Saturday, 18 June 2011

Fathers day

This fathers day I decided to make my dad something instead of buying the usual generic stuff. He'd mentioned to me a while ago that he had broken the handle on his favourite splitting axe.

Not only was it his favourite it also had added sentimental value in that it was the first thing he ever brought from a farm sale over 30 years ago. And since then my dad has been to hundreds of farm sales.

I started off with some ash that I split a couple of months ago, I like to make handles with almost seasoned ash as although it is a little harder to work you can get a better finish and it there is less chance of the wood shrinking and the head falling off, as when I make them from green ash I never have the patience to wait for it to dry properly!

Once it was roughed out I smoothed it off with a spoke shave and then sanded it down

The axe was pretty blunt, with some big chips out of it, I had to first grind it down, before filling and then using some diamond stones to finish it off, I didn't spend to much time honing the edge as its only going to be used as a splitter.

And the finished article

I went for a straight handle again, as I prefer this style (see post- A stronger Axe?). I Went for quite a chunky handle as its going to get some abuse and I want it to last a few years! Quite please with the out come though, especially as this is the first full sized handle I've made.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

A birthday present

I was asked to make a traditional style rustic bench for someones 80th birthday present.
Unfortunately the one I had in stock was a two seater and they wanted a 3 seater, but luckily I already had some oak planked up and a spare Sunday to make it! Which was handy as I was only given a weeks notice.

I have started adding in some supports underneath the seat to give it a bit more stability, I also think it improves the look of the bench as the others look a bit stark from certain angles

The usual mortice and tennon

The seat is held down with some heavy duty timberfix screws which are then hidden with seasoned oak plugs.  

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Cherry bowl

Just put the finishing touches to a cherry bowl I carved a couple of weeks ago

Carved in the style of Robin Wood, with the hollowing out done with a carving adze whilst in the bowl vice, and then axing the back of the bowl afterwards

With the axe I can get pretty close to the desired dimensions, then i remove the axe marks with a push knife and travisher before drying the bowl in sawdust for a couple of weeks and then sanding it down

Finished with sanding sealer and walnut oil, I love the way the oil brings out the grain in this bowl, think it works really well with this style

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

More Firewood

This year rather than sell firewood in old builders sacks I decided to standardise it and buy a job lot of ventilated log bags.

Doing it this way I can ensure everyone gets the same amount of logs, and as the bags are perforated with these slits it means they wont sweat and start to go mouldy if they are left in the bags too long.

Also I've got alot of logs to store for the winter, and as they are currently occupying a grain shed that will be needed fairly soon I need to get them bagged up and moved out of the way

Came up with a way of using some old paint trestles and a couple of lengths of 3x2 to hold the bags upright whilst I fill them, this way I can fill 5 at a time without having to touch the bags.

Quite a nice job to do for a couple of hours when I get home from work that doesn't involve too much thinking, good when your not feeling very creative but still want to be productive!