Monday, 31 December 2012

Last post for 2012...

So, an eventful year.

One that has ended with the start of my working full time in my own quite large workshop. In fabulous surroundings with a really positive and forward looking group of people.

As I write now, there are more things in the car, ready to be moved into the shop, shelving. That will be just inside on the left in an alcove that could have been built for the job. I'm fitting this tomorrow, so don't expect to see many people on New years day. But that's one of the reasons I like the place so much, because just as you feel it's time to lock up, or your standing there in between jobs, someone comes in and there is another person or couple or family that are keen to see what you do, learn how to make something or chat about the similar one they had or parents had.

Whilst the house is on hold, it still feels like home and will take a bit longer than we thought, but it pays to be patient and with patience come more improved methods or storage or something really special, so I would like to thank Lynn and the girls for their patience for the last few months and with me through the next few months as we go on the next journey into 2013.

I hope you have a happy new year, and if you get to stop by the workshop, please take the time to tell me if you read my blog.

I would also like to thank my customers of 2012, you have helped me on the start of a journey that I'm sure will continue for the next twenty or thirty years.

all the best for 2013


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The new workshop...

Finally, after quite a few weeks of waiting, I now have the keys to the new workshop.

I will be based at the Ruskin Glass Centre, Unit 1. A brilliant place for me to be set up and I hope to bring another audience to the centre. Based in old factory workshop buildings, bringing life back into this corner of an old site, in Stourbridge.

Here you can watch glass blowing, cutting, copper wheel engraving to name just a couple of the things going all the time, it's just the best, most creative atmosphere that I have seen in a long time.

I'll be putting more on here from now on, as I start to set up a comfortable, varied and productive little workshop. And make, repair and recycle (or up-cycle) all sorts of wooden items.

Hope you can stop by, there's a great coffee shop too.

All the best


Thursday, 8 November 2012


Got my old Twitter page running again..I'll still be blogging, but the tweets will be more up to date.

Jamie Hubbard  @jam73e

I've been tidying all of the building stuff away, can't imagine I'll see Clive this side of Christmas, he's got loads to get on with.

Still waiting for news on the workshop, I just can't see past this. I think it will be brilliant, to set up a workshop that will be able to handle my tools, carving, turning, joinery, restoration, polishing as well as driftwood, gardening tools, there is so much that I work, I hope I get it right.

all the best


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Catching up..

The last couple of weeks have been very wet over here in the UK, but the interest in my work has more than made up for the dreary weather. Some of you have been on 'Google images' and pushed the Olympic torch replica onto the first page.. which is amazing, thank you.

The leather covered bed that I had previously mentioned, has now gone and looked great when it was finished.

This was the bed after a few days work, take a look at what it was like before I started..
It wasn't the most exciting of jobs and repairing the leather was a bit frustrating, as I was getting the colour right, I didn't have much time to work the compound before it would start to cure, so then I would have to mix some more, good fun eh?

On the Restoration page.. in the Previous Work section

I've also been round to see Julian's 1964 split screen VW bus, and it's looking beautiful, there's a final picture added to the camper section.

Take a look...

All the best


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Julian's Split screen..

Bespoke seating with the best storage...

This gorgeous van belongs to Julian, and the only thing missing is the upholstery.

Julian is having all of the seating and lining work done in leather by
Bromsgrove Auto Trimmers. The intention is to use it for weddings, so a gorgeous interior is a must..

This is what it looked like before I started working on the interior.

Note the masking tape, with lines marked on to show what and where..

First thing Monday morning Pete the upholsterer, and I went through the design of the seating to make it the right height, the depth of seating to work and the angle of the back to be comfortable. The height of the backrest was to sit in a panel detail line, just under the windows.

By the end of the first days work I had the floor down, a master pattern made,
10 backrest sections made and all was good.

and a few days later..   Done..
The cream "Old English" Formica around the bottom,
and in one piece.. so no unsightly joints

The forward seating has the largest storage compartment and as I talked it through with Julian, I suggested that I would line this area out with a soft carpet, for the happy couple to put any items in. That would save things rolling around the floor area.

This corner area is useful for all sorts, the lid/seat squabs have the ply cut-outs screwed to the underside to stop the seats moving around and stiffen them up. It also makes fitting the upholstery too easier, you can't beat a hard base for the upholsterer.

The aft storage floor is not ply lined and good for tools and a jack

Pete and I chose to do the seat cushions with a full, lightweight ply base to make the cushions very crisp and the backrest removable in two parts allowing him to finish the upholstery on the bench and then fit after. I just had to ensure a 2.5mm gap all round each board. This method also allows the base unit to support the whole cushion board and the largest aperture.

