A noisy start to the day

There a few visitors to Strid Woods early morning, especially if the weather is dull like today, so I spent half an hour making big noise.

I was using the newly hardened and tempered cold chisel to change a disused oil drum into a mini charcoal kiln. First job is to remove one end which will become the top of the kiln, and the removed end will be the lid. I cut three nicks in to stop it falling back inside. Then three holes in addition to the existing one in the other end for air intake.

I should be using this kiln at a couple of shows this Summer, but I’ll need to trial it first.

I then turned my attention to the drain pipe bird table project. A customer asked if I could mount one of my bird tables on a pipe that grey squirrels can’t climb. This is my solution to boring a 2 and 1/8th hole with a 1 and 1/2 inch auger so the pipe will fit in a heavy log enabling it to stand on a patio without permanent fixing.

Rather tricky drilling overlapping holes, but the little inch and a half oak insert was a great help. I then just enlarged the center hole with a chisel leaving three places around it where wedges can be hammered in to stabilise the job. This is what it looks like finished:

It is far too tall, but I’ll let the client decide what height they are happy with.

I also finished off the bench a couple of days ago and delivered it today:

Another long horn beetle got in on the act. I like this finish and I’m doing a repair to two benches for another customer and they also liked this finish, so it will be much knifing in the woods for a couple of days. I now have both handed crooked knives too, so I’ll be able to switch from left to right a bit and rest muscles alternately.

A few shavings more

These are beech shavings from my Veritas one inch tenoner. I’m making a custom bird table using the pole supplied by the customer. It’s a plastic waste pipe filled with a hardwood post. The big advantage is that grey squirrels can’t climb the plastic to get at the bird food. I usually supply bird tables fastened to a wooden post, for which I’ve developed a fixing method. This current one needs brackets that will support the table on 2 inch pipe, that’s rather thinner than the wooden posts. I’ve got a pattern and will post a photo when it’s done. I also have to make it stand on a patio without being bolted down… mmm those beech stems are pretty dense, maybe a large log with a two inch hole for the pipe? Or maybe three holes making a big enough hole where they meet and leaving room for wedges … mmmm …