Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Saw cases – Wanstead E12 5EF  31st March

I have just about run out of axes and knives to make case for – so the saws are now receiving their protection.
This very fine toothed saw sadly has a plastic handle but is very fine and very sharp.  The one thing I have found with these saws is that the teeth work loose (they are prone to breaking out).

Magnus from Wimpole made the Damascus knife below with a great bone handle, but wanted a new case, so this was wet moulded – a very easy technique and something you should experiment with.

Always make a template first however; better still go on a course with Rob Exton at Cherry Wood, money well spent in beautiful surroundings. 

Leather courses are rarer than you think.

Brookhouse Wood home of Mike Abbott 4th April

Well, this was a pilgrimage to the modern birthplace (for so many) of green woodworking.  Mike Abbott’s workshop in the woods. I was in good company -  JoJo Wood from Edale and Theo are the two apprentices for this next season.

Theo’s lives in this thoughtfully and well executed  fitted van. 

Also amongst the volunteers during development week was Grounded Eco-therapy Paul Pulford aka Scruffy (Queen Elizabeth Hall & Hayward Gallery gardens as well as a silver medal at the Chelsea flower Show).

Some heavy duty rollers on the pole lathes.

Tea time in the kitchen area with some of the volunteers from the project week.

JoJo and Rob Duckmanton a chair maker were just about to make some sour dough bread on a reclaimed slate.

Mike is due to planning to leave the woods in a couple of years and the future of the venue is uncertain.  Thanks Mike for your hospitality, great lunch and new book – ‘Going with the Grain’, it was great to visit your workshop at last.

The Green Dragon Bishop’s Frome 4th April
The Green Dragon Bishop’s Frome 4th April

Had to mention one of Mikes’ local pubs, if only because they sold Purple Moose from Snowdonia as well as great food.

The Purple Moose Brewery are well known for producing social beer, i.e. not too strong. You still have to pay for it!

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet Sheffield 05-04-14

The local contact for the Sheffield group is Roger Grant.

This venue was the home of scythe-making using water power. It was an overcast damp day but Alan Edwards was giving us plenty to keep occupied with gypsy flower making tutorials. 

As always on these trips you meet some very interesting locals. I managed to have a very interesting conversation with Ian who does some blacksmithing demonstrations at the museum. He has been using clay to control the heat treatment of blades and also immersing hardened blade edges in water and then annealing with oxyacetylene.

 The Fat Cat Kelham Island Sheffield S3 8SA

On the way out of Sheffield I found myself in the Fat Cat.

Best free house in Sheffield for real ale, the old fashioned menu and proper pork pies on the bar sublime.

A must do if you are in the area. 

Visit to Tillie & Harriet Sprig 06-05-15

Tillie’s pole lathe, no messing with this one. Solid as a rock – the bed is made of 7x2

Harriet and Lillie live off the grid, the petrol water cooled Lister engine just out of camera range on left (was bought in 1952) and this runs the powered machines (planer, circular saw and band saw) by belt drive.

Harriet on her powered lathe. The bed again is 7x2 and solid. She bought the bits and made the rest.

The wood store I suppose was like all wood stores a little treasure trove of quality resources acquired over many years.

Much of this was from their own woodland and their many local contacts.

The main workshop is wonderfully light and made from reclaimed materials.

The benches were hand made to suit their needs – next time I visit I will measure them and make a constructional drawing – they were just perfect!

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