Project space backwards

So, this is it:

SAMSUNG CSCA bodgery enlargement (not an extension, it sits on the same footprint).  The mystery frame from my last post has created a back wall, where the back section of what is now the roof tarp. formerly was pegged to the ground.  This produces an additional prism of space inside:

SAMSUNG CSCThe back of the shelter used to be very low and dark, and made it tricky to find tools in my workbags (all tools go home and into the garage at home at night).  It also became an inaccessible dumping ground for odds and ends and ‘things that might come in’ (but mostly didn’t and are now firewood).  Tall people had to contend with impromptu tarp-styled hairdos.

The steaming cabinet for a start is taking up much less room standing on its end.  I can now fantasise about what to use the extra space for.  Maybe an inside dining area with a fold-away rustic dining table in three timbers.  Office or counting house.  Smoking room.  Draughting office.  Tool store (already rejected that – too risky).

It looks strange, almost alien at the moment with its dead leaf carpet, I’m used to deep shavings:


While we were charging the charcoal kiln yesterday we were pleased to see a pair of curlews heading upstream making their plaintive cries.  It began to feel like Spring, especially with a rise in temperature and sunshine.  The estate tithe barn looked very mellow.


New project

SAMSUNG CSCOK, what’s Landroverman up to now? (Looks like something’s wrong with the new camera?)

SAMSUNG CSCAh! Secret plans.  Looks to be some trig. in there too.

SAMSUNG CSCHum, inch mortise holes.

SAMSUNG CSCDodgy pegged lap joints (You’ll regret using phrases like that. -Ed).



More than one round mortice by the look of it.


SAMSUNG CSCOh, I bet that was heavy to shift, nearly as big as the shelter …

Ah, cheating with rollers
In position?


Lines up quite nicely for round wood.

To be continued …

Not a stool, but a useful horse with dogs.

SAMSUNG CSCIt turns out to be a mini sawing horse designed to be held in a WorkMate vice/bench.  It is after the style of Owen Jones’.  I only supply logs to a single customer now – an old friend – and my method of making logs means that sometimes the end log of a branch is short or a bit too long.  This horse will help sort out the long ones.  The short ones are no problem, except for stacking, but they are useful for filling in spaces in the stove firebox.


Upgrades and mishtakes


Sunrise reddens a frosty Yorkshire morning

Phew! I can certainly agree with the sentiments expressed by Peter Galbert in a recent post about learning from your mistakes.  I’ve just spent about 4 hours or more upgrading my WordPress blogging software and making a complete hash of it.  (Well some of the earlier attempts are timed at 14:30 yesterday and I finished off at about 7:15am this morning, did get a couple of hours sleep, mind.)

I suppose I knew already that people write instructions to make life easier for me, not just for fun.  I do read instructions, it’s sometimes surprising what you learn.  The instructions I read for this upgrade to a beta version of the software (well a bit more dangerous than that really it is described as “bleeding edge nightlies”.  I mean these guys were not hiding anything.  They also advised doing a backup first (done), and “do not install this on a live site unless you are adventurous”.  Well, sounded like a bit of a challenge really.  I was tempted by the improvements they were crowing about to the media handling, and I post quite a few pictures – have you noticed?


Ah well to cut a long story short I didn’t turn off the plugins, contrary to instructions. I think it may have been caused by making guacamole in mid upload, well it’s slow is FTP but still works, the old-timer, as old, if not older than The Internet itself! This failure to click about three buttons caused chaos and much FTP work uploading files, watching slow progress, deleting files, checking forum posts on the issues.  But finally this morning it was working again, even the plugins, the most important of which dams up the stream of rubbish comments from spammers.

Anyway, just to counter my computerish story, here are some seasonal woody photos:


Stock for customers.


This is an interesting home-made vice or clamp, I can’t decide which.  There are a couple of countersunk screw holes in the back jaw suggesting it has been mounted somewhere.  On the other hand there is no garter to pull the front jaw out when the screws are loosened.  I can’t find it in the excellent Salaman Dictionary of Tools, but I’m sure I’ve seen it somewhere – any suggestions?  My brother bought it for me in exchange for a promise to make him a mandrel for remoulding a couple of brace of 18th century pewter tankards he picked up for a song.

The tankards just fit in nicely with my current Land Rover entertainment from Librivox: Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens. The story features The Maypole Inn (based on a real coaching inn in Epping Forest) where I’m sure pots like these must have been drunk from.  Curiously they are assayed as pints but are not modern English pint-sized.  This harks back to before the 1824 Weights and Measures Act which standardised the Imperial Pint across the British Empire at 568 ml whereas formerly the English pint varied and I guess these tankard measures are equivalent to the United States liquid pint (473 ml), I’ll check once the squareness has been taken out of them and some of the bumps.

For info, the rounder plane is still in refinement, getting the blade tuned in is proving not easy!

What’s my axe?

My brother gave me an axe head he bought in a market.  It has proved to be rather a mystery:

What I know about it so far is: It was made by Wm. Greaves & Sons at Sheaf Works, Sheffield, UK.  This firm existed in the nineteenth century :

From “The Cutting Edge” a catalogue of items in the Hawley collection
displayed at the Ruskin Gallery in Sheffield in 1992. The back of this
book contains short histories of the firms which made the tools displayed.

“They (Wm. Greaves & Sons) soon established a large American clientele, and in 1825 built the famous Sheaf Works, the first integrated steel works in Sheffield.

The Sheaf Works was situated alongside the newly opened Sheffield Canal
where Swedish iron bar was offloaded directly into the works to be
converted into steel and goods which were manufactured on the premises.
The canal and the use of steam engine power provided a more efficient
system of production as previously many separate operations were required
for the manufacture and movement of goods.

By 1833 files and edge tools were added to the cutlery and in 1849 the
company started to produce railway springs.  The firm closed in 1850.”


English: Steel melting house where was made cr...

English: Steel melting house where was made crucible steel, Samuel Osborne & Co, Sheffield  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


So it’s pretty old.  Even made of “Electro Boracic steel”, Which is either crucible steel with boron salts added or just a promotional wheeze.

The size is 13 and a half inches (count ’em) from what would be the poll to the foremost part of the edge.  It has no poll, showing its age here.  The edge is very heavily curved, which I assume was done to stop it getting stuck in whatever it was cutting.  It is a long, even taper with no flattened cheeks.

I’ve mounted it on a pick shaft, as I believe all axes of the period were hafted on straight handles.

It is VERY HEAVY about 7 and a half pounds, excluding the shaft!

In use the weight and the length seem to suggest it was not swung as a felling axe, unless someone with very mightily strong wrist muscles was able to keep it horizontal.  I can’t for about two swings without pain in the wrist, but I’m a bit old too.  This suggests it was either swung between the legs or with a vertical chopping motion.  There are a couple of similar examples kicking about described as mining axes, but they seem later, having polls.

It is quite a beast:

Any ideas anyone?

Getting rather autumnal in the woods these days and a chill in the morning air with mists.  The sycamore leaves are just about all off – they’ve suffered black spot badly this wet Summer.  Beech leaves beginning to look quite pretty.