Saturday, 29 October 2011

Timber Haul.

   What you are seeing here, is a start to my bulk buying timber that requires seasoning. One of my friends owns a saw mill that cuts up logs for things like pallets, potato crates, and construction beams. Now some of the logs are unsuitable for this, being too knotty and or some rot. But there is still loads of usable timber for a furniture maker, this is where I step in, and decide if the log is any good for me. His yard is about eight miles from me, so he gives me a call when something of interest comes in, and I take a look and say how I would like the log cut. I had this Oak log cut up in various thicknesses 1", 2", and 4", but I also had two 14 footers cut to an inch and a quarter that are to become a book-matched table top.

As you can see its all in stick at the present, and it will be at least a year and a half before I can start to use some of it. But when I do, I will have some lovely timber to choose from. It doesn't stop there of course, I have a spalted beech log being cut up this week, also I am going over to his this week to tell him how I would like a large white Ash tree converted, as well as a Cedar tree. 

These two 4" lumps are English Walnut, and are destined to become two chairs when seasoned. I think some of the furniture I make from this new timber will become speculative pieces, or I have been toying with the idea of exhibiting some contemporary furniture of my own design in the future. Thanks for looking. 

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Hammer A3 41 review.

Sorry for the rather long gap between postings, what with one thing and another, time has been very tight lately. But I have my whole house to furnish soon, starting with my kitchen. Anyway here is a short review of my new planer thicknesser,
 Ordered this machine in July, it was delivered this week, a long wait for sure, but it was worth it, and a week earlier than stated. It was explained to me at the time, that there would be this wait. Mainly because they have just changed the design a bit and new machinery for making these was being installed in Austria.
I’m making my own kitchen at the moment, and I’ve wasted no time putting this machine through it paces. It delivers smooth, flat, and square timber. The fence is robust, and doesn’t have a massive centre bar, so can be pushed right back flat to the wall. Both tables flip at the same time, and the change over from planer to thicknesser is very fast with just two decent solid handles that quick release both beds. I have the wheel kit on mine, and would say this is an essential add on if your tight for space(as I am). I also opted for the digital readout on the thicknesser, and would say this is a good option also. On my older P/T the extraction wasn't that efficient, so using the fitted hood on the A3-41 was a revelation, the extractor hood is very efficient at picking up all but a few of the chips, and after machining for most of the day there was perhaps a handful of chips around the machine.
Now the bad bits, this machine has been keenly priced to be in-line with its competitors, so there have been a few corners cut on things like adjusting knobs. These feel cheap and nasty, and I don’t feel they have much longevity or a place on a machine in this class. The manual was all in German, but they are sending me an English version this coming week(it came the next day).
That being said, I wish I had got my hands on one sooner, the smooth finish alone has made sanding a much quicker job now, and I’m very happy with this machine. I would however, probably of paid a few pounds more to get metal adjustment knobs instead of the few(not all) plastic ones its supplied with. Hope this helps.


I have since used this planer a lot and have tested the full width with oak, I have taken 2mm off in one hit, and the machine handled it without missing a beat.

Thanks for looking.