Although Rob Stoakley is a thoroughly English maker he has made a Japanese style panel gauge as a contribution to the Anarchist’s Tool Chest Chris Schwarz is building with New English Workshop at Warwickshire College in July. Despite choosing an ancient form, in true 21st century style, Rob has ‘upcycled’ some very old (and very stable) Cuban Mahogany (Swietenia mahogani), added a cutter made from high speed steel made from a planer blade. The gauge has a stem length of around 300mm, stamped with Rob’s initials just under the turn screw on the end grain of the stock.
Rob had originally intended to make the gauge out of hard maple but having used it all up, decided to deploy this beautifully rich and close-grained Cuban Mahogany. It has been waiting to be made into something for over 40 years and it originated from one of the desks that were in a bank in Colchester during the 60’s when the building was modernised. Rob’s estimate is that the furniture it came from dates from the WW1 era as the building dated from that period. Mahogany from this era almost always displays a finer grain than anything obtainable today. Rob describes it as a very precious and sentimental piece of timber as it was originally passed to him via his grandfather. It is certainly an unusual tool worthy of the Anarchist’s Tool Chest.
This is another really beautiful piece of kit from an artisan tool maker that we are very proud to include. You can see more of Rob’s very fine work here.
– Paul Mayon