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Old 08-14-2010, 06:37 AM
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Default Dovetails at the PWS 2010

Last weekend was the Perth Wood Show. This ran over three days, Friday through Sunday, and displayed many of the local and inter-state stores, representing all the tool brands - both power and handtool - as well as a sprinkling of Australian toolmakers.

This year I joined my buddy Chris Vesper at his stand ...



(Chris took these photos, which is why he is no where to be seen).

For those that do not know Chris, he is a wonderful toolmaker with some exceptional tools on offer. His sliding bevel is without exaggeration the Best In The World, and once you use one you will never use another. Ask Chris Schwarz, who raved about this tool. CS is one of Chris' heros, and there is a photo of them together on the wall of the booth (hope you can make it out) ...



And while I have the opportunity, let me plug a couple of Chris' tools I got to use - his new square is brilliant - this has a built in tab to hold it level while marking - and his cutting gauge worked superbly. Check out his website! Chris is also an agent for some of the Glen Drake tooks and I also used one of the brass hammers for chisels. I liked this very much - excellent balance and control, and good authority in a small face.

So where did the dovetails come in? Well Chris had invited me to join him at the stand for a show of cutting dovetails. The plan was that my amazing craftsmanship would draw in the crowds and he would sell all his tools like hotcakes! Well, the best laid plans ... I can only think that it was my less-than-scintillating patter ...

In truth we had a lot of fun, and I would like to thank all those that came around to chat. We did actually cut dovetails and I must report that Chris has fantastic handskills. He would cut his in half the time I completed mine. Of course I did lead the way and show him how it was done ..

Here is an sneeky action shot snucked by Chris ...



And here are some dovetails we produced. Mine are the two on the left and Chris' are the two on the right...



Next year again Chris?

Regards from Perth

Derek
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Dovetails at the PWS 2010

It looks like you were having a great time.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:11 AM
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Default Re: Dovetails at the PWS 2010

Your thread prompted me to go and look at Chris's web site again. I LOVE that Damascus bevel and marking knife. He really has talent.

But...didn't Bridge City invent the tab on the squares?
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Dovetails at the PWS 2010

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Originally Posted by Poto View Post
... But...didn't Bridge City invent the tab on the squares?
Hi Poto

Not that I can find. After your post I explored all teh BC tools, both past and present. Nothing there that resembles Chris' square. Can you offer something specific, or where you just wondering? As far as I can tell, Chris' square is an original design.

Regards from Perth

Derek
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Dovetails at the PWS 2010

Hi Derek,

Here's the tool (one of a series of three sizes, I think) that has the sliding tab in the handle so that it won't slip off the workpiece: Bridge City Tool Works - AS-14 Adjustable Square

Here's what BCTW says: One problem with a large square for layout is the handle must be held in one hand or it drops under its own weight. The AS-14 Adjustable Try Square has a built in slide-stop. Simply slide the lever out and your new square stays perfectly aligned on your material, freeing up both of your hands for other tasks! It even locks in place by tightening the brass knob. This added feature makes the tool an extraordinary asset to your tool collection.

The slide stop is not spring-loaded like Chris's. But the function is the same, as far as I can tell.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: Dovetails at the PWS 2010

Hiya all, thought to throw my own two cents into the ring.

That 'Other Tool Co' definitely didn't invent the idea of supporting a square butt.

There is large numbers of patents in the USPTO database that refer to squares with flip out blades, pins, bevel blades, adjustments and curious gadgets destined to change the world from the 1880's onwards that seemed to flock to the patents office back then.

I found all these only after researching my own patent on the Vesper Try Square Support Tab. I also found out about the BC supported square WELL after the patent research after a customer sent me a photo of theirs. As far as I know Derek is correct in that my version is indeed original. I am yet to find another one even close.

This also means I have for the first time ever, made a supported square a viable and useful proposition to most users. Who wants to: Quote: "It even locks in place by tightening the brass knob."? Isn't that too fiddley? Who wants a square with a bevel blade or some other gadget hanging out of it? A square is a square, a bevel is a bevel, not to be mixed in that manner. A support tab should be there when you need it and gone when you don't: In an instant. As mine does with the help of a little spring.

It makes me proud to say that I did actually come up with the idea for my support tabs on my own. I actully remember the 'Ah-haaaah! moment where the flash came through. From there it was simply a matter of design and development process to refine the product to perfection.
There was inspiration in my hands in the form of an old Goodall Pratt square, the ones with the machined one piece 'strip' sticking out of the inside edge of the butt. Useful but quite annoying to use I thought. I was sitting there thinking "wouldn't it be nice to get rid of this and make it flip in or out?"

And BINGO, there it was.

for anyone interested to read more do check my blog, there are two articles in there about the squares and their development.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Dovetails at the PWS 2010

Oh and yes Derek, Book in another Dovetail Jam Session, Live and Unplugged! 2011 tour. I had a great time.

Seriously, I already have the idea for next year's challenge:
Size Matters - The mico/maxi. I want to dovetial a box or drawer in timber less than 1.0mm thick, for a warm up, and then maybe houndstooth dovetail a 5" x 5" post together just for the hell of it.

Had never done those houndstooth dovetails before. It required a little 3D visualization to get my head around the idea but it was all systems go after that!

It was good fun talking to someone about a different view and method of using tools to myself. I spend a lot of time shut away in my workshop and not out and about working with others.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Dovetails at the PWS 2010

Hey Chris - thanks so much for joining our corner of the webiverse! I really love your tools, and am looking forward to the opportunity to actually fondle one in real life. Wonderful workmanship.

Thanks for your tale of the tab. I have no stake in this whatsoever - I was just impressed with the BCTW one when I saw it. This was after a long day of my square flopping over all the time. I tend to use triangles now... From what I hear, your spring-loaded tab is a beauty. Perhaps you'd like to post a picture here so people could see what you're on about?

You might also consider asking the moderators about setting up a spot in the vendor's section. Your world-class tools would fit right in with the Marcou's and Bridge City's we already have there.

Are you coming to the WIA in October?
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Dovetails at the PWS 2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisVesper View Post
Oh and yes Derek, Book in another Dovetail Jam Session, Live and Unplugged! 2011 tour. I had a great time.

Seriously, I already have the idea for next year's challenge:
Size Matters - The mico/maxi. I want to dovetial a box or drawer in timber less than 1.0mm thick, for a warm up, and then maybe houndstooth dovetail a 5" x 5" post together just for the hell of it.

Had never done those houndstooth dovetails before. It required a little 3D visualization to get my head around the idea but it was all systems go after that!

It was good fun talking to someone about a different view and method of using tools to myself. I spend a lot of time shut away in my workshop and not out and about working with others.
Chris,

Welcome to the wacky world of talkFestool. I have admired your tools for several years now and am quite pleased to see you posting here. Should you decide that you would be interested in joining our manufacturer's area please let me know and I will send along all necessary information.

Fred
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Dovetails at the PWS 2010

Thankyou for the kind welcome guys.

If I can work out how to attach an image... Grunt-mumble-mmmmgggrr...

Here is a photo of the tab in action:

Well I'll be... It worked!
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