Mike Riley

Mike Riley  |  Nov 21, 2008  |  0 comments
The most important part of any project is probably the initial stock preparation: without proper preparation no other part of the project can happen, it’s as simple as that. When it comes to preparation you have three options: buy PAR timber, which is relatively expensive; buy rough sawn timber and process it using machines; or break out the hand planes and do it yourself. My preference is for the latter because it’s cheaper, safer…

Mike Riley  |  Oct 09, 2008  |  0 comments

John Brown died in his sleep on the morning of 1st June 2008. John Brown was a maker of Welsh stick chairs, as well as a teacher and author. His book on Windsor chairs is, I believe, out of print although it is to be found here and there for stratospheric sums of money.

Mike Riley  |  Mar 31, 2008  |  0 comments

The internet is a wonderful place – all of life is there if you look hard enough. In the Eighties I used it for keeping in touch with the local chapter of the motorcycle club to which I belonged. These days, as a responsible grown-up (though the wife might argue that point), I use it for research, for keeping in contact with like-minded people (there are a few, honest!) and for finding inspiration: a wealth of ideas and information is…

Mike Riley  |  Feb 05, 2008  |  0 comments
To whittle not Wii!

Israeli-born luthier Boaz Elkayam was once asked by Victorinox to build a guitar using only a Swiss army knife. It was a publicity stunt, of course, but when you consider that traditional Mexican luthiers build guitars using few tools other than the long, curved carving knife that they call a cuchillo, it doesn’t seem like such a tall order.

Mike Riley  |  Jan 09, 2008  |  0 comments

Unguided edge tool: from wasting to delicate shaping, the draw knife can be made a jack of many trades

There must have been a time when every woodworker had a draw knife in his toolbox. It’s the only way to account for the vast number available today in secondhand tool shops and on eBay; my friend even found one buried in a field recently, and after being cleaned up, he was able to press it back into service. If you…