A grand day out gliding around North Yorkshire


Apart from the serious business of buying 5kg of dark rye flour from Food for Thought in Haxby, York, and visiting Ryedale Folk Museum, we had a bonus event watching gliders on Sutton Bank which overlooks the Vale of York:

Yorkshire Gliding Club operates from the top of the bank on a huge flat area, once an iron age fortress, thought possibly to have been used for herding cattle.  There is a rocky scar at the edge which creates an ideal up-draught for the craft, and incidentally an ideal nesting place for Peregrine Falcons – we saw and heard one cruising around Roulston Scar.

The mixed woodlands below and on Hood Hill (above) were full of song birds singing away, a great free entertainment:

Ryedale Folk museum had some interesting artefacts, these roasting dogs caught my eye:

There were a few stools, some original and some made for the museum.

The long low one caught my eye, it had a simple bead scratched along the top edge.  The legs are only splayed back to front and not to the sides as its length will give stability in that direction. Same principle as joint stools usually display.  I could imagine a couple of children siting on this and playing or, more likely, doing chores.  This was in a farm-house which had been rebuilt at the museum and had quite a good atmosphere.  Just needed someone baking bread over the fire.

Carsten and Derek managed to make a stool apiece yesterday, they were good students to complete this rather demanding task in a day with no previous experience of green woodwork.  The stools are for Carsten’s children so they are good and sturdy.  We used some of the black bog oak from the Bodgers’ Ball, makes a contrast with the lighter ash seats and legs.  I was particularly impressed by how ell they got the leg angles drilled – neat!

Back in Rydale, I was somewhat dismayed by what had been done to mange their little hazel coppice –

It isn’t as though they are short of a few good Yorkshire bills:

The Museum has a great collection of local buildings which have been moved and rebuilt there.  How about this photographic studio with its airy porch glazed with recycled glass photographic plates?

Meanwhile back at the beach near The Bodgery, we’ve had a visitor:

Hum, a web-footed visitor, hungry too …

That’s an American white-clawed crayfish, rather a scourge of our native ones as they are bigger and carry a pox (just like grey squirrels) that does for our little crayfish.  However, looks like an otter is finding them a tasty snack.

And finally a couple of new work items:

A wine valet, from an idea picked up at the Ball, and my current bench project, I’ll be finishing off the seat tooling today and splitting out some back spindles.

Working with the grain

We’ve had some rough weather recently.  Here’s the River Wharfe in spate, the bankside alders are getting rather more than just their feet wet.  But today the sun came out and gave me this sunny view of the river.

I think the little birds must be a bit happier without the wind and rain:

Here’s one of the many coal tits that come to eat the sunflower seeds from the workshop bird tables.  They are fearless these days and ignore my thuds and hammerings.  This table is about 6 feet away from the workshop stove.

I’m currently making another of my rustic-style garden benches, this one’s in oak, the shavings and the work are quite different from ash, which is what I mostly work in.

Oak is somehow brittler than ash, and the shavings oxidise a pinkish tinge in the air.

I’ve split out the legs from a single log:

They then have quite a growing form as the shape is dictated by the way the log split along the grain:

After splitting I axed off the bark and sapwood, then worked them smooth with the draw knife.  The tenons are made with a Veritas tenon cutter which makes a very sound 1 1/2″ joint into a mortice in the seat made with a scotch-eye auger.  Here’s the seat before the holes are drilled.

I’m drying the leg tenons a little at home before fixing and wedging them into the mortice holes as the seat had been milled for a couple of months whereas the legs have been left “in the log”.

I also milled some ash today with some very colourful decay.  The two inch slabs must be good for table tops I reckon.

At last the days are lengthening again, and I was surprised by my own shadow as I was milling after luncheon, the sun shone through the leafless trees to the West.