Fixing things up

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Assorted fire and weather damaged ridge components.

Today I have been mainly fixing the ridge poles on The Bodgery.  The flue pipe from the lil wood burner stove (Do you mean that stack of fire bricks on two lorry wheels? -Ed) was fixed to the side A frame at the ridge.  Some days the tar gets a bit thick inside and we have a roaring chimney fire – cleans it out well, but the pipe gets a little hot and so do things around it. The ridge juts out into the open and gets plenty of rain and sun, beech and sycamore can only stand so much of that treatment and after 8 years have given up the ghost.

Rolled back the tarps after unfastening a couple of dozen or so ropes and misc. wire and bungee fastenings. Shored up the rafters for the back elevation of the roof, well they’ve been shored up for about a month waiting for me to get round to this.

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New load-bearing ridge half way up with shoring holding the back poles up.

Made me blink a bit with all that light.  The benches, chopping block and lathe make good foot stools, but there are no steps up to them, so rather an energetic, stretchy day.  I put in two poles at the ridge.  One to carry the back poles and one to take the tarp above the level of the rafter ends.

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One ridge good, two ridges better for the tarp.

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Pull over that sheet there boy.

Then on with the tarp.  I have two – a white under sheet for light reflection and a green very heavy duty one on top.

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Good to have the sign boards back up off the floor.

OK there are another half dozen kicking about around the sides over the shop, making a porch, stopping the rain at the lathe tool end and one in reserve to unroll when the vile East wind blows.

Got that stove pipe away from the inflammables a bit:

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Oversized ash ridge with heat protection, need to think about weather protection now. In the meantime it’s the luxury of carefree chimney fires.

Thank goodness for forked branches. what useful shoring up tools

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Never cut a forked branch end off.

Fixed the pole lathe treadle again too, the last fix has only lasted a few months, the bike tyre I have used as a hinge for quite a while just broke in two.  Decided to use a redundant safety belt from the Land Rover.  First job was to make a tool to burn self-sealing holes:

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Yeah! Another used chainsaw file re-purposed.

I used a new lacing technique instead of the lashing method I’ve used previously.

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We’ll see how it lasts.

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Double treadle.  Note the hob nails for icy weather.

Had a weekend away in East Yorkshire and found a nice minimalist chisel&punch pattern in the choir stalls

English: Beverley Minster, Beverley, East Ridi...

English: Beverley Minster, Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

at Beverley Minster …

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Had to copy it – it’s now a frieze on a chopping board.

Looks like they used a chisel that didn’t reach long enough to do the lines in one go.  That screw has got to be a much later repair.  There were some great misericords, of course I had to be sitting on top of five fools.

Also found some neat flowers growing on the porch of St Mary’s – the other church in Beverley.

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Going to master this style of carving one day.  But I’ll never be as good as this guy:

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Surprising oak grave ‘stone’ by Mr ‘Mousey’ Thompson late of Kilburn.

Also found a series of informal porch decorations – done by foresters, I’ll be bound.

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Halved pine dressings.

Speed drawknifing

Hello!

August used to be the month we went on holiday.  Nowadays it seems to be my busiest month what with courses, shows, and caving …

SAMSUNG CSCWell, actually this is my garage/store-room and it leaks far too much, so much so that it will be destroyed and out of the ashes will be built a new glorious stone and green oak workshop with brewery area and a pitched roof. NOT a flat concrete slab that sweats and leaks, cold in Winter boiling hot in Summer.  But first I have to get this lot:

SAMSUNG CSC(You should have seen it before I started throwing things out.)

.. into this:

SAMSUNG CSCThis is a tin shed, 10 foot by 13 that my brother and I just spent 2 days putting up (including making a floating floor for it).  I think I must have screwed about 200 screws in and dropped probably 400 into the flowers.  Anyway it’s up now, and the poor flowers are down.

SAMSUNG CSCAmongst other things to go in The Shed like bee keeping equipment (photo op. for my first honey extraction:

SAMSUNG CSC) are a cast iron band saw, a second-hand multi-fuel boiler I bought in readiness for the new workshop (well for the brewery really), all my tools, two bikes, about half the last charcoal burn output (our warm Summer has suddenly stopped), various jerry cans of fuel etc, etc.  And then I need to find somewhere else secure to put the two chainsaws.  Man!

Anyways, I’ve started running spoon carving courses finally and made this totally silly spoon during the course of it.

SAMSUNG CSCYep, bark and moss on (C’mon – who’s going to buy that? – Ed):

SAMSUNG CSCThe interesting thing is the spoon is photographed casually relaxing on the roughed out top of the clover leaf top three-legged stool I’m about to make for a competition.  I’ve worked out that the legs will be truncated equilateral triangles where the draw-bored M&T joints will be in the apron and rung areas.  Then turned between on the pole lathe (important consideration for the comp).  Ah well, perhaps ye olde 17th century joinery will catch on over here one day (maybe after Peter Folansbee has taken his class here!)

