Planing not.

Left the planes at home today when I needed an 16″x5″ planed board. But I did have the axe and draw knife.imageimageGah, who needs a plane?

imageOn with the job…imageMostly carved anyway. Just needs to fit together…


Second iPad in one year, hope the case is as tough as it claims to be.

Now need to stain (very dark I think) and oil, and then a few Sugru feet, I’ve drilled four holes to hold ’em, then I won’t need to put it on a mat on the table!.

Mind you those edges look a little bare, perhaps a simple running pattern, maybe the one I found in Beverley Minster.


Not a stool, but a useful horse with dogs.

SAMSUNG CSCIt turns out to be a mini sawing horse designed to be held in a WorkMate vice/bench.  It is after the style of Owen Jones’.  I only supply logs to a single customer now – an old friend – and my method of making logs means that sometimes the end log of a branch is short or a bit too long.  This horse will help sort out the long ones.  The short ones are no problem, except for stacking, but they are useful for filling in spaces in the stove firebox.


Servers deer course

Pigs and deer, that’s what the green visitors to Strid Wood have been making this weekend.  All adults this time, two birthday presents, two ladies and three gents.  A jolly good bunch with handsome woodland animals to take home.

This is not a skills course just a couple of hours of fun making something for the garden.  The main work consists of drilling one inch mortice holes with a hand auger and then fitting legs, necks heads and antlers with matching tenons using a draw knife and rounder plane.  I guess some of the skill for beginners is understanding that any skill at all is required to make something by hand.  It requires concentration to make the tools jigs and clamps work effectively, and the result is so free-form that (sometimes with a little tweak from my Silky saw) it always pleases.

It’s a different day for me, baking the rolls first thing, getting the soup ready, making sure the stove is roaring away to heat the soup, tidying up, making sure the right tools are available, and then splitting my time several ways between the participants to make sure everyone progresses.  As I know, it can get a little cold standing around (mental note to self; long johns compulsory on course days!)

Very busy now with Christmas orders as well as courses.  Made a set of salad servers:

A bunch of wine carriers (this is getting a bit like production runs):

They’re being collected today.  I need to replenish supplies of deer, foxes, bird tables as well as complete a half-dozen split ash hurdles.  There’s a small table on the stocks too.  Got a load of logs home last week so should be OK until Christmas now.

The Examination and Trial of Father Christmas,...

The Examination and Trial of Father Christmas, (1686), published shortly after Christmas was reinstated as a holy day in England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Busy, busy, busy!


The thaw has started in Strid Wood, with the snow on the trees dripping into the snow.  It was also dripping off the tarp yesterday, mainly due to the roaring fire I got going in the afternoon.

In the morning I finished off moving all the stray Spring felled timber back to the bodgery.  I’ve been using two very useful tools for this.  First up the log tongs.  This is great.  The two dogs bite into the logs and then you can haul them into the trailer, mostly without touching them and keeping your gloves drier. The logs look rough, but they are fine inside.

If the logs are frozen together (and few weren’t!) I’ve been using this home-made pickeroon.

This was originally a short-handled job, not sure of its intended purpose, but with a long handle it’s great for freeing logs and digging the spike end into  log also allows rolling and pulling without bending – great!

While I was back in this part of the woods I surveyed my thinning work last year, you may be able to see all the stumps as larger black lumps.

And this is where I’m due to thin next.

There’s a lot of small stuff in there to fell.

Meanwhile back at the bodgery I spent the afternoon making rolling pin blanks and animals:

They are supposed to be foxes, the front one is OK.  I’ve since modified the big one into a bear, the rather angular one awaits further attention from the knife.

I also had a look round at tracks – I like the ‘shadow’ of the wing in this one:

When I got home there was an interesting eBay delivery:

Guess what’s inside.  See next post.

Normal service will be resumed asap!

I’ve been rather tied up since last Monday’s theft.  Dealing with all the consequences which I don’t want to bore you with.  I lost my order book and I know I have a deer order to fulfil, but I now have no contact details.  I’ll be making it tomorrow.

However, just a quick note to say that I have had a lot of well wishes from people, some of whom I do not even know.

Here’s a couple to warm the heart.

On Thursday evening after the hard copy Craven Herald coverage went on the streets, I received a phone call, “Have you got your tools back?” I began to think he was about to say something like, “Well, they’re at the bottom of my garden/Give me some money and you can have them.” or something.  What was the outcome?  A gent of nearly 80 years who had been a woodturner for 25 years and a forester before that was offering me a box of tools he no longer required.  I called in to see him on Friday morning, the first day I’d been able to get back to the woods.  We had a good chat for 3/4 of an hour about making turned items, tools etc, and I left with a box of some very useful chisels, an axe, compass, sharpening gear, etc that Neil was pleased were going to a good home where they will be used and looked after.  I am very grateful.

This morning I received an email offering the  loan of a box of tools until I’m sorted out.  Again it’s someone I don’t really know.

There have been lots of others too.  Restores my faith in humanity, there are only a few bad ‘uns, and they are probably only bad due to bad circumstances.

Fortunately my business insurance includes theft of tools, so I will hopefully get some sort of reimbursement.

It’s wet today so I’m working on weavingthe seats of the dining chair set I’m on with.  The customer’s choice of clours for the Shaker tape is very good.  Picture to follow when the skies are less grey.

Many thanks to all my well wishers!

What I haven’t got

Stop Lock
Roof rack
Straps for rack
Takings Diary
Display folder
Little Book of Whittling
The Book of Knots
Small tarpaulin
Chainsaw sharpener
Chainsaw sharpening  hand kit
Chainsaw two stroke oil, half a liter
3 pairs used gloves
One pair new gloves
Cordless Matika drill
Duck tape
Log tongs
part ball of sisal string
50 meters nylon cord
Drill bits
2 tins paint
Gold thread
Part used glue
Part-used tung oil
Tool bag and contents:
Tool bag
Draw knife
two wood chisels 1/2 inch & 1/4 inch
Sharpening diamond blocks 4 off
Leather strop and compound
4 foot wooden rule
2 sets small calipers
Wooden clamp
Wood tap and dies set
2 screw drivers
2 cabinet scrapers
2 hoof knives
One chip knife
2 1 inch wood gouges
2 1 inch flat chisels
2 skew chisels
combination petrol and chain oil can and dispensers
2 Scotch eyes wood augers 1 inch and 1.5 inches
2 bowl turning hooks
Brace and bit and tennoner
First aid box for 50 & small one
Electronic power inverter
Phone charger
Dowel saw
Silky tree surgeon saw
conical diamond sharpener
Box of wooden stock items
4 dibbers
two rounders bats
15 elves
2 spurtles
2 mustard spoons
spinning top
2 honey drippers
Small wooden stool
Small, part finished Elm table
Half-finished chair front
Two bins of wood turnings
Bird box parts
Two planks of yew belonging student
Plank of beech wood 4 foot by 10 inches

They were all stolen last night along with my Land Rover

Ah well. Get up and start again, tomorrow’s another day.

Last week I was in The Craven Herald in my bodgery see here.

This week I’ll be in as the man who lost nearly all the tools of his trade in one go – blimey they leave you the tools of your trade when you’re bankrupt, my dad used to tell me.