Jon Place, Uxbridge, UK

Gender: Male

Subscribe to my RSS Feed


English Style Workbench

I've been putting up with my old workbench for years now so I decided enough was enough and that it was time I built a proper bench.  I went trhrough lots of different designs form many sources - I...

Extending Hayrake Table

Last year we had an extension built onto our house.  This meant we had a brand new kitchen and dining room. My wife wanted a new Dining Table to go with her new dining room.  She fell in love with...

Christmas Box

Inspired by the recent Video workshop series by Doug Stowe, I decided to have a go at building a box of my own.  I chose this design simply because I liked the look of it.  The box and...

A Cross for Dad

For various reasons we are unable to have a grave marker for my Dads grave.  My Mum therfore asked me to make something that she can put up in her garden so she could at least feel she'd done...

My redesigned Shop

I had some time on holiday to have a rethink about the layout of my shop.  I worked out that one of the biggest problems I had was that I was spending a lot of time walking around and setting up...

Attic Bed

OK, I'm a bit nervous about posting this.  It's the first bit of furniture I've ever made.  My son's bedroom is not exactly large and he needs more storage.  The answer is an attic...

Recent comments

Re: Flatten Wide Boards without a Big Jointer

This looks like an interesting technique but I think it needs to be reserved for larger boards. I know the board you selected was for 'proof of concept' Ed but I tend to agree with jlecomte; you'd have been much better off using a hand plane.

Re: Hand Tools Reinvented

I'm a tad confused here; is the show saying these are great tools because they look beautiful or because they work beautifully? Whilst these tools are undeniably stunning to look at and show an amazing degree of skill and craftsmanship, that's of secondary importance to me if I'm looking to buy a hand tool for use in my shop. I don't want to take anything away from this guy - his work is gorgeous but I'd be so worried about such a tool getting scratched or dinged I know my work would suffer as a result. So the key question for me is do these tools perform well or are they display pieces?

Re: AWFS: A Super-Glue for Furniture Makers?

This sounds like an interesting product.
Will it be available in the UK at all?
I don't know about my Furniture building but this would certainly come in handy with all the prop building I do. It'll help speed up the creation of mould masters no end. Actually, as I type this I can also see uses in jig building too.

I'd love to get hold of a bottle of this stuff and give it a test or two and then make a decision based on personal experience rather than anecdotal evidence.

Re: My New Workbench

That's a real beauty. I've got to admit I'd be terrified of working on it though in case I breathed on it or something.

Re: Special Announcement: Shop Talk Live 30 Delayed

Sorry to hear Ed's not feeling great. Hope he gets well soon.

Re: The Future of Woodworking is Looking Good

Good grief!! Let's hope this young woodworkers keep with it. If their work is anything to go by, we are in for a treat in the next few years.

Re: Shop sawn veneer without a drum sander

Perfect timing Matt - I'm planning a build that needs some veneer work. Could you give your opinion on MDF v Ply as the core? I've been reading up on this and the pros and cons from people seem pretty evenly matched. I'm thinking if veneering the table top of the dining table I'm building and haven't got the funds to allow for any mistakes.

Also which glue/s would you recommend?


Re: A Basic Bench That's Quick To Make

I really like this. I've been busy designing my own workbench to replace the ropey old thing I currently use. You've made me reconsider exactly what I need a bench for - I think I've been more than a little seduced by the idea of a beautiful hardwood bench when, if I'm honest, I don't need one. My cash would be better spend on timber for furniture projects that my family can enjoy rather than a wonderful workbench that I can only use on the weekends.

Re: Cherry TV Stand

My wife saw this as I was reading it and now has a very thoughtful look on her face - I guess I'm building a TV stand this summer :D

Really like your website too. Some very inspirational stuff there - thanks for sharing.

Re: Shop Talk Live 26: Workbench Glue-Up Conundrum

Overall you're doing a great job with the pod casts. You are tending to let yourselves go off topic a bit more than I'd like but taking the rough with the smooth the balance isn't bad at all. Please don't add more sound FX though; they give the production a slightly embarrassed, apologetic tone. If I want to listen to things like that I can tune into a cartoon network for a while.

