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Steve

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David Charlesworth recently shot a video on tuning planes at Lie Nielsen's factory. I'm delighted to report that he's sending me a copy which I'll view straight away. It looks to be the first in a series, entitled as it is 'Hand Tool Techniques Part 1: Plane Sharpening'. At 77 minutes, it promises to be very informative.
I will of course provide a full and frank report to my good friends on this 'ere forum in the very near future. It will be available via David's web site soonish.

UPDATE: Review is below!

Steve
 

Philly

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Ooh, Steve, what's your secret?
How come you're getting an advance copy-do you know something I don't? :shock:
Look forward to your review,
Philly :D
 

Alf

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Cor Steve, what you got on 'im then? :lol: A pox on his impossibly manicured fingernails; last time I'm standing up for him on Wood Central! (Heck, if he does lurk on here I'm truly in the poo now... :oops: ) Honestly, I've been haunting his site waiting for it to appear too... :roll: Looking forward to the review. :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Steve

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David and I are old acquaintances - we worked together in the early eighties and have stayed in touch ever since.

OR

I emailed him last week and asked about the video and whether I could purchase one from him. He kindly replied immediately, stating that I was his first video customer.

One of these is true. You decide which!

Steve
 
A

Anonymous

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Steve, David and I have been firm friends since the eighties and he has never mentioned you :wink: B is my choice.

Cheers

Tony

PS can I borrow your video?
 

Steve

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Hi Simon,

I think 'cracked' is probably the operative word!
You should see MorrisMinorDriver's hand tool reviews. Sheer poetry!

Hi Tony,

That's disappointing. He speaks very highly of you.
Of course you can borrow the video. I'll put you in the queue!

Steve
 

Steve

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David's video arrived the other day - I've now watched it and here's the 'review' as promised.

A REVELATION

I love my handplanes, they're a precision instrument, they do exactly what I want and they're probably one of the most useful tools in the workshop.
I have a certain amount of difficulty with my handplanes, they don't seem to do quite what I want, and I feel I must be doing something wrong.
David introduces his programme by asking his audience to vote for the statement which matches their experience. For me, it was easy - which is why I got hold of the video as soon as I could!

He explains that when he first started working, he too used to struggle and then spent the last 25 years figuring out how to make them do what they are supposed to do - and therein lies the whole point and value of this video. David takes you through the entire sequence of his tried and proven techniques for sharpening and fettling in a methodical and sequential way, stage by stage, task by task. Nothing is assumed, everything is explained and nothing is glossed over. He also points out pitfalls and things not to do, and demonstrates a few wonderful tricks along the way. The black art is demystified and made entirely accessible, resulting in beautiful 1 thou. shavings from a piece of sycamore. His style is easy on the ear, and there's a refreshing and total absence of the kind of dogmatic arrogance that such videos often suffer from. Indeed - the opposite is the case. The premise is that 'I was having trouble and this is how I solved it. I hope it proves useful to you'. Well - it most certainly did!

My only criticism is of the production values of the video itself, which looks to me like it was shot on NTSC and then reproduced for PAL, resulting in the usual degradation of wooly focus and washed-out 'pastel' colours. The editing is generally poor and actually intrudes on the flow of the programme now and then. I make this point because if ever there was a subject that called for sharp focus and the judicious use of a macro lens, this is it. Whilst David takes pains to explain the relationship between the manufacturer's grinding marks and an edge that resembles a dovetail saw for example, he holds up to camera something that might as well be a piece of slate. A little extra effort from the production company would have made a world of difference.

However, one doesn't buy a video like this expecting Lucas-style production values. What counts is the information - and it represents nothing less than a 77 minute summary of 25 years of effort, experimentation and expertise for £19.95. Should there be a better definition of an outstanding bargain, I'd certainly like to know what it is! If, like me, you've been struggling with your planes, I can recommend it without hesitation.
It can be ordered by 'phone on 01237 441288 right now, with online ordering coming soon.

Steve
 

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