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A tale of a hardware shop and plane irons

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Anonymous

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I had the good fortune to visit Tilgear just before Christmas (a pressie shopping trip :D ) and it's a really olde-worlde kind of experience. This story reminded me of it.

If anybody gets the chance, a visit to Tilgear is worth the time, even if just to see the ingenious revolving racking systems in which all sorts of goodies are stored. Oh, and of course they stock LN too :wink:

AG - no affiliation to Tilgear, just loved the shop
 

Chris Knight

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AG,

I like Tilgear too but don't get stuck talking to the owner. He is a lovely old boy but will talk all day and somehow you walk out of the place with all sorts of stuff you never knew you needed!

I am not sure how they manage their very good prices - perhaps it is because they spend no money maintaining a website! (Not that long ago they did not evenm take credit cards).
 

Bean

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There was once a shop like that in Leicester called Oldhams, They sold hand tool sfor all trades and usually had a choice of makes and qualities, from tools you use once in a while to tools you could earn a living with.
I too, miss them as there is nowhere to buy good hand tools from anymore.
I still have my Grandfarthers wooded smoother that he bought from Oldhams.

Bean
 
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Anonymous

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I too visited Oldhams with my dad (carpenter) many times as a lad. Sadly mised
 
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Anonymous

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Chris,

Ah, you've spotted that as well eh? When I was there at Christmas to choose a present from the LN range (got the LA smoothing plane :D ) he wandered over and started chatting with me. Within 5 minutes he'd brought over a fancy tape measure (around £15) and was extolling its virtues, including being British, and then he tried to flog me that fancy new hammer (the name escapes me) at £35. Thanks to having the missus with me, I was able to escape without cost, but it was a close shave - that tape measure in particular was very appealing, especially after I'd heard all about the 5 patents they've got on it :?

Cheers,

AG
 
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Anonymous

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just spoke with a very helpful chap at Tilgear about their L-N prices and he told me that they have dropped them a bit at the moment as the exchange rate is so favourable. That as a customer service stance is just so refreshing I'm tempted to give them my business on principal, only drawback is they are only open weekdays and i don't have a weekday off now until the end of April.

Could always resort to mail order but as its going to be my first foray into the world of expensive bronze i kind of wanted to fondle it first before committing...but then again it sounds like personal visits can get even more expensive :)
 

Chris Knight

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AG,

Good for your missus on this occasion - I hope though that you manage to leave her at home when you are on a serious expedition - no-one wants the voice of sweet reason at the decisive moment when looking at the next LN or similar lustworthy stuff
 
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Anonymous

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MP,

Did you by any chance pick up any details of specific prices on LN at the moment then? I got a home-made "Tilgear Token" from the missus for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, and it's burning a hole in my pocket! I've been so lacking in workshop time lately I've been loathe to spend it, but a great deal on the right tool just might get me going again.

Now Chris, tell me just how nice the LN spokeshave is please, as I'm becoming a little addicted to these tools and I've only got two (a woodie and the Veritas), with neither being quite right for those tricky internal curves that I know I'd make more of, if only I had a shave to suit...

AG
 
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Anonymous

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the one I specifically spoke to them about was the adjustable-throat low angle block plane and they were GBP86-25+vat. I seem to remember APT quoting about GBP 96+ vat for the same
 

Alf

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Afterglow":3akga767 said:
Now Chris, tell me just how nice the LN spokeshave is please, as I'm becoming a little addicted to these tools and I've only got two (a woodie and the Veritas), with neither being quite right for those tricky internal curves that I know I'd make more of, if only I had a shave to suit...
Is the required phrase here "Whoops! That Slope wasn't there a moment ago..." :lol:

MP, Hmmm, very interesting news on the L-N front... As of now, I too have a wad making an unsightly bulge in the wallet so I'm oh-so-tempted to give them a bell... Lucky for me I'm reading this after they'll have closed eh? :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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AG and Alf,

Happiness is a Boggs spokeshave - actually I confess it is two Boggs spokeshaves in my case. I got the curved and the flat shaves. Heretofore I have only used a grotty iron Stanley type shave and a somewhat disappointing Harris wooden shave and neither gave me confidence in the sort of thing that was likely to happen when I applied them to a piece of wood. I do have a Stanley 67 lurking in a drawer - more of that shortly.

