Friday, 26 November 2010

Tool forging with Ben Orford

In November of 2010 I did two days with Ben Orford in his workshop tool making. I wanted a few more bowl turning gouges and chisels after making a bowl lathe with him earlier in the year. Blacksmithing is not something I would have tried if I had not had a tour of his workshop previously, as I stupidly presumed this was beyond me. Girls! All I can say is it was totally awesome, give it a go!.

Check out this video if you want a tour of Ben's workshop (beware of workshop envy chaps!)

Here I am with my haul of new tools on the bench, after a blister half way across my hand and a lot of hammering of hot metal. I'm so glad we got to work indoors as my friend Simon and I were camping in November!

Me holding the products of my labour,
with Ben Orford at his workshop in Herefordshire.

My good friend Simon who joined
me for the 2 days.

2 spindle gouges - one roughing out gouge
and a flat chisel. The tangs were very tricky!

Ben is an excellent teacher, if you're interested in Greenwood work or knife making check out his website for a very rewarding learning experience and quality crafted tools.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Woodlanders Wagon

 Over the last couple of months I've been helping Martin build a Wagon which we can use when doing coppice and woodland work over in Leicestershire. It's a bit like a gypsy caravan, but built without a plan!  It has a happy sort of Heath Robinson feel to it, where we work out what needs doing as we go along... with just about enough forethought to hopefully save us from any major far, so good!

I think we are both loving this project to bits though, and it's becoming a wagon with great expectations. Looking forward to hours whittling by the stove after a day working in the wood.

I just hope it goes for a test drive sooner rather than later though as Martin has been taking some of the supporting strutts out in order to make space for the stove and bed. My eyebrows did raise a little!? "Are you sure about that I asked?". "It'll be like an aircraft, we'll put 4' panels of ply in the corners instead", said Martin.
Alder hoops square lashed to the frame to make the barrel shape.

Martin trimming the front and back walls to a curved shape.
The tongue and groove wood came from an old chicken shed. 

Canvas pulled back while the front and back is cut to shape.
Watch  this space for more pics soon...we are ready to cut windows in the front panel to match Martin's lovely half cut door with diamond shape in. Then fitting the canvas properly and fixing the bed and stove in place. Yee Haa!!!

Friday, 19 November 2010


No, it's not Baaa Humbug time. It's my Sheep Seat. (Don't say that too fast by the way.)

This project had been hanging around since last year. Greenwood turned ash legs on a poplar seat, steam bent sweet chestnut back hoops finally went on this autumn, and then the seat cushion transpired last month.

It is actually what I intended it to look like, apart from the legs being too high - it should be a much more squat seat height. Still I think it's rather amusing and bizarre!

It's on show in The Gallery at Bishops Castle, Shropshire over Christmas - and is for sale.
Tacking a cotton lining over the seat padding to create the dome shape.

Poplar seat with steam bent sweet chestnut hoops in before the top cushion is added.

Ash turned legs.
Sheep Seat by Elizabeth Cadd, Nov 2010.

Finished Sheep Seat, Nov 2010.

Ladybird and little stools

These little stools are an experiment with greenwood work and upholstry. One little ladybird with 6 silver birch legs and padded ash seat. The other tiny footstool or seat with 3 different turned legs and a sycamore padded top.