Sunday, 19 June 2016

Forget your saws use an axe instead

I spent the day with Richard Devaney at the Saxon village at Escot house in Devon. He was hosting an APT local group get together. As he is recreating Saxon life he does not do saws and hates it when others leave the evidence of the saw in the material.
Not using a saw means that wood has a very different end cut to it. This end cut is usually very tactile, visually appealing and organic in its  form. I will have to try working without a saw more.


Detail of diagonal supports on a pole lathe



Above and below, the worn and polished poppet heads




Ends can be rough and ready or rounded off

Pole lathe with a new bed and legs



Roof of one of the open barns

I have more photos up on my Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/seanhellman/

Friday, 18 December 2015

Copying other peoples work and how to find your own creative voice

I came across this great video and article by Sean McCabe that echoes my ideas on copying other peoples work.
http://seanwes.com/tv/043-how-to-be-inspired-without-copying/


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Pinch dogs

I have various pinch dogs in the workshop and they only get used when I need to fix a piece of round wood, beam, bowl blank or plank in place when sawing, drilling or carving. I am yet to make or buy big ones as used in timber framing, and have easily got by with small ones only a couple of inches or so long. I am over cautious at times, and the idea of using such small dogs to hold such large pieces of wood is not something I would have considered until I had too because they where all I had to hand. As can be seen in the video they do work very well. I bought these years ago, second hand, and they are just mild steel. Great if they get bent as they can be hammered back into shape.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Sods law

I plan my year out with shows at easy intervals and what happens? A few big commission jobs come my way and throw everything into chaos. Running low on stock and then having to work between shows on these commissions. Lots of things have had to be put on hold, for example my shave horse book. It has been written, but as I am self publishing it takes a lots of time laying it out in Indesign, a program I am still slowly learning.With any luck it may be published in time for christmas. Tool making is also on hold, but I have made the first prototype of my perfect drawknife.



The Easy Rider shave horse is having a good reception and I have sold a few already. Full detailed plans will be in the book along with plans on how to make 6 other types of shave horse. Lots of techniques about how to use tools and make almost unknown joints etc.


In other news I became a pin up boy. Peter Jameson (Auctioneer at the Bodgers Ball) who can be seen craftily staring at me in in flat cap from behind Sue, somehow obtained a photo of me and my unusually full wallet ( probably receipts from tool buying). He wrote some apparently witty comment about me below the photo. Sue Holden unfortunately was the only person to bid on lot number 2 and won it for a sum I will not disclose. Talking to Sue's partner, Will, it seem that the only pins holding it up will be darts!
For a bit more info on the Bodgers Ball see Marks blog                                            


The proper way of boiling a kettle, photo taken at the Weald and Downland wood fair partly organised by my good friend Mark Allery, seen here on his shave horse making an English scythe snathe.

I was shown the museums collection of tools with Simon, I particularly liked this hand powered bandsaw. A very blunt blade and no tracking adjustment so 2 of the wheels had rims on to stop the blade from slipping off.




Thursday, 18 June 2015

Tool box and spoon rack

Just off to the Weald and Downland Woodfair this weekend 20-21st June. Only £5 per person to get into the Museum and wood fair.


 Some tool boxes