I was most interested to hear your thoughts on workbench tops. I went with a different approach: I can mill up to 8" wide stock and have been designing a split top bench. The two main parts of the top will be 8" wide with a 2" wide apron on the front. Add a 1" gap and then 5 or 6" tool tray at the rear and I've got all the depth I'll need for my workbench.

Re: Want to be a FWW editor?

AHHHGGhhh!! - my perfect job - just the wrong country.

Re: Mike Pekovich to Teach at Marc Adams School

Just wanted to echo what Steve Bluhm has said about the video workshops: they are the number one reason for my taking out a subscription to the website and despite living in the UK, I also bother to order copies of some the the DVD's. These workshops have taken me from enthusiastic bungler to intermediate wood worker and I am now getting confident enough to start designing my own pieces rather than simply copy your plans. The UK seems to be woefully lacking in ways to learn the craft so I really rely on FWW to keep me going. The videos really make it feel as though you have a private tutor working with you.
Now we just need you to start thinking about FWW - UK (hint, hint).

Re: What hand tools can't you live without?

Some interesting choices there. I am surprised there is no provision for drilling holes though. And as someone has already pointed out, what about some clamps. I'd also want a cutting gauge in there too.
One last thing though: what is it about your projects that always makes me think "I want to build me one on those"? :)

Re: Gets a Makeover

I've been using the new site for a few days now and I love the new cleaner look. A big thanks and well done to all those involved. I have noticed that the site behaves a bit strangely when I browse on an iPad though: the drop downs on the menu bar don't seem to work. The drop down contents are visible for a moment than I'm taken to the default page for each category. For example, holding my finger on the 'Video' button briefly shows the drop down menu but before I can move my finger to the Workshop Video I want to view, I get sent to this page
I can't even see the Video Workshops on this page but on the plus side, I have found some other interesting content that I was not aware of.

Re: The birth of a hobbit cupboard

That's a really nice piece. Just the right amount of 'quirkiness' about it.

I've been looking for an app like paper for a while for my iPad - I'll give it a go: thanks for the tip.

Now we just need a Video workshop on carving for us people that haven't got a clue as to how to go about it (hint, hint).

Re: UPDATE: Routers & Router Tables from the editors of Fine Woodworking

I think the book should be sent to me - go on, you know you want to ;)

Re: Help me choose what to build for a video workshop

Option 1 for me too please Matt. I've not done any veneer work so I'll be fascinated to see how you go about this whilst ensuring the piece can stand up to day-to-day use.

Re: From Raw Steel to Righteous Tool

What a beautifully shot video. FWW has got to do a proper article on these guys.

Re: UPDATE: Sharpening & Tuning Hand Planes and Chisels by Hendrik Varju

I still struggle with sharpening so this would really be of use to me.

Re: Build a hayrake table this Fall

Being based in the UK, I obviously won't be making it to any classes. My wife has, however picked this design as our new dining table to go in the newly built extension to our house. I will also be building two of the Shaker chimney cupboards too. I'm very excited about these builds and can't wait to get started.

Re: UPDATE: Arts & Crafts Style Coffee Table with Gregory Paolini

Ohh! OOhhh! pick me, pick meeeee!!


Re: UPDATE: Making Wood Tools with John Wilson

I've made one or two wood tools: a marking gauge and a marking knife. I'd love to extend my repertoire so please send me the book.

Re: Time to end the hand vs. power battle

This reminds me a bit of the frequent question I get asked by people when they find out I work in IT: "What's the BEST computer for me to buy?". I always ask them about their skill set, and what they want the computer for then will talk to them about what the most APPROPRIATE computer for them might be. There's no such thing as the best computer.

I think tool choices are like that too. There are many options for approaching the cutting of a joint and what's most appropriate for one person will be a bad choice for another. It's the final results that count.

