Saturday 31 May 2014

I'll settle for that

I'm back from the trip up north. I didn't make it to Star Carr. It was the first time I have ever relied on a Satnav and it will be the last. Although I didn't mind too much being misdirected down the Fosse Way - so that's where Westonbirt Arboretum is! It did add 3 hours to our journey.

I planted up a space outside the workshop, a few weeks ago to add some cheer. On my return I noticed something had been chewing on my Hosta. I investigated by turning over the oak-chip mulch (great for suppressing weeds and creating ideal conditions for slugs!)

But no slugs, a common lizard instead. I hadn't intended to create a lizard house. Its a bit of a misleading name, they can't be that common. I haven't seen one for ten years. He/she is welcome to eat all of my hostas if he/she wants!

When I first read Peter Follansbee's blog about making joined furniture, his post encouraged the reader to "try green oak joinery, it'll make an addict of you". He was right! But 6pm on a Saturday even an addict has to go home.

Friday 23 May 2014

Stacks of stiles

Most of the stiles, panels and muntins stacked, ready to start joining, when I get back from a trip to the north country i.e. East Riding of Yorkshire this weekend.

Going to see family and hopefully visit Star Carr, a mesolithic site from 11,000 years ago, which has the earliest evidence of carpentry in Europe, and not just carpentry, but riven carpentry! The earliest record of my family comes from less than two miles from this site. There's a bit of a gap from 11,000 years ago to 1670 so I'm not claiming direct descent from the people who wore masks made from deer antlers and fashioned wooden jetties there, but you never know.

Monday 19 May 2014

Fat boards and East Prawle

Here's what I'm making right now.

Oak settle, four feet high, five fielded panels from riven stock.

Some big seat boards, look at those medullary rays. And some fat panels 24"x13". Yum yum.

And here's some thrift at East Prawle the other day.

And a great Devon 'natural building'. Breathable walls, green roof and made from natural materials i.e. corrugated iron, telegraph poles and pallets. Perfection in design!

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Give me a brake!

They say a change is as good as a rest, I say the only thing that doesn't change, is change! After the month of what seemed like a thousand doors, I am back to working with green oak and making a commissioned settle. Phew!

Which means back into the bench with my bench hook (planing stop).

And have at it with the scrub plane.

I had to open this half log to get some good planks for the seat.

My slick chisel reaches the parts other tools just will not reach!

Not a bad quartering.

Give me a brake.

And a side axe, and I'm a happy man.

I don't know if a change is always as good as a rest, but when its a change from sawdust to shavings it is for me.