Monday, 17 December 2018

Wimpole Lathers Christmas BBQ Sunday 16th December

Have not been up to see the lathers since the Scything festival in June. This time of year is busy so there was not the usual crowd.


However Mike Vilhauer was using his spoon shave modification to his shavehorse.

He also cooked some home cured bacon American style, is was sweet (smoked with maple syrup).


Simon has been busy (when is he ever not busy) making dragonflies from walnut.

His woodpile is not shrinking, this sequoia had acquired green sapwood.

I think the same tree that gave me the table in my van.

Plenty of discussion about Ball 2019 to be held here at Wimpole Hall.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

9th December Kent Group blacksmithing day at Burbage Towers Benenden Kent

During the winter months the Kent group move away from the workshop at the edge of the forest – to warmer areas and activities.


Jeremy and his gas fired forge with Robin from the Brockley Park group – South London.
Jeremy gets newcomers to make their hook-tools in mild steel first – that’s a very good idea!

Myself with Keith Leonard and Jeremy


I was happy to return his entries to the WCT competition along with his £100 cheque for third prize


Amy Leake forging hook tools on her gas forge

Harry was encouraging a visitor to get involved.


I was working with Mike Gordon on forging adzes from hammers. Needless to say on another gas forge - Mike’s. I have never used one before but was halfway through making one a couple of years ago.

Phill gave us a hammer head to use and for his first time on the short sledge hammer was exceptional!

Mike doing a great job holding the hot metal in the right place.

There were loads of people making all sorts of tools – John was forging a knife.

Yet more forges – this time charcoal hand blown.

  I think Ed Murphy was on this one which is fan powered from a car battery.

What a great day – loads of tools made and a few new members as well. Thanks again to John Burbage for his hospitality and lunchtime soup.

The next Kent day is a bow and arrow day led by Pete Rippengal on Saturday 12th January at Benenden.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

View Love Buy at Carpenters Hall 1 Throgmorton EC2N 2JJ

The  bi-annual craft competition held by the Worshipful Company of Turners.


The pole lathe turners competition was to turn a candlestick on a pole lathe, no sanding but decoration, coloring etc encouraged.

First prize went to Olvin Smith


Second prize to Mike Gordon

Third prize to Keith Leonard

Well done to the winners, could have done with a few more entries however.

This was a great opportunity for me to catch up with people I had not seen for a little while.

Barn the Spoon + apprentice. Hopefully we shall see them again at the Wimpole Ball.


John and June White from Fairlop woodturners talking to Gabor who was signing his book as well as saying goodbye (as they were sold for the St Paul’s appeal) to the St Pauls bells he had turned and decorated with Patricia Spero.


Roy Weare from East Herts Woodturners who now lives in France where he has started a turning group - bringing them over for this event.

Roy spent many years at a workshop with a group of friends on Sundays, they were too far away and I used to visit them. They shared techniques and bounced all sorts of ideas around, colouring, texturing the whole thing.

They made a lot of hollow forms, one of the friends an engineer Phill Steele made tools to share as well as filling the workshop with Graduate lathes  modified by Gabor Lacko of course, a close friend.

Of course he is no stranger to a bit of prize winning as well.


We were very lucky to have three demonstrators at this event. Mike Gordon was showing log to candlestick on his shave horse and lathe.

He also collected a second prize for a candlestick.

James Pumphrey demonstrating bowl turning – his historical knowledge is amazing and he is such a great communicator.

For my sins I have no picture of Amy Leake who was on the ground floor doing a great job. I look forward to seeing her again and her son Adam here hopefully 14-17th October 2020 at Wizardry in Wood.


Brigadier Bill O’Learly (member of the Howe committee). He is a busy man and probably flew a great distance to get to this event.


Les Thorne (a keen fisherman) and well respected professional turner chatting to Richard Levy (Felix Levy competition).


Stuart King had a few thing on the tables! Some great automata. 

He was busy as the official photographer for the event.

Another great event showcasing woodturning in all its forms. We were very lucky to have the opportunity and space for three demonstrators to promote our organisation.

The next WCT competition is the
Wizardry in Wood 14-17th October 2020