Monday, 28 February 2011

Book of Old-Time Trades and Tools

First published as The Boy’s Book of Trades and the Tools Used in Them by George Routledge & Sons, London, 1866.  This book was originally intended as an aid for boys seeking information about prospective trades and occupations available to them as adults.  This is a Dover edition published in 2005 and is an unabridged reproduction of the original work.  The author is Anonymous.

It is profusely illustrated with over 700 beautiful engravings and has 320 pages covering many trades.  Such as...
The Sugar Refiner's Tools
She doesn't look like a boy!
 It says "Pointing these wires is the most unhealthy part of the manufacture; the fine dust is carried into the lungs of the workmen, and destroys them in a few years, very few living beyond the age of forty"  not exactly an appealing career move!

A Hat Lathe

Also included are such things as...

The Plasterer & Whitewasher
The Gilder
The Brassfounder
The Cutler & File Cutter
The Calenderer  & Hotpresser
The Paper Stainer
The Manufacture of Gas
The Gas Fitter
The Gun Manufacturer
The Coppersmith
The Dyer & Scourer

and many more.

Unfortunately there is no index so it's a good book for dipping into revealing many facets of working life in Victorian England.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Leather Tool Bag

Just taken delivery of this rather nice leather tool bag which I won on eBay after some heated last-minute bidding.

I've been slathering on some Oakwood Leather Conditioner as it was dry and hard. The conditioner is an Australian product and contains Tea Tree and Eucalyptus oils, Emu oil, Beeswax and Lanolin.
It has large EDF letters stamped into it and I think it's a French electrician's bag as this stands for √Člectricit√© de France.  Should be able to adapt it to hold some Bodger's tools, spoon knives, drills etc.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

A Bodger's Bog

Built yesterday from pallets by Jon and me at my Greenwood Camp.

Be very careful when cutting up pallets with a chainsaw.
Just got to finish the roof and install the sanitary ware!

Monday, 21 February 2011


I've finally been convinced by my webmaster Oliver to have a go at Facebook.  I'd be grateful if you could go to my Treewright page...

and give it a "like" - I need 25 likes to be able to use the Treewright name as a small business.

Probably won't have any time left for woodwork now!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Hazel Tongs

I was hanging out the washing when a peg broke (clothes pin to US readers) and I started wondering how I could use the spring.  Well here it is - The Hazel Peg-Spring Tongs! 

Perfect for turning over your bacon and sausages on the campfire or barbie or rescuing the toast from the toaster.

Top tip is to drill the hole same size as the spring diameter before splitting the twig.
The hardest part is getting the spring in.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Sharp Knives

I think knives are possibly the tool that a lot people have trouble sharpening.  I remember when I used to offer a sharpening service one guy turned up with loads of blunt kitchen knives - apparently when he'd needed a sharp knife he just bought a new one! 
Now, I don't know who does the cooking in your house, but Vanessa has to 'remind/ask' me several times to get a decent edge on the kitchen knives for her before I remember to do it.  I sharpen my workshop tools probably every day or at least every time I use them.  Why can't I get into the habit of doing that for her?  A little touch up every week is what they need - perhaps I'll start doing it 1st thing on Monday mornings!

I've never got on with a steel and those gadgets they sell that you pull the blade through are hopeless. 
You can easily and cheaply make a knife sharpener like this:-
Buy a sheet of 800 and a sheet of 1000 grit wet-or-dry paper (about 50p,80c,€0.6 each).
Cut a 1½" (4cm) wide strip off each sheet (about 11"-28cm long) and glue them to either side of a piece of softwood about ½"(12mm) wide.  Spray mount adhesive is good for this.
Form a nice ergonomic handle.
Note the grit numbers on each side.

I'm not going to tell you how to sharpen but use the rougher (800) grit first then the finer (1000) and use it dry.
If your knives are really knackered try making one with rougher grits.
You could use up the spare paper to make up some more as presents for friends who have trouble with knife sharpening.

Cheers Maurice.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Laburnum Spoons

A Laburnum spoons I've made for "A Gathering of Spoons" collection of Norman D. Stevens.

One end is a teaspoon and the other is a dessert spoon.  It's 9" long.

See some more of the collection here.  Click on "View Exhibit Catalogue" at the bottom and download the pdf file.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Woodwright's Shop

The latest series of Roy Underhill's Woodwright's shop are now available to view online here.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

#No Comment & Cheap Tools

Two things here...

There seem to be two different types of comment boxes on Blogger blogs.

The ones which appear like this I have no trouble leaving a comment on...

But the ones that look like this...
No matter what I do and even if I'm signed into my Google account, I can't leave comments.  I have no trouble with Wordpress blogs.
Anyone else experience similar problems or is it just me?

Anyway Sean Hellman's blog is one that I can't comment on and he made a post on Thursday - "Quality Tools - Cheap Axe" - this is my comment.

I'm going to be running courses at our Greenwood Camp this year for up to four people at a time so am looking to buy some more tools especially lathe tools - spindle gouges, skews etc.  I asked for a quote from Ashley Iles and they came back with £180.  I looked round on the web at various other tool suppliers - Axminster etc - and found I could get the same tools for just over £100.
Now Ashley Iles is a family run company based in Lincolnshire and their tools are  "Forged, ground and tempered by timeserved craftsmen using the traditional methods of the golden age of tool making."  The other tools are, I suspect, made in China (as Sean's axe most certainly is).  It's a bit like buying locally produced, organic food or "buy-one-get-one-free" Polish chickens from Tesco.  I've got nothing against the Chinese (except perhaps their human rights record and exploitation of workers) or the Poles but I think I will be buying British and supporting our economy and our craftsmen.


Friday, 4 February 2011

Oak Liberation

Oh look, 'someone' has felled a load of trees and left them to rot...

Good job I happened to have my wedge and sledge with me as I couldn't possibly have carried the Oak log in one piece.

Somehow I don't think this Oak burr will get liberated as it's hidden deep in the forest but it is rather a fabulous thing.
Jed for scale

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Protest against the Forest Sell-off

I should have put these up well before now - SIGN THESE PETITIONS.

and this one from the Woodland Trust

Come on let's give these bastards a run for their money and show them that we're not just going to take this lying down.  If they sell them they'll probably give the proceeds to their mates in the banks.
Ancient Beech Pollard Forest

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Folding Chair

I "borrowed" this photo of an interesting looking folding chair from somewhere on the net last year...

I stupidly forgot to make a note of where it was from or anything about it and my memory seems to be shrinking (hard drive nearly full?).

Anyone out there recognise it or tell me anything about it??