Fixing things up


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.


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.


One ridge good, two ridges better for the tarp.


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.


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:


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


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:


Yeah! Another used chainsaw file re-purposed.

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


We’ll see how it lasts.


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 …


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.









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


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.


Halved pine dressings.

The boy’s new fence

Theo built a dwarf hazel fence in situ yesterday, and made a really good job of it I reckon.  Especially as it was both our first attempts.  It’s woven from the thinnest stuff I’ve taken out of Wood Nook.  It replaces a rather naff-looking nylon cord I had in the same place to discourage visitors coming uninvited into the work area (with its attendant sharp tools, hot stove, etc.  It should also help keep the shavings in the workshop, rather than spreading over the track.  The fence has proper bindings on the top with under and over weaving and wrapping around the end sales (upright poles).

I’ve been working on a split hazel hurdle too.  Not as easy as it looks in YouTube videos, so this hurdle will be destined for an inconspicuous place as its neatness leaves quite a lot to be desired, although it does have the required strength.  Here is a small section behind this lump of spalted ash I’ve worked up for a caterer to display cakes on (they wanted it just like this, honest!).

I’ve also been making a shave horse for a customer this week, here’s the finished article

And today it’s log making, working on the oak bench, finishing that large sycamore bowl, which, as predicted, is now as hard as iron, even to the sharpest tool.

London at the weekend for the Heritage Crafts Association annual meeting.


It should be a day for sitting by the stove today making spoons:

However, it’s going to be a logging and bowl carving day, considering the snow is making things rather tricky on the roads, I guess I should stay off them and make room for people who really need to travel.  Looks like yet another delay for the moorland chair delivery.  Here’s the table that is part of the order:

I think this has turned out well. The legs and rungs are all just worked with hand tools, no turning.  This makes a good contrast with the Elm top.  I can’t help feeling there’s some feel of a henge about this!

The travelling is even affecting the Leeds Liverpool canal that runs past our house.  On Sunday we saw a barge struggling to go forwards, and after the -9.5C temperatures on Sunday night it must be frozen in somewhere by now.

There is some compensation to all this cold stuff, but not for the sheep, poor beggars, who no doubt couldn’t care less about the picturesque sun sets.

Fire burns hotter in the cold

Especially if you use petrol as a fire starter.  Lovely smooth hands now, and no bobbly bits on my fleece.

I took a spare length of stainless flue liner in today to improve the draught on the new bodgery stove.

The difference it makes it very noticeable.  The stove now roars.  The firebricks are steaming out the summer rain, hot enough to dry more wood and gloves round the outside.  And the added luxury of a wooden door (soak before using!).

OK, so now it stacks up like this:

1. A large stone half buried in the ground.

2. Rusty old wagon wheel.

3. Centre hole covered with the flue blank from the new RC wood burning stove.

4. Firebricks, dry walled, air ingress where they do not sit tight to the wheel.

5. Wooden door.

6. Flue liner.

7.  At the base of the flue liner an old chain to weigh down the flue.

8. Drying fire wood.

It is a really good hand warmer.  Standing with your back to it it also warms the parts other stoves are too civilised to reach. Possibly the best stove in the word.  Definitely carbon neutral.

And when accompanied by fine food it completes an abode of bliss:

Also featuring in the picture is my lunchtime work.  A new small ladle from the silver birch we took down at home.  Safely stowed in a plastic bag so it does not dry between times working on it.  I know I should have taken a photo of the fantastic crook I’ve taken it from, but then …

Being snowy it was surprisingly quite in the woods, I guess people are busy getting festive.  They certainly don’t seem to want to buy Christmas tree decs anyway.  It was rather cold:

I had rather a lot of snow shovelling to do as the NE wind had brought a lot of snow inside under the short tarp.  I spent some time doing a Winter solstice clean up.  The off cuts and failures accumulated over a year had become an unmanageable pile leaning against the  back of the sycamore tree.  In fact I had to walk round it to get into the workshop.  OK so now it’s all reduced to logs and sitting in the trailer waiting to come home for the ever hungry  RC stoves.  It’s surprising just how much there was.

The new Landy is becoming a more familiar tool.  Needs WD40 in the locks to stop them freezing up.  Back window heater is bust, needs to be fixed under the guarantee, along with a couple of other niggles.

It takes me great places though.  Look at this.  The view’s been featured before, but it’s worth it:

What a commute!

Messing about.

Oh no! not the spare wheel now!

Oh phew!  It’s inside to lighten the back door:

It takes up quite a bit of room in the back, but I can use it as a shelf with the help of some ply.  I’ve also started replacing with proper rope the naff rotting tapes that are supposed to hold the seat swabs folded up.  Found out why the courtesy light switches don’t work too – part of the circuit has rotted away.  Easily fixed though as it’s within the light unit.

What with the pre-snow sleet and NE wind, spent a bit of time in the back of the Landy making rope stuff.  I spliced a logging loop to hold logs onto the Lift and Shift, then moved half a dozen beefy beech logs out of the wood into the wood pile.  That was the second warming from them after felling last winter.

I wanted to do a bit more on the small ladle I’m making from some of the silver birch from home, and as it was really rather chilly I set up an impromptu stove from some fire bricks that may one day become a forge.  It worked rather well, once I’d salvaged some foreign language instructions from the Landy handbook as fire starter.

It is stable and draws air from below.

I’ve made a wooden door that’ll need soaking before each use.  There’s about a metre of flue liner at home that will now come in useful as a chimney/hand-warmer.  All it needs now is Mr D’s patent blower to help get it started.

Oh yes, and the deer are back:

New woodburner, new woods

I spent most of this afternoon on the roof getting a new flue-liner in place for our new to us Norwegian stove. It was rather a struggle, at one point it was so stuck it seemed like it would never go down the chimney, 7 metres of stainless 6 inch flue pipe on the top of our roof is not so much fun. But …

We finally got it down. And then brought in the repaired Trolla Brugge and got it nearly installed:

But in the morning we went to look at Hawkcliffe Woods which are in the process of being transferred to BEAT

It is being gifted for community use – I hear courses and Forest School activities calling. It’s a super wood, with no public access and was thinned about 10 years ago and has some great clearings – just right for shelters, workshops, compost toilets mmmm …

So now, after a very exciting day – rest:

And it’s stopped raining!