Monthly Archives: May 2009

Mini beast boxes

I’ve been finishing off a couple of mini beast boxes for schools today.

I’ve made a rectangular hole in each one with four punge cuts with the chain saw, and then removed the core by a plunge cut at the bottom of the hole from the side:

Today I’ve been making the dowels to fix a lid on over a cut down milk carton that the bugs fall into.

The lid is deliberately ill-fitting so that the wee beasties can get in.

Without the milk carton it can be used as a mini-beast haven when filled with straw or shavings etc.

These oak ones come with added resident woodworm.


Early this week I went to learn about making charcoal with Maurice Pyle.

The process runs something like this (watering eyes omitted).

Catch your empty kiln


Make an airway under the floor where your wood will be stacked

Get some wood in there, but make sure the air can get underneath and put some brown ends in the middle where the fire will start.

Get more wood in there, and make sure there is more wood than air

Then light it with a rag on a stick with some fire juice

Get some smoke going

Put on the chimneys after an hour

Burn for several hours

Once cooked turn the oven to slow

Alow to cool and serve

Can’t wait to do my own run!