Saturday 16 June 2018

Moving on

We recently moved house. The new place has a lot more space and the workshop is getting crowded. A great opportunity to empty one and fill up the other, with all the lovely things that I make. It's great to see my settle in a domestic setting at last.

The doors here are narrow and there's enough renovation to do without widening them, so there was only one thing for it; drill out a few pegs. Even when drilled, they didn't want to come out, a testament to the strength of the drawbore joint!

Although the settle has settled, so to speak, I am holding it together with ratchet straps for now; you never know when wanderlust is going to take hold.

We have an ash and elm hedge out the back with a few maybe thirty year old trees in it. I am loathe to cut down an ash, with chalara dieback about to devastate the UK ash population, but one was leaning precariously over my daughters' new bedroom. Down it came! Lots of lovely bowl material.

I was recently asked to replace some window frames. Although probably only a hundred years old, the houses they belong to are within the curtilage of a grade 1 listed building. The conservation officer's interest was focused on the steel windows that the wooden frame contains.

What is far more interesting, is the construction of the wooden frame and the dormer itself. On closer inspection we realised that the window frame was the main part of the dormer's framing. Replacement was out of the question without a huge amount of disruption to the tenants and the roofing process, which was already in full swing. What at first appeared to be fascia, was actually a cap to protect the rafters.

So repair was the best option. On cutting back the oak cill on the first window, the construction was exposed. Pegs and wedges.

Worth preserving, so a new oak cill was cut to fit around these original features, the stiles had new pieces of timber scarfed in and the new cill planted over this work. This way, in a hundred years time, maybe someone else will still be able to see how these dormers were constructed, two hundred years previously.

On other windows the cills were still reasonably intact, so thin oak caps were fixed on and new 'rafter caps' installed.

And then the roofers installed new lead. New fascias on the side, and ready for painting.

Dartington Hall estate has opened a new deer park, surrounded by a restored stone wall, which dates back to the 9th century!

A new noticeboard is needed for the deer park. We are basing it on Dartington church lych gate. The original is oak, but we are re-creating it in larch.

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