.