Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Sussex Bodgers at Motts Mill East Sussex with Nick & Nancy Bertenshaw  25/26th May 2014

Sheila (cake maker at the Ball) was busy with a spoon and Nancy (string workshop at the Ball) was making - more string.

The activities inside the marquee at the 'Ball' this year really added to the atmosphere and gave some of our younger members something to do away from the elements.

It was a little damp on Monday and I was hiding in the garage with Mike Gordon on our shave-horses and found this big boy’s toy – a beautiful Morgan sports car.

Reminds me of a Jaguar from my youth.

Nick has recently retired and has been making his own beer. My recollection of home brew  is that it is not very good.

However this was the real deal – just as good as pub beer and only 60p a pint. I shall be investigating the possibilities.

I think we should have a brewing competition at the Ball next year with the chairman doing the tasting.

Wimpole Lathers at Wimpole Hall 25-05-14

Simon Damant had just cut me a slice of Arizona pine and is now loading his essential oil still to extract oil. 

It was very fragrant stuff!

The lower container is filled with water and the steam then removes the moisture and oil from the shaving which are in the centre section (it has a perforated base). The outlet pipe is then attached to a condenser unit and the distillate drips into a bottle.

Simon has been busy using some local Walnut to make spoons and a dish. Note the really pale sapwood. 

Walnut can suffer from an abundance of sapwood.

I was busy adzing out another dish on a borrowed shave horse.

I was reminded that it looked very dangerous and that I should really wear a femoral artery protector. 

I think Simon was watching some of the Cherry Wood group bark bashing during the Ball weekend.

He has been making bark lathes for weaving.

Simon has yet another vehicle to play with – should be handy for log removal.

Simon finishing a handle prior to steam bending.

The Wimpole Scything Festival is looming and last year Mark Allery won the British scything competition.  

Hopefully Magnus will be demonstrating again.

It promises to be another good weekend. Put it in your diary 28/9th June. Contact Simon for details.

Another interesting design of stale engine being used on scythe handles. Looks like a converted wooden block plane.

 Note the brass inserts to reduce wear.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

23-05-14 Visit to S&K Fittings Unit GB Leroy House 436 Essex Road London N1 3QP

I decided to save money and use my Freedom Pass (free travel on everything inside the M25 – one of the joys of old age! and living in London). I also wanted to take my bicycle on the train. So if the train does not go in a tunnel that’s fine, it just takes a little more research (most of the London network is of course underground). Luckily I live within easy cycling distance of Manor Park Station part of the over ground Southend to Liverpool Street line. So to Stratford (Olympics) and then to Dalston Kingsland.  Parking in London is a nightmare and expensive!

I love these first time visits – Kathy (K as in S&K) was very helpful and good fun as was her partner Salo.

These local shops knock Tandy prices into touch: one of joys of living in a city I guess.

I bought some small poppers to make bangles for my family. Unfortunately the crimping sets were £50! Unperturbed I bought them and will make the punches etc on my Myford Super 7. 

I also bought a strap cutter £16.50 (Tandy £28.07).
They unpacked the punch set so I have a pattern to copy.

For fittings this shop was great for browsing as you can see everything. Really not wishing to compare with Batchelors: where you need to know what you want first. The range of fittings at S&K is enormous and well worth the trip.

22-05-14 Leather and woodworking at home

made this handle and case for a Magnus Damascus knife. 

The handle has two thin slices of Ebony and then Ziracote over that (I scrounged the exotic wood from Gabor). I stuck the whole thing together with Z-Poxy (30 minute epoxy resin)and wow, that was a sticky experience.

Must work on my management of that next time, the brass pins complicated matters as I had to slide the coated parts down the pins. I normally leave standard epoxy for a few days as although it cures it does not reach good strength for a much longer time. This was 30 minute so overnight was fine. I trimmed the excess with a microplane in a pillar drill and then a small rounding over cutter in a router. Then hand sanding with some really good abrasive from Jill Piers (as was the epoxy resin). 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Weird and Wonderful Wood Haughley Hall Stowmarket Suffolk 17th May 2014

Last year they were mobbed with the general public and I heard a rumour that the organisers were going to hold back on the advertising this year. Well, they were mobbed again.

