Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Leicester Countryside Show

This year was our third year at the Leicester Countryside Show (formally known as the National Forest Wood Fair) and the first time that we didn't have torrential rain. At the moment we only do two shows per year and with the disastrous weather we had experienced at the last two Leicestershire shows it was very nearly just the one, but I'm glad we went as the weather was fabulous.

One of our customers was Chris Fleming, a fellow woodworker who makes beautiful furniture and also does some green woodworking including some really nice shrink boxes. You can check out his website here. I chatted for a while to Chris and his wife, who seemed to be a really lovely couple and I was flattered when they bought one of our bowls, but what I appreciated most was that they pointed out that our bowl display sucked.

Our new spoon display
I'd recently spent a bit of time putting together a new spoon display, which I think worked, but the bowls were just kind of plonked there. I will definitely give it some more thought for the next show we do. Any advice would be welcome.

One of the things I tried for the Leicester display was labels made with this fantastic Dymo label maker that I picked up at a carboot sale at the beginning of the summer.

I've always loved the effect of Dymo labels and I've found a few vintage ones over the years, but I'd never seen one like this chromed metal beauty. Unfortunately the labels were a bit small and not entirely practical.

So I'm now looking forward to coming up with some new ideas for next years shows. At least our sign was a hit again.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Car Boot Axe

Last week I picked up this little axe/hatchet from a car boot sale for £1. I often see rusty old axe heads or neglected/abused axes and I'm a bit of a sucker for them, especially as I only pay £2 - 50p for them and they are usually good, old steel. This one was a bit different to my usual findings though. Normally what I see are yankee pattern, Kent pattern and the occasional Rhineland pattern heads, this is something different altogether.

When I picked it up the first thing I noticed was the handle, which was more like what I would expect on a lump hammer. Then I realised how chunky the head was. It reminded me of my Roselli axe. The Roselli axe is a great all rounder (I did a review of it here), but it excels at splitting (for an axe its size).

When I started putting an edge back on this new axe find I noticed something strange about the grind. The beard section was a much thinner grind than the heel, which is really quite thick. I haven't measured the angles yet, but there is quite a difference. I also noticed that the handle is offset similar to what you would expect on a right handed side axe.

This has got me thinking that either these two features (differential grind and offset handle) are deliberate features, that would make this more than just a kindling splitter, or it was poorly made and hafted. It would seem strange to me to have an offset handle on anything other than a carving axe, but the obtuse angle of the grind is not my idea of an ideal carving axe. I guess I'll just have to get it sharp and give it a go.