Before leaving the subject of tools, it may be perhaps advisable to explain why no mention has been made of machinery for the cabinet-maker. By the use of machinery a good deal of manual labour is saved, but it is not adapted for use by the amateur or small cabinet-maker.
Fig. 74. - Winding Sticks on Board.
Power of some kind is required to drive it, and only a large output could make it answer. Steam or power machinery is beyond the intention of this work altogether, for though useful in its way it would be of no use referring to it for general furniture making,
It is, however, quite conceivable that many who have neither a steam nor a gas engine may wish to have as much machinery as they can to save labour and time. Even in the smaller workshops such may often be wanted, and pay for itself by the saving in time. Perhaps the most useful is a circular saw which can be worked by hand or foot. Most of these machines are very feeble, and will only cut through thin stuff. These may be a convenience for some kinds of work, but one that will do more than can be done with an ordinary saw in the general workshop will be the most suitable. Such a one is shown in Fig. 76, and is manufactured by the Britannia Company, by whom the wants of the cabinet-makers have been especially considered. As will be seen, it is worked with a treadle, but a handle can be fitted either as auxiliary to or in lieu of this. Some idea of its capacity may be estimated from the fact that the saw can be worked at 1500 revolutions a minute, and that it will cut 10 ft. of 1 in. stuff in the same space of time. With various appliances which are made, grooving, fret-cutting, mitreing, boring holes, etc, can be done with it, so that it is a very multum in parvo tool.
Fig. 75. - Winding Sticks showing Board in Winding.
Fig. 76 - Circular Saw with Dovetailing Appliance.
One piece of apparatus, that shown in use in the illustration, in connexion with it is worthy of more than a passing notice. It is a simple appliance, by means of which dovetailing may be done with the utmost precision and neatness by mechanical means, requiring little or no practice. As, however, I am not treating of machinery, it would be out of place to say all that I could in favour of this and the saw, especially as full particulars can be learned from the manufacturers. To those who wish to do their own turning and fret-cutting I may commend the Nos. 4 and 10 lathes, and No. 8 fret-saw by the same manufacturers.
The No. 4 lathe, Fig. 77, is a high-class tool, and is one of the most suitable I am acquainted with. It is well finished, and sufficiently powerful to allow of any part the cabinet-maker is likely to require being turned in it. It is made in various sizes, and is altogether a far superior lathe to that generally found in cabinet shops. For those who wish to do something more than plain wood-turning it is no use getting a light, common lathe, and it will be found more satisfactory to get a good one at once. I may say that I have examined many lathes, and have found none to surpass this one for cabinet purposes. It must be remembered that a very costly lathe, such as is required for engineering purposes, is not wanted in the cabinet shop, and this one will do any metal work that the amateur is likely to try. As the No. 4 can be had with any length of bed, it may be said that the cabinet-maker will rarely, if ever, require one more than 4 ft. 6 ins. long, while for most work one considerably shorter will do.
Fig. 77 - No. 4 Lathe.
Although the No. 4 is by no means an extravagantly costly lathe, the No. 10 is considerably less expensive; in fact, were it not from the high standing of the manufacturers, those who are not acquainted with it might, from the price, be inclined to class it in the 'cheap and nasty' category. From prolonged use I can, however, affirm that it is not so, though of course it is not so heavy or well finished as the other, and I do not so much wish to recommend it as a first-class lathe as to inform those who wish to know of one at a very low price of its existence. It is probably the lowest-priced lathe - beyond those which are more toys than anything else- in the market, and as such is well worthy of the notice of those who do not expect to get the best at the lowest figure.
As 'toy' lathes have been alluded to, it may be said, to show the difference between them and the No. 10, that this has a 4 ft. bed and 5 - in. centres. Ordinary light work can be turned in it without difficulty. When one compares its price, 90s., with other lathes, it is not easy to see how it can be sold, but that is a matter more for the manufacturers and dealers than for the user, who, however, must not be under the mistake that the lathe is the 'best.' It is undoubtedly the best at anything like the figure, and not by any means a worthless addition to the wood-worker's outfit, though to those who do not mind the extra cost the No. 4 is recommended.
The No. 8 fret-saw is so well known that it seems almost unnecessary to do more than mention it. Though largely used by amateurs, it must not be classed in the same list as the toylike machines which are so often seen. It is a good strong tool, which with suitable saw-blades can be used to cut even 1 - in. oak, though this is rather above its capacity, as stated by the manufacturers, or with ordinary fret-saw blades.
As I have said that turning and fret-cutting are separate branches from cabinet-making, I may point out the desirability of amateurs and those professionals who are a distance from turners and fret-cutters being able to do their own work in these branches. It is in any case often a convenience to do what is required, and it is by no means difficult to learn both turning and fret-cutting. For the same reasons a few carving tools may come in handy, and those who want them only for occasional work and for ordinary furniture carvings can hardly do better than get one of Lunt's sets of twenty-two of the most useful shapes and sizes. As the complete set is sold ground and handled for IIs., they are as inexpensive as the common and often worthless 'amateur' sets which are frequently met with.