A few random ingredients from my last few day’s work.
Seen one of these? Know what it’s called?
Well apart from a pair of chainsaw trousers, it is a nail acting as a button, fastens your braces (suspenders) to your trousers. We call ’em a joiner’s button. Make sure you take them out before they go in the wash – could cause unpleasant disharmony at home. Mind you if Stihl made their buttons as well as they do their saws it would be very helpful – I’ve used all the spares that came with the trousers (about 2 I think).
I’ve been preparing to make a picnic table with two benches. It has to be like some the estate have put on the banks of the Wharfe in their car park. Firmly attached to the earth – the table sits on two 6 inch fence posts and likewise the benches. However, I’m not doing the tops in treated softwood, oh no my readers, oak for that.
I sometimes miss young Theo, he was a great boon on two handed jobs like hauling a butt onto the trailer.
At four foot long and about 20″ diameter this butt weighs quite a lot. No the Lugall winch is not fastened to the trailer with that orange bailer band. There’s a strap going down to the tow bar through the grill. Lot of fussing back and forth, work the winch, move the rollers, move the winch, kick the tailgate, work the winch, and so on.
Getting it onto the milling dog is no joke either, especially rolling it round to get the right attitude on top for the first cut.
The first cut is the fussiest, except for the second one at right angles to it.
And I must say the big old Stihl 66, though a little scary, doesn’t complain about this heavy labour I bought it for.
The milling spread over two days, I can only stand so much at once as the dust is filthy stuff, very fine and mixed with the vegetable oil (sunflower currently) I use for the chain lube. Everything you touch turns light brown.
Anyway, watch this space for more adventurers in picnicing.
More gentle work is stripping bast from elm saplings. A couple of felled stems were lying around and I noticed epicormic buds appearing, so I tested for bark stripping. Yes! Quite a few rolls for a future seat.
The timber will make good mallet heads.
I finished the new sales display stand, or whatever it might be called. At least it looks different, and a change is as good as … well.
On the rapidly developing flower offensive Heb Paris looks about ready to bloom from its four leaves. This just looks like an invitation to copy into a gouge-work motif. Reader, that’s why I took the photograph.
I found these lil yellow and green flowers on a lunchtime stroll.
They are yellow star of bethlehem, apparently Strid Wood is known for them.
I like the contrast of new plants growing from the flood banks of the Wharfe.
And the sun shining on the glossy ramsons. But probably this week’s Number One is this little bunch of violets growing in the river bank below my woodland staff restaurant.
On a visit to Ilkley I took a couple of photos in the Manor House museum and the parish church next door. I should have taken my tripod, it was very dark in the church. Old buildings do have smaller windows. Both these buildings are in the very old centre of Ilkley, in fact the Manor House is built on the site of a Roman fort and incorporates some of its stonework.
It’s good when you can find solid examples of work read about in books. Here is a joined chair from the Manor House. Not heavily decorated, and maybe unfinished? The middle of the ‘flower’ designs on the top rail of the chair back seems vague compared to the other six. The first initial on the crest rail seems barely more than marked out and the second initial and the ‘1’ of the date are rather shallowly defined.
The turnery and mouldings are bolder and crisper. I’m going to have to look at this again and take better photos, there looks to be a decent zig-zag or dog tooth design on the front apron below the seat. The panel in the back looks like it might have been repaired.
What I particularly like about these kind of pieces is the informal way the pattern is set out with no slavish adherence to symmetry. This is a fairly basic design and execution compared to this beauty at Bolton Priory near to where I work.
This rather finely executed chair has a high regard for symmetry and those leaves on the panel are beautifully done. The crest has great power, supported by the scrolled brackets. It must be almost like wearing a crown sitting there in state.
This is the only stick of old furniture in the Priory, a little disappointing considering the priory , but The Victorians seem to have had a field day and all the woodwork is modern gothic, very dull to my taste.
Back in Ilkley The Victorians had also ripped out all the family pews, except for one:
Family Watkinson’s pew dated 1633
I need to go back and get a better picture as the whole thing is a pretty well preserved box pew. It’s an enclosed pew which looks like this:
Quick body swerve back to the Manor house and here’s a real example of a table made to be set against the side of a room rather than in the middle.
Only carved where it will be seen, otherwise just a nice bit of moulding. Interesting box there too. Ah so much to discover and so little time. I must return (well it’s about 10 minutes walk away!) to my village church where there are some very fine pew fronts (on 19th century working parts), I knew I remembered some good carvings from my choirboy days.