Personally, I find that at the start of a project, my shop is a pretty dusty, noisy and chip-ridden place as I use power tools for the milling and other heavy-lifting. As the project progresses though, I find the hand tools come more and more to the fore, the shop is cleaner and I can have some music on. My Jointer/Planer and Table-saw give me my best possible start to a project in that I am able to start with timber that is square and flat (there's no way I am good enough to mill timber by hand) but the hand tools help provide a more contemplative atmosphere in the shop. I wouldn't want to be without either power OR hand tools: a combination of both is what's most appropriate for me.

Re: UPDATE: Practical Furniture Design from Fine Woodworking

I'd love this book: I want to stop copying other peoples work and start designing my own.

Re: New tool cabinet packs in a lot of storage

At last - this is the Video Workshop I've been waiting for most of all.

Really looking forward to this.

Re: UPDATE: Dovetail Techniques with Stephen Hammer

This would be so useful for me - I learn so much from the FWW videos; my kind of learning.

Re: Shop Talk Live 3: Diminishing Returns

Loving these pod casts. It's really great to have them on in the background while working in the shop. Another vote for less sound effects from me. I prefer Ed's moderating to the FX.

Re: Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

I downloaded a copy of this and I must say I'm pretty impressed. The thing that first attracted me to the Fine Woodworking site was the video workshops. I learn best by watching how it's done then supplementing that with further reading so my copy of the Sketchup Guide for Woodworkers now makes a lot more sense to me.

I've read about the sound problems that other users have had but I've got say it's not a problem I've experienced. The whole thing is lovely and clear.

Re: The Story Behind the Government's Pending Tablesaw Ruling

2dtenor writes: NikonD80: "To use an analogy; You don't blame the car manufacturer when someone is killed in a road traffic accident despite the fact that cars today are made to achieve speeds well in excess of the most liberal of speed limits." Actually, Ford was held responsible when Pintos were being sold with gas tanks that exploded on impact. SUV manufacturers have been held responsible in rollover accidents. Firestone was held responsible for defective tires. Etc.

2dtenor - you've just proved the point I was trying to make. Theses are ALL design and/or manufacturing faults. You don't blame the car manufacturer if someone is driving recklessly. If I drive at 80 in a 30 zone, that's my fault not the car maker's.

Re: The Story Behind the Government's Pending Tablesaw Ruling

I've been reading all this with great interest.
People do seem to be blurring two separate issues here. There's the issue of the court case and the other issue of should the new tech be mandatory.
The Court Case
Personally, I believe that there was a grave miscarriage of justice when the court awarded the money to Carlos Osorio. Nobody but the harshest of critics can have anything but sympathy for the injuries suffered but these injuries are not the fault of the Saw manufacturer. The device WAS being used in an unsafe manner and had been (in effect) partially dismantled.
I understand that it is possible to turn off the Sawstop breaking device. If this is true then how long before Sawstop are sued for allowing its safety device to be able to be deactivated? I see this as a logical extension of the arguments used against Ryobi.
To use an analogy; You don't blame the car manufacturer when someone is killed in a road traffic accident despite the fact that cars today are made to achieve speeds well in excess of the most liberal of speed limits.
Mandatory Safety
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will guard the guards themselves). This might seem a little pompous but it strikes right at the heart of the argument – in this case; Self Regulation (For Self Regulation read ‘Voluntary Standards’). Self Regulation never really works (look at the UK press hacking scandal). It’s all too easy for the regulators to rewrite the book if they need to. It would be much easier and cheaper not to require dust masks, protective clothing, safety wear and training and I suppose we could force the use of that old equipment that needs to be replaced but the law is there to protect workers from this kind of thing. Once upon a time, workers were forced to carry on in conditions that today would be considered Dickensian then the laws brought in standards and mandatory safety requirements. These things didn’t come in out of a feeling of charity.
I believe it is the fact that these requirements became mandatory that lead to improvements as companies tried to achieve the same level of safety at a better price. The expensive innovations filter down through the budgetary levels and so become incorporated into the less expensive kit. If you want to know what sort of budget car you’ll be driving in 5 years time, take a look at a high end car today. In years to come, the Sawstop technology we have now will be looked on as incredibly crude but these things have to start somewhere. This tech will get both cheaper and easier to work with as time progresses. The debate shouldn’t be about should this tech be mandatory but rather how best to implement change over the coming years.

