Tour de Shop and project inventory 2014


My last proper weekend in the shop for 2014 has now come and gone. It is therefore now time to start reviewing what I have managed to accomplish during this year and to take a quick look around the shop.

It all started with the rehabilitation of the two planes I happened to buy at an antiques sale in RSA over the December holidays. The Bedrock no. 606 has become one of my go-to tools.



I also bought this no.78 Rabbet plane from Stanley at the same auction, but it’s rehab took quite some time as it had several parts missing.



This was the last of my holiday shopping, a no. 45 Plough Plane from Stanley. It was covered with a thick black paint, and had no iron/s. I decided to tidy it up for shop decoration purposes.



I managed to finish turning all those file handles that I started with at the end of 2013.



My major project for 2014 started on the 1st of February and is not finished by quite some way. I spent at least 80% of my shop time this year working on my 18th century workbench and am pleased to say that it is at least assembled by the end of 2014. You can read all about it in a series of posts entitled “My 18th Century Workbench in progress”

IMG_9580IMG_9581photo 3photo 4


My 17 m³ wood finally completed it’s journey when it took occupation of it’s purpose built shed.


These exquisite chisels from Lie-Nielsen arrived after a wait of several months. I made this very basic storage to keep them out of harm’s way.



Didi (my son) started his woodworking journey by turning this mallet for himself.



I used an antique brace bit from my father’s collection that had key parts of it’s business end missing to fashion this birdcage awl. It is a real winner.


Didi’s next project was this bird feeder.


I revamped and sharpened this old scissor.


This shop high stool saw a bit too much action during the 14 years since I first made it. I re-upholstered it with leather and strengthened the base, while (clearly) not worrying too much about je ne sais quoi.


Didi learnt a few more skills by producing this beautiful Assegaai handle for an old axe we had lying around.


This Miller’s Falls no. 88 joiner gauge was successfully rehabilitated.


The wife and I managed to make a team effort of the re-upholstering of “die rooi bank”.


In order to hand plane the two edges of my benches top parallel, I had to first build this large panel gauge.


In order to create the space for my 18th century bench, I had to rearrange  some of the power tools. This planer and radial arm saw were placed on the same steel table and lined up to become each other’s out-feed table.


A set of winding sticks.


My favourite shop made wooden plane received some cosmetic surgery. I added a thin strip of Tamboti to it’s chipbreaker/lever cap and covered the lever cap screw with Kaapse Swarthout. This is a true workhorse as it makes short work of all scrub plane and very aggressive fore plane tasks.


My own version of a Melencolia Square.


Custom made leather apron.


Restored a Stanley no. 10 Rabbet plane (ca 1900) and a Bedrock no. 607 Jointer.


Replaced my ½” Lie-Nielsen mortice chisel handle with a shop made Ysterhout version. So far it is standing up to heavy abuse without breaking a sweat.



A custom made pairing handle for my bevel edge chisels.



Finally got round to making an Ysterhout straight edge.


Restored this Stanley no. 203 bench clamp.



Restored this Stanley no. 9½ block plane.½-block-plane-rehab/


I started restoring this Stanley no. 8 Jointer (ca 1896), but there is a lot more work to do next year. I will replace both tote and knob.



Tour de Shop at the end of 2014

This is simply a series of photos documenting the state of the shop at the end of 2014. The major change from last year has been the addition of the assembled (though not finished yet) 18th century style workbench. I also managed to collect quite a few new hand tools with the help of Patrick Leach and Jim Bode. As I am writing this my first shipment from Jim has not arrived yet despite leaving the States on the 12th of October. My guess is I will never see those tools or money again. Just one of the joys of living in Africa.

(9/1/2015 – I am very happy to report that the shipment arrived in Namibia on the 6th of Jan 2015 without as much as a scratch. I will write a post on this saga in the near future)


5 thoughts on “Tour de Shop and project inventory 2014”

  1. Hi Gerhard,

    Do you ever have the chance to get your hands on any African tools? I have inherited some fine Clamps from South Africa, but really I am thinking more indigenous.
    The blacksmith of Norway writes of the impressive work he saw done by colleagues in Mali. As is the case even here in Holland, the blacksmith requires keeping a close eye on and precise instruction, but with that understanding, I wonder if you have the possibility of getting what you want there.



    1. Hi Ernest

      I really struggle to buy quality tools. Almost everything I use (in terms of hand tools), were bought from Patrick Leach and Jim Bode. They are two American antique tool dealers.Oh yes and a couple of tools from Lie-Nielsen. It costs me a fortune to get it here. In terms of indigenous tools, there are almost nothing (that I am aware of) useful to a woodworker. I bought an indigenous axe in Rundu (on the border with Angola) some years ago and saw how one of the locals used it to great effect, but I have not tried it. A man with your axe skills will be able to use it for brain surgery I imagine. Actually your post gave me an idea to go and investigate that avenue a bit more when I get up there next time.

      Thanks for your comment.

      1. Bone up on your understanding of steel and be precise about what you would like from the smid so you can make your inquires as pointed as possible and your sure to come away with something excellent. A good place to start would be a nice carving knife, something well suited for carving drawer pulls or door grips for example.



  2. Dear Gerhard,
    I have just discovered your website and am amazed and heartened by the story you are gradually telling, through the site, about your wordworking life and by the beautiful aesthetic properties of the tools you make. I live in Tanzania, and only began woodworking a couple of years ago. I well know the difficulties of sourcing tools, and in my case suitable timber too (as I have no planer). Some good tools can be bought in Dar es Salaam, but at quite some cost.
    Do please continue to document your fascinating work.
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Richard

      It is wonderful to hear from you. I am really glad you enjoy my reverie. It is also good to get to know fellow African woodworkers. I have always wanted to see Dar es Salaam. Please stay in touch and let me know if I can help with anything. By now I have some contacts for sound advice and places to access tools, mainly from USA, so just ask.

      Have a wonderful evening

Thanks for commenting on Je ne sais quoi Woodworking