Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Has it really been that long?

I knew I hadn't posted much recently - in fact that's understating it - I knew I hadn't posted anything for ages. And I knew I hadn't posted for ages because I haven't actually carved anything since the Countryside Show in Leicestershire last August!

When I went to look at the blog to see what was the last thing posted I thought "good, Julian has posted recently." It wasn't until I looked closer that I realised what I had thought said July 2018, was actually July 2017! We really are rubbish at this!

That's not to say I haven't done anything. I have done some black-smithing to make pattern forged steel and I have made several knives and a bit of leather-work, but I find I have less and less time on my hands for these activities and have decided I need to make a concerted effort to do more.

So, here is my first spoon in a year. It is not the spoon I intended to make, but my first effort split right down the middle - my recently split billets of 'green' wood have suffered the very warm weather we are enjoying and are as dry as match wood. Nonetheless, here is my day's effort.

It is one of my favourite spoon designs - I call it a coffee paddle. It is thin and delicate, with a subtle crank and just the thing for making and stirring hot drinks.

It is not all I did today. I had noticed on a walk recently along our local canal, that someone had done some work on the trees at one section, and left some rather large sections of what I am guessing is probably a willow of some kind.

The best of the pieces was too big and heavy to carry so I went out early this morning with the intention of splitting it into quarters or eights so I could bring some home, maybe to use as bench legs.

I set to with axe and wedges, only to find that the wood inside twisted so badly that it took me best part of an hour to do the first split (and retrieve my wedges which at one point were horribly trapped within the twisted fibers).

Looking at what I'd got, I figured this was potentially a lot of effort for what would no doubt end up as fire wood and so I cut my losses - it beat me, I admitted defeat. I really should have looked more closely at the position of the sap wood at either end of the log and would have worked out before I'd stared that it wasn't going to be straight.  Oh well, I still get so excited over a length of free wood that I don't always think logically, and I'd like to say I've learned my lesson and will be more circumspect in future, but I know that's probably not true!

Now, let's hope I can actually remember how to post to the blog.