Here is the leather covered seating with piping, looks great doesn't it. This photo was taken before the van was completed, so it could only look even more gorgeous later, beautiful.

It didn't take long to do, and by working with Pete, what took me a few minutes longer to do, saved Pete more than double his time..

Hope you like.

All the best


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Olympic torch in wood..

The Olympic Torch section has all of the finished photos, take a look

This posting shows how it was made

Olympic Torch in wood

A few months ago, I was asked by the headmaster of Catshill Middle School, Paul Essenhigh, if I could make a wooden version of the Olympic torch for some sports events they will be having at the school in July, to celebrate the Olympics.

Of course, I said yes..
I had done some research into the torch and started marking out the template on the day that the flame was lit in Greece the other day. I already knew that the torch is 800mm long and weighs 800 grams, so this was a good starting point. After looking on the Internet for dimensions and being unsuccessful with finding any, I looked at the scale of the torch compared to the people holding it. The torch handle was around 40% of the overall length, and the top looked around 115 mm (4 1/2") from the middle of one corner to the other rounded corner of the triangular shape.

and here it is.
Click on the pictures to enlarge

The finished torch, in wood, with an Aluminium tube in the centre, with a shaped Aluminium piece on the top


The timber for this torch will be Medium density fibreboard and pine reinforcement in the corners, painted in gold, using an Aluminium tube down the centre with an Aluminium plate bonded onto the top.

Here is the master pattern for marking the height, width and shape.
I cut out the shape and planned it to a smooth finish

From a piece of 6mm MDF measuring 12220 x 600mm, I cut out seven rough oversize shaped pieces, I kept the off-cuts for trials on the painting later.

Here I am routing all seven from the master pattern. I always had at least two cramps on the timbers at any one time to ensure that their was no movement.

I also made a section of the top that I thought was about the right size..

Two hours worth of marking out the drill sizes and hole positions

So if you wondered why I had made seven sides, one was for marking out all of the holes.
The other six will make two torches, one for Catshill Middle School, the other will be given to Chloe after she plays her part in the opening ceremony.
Glueing up..

I shaped the one corner of the top piece and marked out the holes around from one face to the other to see how the holes lined up... pretty good

Over the next couple of weeks I went and used my pillar drill to get some more holes done, two hours worth on a Sunday, while Lynn and the girls went walking with Clive and Sheila. Then I went to finish them of on a wet Monday, done.

The next thing to do was to fix the sides together using some off-cuts of Pine I had from the Garden room.

Here I have dry fitted the MDF together to see how it's all working out

If you read my Blog you'll know that I don't have a workshop yet, and try to get my work done while the sun is shining...I love this picture

This is the last dry fit, just checked that all was looking good

Planing down the corner joints to ensure flat across the two surfaces

Painting the insides, once together I wouldn't have been able to get the paint in here

After painting in two parts, ready to glue together

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Eight One Mitre plane for sale...finished

So here it is..

Eight One

Chapter Eight, plane number one.

Small Mitre plane, measures in length 175mm (6 7/8") overall, the body is 153mm (6") and the width is 29mm (1. 1/8")

The blade is cast steel, from an old I & H Sorby iron, bought in an old second hand shop in Lye, 25 years ago, and you can clearly see the laminated harder steel onto the softer body. The blade has no markings but I have the rest of the blade showing the 'Golden Fleece' device just above the mark, with the Crown in the middle. It was made in Sheffield England between 1824 - 1881 by John Sorby and sons. I will add a photo of the rest of the blade later. The original plan was to extend the blade with the makers mark at the top, but, the plane is so comfortable, extending would have compromised the comfort.

The plane body was taken from a 14" tenon saw made by Taylor of London, I have used the ADVANCE logo, with the animal, hallo and flag in the centre of the back of the plane, with the Taylor London on the left hand side as shown in the photos.

The brass used for the bridge was from a strip bought locally, from a metal suppliers in Droitwich. I marked out the JH and 2012 design and engraved it myself. Using stamps for the 2012, I really wanted the year in a prominent position due to the Olympics in England, the Queen having her 60th year on the throne and myself starting my own business.

The base of the plane, 2.6mm Gauge Plate, was given to me by Robert, a local engineer who makes parts for restoring old motorcycles. It had been sitting around his shop, it came from a batch of metal after the closure of Rover cars at Longbridge.