Re: Video Workshops: This is how we do it

Nice to see Father-hood has brought you to new levels of maturity Ed :D

Poor old Matt - if it's any consolation, this is the first build that's excited me enough to pre-order the DVD. I really can't wait to get building.

Re: UPDATE: Building Small Cabinets by Doug Stowe

Oohhh Second shots. Count me in.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

It very much looks like you're asking the question of speed Vs Safety; does the speedy result justify the added inherent dangers that this technique can come with? In my opinion, the answer is NO. Not because of the obvious problem of lateral pressure on the blade but because the readership of Fine Woodworking is quite broad. Experienced readers will know that a fine cut is all you can take using this method but less experienced readers are more likely to give in to the temptation to take heavier and heavier cuts to get the job done quickly - after all, you're already calling it a 'Speed Tenon'.

When John Tetreault built his workbench he showed a way of using the Table Saw to make a series of cuts to make a Tenon that is just as effective and much safer.

So, to answer your question Asa, NO, I don't think this approach should be included in the pages of FWW.

Re: UPDATE: Building Small Cabinets by Doug Stowe

If this is only half as good as his book on box making then it'll still be better than most other books - count me in.

Re: My redesigned Shop

The glass jars are one of those ides that you see in someone elses shop and promptly steal (I mean adapt for use in your own shop). Mine just have the lids screwed to the lowermost part of the ceiling joists. It never occured to me to have them setup the way you describe; I might just have to 'adapt' that idea for future use ;)

Re: "Ripple"

That's amazing. A real work of art.

Re: Birth Interrupts FWW Video Shoot

Ed, that's exactly why I took out my online subscription with Fine Woodworking. I learn far, far more from watching those video workshops than I do from all the other sources combined. In fact, those videos are the reason why I'm a woodworker.

Re: Birth Interrupts FWW Video Shoot

Many congratulations to both new parents.
Little Gweneth looks like a real cutie. Treasure this time, it goes by so fast.

Re: Free Box Plan from a Box-Building Pro

I downloaded this after being inspired by the new video workshop. Last Saturday I decided to 'have a go' and see how things turned out. I'm not quite finished yet but I'm thrilled with the way things are turning out and I'm already planing to build another box when this one is finished. Several members of my family are going to be getting boxes for Christmas this year.

Re: UPDATE: Using and Tuning Your Bandsaw by Hendrik Varju

This would be so useful to me - count me in.

Re: Asa's 2-car garage shop

Sounds like you got a good deal there Asa.

How about some photos though?

Re: Caption Contest Winner!

Little did Matt realise that he'd just glued his elbow to the worktop.

Re: Fine Woodworking Magazine Goes Digital

Well I think it's brilliant. 9 out of 10 to FWW for this.
To make it the perfect 10 you'd need to be able to have an online archive of previous issues. [hint-hint ;) ]

Re: Matching Cherry Bedside Cabinets based on T. Rousseau's Plans

Only just found this and I must say I think that far from 'stumbling' you've done a really great job.

Re: Could This Tool Change Everything?

By a nice co-incidence, 'Kona Industries' is an anagram of 'desks urination'. Is this your really clever way of forewarning us it was a pXss take by the office guys?

Anyway, it made me smile.

Re: Top-Notch Tools for Less: WoodRiver's New V3 Block Planes

You know, I can't help but wonder just how jingoistic you'd all be if the US tools were badly built and terrible to use.

Luckily for me, my disposable income is not very great so I can't even afford to consider such names as Lie Nielsen (the lucky bit is that my choice is much narrower and thus choosing becomes more straightforward). Most of my tools are strictly of the bargain basement kind and I have to make up for their deficiencies by building my own skills. Personally, I can't afford to care where the tool comes from, I can only worry about getting the best tool I can in my price range.

