Monday, 20 July 2015

 Scythe and  Cider festival at Wakehurst Place – Kew Gardens 19th July

It was a shame I was double booked as I missed out on the Saturday.

Well, I gave Amy Leake a bowl lathe not so long ago and I suggested that it may be an idea to number them, that way you can see how your own skill is developing – especially if you have the will to ask others to pass comment. This is not always a comfortable thing to do. I was so pleased that she showed me her first seven (No. 6 missing – presumed lost). Needless to say she has shown far more potential than I had at this stage.

These Morris dancers were reminiscent of Lammas which is next weekend at The Western Lawns Eastbourne. Some of this group live in Turners Hill not too far away (how woody is that?).
I managed to solve a mystery – why do they black their faces? – goose grease and soot protected their identities and saved then from punishment for begging by dancing on the borders, presumably Sussex borders.

Mike Church was of course our man on the trugs. He is an artist, a very young artist. It will be interesting to see how and in what direction he many extend and develop his skills.


James Pumphrey our man at Wakehurst demonstrating bowls, talking to Richard Bingham another trug man – plenty of them in this part of the world.


Nancy Bertenshaw doing a cordage workshop for the public.
I really take my hat off to our members who unselfishly give up their time just to inform and guide the public in this craft.

Nick Bertenshaw discussing Amy’s bowl making skills


Richard Bingham (host of Herstmoncaux Ball).
Another, or perhaps I should comment another wise trug maker from Sussex. He does do weekend courses with the Sussex group, I still have my treasured trug I made with him.
His cataract op must ham gone well. If you ever though smaller is easier think again!


Well the scything went well and gave an additional dimension to the weekend. A few friendly faces including Jim McVittie from Wimpole.

Drove past this guy on the way home on the M25 – is it a Meschershmitt?

I had a great day – the organisation on the ground was great, thanks for the local wood guys! Look forward to another event next year.
Music in Wanstead Park East London 18th July

This event is held at the park at the end of my road. Its run by the local community. It has a great atmosphere; great choice of music, many of the young musicians were from my old local school.

The locals really get organised - gazebos  and picnics.

Our wood turning stand - Chairman on left - John Brotherton and our events organiser John Houghton on the right.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Coopers Wood Keston Kent 11/12th July at the Invitation of our hosts Graham Aslett and Terry Jones

Graham has been building his grand toy room for some time and this masterpiece is no exception.

A bark peeler for posts etc. Bit like a freehand planer.

The blades are set up a bit like a spokeshave, the disc is not flat but angled – this may help with its structural integrity.  The blades only protrude 10 thou. I am guessing that much more would make hand feeding and control impossible.

On the way I suggested to Graham about ignition, of course it works on compression, a few turns of the hand crank and its away all 7 horses!

Here Graham is trimming a very dry Oak fence post with total ease – brilliant.

Straight from Machine Mart (where I am going ASAP) a sump pump that will do anything £35. Graham was fuelling his tractor with it.

This site when occupied is packed with great kit this cast iron kettle (bit like a Samovar) providing hot water all day.

Terry Jones with a German style bark gathering basket.
He was making this when I saw him last year

This one was for me!

Graham's Canadian mosquito trap – it works but only for very fat heavy ones! a bit gin -esk?

Carole (& Keith) spinning, last time I saw them was the Bodgers Ball doing free workshops with Marion Winser.

Her beautiful wheel was made by Keith - how sweet is that? Keith was busy on a pole lathe...

Phill has been busy experimenting with making his own tools. He is rake making (under Grahams tutelage).

He is trying out his de-barking drawknife.

Bardster with his new shave horse / braiding steer.  He has some great home made kit.

He made an impressive braided para cord strap for Grahams basket.

What a knowledgeable man and so willing to pass on what he knows. It really enriches a weekend if you have someone from a parallel organisation sharing their kit (and I mean really impressive kit) and knowledge – thanks Paul.

Well its Terry Jones again with an impressive garden bench.

Chestnut top and legs with a Yew back – just short of a few stays.

I did ask Graham earlier in the weekend when he was going to get his big Wood Miser going (I wasn't really on the scrounge for even more wood), well he waited until I was leaving – probably for the best.

Well thank you to Graham and Terry who did most of the organisation and work for the greater good.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Leatherworking at Wanstead

This case is for Jill Swan – a bit Hobbitty (Gandalf’s hat?).

This was a bit of an experiment using thin soft leather. The hand stitching is a pain the grooving and stitch marking is almost impossible – perhaps I should have machined it. The wet moulding worked out fine. Cutting the strap was also tricky, as you pull it through the cutter you stretch it – so it actually wider the more pressure you apply.

A case for his first knife – wet moulded veg tan for Alex who was at the Scything Festival at Wimpole.


I am reminded of my weekend at Cherry Wood with Rob Exton on a leatherworking weekend.

There is no trick to wet moulding and making card templates is the only way to get the sizes right and a good fit.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Leatherworking at home in Wanstead

A commission from The Wimpole Scything Festival – This is a Robin Wood axe, Felt really good and great value – check out his website.

It looked like cast steel with a welded hard edge – nothing wrong with that!

Another one from Wimpole – a small thatcher’s billhook.


More curved drawknife cases for our man in Kent


A present from Amy Leake

Amy  gave me these two spoons last week. I am so happy to have them and will enjoy using them.

The carving on the larger one is so delicate it looks like the work of fairies!
Thanks Amy
Fairlop Fair Saturday 4th July at Fairlop Walters Barkingside Essex.

The story starts in the 1720’s, when wealthy landowner Daniel Day (1683 - 1767)
travelled to Fairlop once a year on the first Friday to collect his rents. He was a
popular man with the nickname ‘Good Day’, who owned a ship’s pump and
blockmaker’s business in Wapping, part of the busy area along the River Thames.
On his trip to Fairlop, Daniel arranged for a feast of bacon and beans to be sent from
"The Maypole" pub then sited where the Fullwell Cross Health Centre is today, and
he and his friends enjoyed a bean feast under a large oak tree - the famous Fairlop Oak.


So now roll the clock forward 115 years.

This was our second year at this event held by the London Borough of Redbridge and organised by Bonita Castle.

It was a very hot day and I was glad to have some shade.

We also had a Fairlop Woodturners setup and our chairman John Brotherton is seen here demonstrating.

The club now meets every second Monday during term time at King Solomon High School. It is open to anyone. 

Checkout our website

I bumped into my scout leader Ron Jeffries who provided the pictures. 
Ron has spent his lifetime serving the community and is still doing so! He has written two books one about his life and another about the local area.