Tuesday, 14 June 2022

A new dimension

There has been a fair break from the livery cupboard; nothing unusual here. There have been lots of other more pressing jobs to be getting on with; asses to carve, windows and doors to join, bathrooms to design and fit, muntin screens to survey (watch this space).

This is just a quick post, but it's taken a long time organising. Turning something as big as 6" spindles is new to me so I am happy to have made a matching pair.  The lathe is new also. Now I just need to carve them. They will make up the front lower posts and sit below the upper lion posts. Remember them?

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Life's a beech, then you fall over.

I don't normally use much beech, but when I saw this tree fallen over, I had to offer to clear it up. Shame to see it go just for firewood.

The corner of a Devon field; my office for a day or three. Drop the root ball back in the hole; so the cows don't fall in.

This tortured soul was screaming, "let me out", "I want to be furniture".

Some straight sections to be milled.

And some lovely curves; someday benches or maybe internal framing braces.

 It's not oak, but that's ok.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Oakum and lime mortar, gap-filling the breathable way.

This new accoya window with heritage double glazing going into Ian's new bathroom. Bought a new 4kg bale of oakum today, so soaked it in Natural Hydraulic Lime 3.5 slurry, bedded the window and packed it into the gaps, topping off with NHL3.5 mortar pointing with the tuck trowel. Wet hessian to cover; lime mortar needs to dry slowly. Proper job!

Monday, 9 May 2022

Ass installed

 So, the first of May was celebrated by a trip to Norwich, to install the heraldic ass. 

It will be painted later, but it's great to see it in it's place. It looks suitably otherworldly, to fit in with the Tudor knot garden theme, a la Hampton Court.

Monday, 18 April 2022

Ass assembled

 The ass is now in monochrome version. 

And ass-embled for the first time this Easter Monday.

It's only a trial fit today, to make sure it goes together. 

Then drive to Norwich to install in the Old Hall Tudor knot garden on 1st May.

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Ass base

 The heraldic ass head will sit on a base on a pole.

The coves on this were made, first making a depth cut with a saw, then a gouge to take out the bulk and then moulding planes to finish.

I was surprised how well they worked on the end grain of the oak.

I used my rebate plane to clean off the sloping shoulder of the top. This will shed rain away from the bottom of the ass. It also formed the undercut for the twisted rope that sits on top of it.

 The pole has been cut. I just need to join them all together now.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

New front door for 17th century building

New, oak, stable, front door for. Re-using the bullseye from the old door, which had seen better days. With vent to allow air for the woodburner.


Bracing the top leaf, while making room for the bullseye, calls for invention; a two part brace.

Or maybe three part; half a brace, bullseye frame, half a brace.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Heraldic Ass on a Pole

Heraldic Ass. Ragged with three pronged crown ducally gorged. This carving is to be placed on a pole at the new tudor knot garden at Old Hall near Norfolk. https://www.tudorexperience.com/about-old-hall. In the manner of Hampton Court Palace.

 Old Hall was built by the knight, Sir Edward Chamberleyne between 1510 and 1540.

The Chamberleyne crest has an ass at the top.

The ass head will go on a pole at the centre of the new garden.

The garden takes inspiration from the courtyard at Hampton.

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Tannins and an old friend

When you have been using edge tools on green oak, a quick clean straight afterwards, will save you lots of work next week. 

If not the tannins will eat your tools alive!

I realised today that it was 8 years since I finished the lid on this chest; an old friend now.

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Time to wake up, froe and beetle

 The days get warmer and up wake the beetle and the froe.

Replenished from hibernation, eager to get down to some cleaving of oak.

And some fresh oak, that splits well (for English Oak).

Some hewing and chopping.

I don't seem to get tired of this, and good to feel the sun warming up my bones. Badger looked a bit chilly,

so I lent him my hat.

Sunday, 20 February 2022

Another day another log

Out in the woods the other day with Paula, who was on a work placement from college. We're trying to get some wide boards from this 10ft log. It was felled some years ago, so you couldn't call it fresh, and it took a few hours before it got used to the idea that it was going to cleave.

 Then back at the workshop on a smaller, greener, easier log. 

Paula has learnt a lot this week about how to split oak. When she becomes a physicist, hopefully she will be fusing atoms, not splitting them.

Back at the joinery bench today, hand chopping mortices to take the top rails of the livery cupboard.

Using the rebate plane to take down the leading edge of the top rail.

Before adding some detailing with a straight chisel and punch.

This rebate/detailing will extend onto the stile, but not until it's joined.