Re: An Index - eBook References to DCB Blogs

Thanks for taking the time to do this Tim. This resource just gets better and better.

Re: Free Woodworking Plan: Build a Splay-Legged Table

My wife has seen the PDF I downloaded:
"That'll make a nice bedside table" says she.

I guess I'm building a couple of Splay-legged Tables then

Re: Does MDF Belong in Fine Furniture?

I'm perfectly hapy to use MDF if it's appropriate for the job. Like others have already mentioned, it's great for jigs and patterns and as a sacrificial surface. I also use it a lot when I'm making plugs that will be used to make molds for fibreglass work. MDF can be tough as old boots if it's properly sealed.

Having said all that, there is, at the heart of me, something that simply abhors MDF for furniture work. MDF is wood with all the life taken out of it. Sure it's flat and stable but it simply dead too. When I pick up a piece of timber (even if its cheap Pine) I'm aware that this was once something growing in a forest somewhere. That makes me respect the wood and so I produce work of a higher quality. Don't think I'm being all romantic about this; I simply feel that wood is a precious resource and MDF is part of a more 'throw away' culture. When I build something really well out of proper timber, the first thing people want to do is touch it. They'll literally stand there stroking a piece of furniture. That never happens when I use MDF.

Re: Special Announcement - My Book on SketchUp

Hi, I just re-downloaded the file and it does contain the Connecticut Stool now.

Thanks for the quick fix.

Re: Special Announcement - My Book on SketchUp

Hi Tim,

Just been reading my newly downloaded ebook. This is the book that I've been wishing for ever since I started trying (and failing) to learn SketchUp. Even with a quick flick-through, things that have been puzzeling me have become clearer. I can't wait to get home tonight and get cracking.



Re: Watch the preview of Tommy Mac's new woodworking show

You guys are so lucky to have shows like this. It looks like it's going to be a great show. There is nothing (and I mean nothing) like this in the UK. Actually, now I come to think of it, unless you're into Gardening I can't think of a single show that covers hobbies. Lots of good drama but other than that its 'How to sell your House', 'Soaps' or 'How to make a fool of yourself on reality TV'.

I'm so jealous of you.

Re: Bed for my daughter

That's really nice Dan. Are you going to build any storage underneath?

Re: Shop Tours with Fine Woodworking Staffers

I'm in the very early stages of planning my shop (as opposed to simply having somewhere that is not planned out that I use to work in).

That little Vid has already given me a few ideas so please keep this sort of thing coming.

Re: UPDATE: Book Giveaway: Woodworking Techniques, from Fine Woodworking magazine

This sounds like a great book - count me in.

Re: What are The Turning Points Along Your Woodworking Path?

Like most of you, I'm self taught.

My first turning point was when I finally developed the patience you need instead of rushing through things to get to 'the good bits'. I now regard the entire process as one big 'good bit'.

Another big point for me was finding this website. The video tutorials are so inspirational. I'm currently making a mock-up version of Garret Hack's small tool cabinet just to try out the entire process before I build the real thing.

And I don't think I'll ever forget the first time I cut a mortice and tenon joint that was a perfect fit. The triumphant feeling when the joint slides together and there's no wobble or rattle. In a word - 'Fantastic'.

Re: How to Use SketchUp to Get the Most from a Digital Woodworking Plan

Dello Dave,

Thanks for that info (and the very quick response). My inches have been transformed to cms.



Re: How to Use SketchUp to Get the Most from a Digital Woodworking Plan

I'm a relative newcomer to woodworking and I'm finding Sketchup to be invaluable in helping me try things out before I start cutting up valuable timber. I notice Derval's comment about being able to change the measurements from inches to centimeters but can't find a way of doing this - how do I find out?



Re: UPDATED: What Tools Are on Your Holiday Wish List?

I'm after a nice cordless drill to replace my old one that just gave up the ghost - and clamps, lots of clamps :)

Re: Bench Cookie Giveaway

Here's my avatar. I'll be interested to see how many people know what it is.

Advertise here for as little as $50. Learn how