Just a quickie…

I’ve been very busy with a number of things, and very tired, hence the drought of posts recently, but I had to mention today.

I had visits from two ex-students, which is always nice…how they’re getting on Etc. But one of them brought me three presents! How nice is that? A lovely box of buscuits for the tea, a huge piece of Mulberry log, and best of all…a pen he had turned for me in Olive Wood. And it’s a stunning pen to boot. I wonder if the fact that I always lose my pens and pencils had anything to do with the thought?

But it’s a lovely gift, even for a woodturner. I promise not to lose this pen. So thank you…


I forgot to post the pictures of the seat…so here they are. The spindles have been reduced to 84% of the existing spindles and copied. A set of twelve full, and two spilt-turned 2/3 copies made.

wall-mounted seat. C1810

wall-mounted seat. C1810

Back spindles to be reduced and copied

Back spindles to be reduced and copied

84% copies to be ebonised and fitted with an arm rest

84% copies to be ebonised and fitted with an arm rest

Anyway, they’re all done now, and ready for the off. Another down.

At weekend I bought an old lathe over the phone. My FIL was in Lincolnshire and spotted it on a boot sale. So I said buy it, and he did so and brought it home for me.

It was all in very good condition, and after a good cleaning and scraping it looked even better. Thinking it was probably driven by a motor I mounted one on a temporary stand to see it do its stuff…and it did! The solid bearing still silent after all those years.

After a little research on http://www.lathes.co.uk I found out it is a Britannia No 3 lathe, made pre-1880, and was actually a treadle lathe. Now it just happens that I have access to a treadle on a stand which will do nicely. It will be great to see the old thing working and doing what it was intended to do. After that it will make a great display piece.

Tony at lathes.co.uk kindly allowed me to post a copy of one his original pictures from a Britannia brochure.

Britania Lathe C1880

Britania Lathe C1880

And so that’s that!

Now, one of the interesting things about wordpress is its Stats page. It tells you all sorts of things…how many visitors, on what day and at what time, where they come from Etc. etc. And another interesting feature is “links in”. This lets you know when another website has linked to your blog. And guess what…I’ve been linked to. But sadly it’s not a good link. The individual finds at least one post on here worrying. Oh well. You can’t please everyone. And this individual is not easy to please, what with having all the answers, all the ideas, and all the benefit of a powerful intellect.

As I had to promise teachers on many an occaison…I’ll try to do better! Just don’t hold your breath.


It’s been a busy week. Four days, two students. One a complete novice, and of the fairer sex, the other an improver, to use an old term. It’s not too common for me to have a Lady turner, but it makes a nice change. Ask for a delicate cut and that’s what you get! I learnt nearly as much as she did just from watching her work. It was a pleasure to spend a few days with somebody so willing to accept instruction, and so obviously atune with not only her own aims, but also mine. She says she’d like to do another course, and I hope she does. Not only will she make a fine turner, but a turner of interesting things, I’d bet.

My improver is an old friend by now, and spending time with him is always fun. Perhaps too much, as we can get side-tracked very quickly! But this time we spent the whole time on spindle work, which was a change in every way. Not many students want prolonged spindle work, and as it’s so important this is a shame. So it was good to spend time between centers with somebody who can see the point of it.

Two days well spent and enjoyed.

An interesting job came in yesterday from one of my antique dealing customers. A stunning wall-mounted seat, rather pew-like, in japaned walnut with a spindled-section back panel and missing arm rests. It presents something of a challenge as there are none of the original arm spindles present, and no pictures. In order to maintain the character of the piece, and hopefully re-create the original piece, we decided that the existing spindles in the back should be the template for the new arm-rest spindles. This means turning fourteen 84% sized spindles, two of which are split turned 2/3 pieces, and mounting them under a fabricated band to match the existing framework. It should be fun! I’ll post some pictures tomorrow.

In the meantime I’ve a wheel bearing to replace in the van, and I may as well over-haul the front brakes at the same time, and there are other pressing jobs in the workshop which need completing. Not least of which is a rather nice Tunbridgeware box.

And we’ve also had a chick hatch today so the coop is filled with the happy chirping of the recently born. What a week…and it’s not even over yet.