Friday, April 29, 2022



Today I made myself a square awl from an old drill bit (4.4mm, probably some weird archaic Imperial size*), a bit of 9mm brass tube, and a bit of white oak.

I planed a facet on its base so that it will stand upright, as seen here, and another on one side so that it will rest on the workbench without rolling around.

The whole thing is about 110mm long.

I might sharpen it with a more acute point, but I'll see how it goes as it is for a while first.

* I'm told that 4.4mm is a #16 drill bit.

Monday, April 25, 2022



I don't know what this wood is, but it's rather nice I think. It might be black maire.

I did this mainly as an experiment in deep hollowing, and though it's not totally successful, it has shown me several things that I needed to know.

I don't know how food-safe or water-tight this would be, but that's not likely to be much of an issue.

The goblet is 160mm tall, and 70mm in diameter.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Evening Sky


Walking home from the Richmond Working Mens Club after a pint of beer and a few games of pool, and we were treated to this as a dusk sky.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Bell Jar Base #02


This is another bell jar base. I'm not sure what the timber is; I think it might be black maire.

If the first oak base was teetering on the edge of the envelope for my little lathe, this one is definitely over it. It can be done, but the vibration when spinning something this heavy is slightly terrifying.

If I ever win Lotto, I'll probably buy myself a bigger, meatier lathe. And also a new workshop to put it in.

And here we are with the bell jar in place.

The monkey is a very old, fragile doll that belonged (I think) to my great great grandmother. It's Victorian, though I don't know precisely how old it is.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Glass Dome Base


Some time ago I bought a couple of glass domes, the sort of thing that used to be used for amusing taxidermied dioramas of mice fighting frogs, or monkey skeletons, or that sort of thing. This is the taller of the two; the other is smaller in diameter and only about two thirds the height.

They came without bases of any kind, so today I turned one out of some laminated oak.

This is about the largest diameter my little lathe will handle, both because of the distance between the head and the bed of the lathe, and because the lathe's motor is pretty puny. The turned oak base is about 230mm in diameter, and roughly 40mm thick.

Sunday, April 10, 2022



I am somewhat challenged when it comes to reaching high shelves and the like, owing to being what is technically known as a shortarse.

For that reason, I made this little footstool out of some very raggedy bits of gnarly, knotty oak off-cuts.

It's about 300mm (12") tall, so not too high to easily step up on to, but high enough to get me within reach of the top shelves in the kitchen.

It's pictured here on the hearth, in the warm, so that its coat of linseed oil will cure within my lifetime. The weather is starting to cool down a bit now, and out in my workshop the oil would probably take about three days to go off.

I really should do something about cleaning up that hearth a bit too.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Plinth (video experiment)

I turned this little plinth from a piece of cherry that I chopped off one of our trees in the back yard, and stained and waxed it.

While the timber was drying out it became infested with borer, so it's not a great piece of wood, but I was interested to see how this cherry would respond to my manipulations. I rather like it; it looks rather like a piece of lignum vitae I once had.

I edited the video down from its original 250 megabyte size using Windows 10's internal video editor, which was pretty simple to use for my very basic requirements. Unfortunately I couldn't find any way to crop the frame, so all the background clutter on the photo stage is still in shot. Blogger's video handling is pretty basic.