I’ve been making paint

IMG_0387I’ve not had a lot any success with home-made paint before. But I think I’ve cracked it this time.  Started with some brick red.

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Heavy computer case man.

I made it with water, lime pigment and a little linseed (flax) oil.  It took a while to dry and then was powdery, so I sealed it with a couple of coats of finishing oil.

Had another go today.

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Looks even heavier in black. (I’m surprised at that knife stuck in by its tip, a wet handle is hardly a sufficient excuse. – Ed)

This is mostly charcoal & raw linseed oil with a little red to get some lime in as I forgot to take it to the woods. I then started wondering, how about using it to get an antique finish?

IMG_0384This is a little test panel I made in early days of green oak decoration.

I wonder …

07267008_2Dare I, should I?

Made some spatulas after Owen Jones pattern:

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Owen’s at left.

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One good apple in the barrel …

We’ve been to RHS Wisley garden too.  The orchard was grrreat, good job I had an healthy appetite.

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One of many, many varieties.

They had some good oak benches too.

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Proper bench.

Made by these chaps.

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Maker’s mark.

Soon be Christmas.

Sometimes

I think I make life hard for myself sometimes.

I make garden benches in a particular style.  The style avoids many square angles, straight edges and all those luxuries that make joinery easy to fit together.

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Starting assembly

Who else would use round peeled oakwood for a crest rail, combined with slabbed waney-edged chestnutwood for a saltire back, and riven hedgerow oak for end frames?

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Embryonic end frames

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Saltire components

Making mortise & tenon joints can be demanding; just how does one lay out the two joints to fit the armrests – where does the front through tenon fall, much deliberation, center finding, and, well, some guess-work, I guess.

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Chase the mortise

I’ve found that a full-sized drawing can help with some dimensions.

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How long’s that arm rest to be?

Starts to come together gradually.

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Getting there

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Later

I should stick to helping people make bears.

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Bear & fox.

But then, there is some reward in going out on a limb.

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Clothes rack detail.

Reusing 17th century carving motifs.

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Sycamore chopping board

Redesigning the iPad from the outside:

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Thicker, heavier.

Ah, perhaps life’s not so bad, after all, I do have the privilege of living in God’s Own County (Yorkshire, where it’s always sunny).

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Culloden Tower, Richmond, North Yorkshire

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Richmond, Yorkshire

IMG_0288Cockpit Millennium Garden, Richmond Castle

Been busy

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Coming in to land

Busy bee

Honey bee busy on a butter burr next to River Wharfe, Strid Wood

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Mending benches at East Riddlesden Hall

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Extensive oak baord replacement with a couple of them.

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Need a rest from this woodworking now and then.

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Snack sandwich at:

Holden Clough Nursery

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And a break sitting on the ramparts of Clitheroe Castle, Lancashire watching Jam Factory doing their stuff.

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Made seven of these beggars – all sold I’m afraid, but more 2″ thick milled sycamore available for to plane up for more

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Spring busting out in Strid Wood.

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I’m so small …

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… have to eat my lunch with yellow blusher ‘srooms foraged on the way to work and cooked with improvised spatula in cold-pressed linseed oil.

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This should be the other way up …

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It was a leaning alder next to the river we felled this Winter.  Felled using the dog tooth cut, dog tooth at left, letterbox centre, gob at right.

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… milled the main stem into boards.

Photo0348Using them on my stall – here at Otley Show last Saturday.  The shrink pots & spoons are John Mullaney’s – sweet.

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New line – garden tool scrapers.

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Monks hood by The Wharfe – garden escapes?

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Tooled oak for an hotel breakfast servery.

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Been to London too – row of cottages – Halifax Road conservation area, Forest Hill.

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She’s busy too, solitary mining bee – onwards, onwards.

New headers

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I’ve been working on a new display stand to use at shows.  Above is the header which will have turned hangers fixed in the holes and it will be fixed above a new trestle table.  As you can see I’ve been having some fun decorating it with 17th century-style carving.  OK there are quite a few mistakes in the execution, but it is a learning piece.  These are only the second to fourth S-scroll designs I’ve cut.  I’ve been using Peter Folansbee’s excellent DVD on S-Scroll carving.  I’m going to have to do something about either my stance or the height of the bench, or the ever-changing depth of the floor shavings because I’ve been getting an aching back whilst carving.  I suppose this is partly because of it’s being a new thing and getting tense trying not to make mistakes, like especially when removing the background from around the last letter!.  The most tiring part was matting the background with a punch, even though I did it in four sessions.

I’ve made it from a piece of sweet chestnut left over from an epic milling session making feather-edged boards for a counter front in a cafe.  The big Stihl 66 I am running the Alaskan mill with gradually got slower and slower at cutting , even though I sharpened it, made sure there was oil in, and made sure the cut was level.  Eventually I gave in a bought a new guide bar (24″) and chain (3/8ths, chisel).  This improved matters amazingly, and no wonder. The new Oregon bar has a sprocket at the nose, like my little 18″ thinning 260 machine, it also has to be greased manually daily.  Whereas – the crappy worn out bar that came with the second-hand 66 doesn’t even have a sprocket – no wonder life was getting tough!

Here’s a picture of my newly discovered way of holding the thing in the vice whilst sharpening the blade, much better than trying to balance it on top of the timber I’m milling.
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So less of this mess for a while …

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I milled some oak for this job (while the old bar was working pretty well) a picnic table with benches (note the drainers at the rear of the seats).

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And this weeks quiz. What is the significance of this number sequence?
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It runs: 1,2,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14,14,15,15,16,16,17,17. Hint: you may need to look back to an earlier post on this channel.

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.

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I did some more of this:

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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:

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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.

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A Correction for Laziness

Title page of the first quarto edition of Shak...

Title page of the first quarto edition of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1600 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been struggling along with a sash cramp made up of Marples loose heads and a 3 foot odd piece of milled ash.  The ash was thicker than it needed to be, so I’d attacked it with the axe to thin it down and seem to have drilled random holes that were:

a) not far enough away from the edge of the  ash to make the heads seat properly, and

b) the randomness meant that it was almost always the wrong length and much packing was needed to make them kind of work.

I occasionally get fed up with my sloppy ways as I did when I was using this sash cramp on the memory box which has now gone to a satisfied customer:

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When I set initially set up in Strid Wood I had a pole lathe and a shave horse and a stock – simple old days.  Then I added a bench.  No vice mind, just some dogs and a weird cam device, which kind of worked.

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Now I have a proper(-ish) bench with a vice I made a couple of winters ago, with dogs, yes, and some Gramercy hold fasts from Brooklyn.  But why do I put up with inconvenience for so long before I sort it out?  The inconvenience is often more time-consuming in the long run than doing the fix.  Well all I can say with Puck is ‘Lord, what fools these mortals be!’ (Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing....

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing. From William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyway,  I sorted out the ash plank yesterday:

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Look how crazy the old holes were on the back of that plank, doh!

Weather update

It has been too cold for anything much to grow for the last month when Spring should have been springing, but I’m delighted to say that Spring has now indeed sprung and the wood has suddenly come very much alive, even the bluebells look to be about to give us their misty display at any moment:

SAMSUNG CSCGrass is flowering:

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Any day now the wood will be carpeted with these little beauties – wood anemones:

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And now the Bodgery has its chimney in constant smoke to keep away the little flying blighters that love to bite my skin:

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