Pens & Swords

While the pen is said to be mightier than the sword, why not have both?

This latest kit from (combined with the Knight’s Armor Pen Kit from Penn State Industries) is something a bit special!


Shed decoration



It was a bit of a hard slog to get this project across the line in time in the end, but the project was completed (at least to this standard), photos taken, and a 3400 word article submitted for the next edition of The Shed magazine.

I didn’t try rushing a finish – it will pop even more when I do, but I think it looks pretty good as it is!  This one is destined for the shed.  I’ll add some guns to it (the Sopwith Camel had Vickers machine guns), and hang it in a banking turn, probably dog fighting a pteranodon or similar.

Pleased how it came out – a solid nod towards the original aircraft (with a wooden toy emphasis), down to the 9 cylinder Clerget 9B rotary engine.

Update – just to clarify, as there has been a bit of confusion out there it turns out….this is very much my own design, it has not been made from someone else’s plans.  It was primarily made on a bandsaw – the CNC helped with the motor obviously, but this is something you can definitely make with standard woodworking machines.

The full article, and my plans will be available in the next edition of “The Shed”

Episode 110 Multiple Layer Inlay Stencils

This episode uses one of the MLIS (Multiple Layer Inlay Stencils) from Tarter Woodworking.

Good product, great results, and a very realistic price to boot.  What’s not to love?

The template used here is the Yin Yang.  I did try the Clownfish, but have to come back to that for a second attempt (got my order of steps wrong!)  I’ve also just started on the Monarch Butterfly, which is a lot easier than the clownfish (despite being massive in comparison), and fun.


As you may well know, I am a fan of Kallenshaan Woods and their laser-cut pens.  I have a few different ones at work, and at any given time I can be found with one, or other on the go, depending on what mood I am in.

Woodworker pen, flame pen, etc.

But have you ever thought how they produce the inlay bits? And what happens to the leftovers?

The inlays are cut out of blanks made of the inlay material, and they cut as many as possible out of the one piece of timber.  What is left is full of holes of the same shape as the item removed – a negative image.  These blanks are sold through, and provide a whole heap of opportunities.  Filled with resin, crushed rock, put in labels and cover with resin.  There are all sorts of options, limited by your imagination.

Pen inlay leftovers

The Roving Reporter has been playing with some already – you can have a lot of fun with these!

Roving Reporter’s result

Felt sure I had more photos than that, but perhaps my memory is playing tricks, and the other pens I have seen were in person.

Something a bit different if you like that sort of thing.  I certainly think it provides the opportunity for some great, novel pens!

Experiencing a Green Router

On the second day of the Alternate Wood Show, I had an opportunity to use the Festool OF1400 for the handheld routing I was doing – cutting inlays using the Whiteside Inlay Kit. After a brief familiarisation (thanks btw!), I started experiencing why owners of the OF1400 like it so much. It was loaned by Ideal Tools, and they were lucky to get it back at the end of the day!

Festool OF1400

Festool OF1400

From the trigger on the handle that doesn’t require you to reposition your hand after turning the router on (and it can be locked in the on position), to the front knob that also locks the plunge height, the micro-adjustable plunge stop, the ratchet mechanism on the collet, the low centre of gravity, dust extraction and so forth.  It was a very pleasant router to use, particularly hand-held.

The Festool collet concept is rather interesting.  I can only describe it to be like using a ratchet drive for a socket set.  You engage the spindle lock whichever direction you want to operate (tighten or loosen), then operate the collet with a spanner, ratcheting back and forth.  Unlike the Triton, you don’t need to be at full extension to engage the spindle lock, but that does then require it to be a 2 handed operation, reaching under the table to do so (if the router was table mounted that is).  The bit change itself can be done above the table.  Shame that Festool don’t take it just a little further, and allow you to remotely operate the spindle lock.  It would then become ideal for use in a router lift.

The micro-adjustable plunge stop made for easy repeat operations.  Once I determined the height I wanted to bit to operate at, I was firstly able to fine-tune that height without starting the whole process over, and importantly, I could dial in and out a known height difference, which was particularly useful for the inlays.  When inlaying, the cavity, or recess needs to be as close as possible to the thickness of the inlay, whereas when routing the inlay you want additional plunge depth to ensure you are cutting all the way through and into the backing board.  With the micro-adjuster, I was dialing that difference in and out in no time, and accurately every single time.

Festool may be well known for having a high price-point, but you sure do get to see where that money has been invested.

One Day Down, One to Go

Seemed a successful day, plenty of people, lots of deceased sausages.

Made some progress on a surround for a poker table (wasn’t rushing, leaving something to do tomorrow).  Adding a 95mm wide wooden edge, with an inlay in the centre of each (poker inlay using the Woodpecker template).

Poker Inlays

Poker Inlays

The inlays are MDF which have had a special coating – look quite spectacular.  Still, these inlays represent the 3rd, 4th and 5th times I’ve ever done an inlay.

There was also plenty of interest in the Walko workbench I took along, and in the dominos I was cutting with the Festool.

The Protool UniverS SSP 200 is there as well – that is one interesting looking saw! And one hell of a depth of cut.  Easier to tell in the flesh, but it is in essence a circular saw that has a chainsaw blade instead.  Other than the rather unusual blade, it would be able to be used in a similar fashion to a normal handheld circular saw.

Protool UniverS SSP 200

Protool UniverS SSP 200

The Torque Workcentre is there as well – the upgraded version of the router master (which means it now has movement on both the X and Y axis).

Torque Workcentre

Torque Workcentre

I haven’t taken any photos at the show as yet – will do so tomorrow.

Episode 53 Contrast Timber Inlays

Episode 53 Contrast Timber Inlays using a router.  As originally detailed here, this kit is available from Professional Woodworkers Supplies, and includes Woodpeckers templates and a Whiteside spiral solid carbide router bit.

The bench used in the video (and as seen pictured here as well) is the WALKO Contractors Workbench, soon to be imported and sold by Ideal Tools

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