Friday, 24 January 2014

George Hotel Stamford town centre 11-01-14

This old hotel is well known in the area. The entrance has two fabulous plaster panels. I have never seen anything like it before.

It is well worth stopping of there for a beer to view the impressive interior craftsmanship.

The King Head Stamford town centre 11-01-14


Another of many great buildings in this historic town much used by film companies.

Is there a moral here somewhere (dangers of drink etc.) – its own graveyard? This pub is in the High street.

Oakham’s (Nr Rutland reservoir) willow Spitfire 12-01-14

This sculpture, was originally made for the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

John Shone of Rutland Willows, who designed and created the sculpture in 2010, regularly carries out maintenance with his son-in-law Martin Keeley to ensure the Spitfire continues to be pride of place in its bypass flowerbed.

The Kings Arms Saffron Waldren 12-01-14


In amongst all those old glorious pubs that have been turned into gastro venues, I found this just off the market place towards the church. It is in the CAMRA guide on their website.

Small, friendly, great beer and real old fashioned food.

The Old Sun Inn 1676 Saffron Waldren Essex.  12-01-14

A very early  example of Parget rendering for which Essex is well known.  This building was inhabited by Cromwell’s men and is thought to be haunted by one of them.

Cromwell lived near Ely in Cambridgeshire, if you have not been to Ely to visit the Cathedral then go you must. The apple festival in October (held in the front of the cathedral) is a good time. Robin Fawcett used to go every year (well petrol was cheaper than it is now). They also have a farmers market once a week and there is a very large antiques shop by the river which sells old tools at surprisingly low prices.

Golden section gauge 13-01-14

This may help you define heights and widths of all manner of craft objects. All our brains are hard wired to recognise ratios of 1 to 0.618. Proportions of rims to diameter and height to widths on your products could make you sell more.

I have made them for others in the past using CNC laser cutters, this one is made from scrap ABS and a few M4 bolts and nyloc nuts.

I was prompted to make another by watching the woodturning demonstrator Andy Coates who uses a plywood version.

If you are really interested in  proportions then you should get a copy of ‘The Power of Limits’ by Gyorgy Doczi

Additions to stitching vice 14-01-14

I have been playing with round leather boxes, with and without lids. I found holding the leather difficult making the stitching very awkward and slow.

This mandrel for stitching joints straight box seams should make it easier.

An additional jaw option for stitching mitred  bases.

The jaws were laminated with paper in the middle, turned then split along the paper. The paper was then removed  by sanding and the jaws stuck by rubbed joint to plywood.

A circular box for holding tools, most of which have round handles!

If you want to make round stuff get the Al Stolman book from JT Batchelors and a curved awl and needles. The illustrations are great.

Wakefields (The walk around store) Walthamstow 682 Lea Bridge Road London E10 6AP

My local ironmongers are a nice old fashioned family business, you can buy 1 nut or bolt at reasonable prices and they still wrap everything up in newspaper. 

The picture show a myriad of home-made wooden boxes with all the fittings in, so if you don’t know what it’s called you can still find it. 

Proper self-service without having to scan the bar-codes at the end. There are free parking bays in the side street and main road.

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