Return of the pint pot!

Yes, today I located a brand new pint pot for £2.75 on Skipton market.

Every working chap used to have one of these and they were very easy to obtain.  Sadly no longer (‘cept in Skipton market).  All those working chaps seem to drink pop, what is the world coming to?  But perhaps we have met the turning point at last.

Long live the pint pot!

My wife is taking bets on how long it will last – I have a bad habit of breaking them, usually by dropping them out of the jock bag as I take it out of the Land Rover.  I’m taking care of this baby, it is china apparently – rather posh for a man o’ the woods (even if it is a second), but what the heck, you have to take those opportunities when they arise – I can’t be doing with a tin mug with a picture of flocks on the outside for aye.

Woody stuff

Return of the killer oak shrink pots.  Three more, all from the same branch, they are now awaiting blackening with vinegar and iron.

Like the back drop?  It’s from m’new pattern book bindings.

Shows at the National Forest and Kilnsey coming up over the Bank Holiday, busy, busy. Elm to dig out from store for a stool, gates to hang, bench to fit with new boards, phew, makes me feel tired even on my day off.

Hold fast aside

Planing long board edges is just what holdfasts are ideal for.  The great thing about holdfasts is that they can be installed anywhere you can drill the hole for them to jam in, in this case in the bench apron.  Much quicker than making a leg/shoulder vice and support pegs in a leg.  The other advantage is that the holdfasts support the board before you’ve tightened them up, as you can see in the photo one is fastened up and the other is just in the hole supporting awaiting my turning it and tightening it up with the mallet.

I also got two old wooden planes set up to work.  I’d been struggling with these for a while, one problem being that the jointer had a bent cap iron so the shavings were constantly getting stuck between it and the plane knife. I bought a second-hand cap iron, it’s 2 1/2 inches wide which seems to be a bit unusual now, and no new cap irons that wide seemed to be available.  That solved the shavings problem.

The other problem I had was setting the thickness of cut.  I watched a very instructive video by David Finck on Fine  Woodworking and realised that I was jamming the wedge in far too hard.  I’ve started using a little gavel I made a while ago and the planes are much more manageable now – and the bonus is no more blisters on the side of my right hand from the metal plane I used to use.

Spooning the gates

I’m using a couple of old-fashioned methods with these peeled oak gates I’m making.  One is rose headed black iron nails and the other is a spoon bit.  I’ve been making the main frames of the gates with mortise and tenon joints.  The setting out is a bit of the old “rack o’th’eye” work, but the effect seems to be coming along nicely.

The two middle members are one log split in two.

I’ve been using a spoon bit to make the holes where the pegs will be driven in to hold the joints together.  As it’s round wood (or half round) starting the hole is a little tricky, but, with the help of a small gouge to make a starter hole, all 12 holes worked out OK.

I’m using 3 inch rose nails – the longest I could find. There’s a little article about the history of nails here: History of nails.  The village of Silsden next to our own village used to be a big place for the making of clog nails, but alas! all trace of this has now vanished, except for …

 and, I now find there’s just been a sculpture created to celebrate this piece of history:

Anyway, back to the work in hand.  These are the nails I’m using:

They do look rather fitting when hammered home:

They are oxide coated to prevent rusting in the oak,  Square cut so they provide a large area of contact to hold them into the wood, plus a swelled stem near the head for even greater grip.  They certainly take some hammering in!  My ears were ringing, as were Mrs Law’s, who was on site to cope with the huge demand for Woodland Elves:

The smoke’s there to deter the midges.

Fitting the infill branches to the gates needed a lot of fiddling around to get the maximum contact with the frame members, and I managed to get a few more bracing triangles into the structure that way.

I’m pleased with the outcome, hope my client is too.

The gates have a built-in hat hook:

In fact you can hang quite a few things on it – well it is for a garden, I’m sure the gardener will appreciate the thought:

All they need now is a wooden bolt, some drop bolts and … fitting!

I spotted some embryonic acorns today, and I think they may be sessile oak ones – there seems to be no stalk.  I’ll be checking on them as they develop.

In Summer the freshness of Spring soon pales as those insects, moulds, fungi, viruses and other chaps get to work, even the Lammas growth seems to be suffering on the above oak tree:

…but always at my back I hear,

Time’s wingéd chariot hurrying near …

Oh no!  The bird cherry leaves are yellowing – well to be fair, they were the first ones to flush.