Out the back of the indoor craft area I found this sculpture by Ian Freemantle.

What a sweet ice cream van.

Darren Breeze is a builder and part time wood turner. What he does do which is unusual are these really big slices of decorated dishes.

One of the folk groups entertaining the crowds were ‘The Floozies’

Every year on this bank they have an interesting sculpture and this year was no exception.

Classic Hand Tools always have a stand with the hewing demonstration.

I managed to find A Grandfors axe pattern I had not seen before.

I was watching Stuart Gibson encouraging  youngsters to have a go on his lathe.

I have seen him many times at this event and he has until recently resisted all attempts by me to join the APTGW.

The insurance deal for demonstrators was the last straw however.

Some bentwood furniture. I am never convinced that this is greenwood working. It was well done though.


The entertainers at WWD are second to none.
A couple of years ago the Australian Olympic Hoola Hoop team were I thought the best yet.

These two guys have taken the crown for 2014

Nick & Katie Abbott's Slough House Woods Binacre Essex 17th May 2014

Will Wall is nesting! With some very nice spalted Beech. I was not easy going – sounded a little dry.

Mark Bagent taking a picture of me taking …

He has not lost his sense of humour.

As you can see from the table, the group had been busy with the crochet hooks and had made themselves tool bags from Jute.

Sue Holden had made this from linen and as she pointed out to me it took two spools at £7.50 each. Thankfully jute is cheaper.

The bags were practical – better that any tool roll and with home made sheaths for everything.

Will had been busy yesterday making a shelter for a pole lathe.


During the windy weather there were losses in the woods and this is one of many new woodpiles. 

Blacksmithing in Forest gate 12-05-14

I have been experimenting with the bus spring material. I wanted to forge large beards. This time I started by punching the eye with a cold chisel and then bending by 90 degees before drawing out the beard. 

Did not go according to plan – note the large crack. Maybe I should draw in down before bending as well as opening out the eye.

Still working on some of Magnus’s bits – this is a Damascus steel knife. 

Bodgers Ball ll

The finished entries for the half hour challenge

Olvin Smith judging.

Individual log to leg race

Our hero Mike Abbott

Matt Jarvis

Kevin Downing

Mark Allery being heavily coached by Peter Jameson.

 Another great cake by Sheila Marsh – note the two little trugs.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Bodgers Ball Herstmonceux East Sussex 9/10/11th May

A lull in the weather before the big blast – Sussex group in confident mood.

Mark Allery, Fionn Turnbull and a rather nice chap from the Weald & Downland Museum preparing for a hewing demonstration. He was using the biggest cant hook I have seen.

Sue & Dave Green with Bob, having just checked the beer delivery.

David Batchelor (Left)  Chairman of the Howe committee (WCT) visited us on Friday night.

Bardster entertaining the troops with a leather working demonstration.

Nic Webb doing a very well attended demonstration on spoon making.

Merlin from Cherry Wood posing as an ‘upper dog’ Ted Tuddingham with his impressive pit saw.

This was the log shown earlier.

John Bridgeman and Peter Gibson  (Master and assisant Master of the Worshipful Company of Turners)  looking at the armchair entries.

I liked the idea of workshops and children’s activities inside the very large marquee. It certainly saved our evening meal on Saturday evening when the caterers lost their tent!

Basketry workshop inside the marquee.

Voting time for the craft competitions.

Tools for self-reliance doing a good business during the inclement weather.

Sue Green (ex editor of Gazette and nigh-time ukulele player) and Richard Charles (PA systems and excellent chairs and boats) surveying the tooled spoon entries for the craft competition.

‘Barn the spoon’ doing a workshop in the marquee.

Merlin (Cherry Wood) with a Japanese pull saw – note the direction of cut and the short pitch of teeth towards the handle.

Some of the Half hour challenge entrants

James Pumprey – (note - a rather nice Volvo in the background).

Mike Church (Best newcomer 2013) making trugs.

I think he made 3 in 30 minutes!

Kevin Downing 

 Owen Thomas

Part two to follow.