oliver_sparks_maker oliver_sparks_maker

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Oliver Sparks  Maker of high end hand tools for the discerning user and collector. Leicestershire, England.

Blimey! Thank you all so much for your comments on the last post, feeling the love!
Now that I have your attention....I can shamelessly begin plugging this years charity open day/auction 🤣. For those not aware, around this time every year my good friend @arnold_richard kindly opens his workshop for a day to raise money for @macmillancancer My own workshop is opposite from Richards so I open my doors too to lend a hand. Running alongside the event is an online auction, this year run by the infamous @jim.n.alfie . Makers and collectors all over the world have donated the most incredible woodworking goodies from tools to books to tuition. Details can be found on Jim’s account- get involved! Last year we raised over £5k, help us beat that this time around! .
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Observe: The Kimberley Patent bench plane. These are pretty thin on the ground but do show up from time to time (thank you for the gift @lowfatroubo ) so a reasonable number must have been sold. The defining feature of these planes is of course the cast iron insert which form part of the bed, the abutments and escapement. The casting was originally designed to stop blown cheeks and split abutments, a feature that seems to have been looked on very favourably: stamped in the top is ‘HIGHEST AWARD THREE GOLD MEDALS’ though who awarded these medals is lost in time, who knows it could have just been branding?
For my part in the Macmillan auction I have developed and donated a very OS,M. take on this idea, and over the coming week I’ll share some of the making involved and my thoughts behind the processes.
#kimberleyplane #planemaking #handplane

Hello. 🙃

Hello ladies and gents. As some of you may know tomorrow is the day of my good friend @arnold_richard hosts a charity fundraiser and open workshop here in Wilbarston, Northamptonshire. My own workshop will also be open to all. There are a host of wonderful tools up for auction, all donated by kind and generous members of the woodworking community from around the world. Why not check out his page and see what's up for grabs?! Last year I donated a special rebate plane in 5000 year old Bog Oak with an English Boxwood sole, dovetailed into the body. Since that went down so well here's a little something in the same vein 😀

This small smoother is 4 1/2" long fitted with a 1 1/8" iron. Once again in classy 5000 year old Bog Oak and English Boxwood, the sole of course attached with three tiny sliding dovetails. Boxing aside, a few other features set this plane apart from the normal OSM fare; The shaping of the wedge is a pattern I have never done before, likewise with it's very angular coffin profile, also the eyes are shorter than typical. I hope you'll agree all this adds up to a rather unusual little thumb plane!

The auction ends tomorrow, Saturday 3rd, 16:00 GMT. As with all the other lots, from tonight onwards the format will be 'silent auction'. To clarify: bids are submitted to @arnold_richard EMAIL ADDRESS ONLY (details found on his page) stating the final price you are willing to pay. In-person bids are also being accepted at the event itself. At 4pm whoever has submitted the highest amount wins the plane, simple. Worldwide postage is free and 100% of the money raised will go to @macmillancancer to help with the fantastic work they do. The highest bid is currently at £240. I beg you to be generous for this worthy cause! Good look and thank you!
#macmillan #charity #handplane #planemaking

A quick before & after shot of some heat treated mitre plane irons. I really like the furnace scale finish, it has a very 'honest' quality to it. That said, it's a look more suited to a woodie than a top shelf infill plane, where it would stick out like a sore thumb!
#planemaking #infillplane #planemaker #surfacegrinding

Hello all! Firstly, a heartfelt thanks to all who got in touch to check I was okay, or indeed alive. Feeling the love. I had intended to start posting again after the Christmas digital detox. Mostly I've just been crazy busy having a serious shop shake up and still making planes alongside. To be honest though I've certainly had more enjoyable starts to the year, so retreated into my shell a bit, but on the whole all is well 👍🏻 Square 60° Pyramid knurling. Been trying to crack this one for ages! Over Christmas I had an epiphany, realising that if I wanted to continue to produce everything in-house my machining skills would need some improvement. To this end I've been training myself in machining exercises, and holding tighter tolerances as I take my making to a higher level. Hopefully you will see this shine through in the finished pieces. Oh man have I got some ideas for this year! Some of which are frankly just bonkers...but almost with reach 🤓. #infillplane #planemaking #knurling #instamachist #turning

Checking a shellac polished front infill. Conclusion: IT'S NEARLY CHRISTMAS! During the holidays I'll still be doing late nights and long hours, just not at the workshop. Hello Pub me old mucker, it's been a while 😁 🍻

#infillplane #shellac #ebony #handplane #planemaking

Anvil, Anvil, Cat.

Current favourite coffin chamfering tools. Beech spokeshave by the talented @calebjamesmaker, OSM dovetailed luthiers plane in brass, steel and rosewood and a STIHL flat chainsaw file. So the file is the odd one out right? Perhaps, if we only look skin deep. It may not be as pretty, but they all share the most important attribute of all - performing faultlessly, without fuss.
#planemaker #planemaking #luthier #cabinetry #toolmaking #spokeshave

No. 70 lever cap in Phosphor Bronze. If you want something to look timeless concentrate on form over decoration. By that I mean that if you do decide to add decoration to an object, think hard on whether it's needed at all. If it is, make certain it accentuates the form and doesn't compete with it. The eye must find its own way around a piece, rather than not know where to begin.
#planemaking #levercap #oliversparks101 #planemaker #norris

1 5/8" double iron from Sheffields finest High Carbon O1 steel. Every aspect of my work is carried out in-house, from raw material to finished item. Heck, even the screw on this cap iron is bespoke, turned from Silver Steel on a manual lathe. I'm glad I get to work this way. It isn't always smiles and roses, but on a good day the making feels magic beneath your hands, like watching a dull caterpillar turn into a beautiful butterfly 🙃
#planemaker #planemaking #instamachinist #cabinetry #handtools #handplane

Fairly certain our spot on the naughty list has just been confirmed. A thousand apologies @aspireartwork 😂 🎄

Ray fleck strata. Unknown Ebony.

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