Category Archives: spalted

Storyteller’s chair; part 1

SAMSUNG CSCIt’s started again.  A new storyteller’s chair, for East Riddlesden Hall.  It will be styled on a shepherd’s chair, but this time I’m building it properly with mortise and draw-bored tenons all round.  The bottoms of the legs will be way oversize again as the chair will live out-of-doors and needs to be seriously bottom-heavy.  So here’s the first back leg:

SAMSUNG CSCBit more shaving down to get the top ready for framing the back panel.  Proper quarter-riven oak.  It took Theo and me about an hour to bust open the first split.  Hedgerow-grown timber again with branches just where you don’t need ’em.  Makes splitting with wedges quite a challenge, but we did it.  I tried hauling the whole butt onto the trailer with my Lug-All hand winch, but the trailer side used as an anchor was starting to suffer.  I reckon it must weigh around a ton.  It was still heavy to pull when halved, and on rollers.

This is the other back leg I was working on today:


SAMSUNG CSCThe second half of the butt made a good impromptu bench.  Once I’d got rid of the bark, sap wood and pith, and shaped it up a bit, sawn off the ends, it was handy enough to carry inside the Bodgery and start some finer shaping with drawknife and scrub plane:

SAMSUNG CSCWatch this space for more heavy work in the green oak department.

Meanwhile, still a bit of room for cake stands (to customer’s spec., honest!)  This was heavy too.







Should have been a stonemason

Well I would have been a stonemason if I’d been born a hundred years ago.


My Great Uncle Martin.

Several of my ancestors worked in stone and what work those old masons used to produce.  Here is a selection I took from around my village on Friday, as the Winter bike having had a new chain fitted, along with new brake blocks all round (occasioning really filthy hands), has done the usual trick of complaining that it would rather like a few new chain wheels as I changed the chain too late and the chain now jumps at those tricky moments like when straining against the pedals uphill.  Anyway, to resume.  Here is a simple ball:

SAMSUNG CSCEach individual chisel mark can still be seen.  This ball is about 18″ in diameter and my brother reckons they used to take a day to make.  And they are not turned. Amazing in their perfect simplicity.

From a mighty ball to really delicate vernacular grave stone style:
SAMSUNG CSCWhat artefact could be more beautiful?

Reminds me of the strapwork of Mr Folansbee, but it appears so free-flowing.  The next is from a later gravestone, probably Victorian, but wow!



Almost makes me want a headstone myself, but I suppose Amazon would charge very highly for delivery.  I’ll make do with an oak sapling.
Now here’s one of the older properties in Farnhill:

SAMSUNG CSCIt has been altered over the years and would have originally had windows all the same as the upstairs ones with stone mullions.  Pure vernacular. I was over the wrong-side of the canal so I couldn’t get close enough in to see what has happened to the date on the door lintel, but here’s a blow up:


Looks like the date in the lower centre panel has been removed. Why?  A mystery.  Maybe it’s 1716, must get a closer look.

I have been doing a little woodwork between felling, tushing and trudging about in the snow.  Mended the horse, attempted three threaded rods for another screw clamp, but found what I thought was cherry was alder (wildly weak and unsuitable.)  Made a brace of hurdles.  The odd badger, preparing for a memory box and a set of these big boys:

SAMSUNG CSCCheese boards for a country wedding.  It’s spalted beech from a tree that has been left in log for three years.  There is just about enough nature left in it to get away with.  Looks pretty eh? Thanks Nature.


Ah well, blue skies returned last week and are still here, feels a bit Spring-like, but there will doubtless be a Wintery sting in the tail to endure yet – remember Candlemas was sunny too. Here it is bursting through over Silsden and Barden Moors:


And here it is over my felling site: