Smoke, mud, rain and joint stools.

Hi Folks!

This is your correspondent relaxing at The Commercial in London, an interesting pub:

Not at all like the old pubs of Keighley where I started drinking beer. The Boltmakers Arms, The Friendly, The Volunteers, The Gardeners, The Lord Rodney.  Ah, those past teenage days of Timothy Taylor’s ale and headaches.

The woody highlight of our trip to The Smoke (AKA London) was another visit to the Geffrye Museum.  In one of the period room settings was a stunning oak table with a set of 6 joint stools.

Sorry about the lousy picture, it’s not a brightly lit place The Geffrye, but well worth a visit, with a beautifully calm herb garden (well more like the size of about 4 allotments) at the back.  I liked this green window:

Nim & Jane

But, back to the joint stools.  We met up with my son Will in London, over from Brooklyn, and he brought with him Peter Folansbee’s new book Make a Joint Stool from a Tree.  An excellent book.  I will be making a joint stool using the guidance in said book and I already have the green oak lined up.  Unfortunately, I have now got a bit of a thing going about these stools and I’ve gone and ordered another book:

This has a whole section on period joint stools, and further along some chair leg turnings which are uniquely Yorkshire, so I may be using them as a base for the stool legs.  One of these stools would look well in Skipton Castle or indeed in any other castle which is short of furnishings.

We did quite a lot of culture in London (That’s what London is for innit? -Ed) including a visit to 18 Folgate Street, Dennis Severs’ House.  If you visit London, and don’t visit anywhere else, visit this house – cost £10, you can’t take photos or speak.  It is an experience in warping of reality, history and your senses that you will not forget.  And, a great bonus, you can have a pint of Meantime beer in The Commercial afterwards.

We also did some mudlarking too.  My brother-in-law lives in Deptford in what was once the naval victualling yards, quite near to Drake’s Steps

Hardly now in fit condition for a queen to ascent prior to knighting her circumnavigator. When I went out for a walk on the Saturday the prospects for mudlarking were rather off-putting:

A fine coat of silt over everything.  But by Sunday morning propspects were much better:

London is so old the flotsam and jetsam are very diverse. anything from printed circuit boards to flint arrow heads (I searched for the latter but didn’t find any).  The oldest natural thing I found was a fossilised sea urchin, the oldest man made thing also flint, with a hole in it, but unrecognisable (by me at least), I think I’ll have it as a charm.  It was a good Sunday morning out for all the family:

From here you can see the three-masted Cutty Sark tea clipper which was due to open a couple of days later

On the Monday we saw the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery practicing for a royal salute as the queen shall have been re-opening the Cutty Sark after long and extensive refurbishment.

Typically, as it started raining in Greenwich we headed indoors, and both father and son’s beer noses detected a mash in progress – hah, it was the aforementioned Old Brewery who produce Meantime bitter beer (Geddit Greenwich meantime?)

Well it was back to work on Tuesday and it’s been a rather wet week, to say the least.  Tuesday wasn’t bad, in fact Theo and I dined in the luxurious outdoor canteen in Strid Wood, with view of nesting Mergansers.  Theo finished off his coat rack with double wellington rack – rather impressive I’m sure you’ll agree.

It is surrounded by this week’s paying project – 4 off 8 foot bike racks for The Cavendish Pavilion.  I was working outside The Bodgery, and it was a very pleasant change, the sun even shone a bit.

By Wednesday the weather had turned nasty and I had a course running with a NE wind gusting rain into the bodgery.  I’d advised Bob to wear layers and he had taken my advice – I wish I had taken it in spades.  Anyway, despite my almost catching hypothermia, Bob had a good day and we had some very interesting chat to boot.

This is one of the unfinished bike racks, I was in no mood for taking photos by the end of Thursday’s installation, but ~ I’ll get one on Sunday, hopefully with a few bikes as serving suggestion.

The logs for the base were rather heavy, and I bust the guide bar on my milling saw last week so I had to split the first one:

They were still heavy after splitting as I found to my discomfort when I managed to trap my finger between one and the trailer, doh!

Ah well, after a heavy week I’ve been relaxing today, making beer, granola, shopping for brill and jacket lining repair material, planting beetroot and lettuce seeds, launching a new Twitter account (@FlyingShavings funnily enough) and dreaming of joint stools …

 

Holidays

What a great place for an afternoon out,  Yorkshire Sculpture Park at Bretton Hall.  Even found an oversized froe:

There was some stunning marble sculpture work by Peter Randall Page.

Some were outside, and there were lots inside (no photography!)

Well worth a visit, and I’m looking forward to the exhibition of David Nash’s work from May 2010.  Amazingly solid sculptures in wood like this:

We’ve also been taking a leisurely look at my other favourite, brewing:

This is a Yorkshire Square fermentation vessel at Black Sheep Brewery at Masham, N Yorkshire.  It’s a traditional method of fermentation developed in The West Riding of Yorkshire, using slate slabs and a separate floor near the top where the yeast head collects and then is sprayed with the fermenting beer once an hour.  The old part of the brewery is in the kilning area of a former maltsters:

After Masham we drove down to Lotherton Hall near Leeds.  An intriguing Edwardian furnished mansion.  This piece especially caught my eye, way out of period being 16th century, but much easier on the eye than e.g. the sycamore inlaid grand piano:

There was a pair of really good stools the like of which I’ve never seen before:

Deeply dished seat and three curved legs through tenonned into the seat which was cunningly much thicker in the middle underneath.  Looks really comfortable, but sadly no chance of trying it out without leather trousers as protection.

Onwards!

Just about caught up with myself!  Now just need to get a replacement Landy, complete with electric death chair for the unawares (only joking) and replenish my lesser used tools (like a tool bag for instance!)  Finish off the dining chairs, small table and then it’s full speed ahead Christmas. May even do some logging soon, oh yes, must get a petrol/oil can for the saw.

Here’s the next project starting up:

Improvised long steamer.

I’m making a log hod (or tote as it’s called in the American steam bending book I’m using).  I added the bag on the end of my normal steamer which was only made to take chair backs.  It kind of worked but I think the end of the hod bows didn’t really get hot enough, even though they were in for an hour.  Here are the two bows drying:

This one failed.

Always a danger, I think this one may be due to uneven thinning with the draw knife.

The fibres couldn’t bend enough on the outside and gave way:

This one’s better (not perfect, a knot has spoiled the top bend), but it will do as a prototype for testing use at home.

I’ve learnt from this though, proper extension to steamer needed, clear timber and thinner, more even work on the bow profile.  I think I’ll change the riving out of the timber 90 degrees and see whether that improved the bending evenness.

Here’s the penultimate dining chair back I glued up yesterday in the woods

Today I’m finishing off  #4 and sizing the side rungs for #5 above in the luxury of home – it’s a bit too muddy at the bodgery for weaving seats.

Vices and buffets

Amazing what you can do with a few bits that have been lying around waiting to join the firewood heap:

Pop it in a hole in the new bench and hey presto:

Turn the cam:

new bench vice! So strong it will hold stuff for adzing:

Also got a couple of stools (or buffets if you live in God’s Own County) finished

Sunday

Today was buffet day. This is what we call what others may call ‘stools’ but that’s a bit too funda-mentalist for me though.


My Sunday apprentice Richard assembled his buffet – post and rung and very good it looked too.

Here’s a line of the current mass production.

In order, the Hawthorn, Nim reworked (see last post) on her hols (horrid father, making his daughter work on her hols).
Then today’s progress, buffet still in Spanish windlass, which I call a tourniquet which is less words but harder to spell. Wedges still sticking out, prior to sawing off and finishing, but to all intents now a buffet, Elm top and Ash legs, rungs and stretcher – my favourite woods.

The last one – a better proportioned buffet – sold,sorry- , thinner legs than it’s younger brother and shorter – small is beaut.

And … may have sold the leather clad one in Strid Exhibition Hoil! Fingers crossed. And started negotiations with Bob to sell a BIG bench to t’Estate which was formerly a trestle to support the table at the Saudi Day.

So all in all a pretty four-legger day.

Started with a good breakfast:

The centre-piece of which was an Austrian pancake, entitled nockerlen with an umlaut on t”O’. They were going to be simple breakfast pancakes, but we made them so often when our children were lil that the receipt book disintegrated and was composted. So we now have nockerlen (with an umlaut on t”O’), and the production involved one less pan:

It was good to have Nim home for a while, all this splitting up families in the Modern Whorld, not too good methinks. Anyways we enjoyed our brekkies: