Saturday, 31 March 2012

David Stanley 59th International Auction

This morning, I drove up to Whitick, in Leicestershire, and to be perfectly honest, I messed up the start of the day, but from there it just got better...

I had already planned the route, the night before, I set the Sat Nav up, so that was in hand. I had looked at the junctions on Google maps, Street view, and even taken photos of the screen of each junction. So I knew what the journey looked like.

 So, All was going to plan when, just after I had breakfast and the girls were getting up, I had already got everything together that I thought would be useful, but the time was running away with me, and I was conscious that if I didn't get out of the house soon then I would be late for the start of the auction, and you never know whats first in the catalogue.

So off I go, I get to the end of our road and head for some fuel. There has been some fuss at the petrol stations in the UK over the last week, and I did need some fuel. On the way there, I realised that I'd forgotten the Sat Nav lead and holder, but no problem I think that I'd done enough last night to know the way. I fill up with fuel and grab some water and goodies to keep me going through the day. I decided that I needed to go home and get the lead for the Sat Nav, forgetting that while I was at the Supermarket I was going to get some cash out of the Cashpoint. I can't go to an auction without any cash. Then just before I get home I realise I'd also forgotten my cheque book.

Anyhow, all that behind me, I get to the Hermitage Leisure Centre at 8:30, half an hour before the start, walk into the sports hall to see tools.. loads of planes, rules and  braces. After paying for the catalogue, the journey started, and what a treat it was, I was in heaven, planes everywhere..

Up and down the aisles, it was just a fantastic collection of tools, all in one place, and most of them for sale. I say most of them, because as well as the items up for auction, at the bottom end of the hall were dealer trading tables, where some of the tools where for sale, and others were there to show how things were done.

It was then I spotted Bill Carter, standing by his table, chatting about planes to someone, I could see some of the planes that I'd seen on his website, and they looked fantastic. It had been twenty years almost to the day, that I first met with Bill and Sarah. Back then I was at college, and half way through making my first mitre plane, Bill gave me some good advice then and was still giving advice out to prospective plane makers. I introduced myself to Sarah and chatted about the great work that Bill had on the table.

Some of Bills planes

And, after introducing myself to Bill again, after so long, he and Sarah made me feel very welcome. We chatted about planes like we had known each other for the last twenty years! I also met with some friends of Bill and Sarah's, that have the same like minded admiration towards the tools, like Tim and Steve.

Cheers for the chat, it was great. Thanks

I really like this one..

This one is pretty cool too..

I love the aged Boxwood

I tried to balance my time between going into the auction, looking around at the lots and chatting to great people.
So, after a coffee, I headed back into the auction around 2 o'clock, I had my eye on a couple of things near the end of the auction, and it's at the end, where some of the big money is spent on some of rarest of tools. In the end it wasn't for me, one of the items went too high for my budget,

and the other one..well, not this time

Anyhow, I went back out, and the place was nearly empty, and I'd missed Bill and Sarah going,

So, I'd just like to say, Bill, Sarah,  thank you for making my day, and thanks for the hospitality and warm welcome, and Bill thanks for the gift, and I'll see you both at the next one..

All the best


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

New section 'Boxes'.. and cats paw prints..

Well, the extension is going well, I took Snowy out for a walk this morning and came back to see how the concrete floor was looking after the cold night..

During the night we had a visitor,
I think it was a white cat that has been seen hanging around, but he walked in this end, found he couldn't get through the fencing, turned around and came back. So there's two sets of prints....

Clive came along and started at the back of the garage, removing the paw prints and
skimming over the surface to remove some minor undulations...

So, while Clive was skimming over the floor, ( I just had to leave that one in when I was editing,
It just made me smile thinking of Clive skimming over the floor) 
I spent time putting some new photo's of boxes that I have made, into a new section on the the top of the page, 'Boxes'

Have a look through,
I have loads more stuff to put on here
and when I've got a workshop sorted out I'll be making more.

