Saturday, 22 February 2014

75th Anniversary Carved wooden book..

A school local to us is celebrating their 75th Anniversary..

I had heard that they were celebrating by doing all sorts of events, like dressing up in 1940s clothing, an open day for former pupils to come and look around, and other things to get the kids involved with.

I was sort of asked / volunteered to go in..

A few days later, on the morning, I had got all of my tools ready to go. And an old dressing table top in Mahogany to use for this piece. I found it in a skip, in reasonable condition but with a split either end for the first 9" right in the middle of the top..

So here's that top before I cut into it..

So 9am arrives and the children start coming into the DT room, one class at a time..

So this is my sketch, which I did in front of the children.
So they get the fact that there was no preparing of parts for this event..

So I cut it down the middle, then cut an end off. 
Then started shaping the inner parts of the pages.

After the shaping..the piece was cut in half down the length, then set out on the bench as above.

Around lunchtime, after showing how I was working the timber, and allowing students to have a go at carving some wood. I was done on the first side.
With the 'lines' carved out to represent each persons 'story' through the years between 1939 and 2014.

In the afternoon, I flew along, no students, no interruptions.. just lots of carving

And just so the school could see how it was all going, there was chance at the afternoon assembly to show off the work done that day.. quite embarrassing.. but felt pretty good.

I took it back to the workshop, over the next few days I added cuts to resemble pages, with grooves and splits..

click on the photo to enlarge

An off cut was used to add a spine..
The back all left would, a well used book of 75 years

The bottom, unfinished here..
(the centre glue line was later rounded to look more like the pages going into the spine)
With my stamp..and more grooves.

Sealed and waxed, ready to go back to the school.

If you would like a piece like this for your school, club or organisation, 

or for a loved one, please contact me for details.

I hope you like what I've done here,

There is more in the carvings section and you can follow me live on Twitter

Thanks for looking

All the best


Friday, 14 February 2014

# Shop Stool Build Off.. Part 5. The Results

So After the build up..

The design, the timber, then the very busy build weekend, which was great..

The long wait..Votes counted up..and the winner is..

Well...  follow this link between the < > to < Chris Wongs site > ..and all will be revealed..

Great results, thanks to the guy's who made the stools. Their wives and girlfriends for putting up with us all going on about it for weeks.. to the list of sponsors, who made it even more exciting.

Huge thanks must go to Chris Wong who started this whole build.. cheers Chris.

and to those of you who voted.. 750 brilliant..

All the best


Thursday, 6 February 2014

Stunning... Italian Olive wood country built bed..

A great start to the year..

When I went to see this bed, a few months ago, it was quite a lovely sight to see. The timber is Olive wood and has a beautiful patina, with lots of knots dug out and replaced with small pieces of Olive, in the most simple of ways, that just looked great..and it's heavy..much heavier than you think as you go to pick it up.

The bed has been in the same family for three generations, and there was no way that it was going to be ruined in any way..

The family came to my workshop to see what I do, and what I could do for them. I must admit, at first I got the wrong end of the stick, I was being asked if I could just extend it by 300 or so millimeters.. You just can't add 300 mm to the length of a bed, especially if a teenage boy is the user.. unless I added some more structural timber inside.. So I mentioned cutting the sides down to use as fascia covers over new longer structural rails..this didn't go well either..

A little while later they got back in touch with me to make two new side rails for the hardwood..So I then suggested that the original rails could be just hung beneath the bed, hanging from the slats..That way the bed could easily be put back to how it was..

So I'm just adding to the history of this could always go back to how it was...Brilliant.

I didn't take any before pics..

The insides were painted, side rails showing Tenons and hand made bolts..
Just look where the nuts are hidden inside, just behind those infill

This is where new meets old..notice the two notches..
The dowel is to stop the slats from moving around, and it fits the edge of the first slat..

The new rails are in a single piece of Sapele, cut from a 6m length, with some figuring and mottling and it's strong. Not a bad colour match too. All of the tenons were cut buy hand, they had to be, because all of the mortices were different..good fun fitting each one..They weren't straight, or equal, or square.. and they will not be interchangeable. and I never took any timber out of the mortice.

Here are the ends of the new rails. I had to fit the bolts to the centres on the end frames..
so the bolt hole weren't in the middle of the tenons..
Notice the nut holes are behind some end grain pegs or stoppers..just proud..

You can see the difference in lengths, 
but also just how much bow is in the original Olivewood rails

The colours look better in this pic

This is the head end..just 1/4" higher, but with a round on top

I delivered the bed this week, I went into their beautiful house and assembled it.. With a new longer mattress now, and safe in the knowledge that it will last for a few more decades.

All the best


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Hand carved sign post..

I loved doing this one..

I was working away in the shop as per usual..not sure what on, but I noticed a couple in my Gallery area..and they were getting what I do, can do etc.

Within a few minutes Ben, Sarah and I were chatting about something they would like made for his parents. And from what Ben was saying I was beginning to come up with some great ideas..

This was going to be a really cool piece. Ben wanted the house name, with a date of his parents Ruby wedding anniversary carved into it.

After a few texts..Ben came one evening with a beautiful piece of English Oak 7" x 7" and about 7ft long..
We talked about where the letters would be carved and how it would look..

So I asked Ben to go and think about it, then type out exactly what he wanted, the height, width and I'm not quiet sure who came up with the idea... maybe because we were on the same wavelength it just happened..

A piece of glass in ruby red, let into the post.

So now we were getting somewhere..

And after a couple of days, I found one of the sides was beautiful, no splits, shakes and it was just the right face for me it.. so I started carving

single click on the photo to enlarge

Three letters down, and I put this pic on Twitter..I called Ben, told him the photo was online..

He loved it..   woohoo.

So I carried on..

First word done..    more feedback ..

everyone loves it.. and so do I

Here's the finished letter carving..

I got so into the carving it was great to do..but forgot about the glass..The Ruby red piece.

I'm in the centre of the Glass making industry for over 300 years, so if I can't sort this bit out I need shooting..

and it was simple.. I asked Ian Bamforth, one of the glass blowers at the Stourbridge Glassblowing Studio, to blow me a 52 mm diameter globe, that I was going to let into the post..

This is it..finished..

It will be erected in the corner of his parents field / garden..

Ben's going to get it done and get some pictures of it in place.. when I get them I'll put them on here

All the best