Saturday, 12 January 2019

Saturday 12th January Kent group bow and arrow day at Iden Green community hall.


Pete Rippingale was doing a bow and arrow making day.

We were split up into three groups making the bow, arrows and the string.

Harry and Phill were in the first arrow making session.

I was lucky to be inside (in the warm) on my shave horse bow making with Keith Leonard

The more hardy souls were outside - including Robin Etheridge.

Josie Leake was also making a bow along with the chap below.

Great to see new youngsters.

Harry later on – making his bow.

Amy was giving spoon tuition to another new member, as well as supporting the rest of the spooners.

Good to see Mike Church out and about – taking a break from his chestnut work.

Carole – as ever busy either recruiting baking or needle felt some lagamorphia!

There were some other activities going on - wool spinning, lacemaking, John Burbage was carving.

Pete filing the knocks in the end of a bow.

Phill was the first to finish everything – well no surprise really.

What a great day – plenty of new members, lots of different activities, nice warm workshop, good company. The Kent group in full swing!

My thanks to lots of them – it takes many hands to make this work.

Their next activity is an adze day at Benenden 10th February.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

 January Visit to Slough House Woods Binacre Essex

It’s always a pleasure to visit Katie Abbott in her wood, especially when Olvin and Nic Smith along with Will Wall and Sue Holden are visiting.

Olvin brought some hi speed eggs from his own flock on Coll – note the aerodynamic shape.


Well, we were all helping with the coppicing, I was amazed at how hard Katie works!


Nic was in charge of brash burning.


Will was transport director organizing removal and stacking of  timber, placed according to species, size and water content (one of the felled trees was dead standing – suitable as firewood).

Olvin was the chainsaw guy – so glad is was not me, that looked like seriously hard work!


Never though I could catch two bodgers on their phones at the same time and table! 

Perhaps they were texting each other.


Our hearty lunch outdoors – everyone shares what they bring.

That was the best fun I have had this year!

It was cold but bright – happy to be doing something physical to keep warm. Although I spent most of my time driving a dump truck it still had to be loaded and unloaded.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Wimpole Lathers Christmas BBQ Sunday 16th December

Have not been up to see the lathers since the Scything festival in June. This time of year is busy so there was not the usual crowd.


However Mike Vilhauer was using his spoon shave modification to his shavehorse.

He also cooked some home cured bacon American style, is was sweet (smoked with maple syrup).


Simon has been busy (when is he ever not busy) making dragonflies from walnut.

His woodpile is not shrinking, this sequoia had acquired green sapwood.

I think the same tree that gave me the table in my van.

Plenty of discussion about Ball 2019 to be held here at Wimpole Hall.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

9th December Kent Group blacksmithing day at Burbage Towers Benenden Kent

During the winter months the Kent group move away from the workshop at the edge of the forest – to warmer areas and activities.


Jeremy and his gas fired forge with Robin from the Brockley Park group – South London.
Jeremy gets newcomers to make their hook-tools in mild steel first – that’s a very good idea!

Myself with Keith Leonard and Jeremy


I was happy to return his entries to the WCT competition along with his £100 cheque for third prize


Amy Leake forging hook tools on her gas forge

Harry was encouraging a visitor to get involved.


I was working with Mike Gordon on forging adzes from hammers. Needless to say on another gas forge - Mike’s. I have never used one before but was halfway through making one a couple of years ago.

Phill gave us a hammer head to use and for his first time on the short sledge hammer was exceptional!

Mike doing a great job holding the hot metal in the right place.

There were loads of people making all sorts of tools – John was forging a knife.

Yet more forges – this time charcoal hand blown.

  I think Ed Murphy was on this one which is fan powered from a car battery.

What a great day – loads of tools made and a few new members as well. Thanks again to John Burbage for his hospitality and lunchtime soup.

The next Kent day is a bow and arrow day led by Pete Rippengal on Saturday 12th January at Benenden.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

View Love Buy at Carpenters Hall 1 Throgmorton EC2N 2JJ

The  bi-annual craft competition held by the Worshipful Company of Turners.


The pole lathe turners competition was to turn a candlestick on a pole lathe, no sanding but decoration, coloring etc encouraged.

First prize went to Olvin Smith


Second prize to Mike Gordon

Third prize to Keith Leonard

Well done to the winners, could have done with a few more entries however.

This was a great opportunity for me to catch up with people I had not seen for a little while.

Barn the Spoon + apprentice. Hopefully we shall see them again at the Wimpole Ball.


John and June White from Fairlop woodturners talking to Gabor who was signing his book as well as saying goodbye (as they were sold for the St Paul’s appeal) to the St Pauls bells he had turned and decorated with Patricia Spero.


Roy Weare from East Herts Woodturners who now lives in France where he has started a turning group - bringing them over for this event.

Roy spent many years at a workshop with a group of friends on Sundays, they were too far away and I used to visit them. They shared techniques and bounced all sorts of ideas around, colouring, texturing the whole thing.

They made a lot of hollow forms, one of the friends an engineer Phill Steele made tools to share as well as filling the workshop with Graduate lathes  modified by Gabor Lacko of course, a close friend.

Of course he is no stranger to a bit of prize winning as well.


We were very lucky to have three demonstrators at this event. Mike Gordon was showing log to candlestick on his shave horse and lathe.

He also collected a second prize for a candlestick.

James Pumphrey demonstrating bowl turning – his historical knowledge is amazing and he is such a great communicator.

For my sins I have no picture of Amy Leake who was on the ground floor doing a great job. I look forward to seeing her again and her son Adam here hopefully 14-17th October 2020 at Wizardry in Wood.


Brigadier Bill O’Learly (member of the Howe committee). He is a busy man and probably flew a great distance to get to this event.


Les Thorne (a keen fisherman) and well respected professional turner chatting to Richard Levy (Felix Levy competition).


Stuart King had a few thing on the tables! Some great automata. 

He was busy as the official photographer for the event.

Another great event showcasing woodturning in all its forms. We were very lucky to have the opportunity and space for three demonstrators to promote our organisation.

The next WCT competition is the
Wizardry in Wood 14-17th October 2020