Friday, April 28, 2023




Indian ink and watercolour
Approx. A4

More Old Tools


Yesterday I bought a box of old woodworking tools from a guy over in Lyttelton. Apparently they came from an old carpenter friend of his.

There were three wooden planes, two of which are in decent condition. Two hand-drills that just need a bit of a clean and oil, and both of which are infinitely superior to the horrible crappy plastic-bodied piece of garbage I already own. And most important from my point of view, a roll of nicely-kept bits for my brace, and this box of assorted specialty bits.

I remember making a box like this in woodwork class at intermediate school, though that one was supposed to be a pencil case, and it was made of pine.

This one is made of cedar I think, and it's had a pretty hard life, probably rattling around in the carpenter's tool bag for decades. Cedar is a pretty soft wood, and it doesn't take much of an impact to leave a mark.

There's history in the battering this box has taken, and I don't want to obliterate that, so I've just cleaned off the worst of the dirt and grime with a solvent cleaner, and given it a light coat of boiled linseed oil.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Ink reservoir insert


This is an insert to fit a Parker Quink bottle, with an internal neck diameter of 30mm.

With the insert in place and the cap on the bottle, the user can just tip the bottle to fill the reservoir. Then a dip-pen or brush can be loaded easily without having to reach right down into the bottle, avoiding a whole lot of potential messiness.

Printed PLA doesn't create a reliably watertight object, so I suspect the ink may seep away over time. However, it's a simple matter to just refresh the reservoir, or else I guess you could line the inside of it with epoxy or something.

The STL can be downloaded free from

Thursday, April 13, 2023



We have a silhouette, made in 1851, of a great-great-great-uncle, Alfred Edward Hands, when he was two. (There may be another great or two in there).

It really needs a bit of protection from ambient dust and dirt and what-not, so I shall have to make a glassed-in shadow box to house it.

The drawing-in over the silhouette appears to have been done with a gold stylus; the metallic sheen doesn't really come through well in this scan. The background drawing — the toy and floorboards, and the curls of hair — appear to have been done in croquil pen and ink line and washes. I'd describe it as being careful and meticulous work, to a good professional standard, rather than the work of a highly skilled artiste. Nevertheless, it's a pretty little thing.

Next day...

The shadow-box is complete, and Alfred is safe behind glass. I've left a space at the bottom for a caption plate, which I will no doubt get around to in another decade or so.

I used a nicely figured bit of rimu for the frame, and plain old 7mm plywood for the backing board. The top is not glued, just held in place by brass screws, so I can access the innards at my whim.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Kunz cabinet Scraper Modifications


I have a Kunz #80 cabinet scraper. It's basically identical to the Stanley #80, and Veritas also make one, but both the Stanley and Veritas versions are two or three times the price while being functionally identical.

Where the Kunz falls down is in its fastening and adjustment screws. They're all standard M6 threads, which is handy, but the screws holding the bar at the back are just slot-heads, requiring a screwdriver for adjustment, and the front thumbscrew to adjust the blade deflection is tiny and difficult to tighten.

I've used my Ender 3 3d printer to make bigger, more easily manipulable thumbscrew heads for all three. The back screws are limited in diameter to 16mm by the geometry of the scraper body, but they never need to be super-tight since they only need to hold the bar and blade in place. The front knob can get up to 32mm diameter, allowing plenty of surface for my cranky old fingers to tighten or loosen it in the blink of an eye.