Another one of those days...

All of us have at some time or other, have wanted to come across a workshop that hasn't been used for a while. With all sorts of timber, well stacked out and tools..just loads of tools..

I got a call from Peter, an old family friend the other day

"Jamie," he says "are you still into all things wood"

"Of course", I say.

"Well I'm at this house, with a couple of outbuildings, Ebony, Ivory, Rosewood, tusks (some very old, others with certification) Chisels, tools, planes, wood everywhere...Do you want to come and have a look?

"Do I?"

The next morning I met up with Peter, and we went over together.

I was introduced to the lady of the house, her husband had died a number of years ago and he had some stuff in the well protected out buildings.

After the last lock was taken from the hasp and staple, the door was pushed open with the knack needed to get it open all the way and in we walked. As we walked into the main part, past shelving full of timber planks, turning blanks and timber leaning up against the walls, I started to raise my hands and sat them on the top of my head. There was a comfortable amount of space in the middle for us to all look around and the lady of the house ( lets call her Molly) told me where some of the machines sat. So there had been a planer, circular saw, band saw, grinding machines and either two or three lathes. We had half an hour before Molly had to go out, I was having to move things around on top of benches to open drawers of engineers chests to get an idea of what type of work and person the husband was. There were tools, on top of tools, on top of all sorts of stuff. Peter pointed out some shelving, on this was Ebony, lots and lots, including 3" x 2" x 18" and all sorts of sizes smaller, planks 3" wide and 2ft long, but also small boxes of offcuts, small triangles of wood, tuning ends, even legs off what must have been a carved elephant...

I just couldn't believe...

Then I was shown into another room, this one had the lathes and grinding tools in, two windows with net curtains up, let a small amount of light into this room. Chisels seemed to be everywhere. Tenon saws, I counted 6-7. There was a bucket full of 25 chisels, some carving, Firmer and turning chisels.

Times up.. we chatted about me going back over the following Monday

Today, I went back over, saw Molly, we chatted about the local town, I hadn't been there for a while, but we shared similar interests and she knew some of my family that were in the Antiques trade. She told me of her husband and the turnings that he did, some even went to Highgrove House near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, home of Prince Charles. 

I spent five hours tidying the place up, putting similar items together, carving chisels in one place, wood turning chisels in another. A Record holdfast was still in the box, but the box was stuck to the bench and there were a couple of parts missing, as I was looking elsewhere for something, I found the holdfast parts fitted to the bench. The Ebony took me a while to go through, and found a large piece, 4" x 6" and 15" long, with a couple of shakes and other varying sizes.

I came away with 5 sash cramps, all a bit rusty, one pin missing. 200 varying sizes of Ebony, the Record holdfast. Four paring chisels and a couple of other bits.

If your local to me and want to purchase some Ebony, I will put some dimensions on the For Sale section soon.

I have also spent some time french polishing the 81 mitre plane and tonight lapped the base to within a couple of millimetres at the front.

I will be going to the MAC Timbers open day, I plan on taking my 81 mitre plane and maybe take some of the Ebony on the weekend of 27th May 2012. I hope to see Bill and possibly Sarah Carter and meet other like minded people, if you follow this blog and you deceide to go, then stop me and say hello.

all the best



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