Firstly, a friend from school brought in a number of goodies for me this week: another rather nice, straight piece of ash which I will split out and use for spoons; he also gave me an apple branch which I took home, sawed into shorter sections, split and then had a quick go at carving and, oh my goodness, I remember now why we carve GREEN wood whenever we can. It carved beautifully and easily - more like carving soft clay than wood, and in no time at all I'd made a nice, simple teaspoon. Because it was so green I will need to let it dry a bit before finishing, but I can't wait to have a go at another apple spoon next week. I should apologise about the photos - many of them were taken with my phone, hense not great quality.
He also brought me these three green slabs of oak which he had cut with his chainsaw and out of which I will make a seat for my stool. And this brings me onto the subject of planes. I don't have a plane and don't know much about them short of what I've read and don't really know how to use one, however.....
I decided I wanted to make octagonal legs for my oak stool. You may remember, I'd already riven the oak, so yesterday I marked the shape I wanted on the end grain and roughed it into shape with my draw knife, using my shave horse to hold it. Whilst that gave me a reasonable finish, I thought that if I was to plane the surfaces, it might give me a better finish, without the need of sand paper, and a more accurate and controlled finished cut.
I asked at school, in the Design Technology department and was given a Record Number 4 plane that was rusty, dusty and buried in the bottom of a cupboard, since most edged tools have all been risk assessed out of school work. I took it home, cleaned and sharpened it using a series of grades of wet and dry paper, set it up as best I could using common sense and lo and behold, it worked. And I must say it was very satisfying and I can completely see why some people get obsessive about planes.
The result was a pretty good finish, I think. There was a bit of tear-out where there was a confluence of knots, but I imagine I am using entirely the wrong sort of plane for green wood - if anyone knows I'd love to hear from you.
|Roughly shaped with a draw knife|
|Black and Dekker workmate - not the most satisfactory of holding methods - moves all over the place and in the end I had to stand on it, hook my leg around one of the extending arms, and plane at the same time in order for it to stay still.|
|Finished leg - all in all pretty good, I thought.|
|A little tear-out, but nothing to worry about|
|And the shavings looked great in the fire.|
Next, I think I'll have a go with the cabinet maker's scrapper that Julian gave me ages ago and that I've not gotten round to trying yet.
I also had a go at customizing one of my frosts carving knives - the top one in the picture. I'd had a go at the lower one previously and was quite pleased with it and so thought I'd personalize another.
I also carved another of my set of ash eating spoons - that brings me to a total of three now - half way there.
|I say it's a Wetterlings axe, but now I look on line, I can't actually find it.|
And lastly, a word of advice: it's probably best not to carve and watch the rugby at the same time - I'm lucky this slip was while I was using a knife and not an axe!