All the best

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

KBB (kitchens, bedrooms & bathrooms) show at the NEC

Lynn and I went along to the show on Monday morning, I thought that it would be a good idea to see what was going on in the Kitchen Bathroom and Bedroom industry. I would have gone along from Sealine, usually with one or two of the guy's from there, ( where I was Continuous Improvement and New Product Development Engineer for a number of years ) where we would be looking at the new products on show, new ways of getting around something that would have been an issue before now.
If you are with the right person, and I have worked with some of the best at Sealine. Then the slightest thing can trigger off an idea or better still a brain storming session, that's what the shows are all about for me, with the added benefit of meeting the sales staff that you normally talk over the phone with, and getting their views on products. In the past, once we've been around the show for a bit, get a quick coffee, sit and have chat about things, I generally make notes, once I start that, then the ideas start coming through. This happened on Monday, Lynn's not really seen this side of what I have done in my last role. So, out comes the pad, I have a solution for the knives in the cutlery drawer, the girls put them all over the place and it does get a bit cluttered, so the solution will be put in our kitchen and I'll show them on here, and will be for sale, made to measure for you to purchase. There was, more then ever, a lot of solid wood tops on show, and more detail on them, better corners, more rounds, larger radii and better finishes.

Our kitchen will be pulled out soon, I plan to reuse all of the units and doors, just shuffle them around a bit. We have solid Beech worktops and I will design the build around the most efficient use of this valuable stock. I don't really want to buy too much, and if I do, it will be second hand or left over from someone else's dream kitchen. My key words for this room will be reuse and recycle.

At the show

There was a lot of bars sat on top of units..

I love this shade, the normal view was simple dark shade, then inside was all of the detail,
as you can see, it was quite big..we have a similar shade that we haven't used here at this house, but was in our first house and it will be going above the diner end of the kitchen

These butchers blocks are all too common, and are wasting a lot of space in kitchens, this one was jutting out over a pedestal, if 75% or more is over a unit then it's not too bad. I think people are having them for the sake of it..something to show off.. I'm not a fan of these.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
Another show, another celebrity, actually he was really funny,
I don't think he was on the schedule for the event, he wasn't in the program,
but we were passing the seminar theatre and wondered in, so funny though..
If you get a chance to see him then it's worth it.
Avocado bathroom suites might be making a come back...

magnetic catches, I will be using these in the future..

This has given us an idea for the cloakroom,
We were going to tile the floor and up the washbasin wall, but now, I think we will do something more like this, small round or pebble tiles, it will look good in a small space...

Pebbles.. displays eh..
or have you got pebbles on the floor in your bathroom?

send me a picture if you have, I'll put the best one on here.
Oh, I've just read through this and thought...we have a pebble in the bathroom.

.If you show me yours...

This is something that I do like, no plinth,
we can now see more of the floor and the space feels bigger,
I'll be doing this in the cloakroom with our wash unit

Offset boxes...lots of people are doing them...
this would have looked so much better if there was no plinth
oh well...

We were done in three hours, I think this show is smaller than previous shows, but it was packed with ideas and inspiration. 

Tuesday 6th

After taking a load of boxes out of the cloakroom and a trip to storage, I spent a couple of hours stripping the room of the washbasin unit and the toilet.

We had to go out a get a few things, so it was time to treat myself,

yes... after searching the web, a trip to Ikea and elsewhere, I bought this from a shop just a mile and a half away...

A whiteboard.. yes at last I have my own..
This was one of my main tools to explain to Designers, Engineers and Naval Architects,
a solution to whatever the problem was on that day, or hour...minute

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Chippendale table added to Bespoke Furniture, within Previous Works

Photographs of this lovely piece have been added, please take your time to read through.

I only have enough Mahogany to make another three of these, the wood has been in my store since 1990. What you are seeing is my first piece, and I would love to make another for someone who would really like to get involved with design and have a piece of history made for them.

and..please feel free to ask any questions

New photographs added to Carvings section

Hi, Due to the snow, sleet and bad rain today, and I can't get outside (without getting soaking wet) I've found time to clean and wax an old family favourite of ours, well it's Ellie's really. Here's a sneaky peak...

If you click on the pictures they will enlarge..


I carved this when Ellie was about three years old...