Welcome to my blog, where a 30-something couple from the UK renovate and extend an old cottage, build some outbuildings, raise some hens and grow firewood trees and vegetables on our Acre in Hampshire. It's a bit like a smallholding but without too many animals, so we call it a homestead - living within our means, relying on ourselves and having a wonderful life!


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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

My manliest power tools yet...?

The construction of the Barn is going to be quite simple - great big bits of Oak with square ends will fit into square holes, and an oak peg will fit through a hole drilled through both parts. Easy enough - but how to actually MAKE these deep, square holes?

On my Oak Framing course, we tried both methods - you could drill a series of holes of a suitable depth (100mm, about 4 inches)...


...and then chisel out the waste...
















All well and good - this is how oak buildings were made hundreds of years ago, after all. However, this would take about an hour for two holes - and I have 60 square holes to make just for my diagonal braces! I think we need a manly power tool...

After scouring eBay for months, this little beauty popped up - it's a Chain Mortiser, named because it uses a special chainsaw chain to cut a deep and wide mortise (a square hole, basically...) The only current manufacturer of a chain mortiser is Makita - and because they are the only player in the market, they can charge whatever they see fit - a new Makita costs over £1000.

Needless to say, when this Ryobi (who stopped making their machine some years ago) popped up on eBay for less than a third of the price of a new Makita, I jumped at it. As you can see from the plug, it is 110v - which meant I had to buy a transformer as well... still, lots of industrial tools are 110v - I won't be scared of buying tools with a yellow plug now.

Also on the shopping list was a large circular saw - to make the tenons (the square pegs which fit into the mortises) a series of cuts is made across the width of the oak post, and the tabs are then chiseled away - as seen here on a curved brace...

I needed at least a 60mm depth of cut - and my little Bosch circular saw would only cut to 50mm. More Man Shopping required! Another eBay bargain - this time a Bosch Professional 235mm saw, which will cut to 85mm. My main posts are 175mm oak - in case I need to shorten them, I'll saw around the perimeter and only be left with a 10mm square in the middle to cut by hand.

I really rate Bosch tools - they are very reliable in my experience, and the spare parts availability is excellent - a far cry from Ryobi (reliable, but poor spares). As such, any new tool purchases I make from now on will be Bosch unless I have no option.

On that subject, more Exciting Bosch Power Tool News coming to AnAcreInHampshire soon!





9 comments:

  1. Just for the record there are at least two other companies Mafell and Swiss pro mind you they will cost the price of a small barn !!

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  2. Ohps missed out a bit " Who make chain mortisers"

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  3. That's a great tool. I have a power tool, Milwaukee 18v and I enjoyed using it.:D

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  4. Hey Simon, you are right. The power tool Bosch is really an excellent and reliable tool. Also, their spare parts are available.

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  9. These is a great list and I'd add up to choose the best planer to that, too!

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