The Boggs shaves were a revelation. Being impatient, I did not sharpen them before using them and was delighted to see that they behaved much like the little LN 102 block plane, taking off fine, precise amounts. The soles of the Boggs shaves - even the curved one - seem to register the right angle for cutting without any difficulty (unlike my Harris which needs rolling back and forth to find where it cuts.

The radius of the curved Boggs is 5 inches and for any tighter curves one will need a different shave although one can (so the destructions say at least) file it to a tighter radius - but I shan't be doing that!

Because I had a need for a smaller radius, I dug out my unused (by me but definitely used by someone) Stanley 67 and worked on the blade till it was suitable for opthalmic surgery and then applied it to the wood. This did cut quite well but I find myself still hunting for the proper angle and feeling like an silly person when I can't quite get it (I can't sing either and it's like hunting for a top C or something). back in the drawer goes the 67 and out comes the credit card - it glows in the dark now! - next day from Axminster arrives the LN small bronze spokeshave, the Preston lookalike.

This has to be a real bargain. No hunting for the right cutting angle but like the Boggs, a very precise tool with a fine cut and a Boggs like feel (except the loop type handles are not that comfortable actually).

I reckon there can be few better demonstrations of what good toolmaking is about. Spokeshaves are about the simplest tool imaginable and these examples really show what careful design and manufacture to fine tolerances can do.
 

Alf

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Ah Chris, I agree whole heartedly with you. Happiness is indeed a good spokeshave. I'd pretty much given up on the (modern) bevel down metal shaves until about a year ago when I got a adjustable Preston thrown in gratis with a load of other stuff (yep, that's a gloat, but then so's a #67... :roll: ). Bootiful shave. Got the loop style handles too, but a previous owner stuffed them with mahogany (rather crude screw heads foul up the casting to be honest) and it's very comfy. Feasible option for the L-N I wonder? Although it is considerably smaller. I've also got a #53 the same way but I just can't get along with it. The Veritas low angle I love to bits, despite its limitations, and you can't ever have enough woodies to my mind :wink: Oh deary me, I'm already well down that Slope too, aren't I? :oops:

For the shavily challenged, you might find the Blood & Gore for Stanley shaves a handy reference.

Cheers, Alf
 
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Anonymous

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I really don't know why I bother reading these boards. I mean, around two years ago I only had a single plane, and now I've got at least a dozen. I didn't have a spokeshave, and now I've got two and want at least another couple. My chisels have grown from 3 or 4 to about 15, and I'm told that's hardly a starting position by some folks, and yet my productivity in the workshop remains desperately low. God forbid it, but I suspect I'm turning into a c*ll*ct*r.

Now then Chris, given that the Boggs is so nice to use, when you say a 5" radius, I think that sounds like it might not quite be tight enough for my general purpose and tool-lusting dual needs. When I made a little bookshelf last year for our youngest's room, I copied an Arts & Crafts style project off the web and put an arch across the inside top. Unfortunately the Veritas shave doesn't like inside radii very much and so the resulting arch appears to have been made out of Lego (now you know why I haven't posted a picture of it, Alf). This stopped me even considering putting little arched cutouts in the bottom of the sides too!

Obviously the Boggs would cope wonderfully with something like the arched top, but it would have been a bit tight for the sides. Would the dinky bronze Preston style one be a good all rounder, or would it not be up to the task of the wider arches?

Cheers,

AG - Tilgear token still burning hole in pocket! And so many choices about what to spend it on :?
 

Chris Knight

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AG,

Yes, I reckon you could use the Prestonalike for a lot of things. If I were planning to use it all day, I would have a go at stuffing the loops as Alf mentioned. I hadn't thought of that but it seems like a very good idea to me.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for the tip Chris. My next shave will be a LN curvy bottomed Prestonalike then, which should add quite a range of possibilities to my shaving repertoire. I also realised that you've got a well-developed shave habit too, but I'll not mention it any further in case it flares up again and you have to go find another one :wink:

Cheers!

AG
 
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