Friday, July 6, 2012

Not carving but pole latheing

I have just had a fantastic day with the wonderful (Essex based) Robin Fawcett, in his beautiful woodland workspace. Robin is a man that has spent his life working with wood especially the pole lathe. In addition to being a great turner he is also a natural teacher.

So when the opportunity came to spend a day "bashing wood" with him I leapt at the chance.

I decided that I wanted to turn a bowl on the pole lathe, which Robin described later as

"This was fairly ambitious considering Mark hasn't done any turning yet and doesn't have a lathe."  
Robin is a master of the understatement!

The pole lathe is driven by pushing a footplate down with your leg and making the cut, the pole pulls the footplate up ready for the next push down, reversing the direction of the work. This means that the tool has to be pulled back on the return. 

Ie, push down, make cut, remove tool as the work spins backward, push down, replace tool and make another cut. This is a bit like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time, luckily something that I can do.

The pleasure of using the pole lathe is the rythmic motion and sounds and the working closely with the wood using your own energy. That is when you get the hang of it, the novice will hear wood tearing noises and the chattering of the tool as it goes wrong. Robins patient instruction will see you through that though.

I think that we spent as much time laughing as turning

Amazingly after much axing to prepare the wood for the lathe and even
more turning, with interventions from Robin, I had made a birch wood bowl.

If anyone has an interest in working with green wood I can highly recommend Robins training courses.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Coffee spoon

I made this spoon from a scrap of wood, it has the same volume as the measuring spoon that came with a pack of coffee.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Birch Ladle

A strange shaped branch gave me the chance to carve a ladle, the wood is birch. Carved with axe and knives.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers day blade

Hi all

My daughter brought me a one inch blade, from Nic Westerman, for fathers day. 

I carved a handle from yew and put the blade into it. 

The handle was finished with Danish oil.

The blade will be used for finishing very tight curves and carving fine detail.

The blade is very very sharp :-)

I love fathers day.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Maple burr kuksa

Hi all

A friend kindly gave me a maple log which had a few burr's.

I removed the burr's

From the largest burr I carved a kuksa
The wood was difficult to carve with the grain changing direction a lot!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chiefs, bog, stargazer, watchmans, two plank chair

Chiefs chair, bog chair, stargazer chair, watchmans chair, two plank chair are just a few names for the chair below.

As a design for a chair it is simple, surprisingly comfortable and found in different cultures around the world. When taken apart it is easy to store, taking up little room.

I guess that making it is not strictly carving but I did only use hand tools.

The wood is seasoned oak.


Hand carved Cherry bowl

A kind local arborist felled a Cherry tree nearby and he dropped of a piece for me to carve. Cherry is a beautiful wood but can be frustrating to work because of its tendancy to split. This piece behaved well and allowed me to carve a bowl from it.

I started with an adze to remove a lot of wood and then I switched knives for the shaping, finished with sanding and then oiling.

hand carved cherry bowl

hand carved cherry bowl

hand carved cherry bowl