Monday, 13 February 2017

Sunday 12th February - visit to Philip Steels workshop at Bishops Stortford.

Went to ask Phil to make me some metalwork for my kitchen. He was working on this spectacular piece of spalted Hornbeam.

Up until a week ago I had never seen spalted Hornbeam – bit like waiting for bus, nothing and then two come along at once.

I have been visiting this workshop for some years. The standard of their work has dramatically improved over the years – it is now as good as or better than most professionals. Roy Weare who also featured at the 2015 seminar won a prize at Wizardry in Wood this year. If you ever wanted to develop your work – do it with others.

AWGB Seminar 2015 Top 50

The workshop is shared with Charlie Aldham and Trevor Lucky.

Trevor made these two pieces that were in the top 50 at the 2015 seminar.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Thursday 9th February and a very cold day at Keston with Graham Aslett.

I went down to North Pole Farm (Graham reckoned named after the coldness of its location) to have a look for a suitable work surface for my self-build campervan. I was shocked to see this very pretty wood look so desolate in winter. Good job we had a stove going in the shepherd’s hut.

We managed to find some Cedar of Lebanon which looked promising. I have an ‘L’ shaped kitchen in the van and the plan is to stich it together with some dark wood dovetails.

The trailer had a bit of a flat tyre but Graham had a compressor working off the PTO. Two minutes and job done.

It may had looked quite wet, but it was in fact fully seasoned – can’t wait to dry it off and get started on it.

I have an 8 x 4 sheet of shuttering ply as a temporary work surface whilst I planned the layout and ran the services.

It does help to have a big van to start with.

Thanks to Graham and all his kit!

Sunday meeting of the Wimpole Lathers at Hob’s Farm

At Home farm - these Old Spot cross piglets would not stay still for more than a few seconds.

I have been to the Wimpole Estate many times but have not actually been in Home Farm – they have some very interesting animals and a great public friendly set up.

Last time I saw John Baily he was having fun on Jim’s bowl Lathe. This time he was busy working on a Walnut table top.

Alistair as  usual was handing out his homemade chocolate treats, this was a selection box, with a range of flavours rum, mint…

Simon sitting for a few minutes carving a Robina spatula – never idle!

He is training a rescue dog – dog count going up again! And he now also has a cockerel.

This chap was attacked by the other cockerels and nursed back to fitness by Simon, he has plans for some selective breeding.

The Reindeer herd has been breeding during the


 Head Deer!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Hedgelaying competition at the Wimpole Estate 4th February

Simon organised this annual event at a farm on the estate.

Frank Wright starting to clear a section before cutting.

The initial laying prior to staking. This was Hawthorn - did not look very thorny though. 

Some discussion about thorn growth - more when younger (deter predators - rabbits etc). 


One of the finished section – looks great. Thanks must go to the volunteer workers who helped to clear the way literally before the event. 

There was evidence of lots of Blackthorn that was originally blocking easy access to the hedge area.