Saturday, 30 October 2010

Spurtles & Dibbers

The old hand lathe is getting a good work out, so am i as well i suppose, im addicted to making spurtles and dibbers at the moment, i have to stop making them though as they are everywhere.





 one of the dibbers i made


Yes, i do have quite a stock of them now, more than is shown here, if anybody would like to purchase one, drop me a line and i can provide you with details of the ones i currently have available for sale

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Withies or Woodsmans Rope

Short video i made on how to make Withies, not ideal as the sap was down in the Hazel rod making it harder than normal to accomplish the task, but, as you will see it's still possible.

The best thing about using a withy, is you are not hurting the tree, as along as you use your knowledge and only use something that will grow back, Hazel, Willow & Sweet Chestnut are ideal.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Hand Lathe - Update

Well, Ive been playing the hand lathe and a couple of modifications were needed, i removed the screw and bolt i was using as the centers as they were just too narrow and were digging into the wood i was trying to turn, so i removed them and replaced with some M8 thread rod, the ends of which i filed down to a blunt dome shape, i also cranked the rod over to give me a handle so i could tighten the centre into the blank without having to use another other tool as i was having to do when tightening up the screw, i also turned myself a nice handle to place on the end of the thread rod, as pictured below.


The other mod i made was to remove the hazel wand i was using and replace it with a bungee type arrangement, this means that the entire lathe is now in one piece and can be clamped to just about any surface, the uprights are held in place by nothing more than friction fit in the two holes i augered into the bed.

With the modifications i made the thing is working brilliantly, and as previously posted, it's not as tiring as you might think to use it, after all you are only doing half the work, the bungee is doing the other half, it's probably good for a cardio vascular work out though.

So am i using it, oh yes, and i love it, it's very much a steep learning curve, but i have been given some very valuable pointers from people who know what they are talking about.  Ive decided that I'm going to use this lathe as a design tool, use it, see how it can be improved and them when i have a tool that I'm happy with, i shall build another one using some materials that are more suited, but at the moment this is working just fine and dandy. 

The hand lathe was never designed to be used for making bowls and the like, in fact from what i understand from talking to people, you can't turn a bowl on one of these, I've not tried it yet and most probably wont, as all i want to do on this lathe is make simple things like spurtles and garden dibbers, see picture below, yes i know it's not a cleaved piece of wood and it still has the pith in the middle, but it's all i had available to me at the time.

The one thing that has really got up my nose with this project, is the number of people who just "dont get it", by that i mean, they dont or wont understand that the lathe is a hand powered one not a treadle or pole lathe, but a hand powered lathe.

I know they all mean well, when they say, "add a longer string and a pole and use use your foot to power it", but that's not the idea behind it, the idea was to make a hand powered lathe, and as Ive pointed out to people who have commented on the video's i placed on my You Tube channel about this project, if i had wanted a pole lathe, i would have built one in the first place, as i posted in my entry earlier this month, the idea and inspiration for this came from watching a video on You Tube that was posted by Treewright on a bow lathe, i wonder if he had the same type of comments about that, as i did about this one.

This hand lathe is a bit of fun, i use it to make simple things and hopefully i will be using it for demonstrations of country crafts at locals shows and school fetes, and the dibber and spurtles i make on it, might just provide a few pennies for some ale now and again.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Hand Powered Lathe

Per the title, it's a hand powered lathe, I've wanted a wood lathe for a long long time, but have had nowhere to put one, but sitting out in the garden on my shave horse the other day, i came upon a cunning plan, and that was to make a hand powered lathe that i could attach to the shave horse.

This is what i came up with

It's made from junk, the bed is a lump of old timber that was behind the shed, the posts are from an old garden border edging roll and the centres are made from a bolt and a long screw, both of which have had the ends filed down so they are smooth, motive power is via the cord pictured which is attached to a hazel rod in much the same fashion you would use with a pole lathe.
Total cost = £ 0.00

This is a picture of the lathe attached to my shave horse, it attached and detaches very very quickly, as it's held in place by a couple of G Clamps.

And it works brilliantly, and despite what you might think, it's not that tiring to use at all, bonus is, it's totally portable.

I have to thank TreeWright for the inspiration to make this, see his blog here , i got the idea (not a new one i know) after watching his You Tube video on the Bow Lathe and just adapted the idea (an age old one i hasten to add) from using a bow to provide the power to using a mix of human and pole lathe technology to provide the power.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Hultafors HVK Knife - Can I Break It?

A good friend and i have long been discussing testing a Hultafors HVK knife to the max, the agreement being that i try and destroy the knife and he will send me a new one from Norway to compensate for the loss of tool.

So what we did, rather than go through a series of tests that are not from the real world as you will see on a well known You Tube channel was to gather suggestions from a number of different people on the forum, by asking members to suggest "real world" tests that we could put the knife through, the tests we agreed upon were :

  • Make fuzz sticks before and after the tests
  • Drill wood with the tip
  • Prying wood
  • Digging (earth)
  • Battoning knotted hardwood's
  • Take down a small tree with it
  • Opening metal food containers
  • How much damage a ferro rod could do to cutting edge
  • Cutting wire
  • Bone cutting? The small kind, as one would expect to encounter 95% of the time.
  • Pound it tip-first into a tree (spine upright and sideways) at ankle height and step on it
  • Make fuzz sticks before and after the tests

    The results of the test can been seen in the following video series;

    All i will say is about the knife here, is i was mightily impressed by it, you will have to watch the video's to see how it performed in each test, so go grab a cuppa and a biccie, make yourself comfortable and enjoy.