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Monday 28 May 2012

New Trails

Jumped on my bike and headed off west I ended up cycling around a wood of Scots Pine with a little scatter of Birch and lots of lush ground cover. With the sounds of birdsong the place was alive with spring .I looked up through the crowns that were reaching out for the blue sky, what a sight.
Every hedge and woodland fringe is bursting with Hawthorn blossom, this get's called the may flower in my part of the world .We Scots have a saying(don't cast a cloot till may is oot) this roughly means don't make plans that require good weather until the Hawthorn flowers are out.
I passed a mare with a foal just a few days old, I stopped to look for a while. Further on some young horses took a shine to me and I to them, I have a little soft spot for horses.
Then I headed to the coast where I watched some waders feeding in the salt marshes, before moving on towards the mudflats.
I found lots of cool places and travelled a good number of miles around new trails, and now homeward bound and all uphill from sea level but hey-ho I enjoy it :)

Monday 21 May 2012

Clearing The Cobwebs

The weather is getting a bit more like summer with endless blue skies and warmth from the sun. So I jumped on my bike and enjoyed an afternoon in the countryside, clearing the cobwebs from my head. Ambling along taking in my surroundings, I startled a flock of sheep when I cut through a field, and I stopped a few times when things caught my eye here's what I saw along the way  :)

Saturday 19 May 2012

Cut Where It Counts

Lots of rain this week so my first job this weekend was pulling the weeds that lapped up all the rain and the sun when it popped out .Then I took a walk down to the river where I watched a graceful grey heron stalk the shallows beneath a bridge. When I got home I had some time to while away so I hacked away at a piece of sycamore and turned out ,yes you guessed a spoooon . The more spoon's I make, the more I learn , I use the axe a lot more now and I can get the spoon blank to a good shape with just the axe . Then I keep watching the shape as I carve the finish, as its very easy to hog off something big with these super sharp tools. The frosts 106 carver and the Ben Orford, shallow curve spoon knife, along with my newly adopted sharpening system have been working well for me . It can become kindling very quickly, so I carefully watch the shape, and my own skin! you quickly learn to keep your digits away from these tools. They slice skin very easily so if you take this up be careful, I have the scars from my first efforts :)

Sunday 13 May 2012

Saved For A Rainy Day

The weather was pretty wild wet and windy today so I finished off a little stool made out of Yew with Hazel legs. I left a little stub from a branch on one leg to give a bit of character, the Yew looked like it was on fire, with all the vibrant colours in the grain after it was oiled and waxed . Some Cedar puzzled me with the way it was drying out with a yellow band down the centre.
 On closer inspection I realised that this part has a very pungent scent so I reckoned this must be cedar oil that's gives the yellow colour. So I hacked out some cedar nuggets taking advantage of the glorious scent for putting in drawers and wardrobes,  its still blowing and lashing down  as I write this.Take a gander at my rainy day's work:)


Friday 11 May 2012

Birch Burl And Kuskacup

On Fridays I  finish work at lunchtime and had planned to go cycling but the weather had other idea's so I ended up in the shed.

 So a burl from a birch tree was hollowed out into a bowl  then, I spent a long time removing bark to reveal the spiky underside.  I could have shaved it all smooth but it was so unusual I had to leave it as nature intended.  I hacked out a kind of cup, kuska,scoop kind of thing although I'm unsure what the timber is I think it might be Lime. It carved well but a wee bit furry in places and it left my hands a nice orange brown colour  . So this kept me busy this afternoon and on the bowl and cup kuska I tried out my Ben Orford shallow cut spoon knife that was delivered this week, this is a great addition to my wood hacking kit, take a look and see :)  

Saturday 5 May 2012

Something Old Something New

I was messing around with more sharpening stick's for honing spoon carving tools a 800 and another of 1000 grit this along with the autosol. That Ive put on my strop gives a mirror finished edge that is unbelievably sharp.
 I also received my frosts 106 in the post this week, this is a bit longer than my other carving knife so it will come in handy for spoon's and suchlike  anyone that dabbles with wood should have one of these, this little knife is great.
 The varnish on my old spoon carving set was scraped off this week sanded lightly, then oiled up this feels better in the hand and you know I like to carve a spoon or two take a look :)

Storms Gift

Big sitka that came down in the storms of early January are now getting cut into nice chunky sleepers. This is literally a windfall these logs are great for the sawmill:)