Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Blacksmithing at LBNewham learning zone 03-02-14

I made this traditional Swedish ladies knife from a car coil spring from Jo (Abney Park Cemetery). 

I have been trying to forge a large broad axe from a bus spring. This has proved to be very much harder than I thought; having given myself tennis elbow I am now taking things easy.

Half term week 17-02-14

Not wishing to waste all that free workshop space at school, I thought I would catch up on a few unfinished bits.

A friend of mine gave me a rather fine billhook from his wife’s grandfather! It needed a new handle and some edge protection. The handle as you can see is from laburnum, the sapwood makes it really pretty. 

I decided to get creative with the sheath. I wanted to avoid anything too bulky, and really wanted to match in some way the curves of the hook. It also looks a bit axe like.

My second adze and third head – this time made from a straight-pein hammer – note the twist in the blade.

These adze covers are very time consuming and consequently expensive to make, which is why I guess they do not come with protection. I do not like riveted covers, although I should try some smaller headed rivets.

I decided to wet mould the covers and make a mandrel to wrap them around whilst it dried in shape. 

A good soak in cold water (hot will harden it) and a radiator overnight.

I have tried to make the welt from bits but struggled with keeping the curve aligned. A little wasteful but this was scrap - £1 for a lb at Batchelors.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Wimpole Lathers 19-01-14

This Sunday was a gap in the bad weather, it was a fine sunny day.

Simon was busy doing another course somewhere in the woods. Jim was organising things.

This beautiful logging horse was having a rest (well it was Sunday). 

This group do have a lot of lathes, shave-horses and wood, as well as talented woodworkers.


They have made ‘rapid progress’ OFSTED would be delighted. 

I mention this only because OFSTED now oversee my blacksmithing course at The London Borough of Newham. Pens, clipboards and really meaningless boxes to tick!

Berkshire Bodgers  26-01-14  Newport Hungerford RG17 0PN

Bill Acworth hosts the group at Little Hidden Farm.

Fortunately there was plenty of cover for this very damp day. Great to see so much practical advice being given, especially to youngsters.

 There was some sunshine which lit up the lathes Beautifully – even three halos!

Part of an old apple tree had been blown off in the recent windy weather. One of the group decided to make an apple eating dish having never used an adze before. I missed the opportunity to take a picture but will chase him up next visit.

Lunch at The Tally-Ho pub 26-01-14 

There has been a pub on the site since the 1750’s It was recently sold by the brewery to a property company. Members of the village organise an on-line petition and then formed a company of 90 members who bought the site, reinstated the pub manned by it by volunteers. Local food, local wine and above all local empowerment.

London Group at Abney Park Cemetery Saturday 1st February 

So this was the first meeting of the year. Taking stock, sharpening and protecting were the order of the day. I was asked beforehand to do a sharpening demo I came prepared but they really did not need it.

Orlando and I made cases for the draw-knives and hook tools.  The Worshipful Company would be happy to see their investment being maintained.