Visitors to The Bodgery


A toad came to visit today, it entertained the local school children on their way for an ice cream at The Cavendish Pavilion.  Toady was hanging around the log piles yesterday, but today came into the workshop, didn’t seem to like the dry shavings and left after about 15 minutes.

Another chap turned up on the other side of The Wharfe:


Lacking a telephoto lens, I’ll have to explain that this is  grey heron. This seems to be a favourite fishing place for them – the dark hole in the undergrowth is where the beck (aka stream outside Yorkshire) from The Valley of desolation merges with The Wharfe.  I understand that where different waters meet often increases fauna numbers.

I have been working on and off on making a joint stool from a part of a tree, following Peter Folansbee‘s excellent book How to make a Joint Stool from a Tree.  Peter works in Plimoth Plantation Museum in Massachusetts as a joiner.  The book explains the principles and techniques involved in making a joint stool (They look like this:


There are many styles, as you would expect from a piece of furniture made in the 16th 17th centuries in both England and The Colonies.  I have a large piece of oak butt cut down last year by The Estate on the road into Bolton Abbey, probably about 3 foot diameter which I have been splitting down and planing into the stock for a stool.


This is a beech log I had to split for Bike racks, nowhere near as massive as the oak I’m working, but I seem to have been singularly poor in documenting in photos the log conversion, but now I’m about to start the mortise and tenon joints in the legs (stiles) and will keep you pictorially posted, I hope.  The massive log is needed to get the width of the single board top – 11 inches.  That doesn’t sound so big until you realise it needs to come from one half of the log, add to that: the middle 4 inches of the log are useless (except as firewood) and the outside 3 inches on either side are sapwood and bark that have to be rejected as the beetles like them as a browsing ground.

The smell of the green oak drives my customers wild, and I must say I rather like it mysel.

And speaking of smells, the wild woodbine is in bloom in Strid just now:

As well as the elderflower,

That’s the white flowering bush behind my workshop.  I’ve used some elderflower to condition my last two brews of beer (dry hopping it would be called if I’d used hops as usual), and I must say the results are good.  I’ll be taking a sample down to The Brothers Naylor’s Brewery whence my other ingredients come for them to taste.

Oh yes, I’ve been on with various projects too : here’s a yew stool:

The tenon wedges are bog oak – it’s like coal but with the nature of oak.  The top is worked with my signature knifed finish: