No wonder I’m so tired of an evening …

Here’s a video of some green oak adzing I’ve been doing to make a pair of outdoor seats for either side of a green oak picnic table.

There’s about 10 seconds at normal speed, then about 4 minutes 20 seconds in slo-mo, which may get rather boring, if so fast forward to about 4m 30s where it’s back to normal speed and some work with the inshave.

Notice how the work rocks, that’s the pressure of being on film.  The screw clamp came loose and I didn’t want to stop and tighten it up again.

Anyway, the pair looks like this at the moment.


I did some more of this:


Unfortunately it burnt rather faster than usual and I had the lowest return yet, the charcoal had been merrily burning away to itself overnight before I shut it down and I got about half the weight I should have done. Can’t win ’em all!

Never mind, on the plus side we have lots of these:


Bee eggs in a new colony we’ve just taken on to reinforce our small colony with the drone-laying queen.

And the bluebells are out in Strid Wood too.


Bit quiet


Well, it’s that time of year, back to coppice work, elf sales fallen away, time for some bodgery admin.  New racking to store all those useful bits that might come in useful one day.



I also repaired the woven hazel fence/shavings barrier at the front of the workshop and dragged back about six inches od shavings – I thought the chopping block seemed lower than it was.



Coppicing here in this weather means wet gloves, sometimes three pairs in a day.  They tend to be covered in green algae from the bark so I decided to make a glove drying rack to fit over the porch radiator.  It was pretty much industrial strength, over-engineered somewhat for holding gloves.  The brackets are quarter riven oak knees and the rails are ash.  I was persuaded to lighten it a little.



Prettied up the rails a little (“Now looks like they’re for table football.” – Ed)



Axed away about quarter of an inch thickness from the brackets.



I’ve also been doing some off-piste steam bending.


Just for that little handle end on the adze haft.  It buckled a little at the vice edge, but should be OK cleaned up.  The adze head (shipwright’s) was only £3!  And probably unused, it’s a while since they build ships in Whitby whence it came.  But they did build Captain Cook’s Endeavour there.


I’ve also been doing a little recreational spoon carving, and found that a massive stock knife is pretty useful for roughing out.




Back from Derbyshire


I’ve just returned from an excellent bowl-carving course run by Robin Wood in Edale, Derbyshire.

I went via Halifax which I must say, I’d forgotten contains some fine stone buildings:

The course was held in the tidy little village hall and I stayed in the YHA with a couple of other course members.

Mind you it didn’t stay tidy for long – seven people hacking away at logs carving swedish bowls for two and a half days produced quite a good number of sacks of shavings.

Robin is an inspired and inspirational teacher and I’m sure everyone had a great time, if they got as much out of it as did I. We all produced decent bowls and learnt important techniques.

I made a couple of curvy bowls, I am very pleased with the second, boat-shaped one. A little more work needed but the form is there.

An important part of the course was learning how the look at what you’re working on and what are the essential parts to concentrate on, like the main lines of the form, if you want to find out more book onto one of Robin’s courses, he also runs spoon making courses which are a little less physically demanding and a good introduction to the joys of making useful things with your hands from green wood. You can buy tools from him too,

read books and chat over tea, coffee biscuits and excellent home-made lunches served on wooden ware and eaten with wooden spoons, even the tea and coffee containers deserve close study:

I also met a bunch of very interesting people with common interests

All in all an excellent outing. Expect extravagant hand carved bowls coming to this blog soon!