Thursday, 30 April 2020


Turning A Quaiche

 A Quaiche is the traditional vessel used by Scots to savour their favourite single malts.  It's often a beautiful cup turned from attractive timber with a small handle on either side and mine are made from some Laburnum that traveled from the  Scottish Borders with a mate all the way to Essex.  Often turned from Laburnum, also known as Scottish Mahogany because of it's richly grained dark wood, I decided that today's project was going to be to make at least one of these quirky little cups. Laburnum is a wood that I love though it is horribly dusty when dry, this has some moisture still in it and turned pretty nicely but it doesn't make those wonderful ribbon shavings I get with, say, Sycamore.  This one was a roadside tree and removed as part of a 'tidying' up job by the local council and I failed to see the necessity of depriving the locale of such a beautiful flowering specimen but they're prolific up in Scotland and seen as little more than a weed tree by many!

When preparing the wood for the Quaiche blank you have to remember to make allowance for the handles to be turned as a part of the whole and I spent ages humming and hawing over the best bit of the log to choose.  That done I reached for my handy pencil stub got my centreline marked out and started.  It's seeing that grain come to life as a really sharp chisel (and I mean that sharpness you get where two mirror images of the chisel meet at nothing) otherwise you get covered in nasty chips!

It's the first time in ages that I've turned anything like a Quaiche with that narrow flange around the edge and you do have to keep an eye open for the safety of your knuckles.  Mine escaped intact fortunately but perhaps that's because I'm not a speed merchant.  Anyway hands intact I removed the excess flange leaving behind the handles and carved them into the shape you see here.  Will be here at my online shop  from this evening.
I'd really like to hear your comments about Whisky and ideas about Quaiches, if you have one and use it.  Do you like the flavour of your tipple as you drink from a wooden vessel, does it make you feel special and of course your favourite single malt!