Monday, 19 October 2020

Drawknife With the Children

We haven't yet moved on to our next project since making the shave horse, but I have found my drawknife and decided it would be a good tool they could use safely. 

We went into our coppice and picked a willow to take a branch from. Quite nice as the girls helped plant these trees five years ago

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Lego Birthday Cake (okay maybe megablocks...)

 Okay, if you squint your eyes you can see it for what it is, although I'd say it's more Megablocks than Lego - for our middle child's 7th birthday! Where does time go?

Six years have past since my infamous "Philippa" pig cake (Peppa's pigs drug addled cousin who had fell on hard times) and it still gets brought up at every birthday...

Thursday, 15 October 2020

The Man Who made things Out Of Trees

 I think I might be a little late to the party with this book, but the last few weeks I've been working my way through it. 

This is a book that is, pretty obviously, going to appeal to me. The premise is that Robert Penn has an Ash tree cut down than tries to use as much of the timber as he can to make as many things as he can from it. 

The author writes brilliantly and his affection for trees, wood and things of beauty is apparent from the first page. 

I love his zero waste approach to this tree and how he gets so many things from it. At the end of the book there is a list of all the items and it's impressive. I also like how rather than trying to make the things himself he seeks out the true master crafts people to make them for him, while he witnesses the work. Each comes with it's own story and memory then and I love how the items he collects aren't just for decoration - they are to be used. Something I think we should do more in this country, beautiful items enrich our lives and using them daily gives a reason to own them. 

From a carpenters point of view it's great to learn more about ash and it's uses, a wood I have only used a few times, other than in tools handles.  I did use ash many years ago to make some legs on a stool on a pole lathe, something I'd love to do again when we get round to building a pole lathe here (there's a link to a blog post on the course I took here)

I love this book for it's simple promotion of craft in so many different forms and the fact that we have just a few of some of these traditional and very specific trades left in the world (fletcher, wheelwright, etc) and how they need to be looked after as much as any historic building or monument.

If you enjoy craft and wood then you'll enjoy this book. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Horse Chestnut Soap? Part One...

 The weekend was wet and windy, it finally cleared up on Sunday afternoon so I took the kids out to hunt for conkers and to blow off some steam. 

The tree in a field near us had none on them so we went to a friends to see what we could find.  

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Making A Shave Horse With My Daughter

 I have an axe head I bought a while back that still needs a handle. I've looked at buying one online to match but can't find anything that I think will fit or that I like. So I want to make my own. Now I have plenty of tools that I can make one with but I know from experience that a shave horse is the easiest way to hold and work it. 

Now I have made a couple over the years (one for my brother and one for myself) but I sold mine when I had nowhere to store it after we moved here. I've decided that even if I just chuck a sheet over it it'll be worth having it outside. I also had a few lengths of less than straight 4x2 so this seemed a good use of them. 
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