The timber for the plane was one piece out of the three Boxwood logs, I bought back in 1992 when my furniture was exhibited at Sandown Park for the Woodworker show in London. They had been under my bench since then. Each time my bench moved, the Boxwood logs followed. I was aiming for a classic design, the front bun is a smaller version to those used on panel planes, and I wanted it to be comfortable in use and offer different positions to hold the plane.

The rear infill is set at 17 degrees, with it 'over stuffed' at the back blending into a scroll. The scroll hides beneath the blade, and is not really noticed until the plane is picked up, this works well with the classical design and suits the plane.

The wedge is shaped so that it is easily pushed into position, the back bead is set so that it sits comfortably to the back of the palm of your hand in use.

This plane not only looks good, but I have ground the blade so that it is between a high pitched smoothing plane and a scraper plane. This means that on timber that rips out when using other planes, this one glides over the surface and leaves a smooth finish with a gloss sheen, beautiful.


Eight One plane vs. Record 0601/2 block plane

I always wanted to make a plane that makes a difference and stated through the blog, that this would be a plane for bandings and edgings. So when I set the blade into the plane through the construction process, I found it to work really well, the iron is brilliant and stays sharp, but the cut on Ebony strips was not that exciting, it was better than my Record, and left a polished sheen, but I still wasn't happy.

So, I left it for a couple of days...

I came to the conclusion that the blade angle needed to be changed, and I wanted to have more control over the end of the blade. And why does the end of the blade have to be ground at 25 degrees?

Look at what Bill Carter does with the square end of a chisel..and for anyone who has tried it, will know it works.

Up the angle goes, in 5-9 degree increments, then I lapped the base of the plane even more, to open the mouth out. I then changed the way that I have sharpened blades for years, I turned the blade over and sharpened an 8 degree bevel on the back of the blade. This goes against every method, but all I'm doing is sharpening it like a straight carving chisel, and they are great, two bevels, I sometimes pick mine up and use it in joinery...

I was quite nervous through all this, I have invested a lot of time in this little plane, and was back and forth to my makeshift outside workshop, grinding, sharpening, honing, Diamond stone, water stone, drying the iron before putting it back in place. Setting up the little plane and then trying it out on and awkward piece of Ebony.

Eureka..I got there, the finish was fabulous, a big smile came across my face, I've done it..

But just to be sure, I sharpened my Record plane 1200 grit, then 600 grit, took the burr of on the palm of my hand, set it back in place and compared. When I used my plane, the finish was far superior and left very minor ripping out, but when I went back to the Record it was brutal in comparison.

And there's something else, because the iron is at the higher pitch, I 'm sharpening the iron far less than the Record..


It works so well, it's a shame it has to be sold..

But I can get on with the next one now..

All the best


Monday, 21 May 2012

Another one of those days...

All of us have at some time or other, have wanted to come across a workshop that hasn't been used for a while. With all sorts of timber, well stacked out and tools..just loads of tools..

I got a call from Peter, an old family friend the other day

"Jamie," he says "are you still into all things wood"

"Of course", I say.

"Well I'm at this house, with a couple of outbuildings, Ebony, Ivory, Rosewood, tusks (some very old, others with certification) Chisels, tools, planes, wood everywhere...Do you want to come and have a look?

"Do I?"

The next morning I met up with Peter, and we went over together.

I was introduced to the lady of the house, her husband had died a number of years ago and he had some stuff in the well protected out buildings.

After the last lock was taken from the hasp and staple, the door was pushed open with the knack needed to get it open all the way and in we walked. As we walked into the main part, past shelving full of timber planks, turning blanks and timber leaning up against the walls, I started to raise my hands and sat them on the top of my head. There was a comfortable amount of space in the middle for us to all look around and the lady of the house ( lets call her Molly) told me where some of the machines sat. So there had been a planer, circular saw, band saw, grinding machines and either two or three lathes. We had half an hour before Molly had to go out, I was having to move things around on top of benches to open drawers of engineers chests to get an idea of what type of work and person the husband was. There were tools, on top of tools, on top of all sorts of stuff. Peter pointed out some shelving, on this was Ebony, lots and lots, including 3" x 2" x 18" and all sorts of sizes smaller, planks 3" wide and 2ft long, but also small boxes of offcuts, small triangles of wood, tuning ends, even legs off what must have been a carved elephant...

I just couldn't believe...

