Monday, 14 June 2010

Cambridge Country Fair

Cambridge is an interesting place and full of all sorts of zany, madcap, weird, strange, loony and eccentric types from all over the world.  We met and chatted with quite a few of them over the weekend spent on Parker's Piece in the middle of the city, also some very friendly and intellegent but definitely off-the-wall characters.  On Sunday morning I saw a guy cycling along wearing top hat, tails, swimming trunks and shades!

The show was huge and as it was on public ground and there was no entry fee it was really well attended - we had our best sales weekend for ages.

This guy asked me if I could make some clubs for Indian Club Swinging and proceeded to demonstrate with some rounders bats.
They aren't dissimilar to rounders bats - could become a new line maybe?
Strangely enough shortly after an Iranian guy asked if I could make some Persian clubs for swinging (he assured me they were definitely Persian and not Indian) - they look pretty massive, watch them here.

I made a new handle for one of the Medieval reenactors fighting axes - which looked better than the original and at least was made from Ash rather than Hickory.

Yesterday toward the end of the show a guy called Julian asked if he could try out my spoon knives.  He'd bought a piece of seasoned Yew in the market which wasn't very big so I showed him how to rough out the shape with the drawknife on the shavehorse.  When it came to hollowing out the bowl he informed me that he was left-handed... so I did it for him.  "Would I be prepared to swap one of my bowls and a spoon for a large piece of leather he'd had for ages".  I asked to have a look at it so he cycled off to his narrow-boat and came back with this...
I think I'll make some tool covers and get rid of all those bits of cardboard and elastic bands etc.

It's 3mm thick - any suggestions as to what I should use to soften and revive it? 


Mad Hamish said...

Try using neatsfoot oil, ask anyone who has horses or a farrier (I presume it's still used, I've got several bottles. not much use to you though as I don't think we're crossing paths this season)

Nathan Beal said...

From what I have been reading tallow makes for an amazing leather conditioner. I have yet to try it, since getting a hold of tallow is surprisingly difficult in the USA, but I would be thrilled to find out how it works if you try it.

Anonymous said...

Ive heard alot about neat's foot oil. Look it up and see if it works. In the old days they rubbed in lots of oil and beat it with a stick or what ever was available. Keep rubbing and beating.

Anonymous said...

Saddle soap always works for me, or you could always use a proprietry leather restorer. Nice piece of leather even if it does need some tlc.

Robin Wood said...

Looks like veg tan to me, if it is then it is perfect for wetformed sheaths. One of many tutorials here