Friday, 5 May 2017

Name the tools

Bethany, my 7 year old, came down to the workshop the other day. She has the addiction of making stuff with her hands. I go into the kitchen to make breakfast and there she is, weaving a braid with her lucet or her knitting nancy, moulding plasticine whatevers, fashioning doll's apparel from cardboard.
I have been holding off teaching her the finer points of wood bothering, even though she has had her own child's carpenter's tool kit for  a couple of years.

It's interesting, because I realised I had to start completely from scratch. I also realized that detailed instruction is not something that happens on this blog (maybe that is done adequately elsewhere), but for gad's sake if you want to know something, just ask (genuine enquiries only please). Although she kind of already lives and breathes joinery (cos it's all I ever talk about, not) things need to be clarified and understood (she is a Virgo like me). Amazing really that she is so keen. "This is a planing stop", "We rive the wood because it gives more stable stock", "Watch carefully which way the grain runs so as not to plane against it"...

We have a new game, when dad is uploading photos, can Bethany name all the tools and their parts, what is each's purpose, etc.

So far 10/10.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Merry Xmas from Exeter Cathedral

So here are my two entries to the Exeter Cathedral Xmas exhibition, to be held actually in the cathedral 20th November to 15th December this year.

I visited the cathedral a short while ago, where I found plenty of inspiration.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

It's got to be big

I honestly keep trying to make smaller things, but they just keep growing. Trees eh!

In the pan for boiling, and after boiling.

I'll leave this for several months now, before coming back to finish the surface.

Time to rive down the oak tree that I brought back from the woods the other week.

This will become the drawer front to go in that hole there.

This is the bowl I started hollowing in the woods with the chainsaw and flat adze, otherwise I couldn't move it. It contains the heart of the main trunk running through both ends, so it might not work i.e. it may rip itself apart as it dries out. I am hoping giving it a long slow boil this will be prevented.

 As you can see, I am also keeping it filled with water overnight, in between carving. It's a big one.

In fact, any bigger and I will need a bigger pan.

With about 80 litres of water and a small fire it took about 6 hours to come to the boil. I kept stoking it for an hour or two and then left it overnight. I imagine it kept bubbling for another hour or so.

With only minimal cracking on the end I am hopeful.

So onwards with the other half of this section of trunk.

I think this one might be called the dragonfly bowl.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Riving, riving, riving. Keep those wedges riving.....

Don't try this at home.

After loading the 6ft quarters (fifths) I am left with a 3ft length, that's not going in, no matter how creative I get with levers and tipping points etc. Nothing for it but to lighten the load a little.

All, while 'Storm Doris' raged over the valley top.