Then I was shown into another room, this one had the lathes and grinding tools in, two windows with net curtains up, let a small amount of light into this room. Chisels seemed to be everywhere. Tenon saws, I counted 6-7. There was a bucket full of 25 chisels, some carving, Firmer and turning chisels.

Times up.. we chatted about me going back over the following Monday

Today, I went back over, saw Molly, we chatted about the local town, I hadn't been there for a while, but we shared similar interests and she knew some of my family that were in the Antiques trade. She told me of her husband and the turnings that he did, some even went to Highgrove House near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, home of Prince Charles. 

I spent five hours tidying the place up, putting similar items together, carving chisels in one place, wood turning chisels in another. A Record holdfast was still in the box, but the box was stuck to the bench and there were a couple of parts missing, as I was looking elsewhere for something, I found the holdfast parts fitted to the bench. The Ebony took me a while to go through, and found a large piece, 4" x 6" and 15" long, with a couple of shakes and other varying sizes.

I came away with 5 sash cramps, all a bit rusty, one pin missing. 200 varying sizes of Ebony, the Record holdfast. Four paring chisels and a couple of other bits.

If your local to me and want to purchase some Ebony, I will put some dimensions on the For Sale section soon.

I have also spent some time french polishing the 81 mitre plane and tonight lapped the base to within a couple of millimetres at the front.

I will be going to the MAC Timbers open day, I plan on taking my 81 mitre plane and maybe take some of the Ebony on the weekend of 27th May 2012. I hope to see Bill and possibly Sarah Carter and meet other like minded people, if you follow this blog and you deceide to go, then stop me and say hello.

all the best


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Mitre plane 81, the finishing post is within sight...

Latest update of the Eight One Mitre plane..

The blade has been sorted out by Robert, 3.5mm tapering down to 2mm at the back, he has done a tidy job of grinding it down and it looks great in the plane. Now the blade is back I fitted the front bun and the rear infill, using the temporary wedge and blade to ensure the infill is bonded into the correct position. After that had cured, I spent a few hours flatting the back of the blade. Using a diamond stone from 200 - 600 grit. Then onto Japanese water stones a 1200 grit to start with, then onto the 6000. The 6000 is a great stone, around 25 years old, the back of the blade has a mirror finish and very sharp.

The temporary wedge has been replaced with a new Boxwood wedge, then fitted between the blade and the bridge, but instead of being just flat up to the hollow before the top bead, I wanted to create more of a feature of this junction. This would in turn make the wedge easier to push in to the plane by having a larger radius. I think it's a great looking wedge that feels really comfortable in use.

Here is the wedge, not as easy to do as a standard wedge, but it works really well and adds to the overall fine detail of this great little plane

Holding the plane with finger on the rear face of the front bun.

Holding further forward..

Having completed the wedge the next thing on the list was to soak the plane in Boiled Linseed oil. My preference is to soak it in warmed up oil, this will thin the oil down and penetrate deeper into the Boxwood. So while the oil was warming up, I found a scrap of Beech worktop, then tried the plane out. It performs wonderfully, nearly there..

I just have to lap the bottom, and polish the Boxwood with some shellac. I'll put the finished photos on here over the next few days.

Then, there are three more planes to start 82 which will be a smaller mitre plane. 83 is going to be the big sister to 82. Then 84..a traditional box type large mitre plane.

All the best


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Chest added to Boxes..

I've taken some new pictures of a chest I helped Stuart make, It was done on a weeekend for his wife Lesley. Made with old floor boards a couple of strap hinges and some rope..

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Yesterday, for me, was one of the best days...

A little while ago, I was asked if I would like a stall at a local church hall, where there would be a table top sale to raise funds for the local dance group. Our four girls dance at the Stage Door Dance Academy and they are taking part in a show, at Her Majesty's Theatre in London, where dance groups will come together to perform for one night only, on a West End stage. What a wonderful opportunity.
We are all helping out to raise funds, to reduce the cost for each of the families, and to highlight locally this event. Stage Door have taken part in similar events, including dancing on stage and being in the parade at Disneyland Paris.

So  Lynn and I talked about what I could do, firstly, by buying a table I was contributing to the fund, but thereafter, what could I sell that would help Stage Door or myself. Lynn came up with the idea of having some of my work on display, showing people what I have made, but also showing what other people could achieve.

After completing my Cabinet Making course, I was asked by the college to teach an evening class there. I did this for a couple years and enjoyed the fact that people who sign up to these type of classes really enjoy the practical and social side of woodworking.

