H.O. Studley Tool Chest

I was sure I had posted about the Studley tool chest in the past, so sorry if this isn’t new (but a search of the site didn’t turn anything up!)

Henry Studley was a piano maker from the late 1800s (1838-1925), who is still famous today, not so much for his pianos and organs, but for the magnificent tool chest he made that houses over 300 tools in a 40″x20″ case (closed).

Photo from Fine Woodworking Magazine

There is a poster that FineWoodworking.com sell of the Studley case, and I had it on my iPhone as a screen saver for a long time (although the details are a little hard to see!)  What the poster does not reveal is the magnificent details of drawers and hinged sections, sliding shelves within the drawers etc.

Thanks to IS for linking me to a video by the New Yankee Workshop, we can get to see the real detail that a static photo hides.

And for those particularly interested, Lost Art Press (aka Chris Schwarz and co) are coming out with a book in 2013 specifically about the chest.

Anyone prepared to draw the unit in Sketchup?!

An Ode to Norm

When it come to woodworking, it is plain to see
The flannelet shirt’s a must have accessory

The woodworker’s beard can come short or long
So long as you have a toolbelt, tough and strong

A silhouetted sign is not necessary, it’s true
But a nailgun is a given, perhaps even two

Norm’s calling it a day, but don’t shed a tear
They’ll be showing reruns for many a year

Norm and the New Yankee Workshop

Norm and the New Yankee Workshop

After 21 years, the New Yankee Workshop is closing its doors for good.  The New Yankee Workshop website will remain up and available as a resource. Cheers Norm, and thanks for all the inspirations!  One day I’ll finish my router table (sigh).

Lessons and Ideas from Foxtel

With the luxury of finally being able to record whatever I want on Foxtel, been getting to watch some of what I actually feel like seeing when I’m ready.

So I’ve been watching a few of Norm’s shows of course.  Not even sure if there are any other quality woodworking shows being made at the moment (and not even sure if Norm is making any currently).

Norm loves nailing projects together, which I’ve always found a bit unusual.  But it does get the projects together quickly I suppose.  Was watching his take on a poker table tonight too, and rather than the rather complex constructions that I saw in one of the woodworking magazine, Norm made an easy version relying heavily on MDF, some veneered boards, and felt.  Once finished, it looked great, and one day I’d really like to make one myself. He produces a lot of other ideas, and shop aids etc which would be really useful, if one had some floor area in their workshop!  Love to see what someone like that could do in a typical backyard (constricted, and (comparatively) tool limited) workshop, rather than their massive spread.

Speaking of challenges, I’ve also been watching a bit of Iron Chef – where 2 highly skilled chefs go head-to-head in a 60 minute cooking battle, with the basis of each meal being a specific ingredient.  Wonder how a woodworking equivalent of that would go?  Instead of a secret ingredient, a secret tool, or material that needs to be incorporated.

I can’t really criticise Norm’s preference for nailing projects together for speed really.  Considering I’ve made the second of two trips to Ikea to get the last of the modules I needed to complete our bedroom makeover.  Sure, I would have loved to have made it all myself, but that really costs (in materials), and more importantly, I am more time-poor than anything else, so having something pretty much ready-for-assembly helps.  When I am quite a bit older, I’d like the luxury of saying I don’t shop there anymore, and instead hand make everything.  In the meantime, I’ve made serious work of the 90 second charging GMC rapid screwdriver to tackle the large bags of joinery components that is the essence of Ikea.

How well the Ikea items last over time will be quite telling, but the beauty of the Kreg Pockethole Jig is if it comes to it, I can reinforce the joints with pockethole joinery down track (as I have done before), which is ideal for joining man-made materials such is the basis for much of Ikea’s products.  Despite their relative position in the marketplace of their products, there is one point that they really excel, and that is in the item design.  The engineering is quite incredible – taking a piece of furniture and breaking it down into components that pack very flat, and can be joined together easily enough if you follow an instruction manual that’s main feature is a complete absence of words.

I say unto you in the words of Chariman Dacascos: Allez Cuisine!

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