Some few weeks past, looking
through Volume I. of AMATEUR WORK, I lingered over the handsome
designs given at page 453 of the "Lily" Overmantel Mirror, and
determined to hazard the attempt to make one.
Without difficulty I cut all the
"Fretwork;" but not being by any means a practiced hand with
tools, and in the real sense of the word only "An Amateur," I
had to give up the idea of "mortising" in the frame, and adopted
the plan of jointing, employed in the making of "Oxford" picture
This, with due care, I successfully
accomplished, producing as close joints as a "mortise." I cut my
frame of 1-1/2 inch yellow pine, and secured each joint with
glue and 1-1/4 inch screws from the back.
When the frame was made, it
appeared to me it would relieve the straight edges if
"stop-chamfered." Here I was in a dilemma. How was this to be
done? I knew that unless all the "stops and chamfers" were
perfect, my frame would be spoiled.
In my difficulty I consulted a
friend who had just finished a "Lily" mirror from the same
designs; he at once introduced to my notice the very tool I
needed - viz., a "stop-chamfer plane," which he procured from
Messrs. Booth Brothers, 63 Upper Stephen Street, Dublin.
I was incredulous that any
so-called plane could cut both "stop and chamfer;" but I took it
home, and on a spare piece of wood tried it, when, to my
delight, I found it perfectly successful at the first trial.
This tool is the same as I find
noticed at page 402, in the June part (1883). It will cut any
chamfer from 1/8 inch to 1-1/2 inch, by means of the movable
block "A," which regulates the size, the iron behind of course
being moved with it.
I required for my frame a ½ inch
chamfer, and regulated the plans accordingly; then pencil-marked
the points from, and to, which the chamfers were to be cut; put
each piece of the frame on the edge of an ordinary kitchen table
(in the absence of a bench), and with a penknife cut a small
V-shaped nick about ½ inch on the pencilmarks; placed the plane
on the edge of the wood, about 4 inches in front of the V nick,
and drew back the plane, the iron touching the edge lightly
until it met the nick, into which it at once went.
This, then, was the starting-point
of both "stop and chamfer". A forward movement, then, as with an
ordinary plane, to within a short distance of the other end, and
off came the first shaving beautifully, this movement repeated
from each end, each time bringing back the iron to the
starting-point or nick, until no more shavings will come off; a
most perfect "stop and chamfer" is produced, such as I have not
seen equaled by any other means, from the hands of even the most
skillful carpenter, as each "stop and chamfer" must be at the
same angle and same size when this tool is used.
It was thus I "stopchamfered" my
frame in a most perfect manner, without having previously used
the plane. No experience, no trouble, not even extra care, is
required to enable the veriest tyro, by means of this plane, to
make as good a "stop-chamfer" as is possible to be made.
Certainly no amateur can afford to
be without one, and it would be a most valuable addition to the
stock of even the most expert workman. And I am confident that
every amateur who uses it, will say with me, in his difficulty
of "stop-chamfering," that this plane of Messrs. Booth is a
perfect solution in this case of the problem, Quod erat
I hope you will excuse my lengthy
remarks on so simple a matter, but my desire is solely to aid my
brother "amateurs," as I desire being aided myself; for
oftentimes I fear that meagerness of details interferes to
prevent many amateurs attempting some pretty work which
otherwise they might successfully accomplish. I am pleased,
however, to admit that this drawback is not to be found in the
pages of AMATEUR WORK.