We made a list of all of the items that we would take, they included some of the pieces made by myself, some tools of the trade and a very sad looking Rosewood tea caddy, that would  sit along side one that I had restored. I  just had to take my mitre plane, which sat on the front of the stall, and was a little further on than on the last posting.

The sale attracted a steady stream of people, and the whole atmosphere was very warm and friendly. I had some flyer's on the table and a sign showing that none of the items were for sale, but commissions were welcomed and a number of people said that they would or knew someone who would sign up. Some had researched within a 15 mile radius and found nothing that would teach them a craft.

I welcome any feed back on this and will be putting more about what can be taught on the coureses page. I could do one to one classes and could reduce the cost to people if there were three or more in a class.

 The hand carved hobby horse proved popular and once my workshop is set up, I will make make a small batch, maybe half a dozen..these are heir loom pieces and people appreciated that. Ours is twelve yaers old and has the dents and dings to prove that the horse was played with and well loved, it adds to the character of the piece and still looks great...

some of my pieces..

finished detail on the front bun, with temporary wedge...

While I was checking through my email inbox, there was the the best ending to my brilliant day. Bill Carter had emailed to say that he was loving the plane, from the front bun to the scroll hiding under the blade and more...this was just... If you know anything about plane making, you'll know how I feel right now, thanks Bill.

all the best


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Mitre Plane ..more than halfway now

So after going through the shed and my stock of timber from over the last twenty five years or so, collecting timber from all over, from timber suppliers, to friends cutting down trees in their back gardens, the timber for the small mitre plane is going to be Boxwood. I bought this and two others like it from Sandown Park in 1992. Really, this should be the only choice for this type of plane.

the label has the price of 90 pence on it..

I cut the parts needed, and just got on with making the front bun, I've gone for a shallow style with the bun being 'overstuffed', I love overstuffed planes, they are so much more work, but show the skills of the maker..

More detail will be added around the edges of this front bun..
The shape means that you can either have a finger on the back or front faces, or if two hands may be used, then you can place your thumb just behind the back of the border, I have tried it on the mock up and it feels really comfortable either way..

This is 'Pinky', he's been watching what I've been doing over the last few days, Lucy likes to keep him occupied, notice the mock up plane on the left, you can just see the back of the body with the end of the wedge and blade beneath..

Here is the rear infill, the blade is at 15 degrees and I wanted to finish the infill in a different way. I know the scroll will be hidden under the blade, but when viewed from the side it is in keeping with the classical detailed styling..

Bill bought a truely brilliant plane at the Auction, and I would love to copy has seven scrolls on each side, even a copy would be great.. 

I love the scrolls, this is nowhere near finished, just the start really,
but it does allow you the see what I'm doing..

The I. Sorby blade is down at Roberts, he is going to thin it down and taper it for me, it's about 6mm thick, and holds a really good edge,  I've asked for it to be cut down to 3mm, tapering down to 2.5mm. It's already been fitted to width, squared up to suit the mouth and had the back flattened. I will need the blade to help fix the rear infill in place, along with the wedge, which I should be on tomorrow.

Hope you like it...

All the best


Friday, 4 May 2012

Mitre plane continued and more bricks..

The plane is going really well. I only got a couple of hours on it yesterday due to finishing a trade counter off for my brother Stuart.

Stuart had used some new kitchen units to form the base of his trade counter. I think this is a great idea, and well done too. The only thing was that he had left the awkward corner unit until last, and the set up wasn't quite right, so the base part had to be scribed to fit. I had already made some corner posts from
3" x 3" grooved to take the 4mm laminated glass and they fitted pretty good. In all it went well and looks great, well done Stu. and thanks..

Back to the plane. I marked the dovetails from the body sitting in the correct position on the base, I just transferred them over. I checked and checked again that they were all in the right place before starting to cut the tails out of the gauge plate.

Plenty of instruction marked onto the base..

Great picture, as you can see the dovetails were cut by hand, all good fun..

Here is the front piece in place
You can just see where the brass is filed away to create the double dovetail

The final dry fit, and a small list of jobs to do before the peening starts

  1. Check all of the filed dovetails, are they all at the correct angle?
  2. The bed for the blade, ensure correct and works?
  3. Check the width between the dovetails on the base.
  4. Key up the tails, so they grip each other when the peening is done
  5. Stamp plane number on the front 81, I'll explain this later, unless you can guess...

and so on..

So here she is, lots of peening done..
and I'm finding my feet again with this, some peening then some filing,
peening then filing and again.

and the bottom.

Next, the infills, Rosewood..?

thanks for looking

All the best