I’ve been busy with oak again – another garden bench commission.  Here’s some speed drawknifing work (Not too long I hope – Ed)

So lots more shavings, and a growing pile of parts,

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must make sure I don’t mix members for the stool with those for the bench.

Poles and hazel coppice

A customer needed some 8″ by 8′ poles for a play house (sounds like an interesting project).  I thought I’d left some at Wood Nook that size, but when I got there none to be had.  However, it did give me an opportunity to have a look at how the hazel coppice was re-growing.

Rather pleasing to see about a yard of new shoots coming through the brash.

I ended up felling a couple of dead elm trees in an adjacent wood to get the 8 foot poles (thanks Michael) and got them onto the Land Rover roof rack (silly me, no picture).

Back to Bolton Abbey, stopping in a gate hole for lunch just outside Burnsall (what no picture?).  Loaded up the trailer for Halifax Show.  I couldn’t get the poles for the lathe and shelter straight fore & aft because of the elm poles up top which needed transferring to the customer’s van back at the car park outside Strid Wood.  So the poles ended up sticking somewhat jauntily out at the side a foot or two.  I intended to straighten them out after I’d dropped off the elm (Ah but!  The road to Hell is paved with good intentions!)

Meanwhile,  I had to unhitch the trailer and do an emergency run for a lady with her three children, one of whom was injured.  Also meanwhile there was the air ambulance buzzing around – hard to make out from under the canopy of trees.  Later, found out it was on a rendezvous with a road ambulance that had a lady who’d fallen in the river on board, thankfully she hadn’t fallen in The Strid, from which few emerge alive.  And later still staff were recovering another casualty from the ford on the other side of the river, who’d fallen from his electric scooter.

What a day, I was glad to be on the way home, then the trailer started banging a bit – damn!  The jockey wheel had dropped down.  No damage though, secured it and on my way again.

Now my way home with a loaded trailer is up our village passing through a culvert under the Leeds Liverpool canal.  I remembered I’d not sorted the poles, so decided to go up Priest Bank, which starts with a bit of a narrow S-bend over a swing bridge over said canal. A car was coming downhill and I pulled into the side, so did the poles – into a road sign.  Bust the two longest ones.

However, I’ve now found a couple of replacements, obviating the need to go to BA on me day off.

Just need to drill a couple holes in one of them, the other’s the pole for the lathe, on which I think I’ll be demonstrating turning some potato crushers in spalted alder wood at t’show.

And in between fetching them and putting some sourdough to rise I broke my brewing record time, finishing by 9am!

 

Foxfire

This book was a birthday present from the New Yorkers (my son Will and his wife Eva).  It is an extraordinary book, a collection of articles researched by school kids in the late 1960s and first published in a Northeast Georgia school magazine.  This volume (and there are at least 10 more) concerns home life in The Appalachians and is full of first-hand stories of a life gone by with pictures diagrams and photographs.  It reminds me of The Whole Earth Catalogue vein of culture. It tells history in a much more immediate way somehow that some books on English country life which, while interesting and informative, seem to be more remote from the people who lived e.g. in The Yorkshire Dales as the information about the people is less and more about their skills and equipment (However, I was reading a fascinating account of oatbread making in Life and Tradition in The Yorkshire Dales by M Hartley and J Ingilby but that’s another story!).

Anyway in Foxfire amongst a lot of other fascinating things I’ve not had a chance to read as yet there’s a picture of Bill Lamb’s shave horse.  I think this is the most minimalist horse I’ve ever seen.

It was used for dressing shingles.

I thoroughly recommend at least this volume of Foxfire (which is the first one) and I will definitely be dipping in to volume 4 which appears to have a something on the pole lathe:

(By the way, I’m aware of the criminal problem with the editor in later years, but he has probably suffered enough over that)

And on that subject I can report that the Japanese style minimalist cleaving break works really well.  I’ll take a photo today of the one I’ve made from a sycamore log I’ve had lying around.

Wild About Wood

Just back from Castle Howard, North Yorkshire where I met Saul Blenkarn, swill maker.  He’s from Hexham and if you want to contact him his phone number is 07818 452 322. He was taught by Owen Jones. Beautiful baskets and a great way of displaying them

I loved his simple shelter, makes mine look way over the top, I feel a redesign coming on for next year’s dos.

I had a great pitch, just in at the entrance, in a grove of small Hornbeams, the first stand visitors encountered, and they all certainly seemed to enjoy my true bodger weekend, turning out the rungs for a set of 6 dining chairs – that’s a whole lot of rungs, nearly got them all done though.  The children were very interested as always, and one of them after having a late go on the lathe, helped us pick up the horse shavings.

This was the first woody event at Kew at Castle Howard arboretum, and seemed to be a success as they will be holding it again next year.

Back to Strid tomorrow, hope the midge repellent fire is not required again