Sunday, 21 April 2013


I was offered some wood from a Monkeypuzzle tree some months back – the tree was planted in the front garden when the chap (now quite a few years older) moved into his house.

I’ve left the wood for six months or so and today I got around to turning the first bowl. It was immediately evident that the wood was far from dry, so I just rough turned it and will leave it on the shelf for another 3 months or so. Here it is at the moment…


I am not at all sure how it will turn out as the wood seems quite open-grained so might not finish too well, but we’ll see in a few months.

Here’s one for Jeremy…

A couple of years ago I made a long round trip to darkest Worcestershire and picked up a load of wood from a colleague. This was dumped in the back of the car, driven 100 odd miles back up the M6 and then stuffed under the bench in the barn where it’s been sat ever since then.

I’ve turned the odd small piece since then (primarily into mushrooms), but today I fancied tackling a bowl so dug out a reasonably sized lump and had some fun with the sledgehammer and wedges, so that I could start with something that wasn’t too large.

I then cut the corners off the lump and stuck it onto the lathe – here’s a picture from half way through the turning process…


I’ve just hot-glued some Iroko to the base so that when I turn it around to mount it I don’t have to screw into the base of the bowl.

It turned out really well, despite nearly flying off the faceplate when I was finishing the base – here’s the finished article…


It’s easily the most beautiful bowl I’ve made, I’m looking forward to cracking open another lump to see what I find inside!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Another one bites the dust

It seems I’m destined not to make larger bowls – after obliterating one last weekend I tried again this weekend, with a large lump that I rough turned when it was green last September. All was going well and then my chisel caught and this was the result…


I don’t think a bit of glue will fix that one!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

An evening of bits & bobs

This evening I tackled a couple of jobs I’ve been putting off for a while, then had some fun.

The first job was to fix some battens to the wall, slide in a shelf, then fit the oven that’s been sat on a brick in the same hole ever since I bought this place (the oven was here, I knew it would come in handy sometime)…


The stuff inside the oven cooking gently is some driftwood, more on that later.

The second job was to build something that I can store my sanding discs in, as at the moment they were all over the place. I just used some spare MDF that was hanging around the place, and whilst now I need to find somewhere for this one to go at least I can now put my hands on a disc when I want one!


Now back to the driftwood. We stayed in a gorgeous cottage near Bude a couple of weeks back and as I was picking up some tools (which can be seen in the background, a large pillar drill and a bandsaw) I took the opportunity to fill the trailer up with whatever I could, and so a bagfull of driftwood came back home with us. My wife wants to make some things for her business, and this evening I dried out some of the wood in my oven and then set to making some tea light holders…

First Tea Light

The first above was just 5 small pieces, the second used some chunkier parts…

Second Tea Light

I need to use a little less glue next time but other than that I’m quite happy with them.

Sunday, 26 February 2012


I have wood – a load of it…


It’s a load of Iroko from my dad’s shed – some of it nearly 2 feet wide. The boards were originally about 23’ long, I had to cut them down to about 6’ to get into my trailer, which felt like a travesty but in all honesty I’m very unlikely to need long lengths, and I’d rather have them at this length than sat in a shed 300 miles away for another 5 years.

Now I need to plan what I’ll be making with these – I have some earmarked for a new desk for my office, and another Adirondack chair is on the cards too. As for the rest, we’ll see!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

FInished drawers

This evening I finished off the drawer fronts for the cabinet that’ll go under the bench. It’s a bit on the heavy side now so I need a hand to lift it down.


I made a set of handles from Iroko on my router table. These were much, much cheaper (well, free really) and look the business too.


They were made with two cutters on the router table. The first, a 1” radius cutter from Axminster provided the ledge for my fingers underneath the handle. I then rounded over the top with a Porter Cable bit I purchased when we were on holiday in Florida a few years back.

The whole lot was sanded (80,120,180 & 240) and then given a couple of coats of teak oil. I’m very pleased with these drawers, now I just need to decide what’s going in them!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Finished Adirondack Chair

This evening I’ve finished the chair, with just 4 days to go until it’ll be given to my lovely wife. Here’s the chair in all it’s glory…


It’s rather comfortable – I don’t think I’ll be able to get her out of it during the summertime!