Saturday, 23 May 2015

Wooden flowers

This is the first time this has ever happened, willow sticks that have dried at different rates on each side of the stick. This is what happens, the dry side curls more than the wetter side.
I have finally learnt how to make flowers the traditional way, with just a knife. I was getting very lopsided flowers and thought it was my technique. I put the same wood on the shaving horse and got the same result. These mutant flowers rather appeal to me, they tell a story that only a very few people would notice.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Another film

This Norwegian film moved me a great deal. It is easy to romanticise the past, to long for the simpler days. To me this is dangerous nonsense, a false idea of history. Life was hard in so many ways that we can not imagine. What impresses me is the way that people could turn their hands to anything, they had years of training in using body arm and hands, something I see missing in so many people these days. So many of us are hand illiterate.

The film is full of little gems for the green woodworker, and the same for anyone who works the land.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Norwegian traditional woodworking films

As it says in the title. Settle in for an hour and watch these films. Who's says we need concrete to build with, fence posts soaked in poisons, skis made from plastic and epoxy resins. They are in Norwegian but craft does not need a spoken language to understand. Enjoy.



Thursday, 12 March 2015

Even professionals can cut themselves.

Before making every cut ask yourself

what happens if I slip?

Use this as your mantra, every time you make a cut.

As I get older I get more scared of the machine tools I use, and for good reason. Flesh and bone is nothing to them. I have been told of some very nasty injuries over the years, with scars to prove them.

Edge tool injuries do happen and are usually minor cuts, most of my cuts come from the wood itself, from manhandling it, again minor.

So I picked up my newly sharpened axe to use as a mallet, and somehow my little finger got in the way. Just a small touch on the edge of the axe, really the very lightest touch.

Sharp axes as hammers or mallets are not a good idea.

Heres another, of an apprentice, who thinks he knows it all, knows exactly where the tip of the tree will fall. Had to cut him out. Unfortunately he no longer works for me. Should have used my mantra!

Take care and be safe, before making the cut imagine what happens if the worst happens, a little thought may just stop the body springing a leak.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Where do you get your wood from?

I have answered "trees" to this question, and have nearly got thumped.
Everywhere is the answer, from firewood piles to expensive wood merchants. I bought 3, 4 meter lengths of steel which came supported by a length of pallet wood of about 18mm thick by 75mm wide. The grain was tangential and so perfect for making fan birds with. 3 have been made so far I think I can get 10 to 20 out of this bit of wood. It has large knots in and lots of short grain as well. So hopefully I can turn this bit of waste wood into a few hundred quids worth, or more of fan birds.