Title Bar

First bit of 2022


I thought I would start the year by ...


... chopping my left index finger with my hatchet rather than the intended bit of smoking wood. I can't really recommend it unless you like a big gash and lots of blood.


Mention in despatches to my friend Tom oop the hill who handily was not only home but is a qualified paramedic. He decreed casualty and kindly drove me to the Andover walk in centre. Big shout out to the wonderful staff there who got me stitched up and on my way in under 30 mins.


Apparently Hampshire Walk in Centres ...


... are now appointment only. I tend to like to be spontaneous when I multilate myself with tools so I really can't see how that works. Luckily for me there were no jobs worth rules is rules peeps there and they took pity on an old Mr Plod like me.


When I was a young Policemen we were often in Casualty for one thing or another. A wise old colleague imparted to me " Two things in life are certain one's death and the other is Nurses" .... they were happy days!!


Despite my pain in search of more stock ...


... to keep my insatiable loyal punters wood needs fed I finally got Steve at Helmdon sawmill to cut some of my logs there - some of which had been waiting over a year. The bottom line is that he has more stuff to cut than hours in a day so unimportant sole traders like me don't get a scheduled slot, you have to jump if and when he deigns to chuck one of your logs on.


This is a Plane log and it needs to get cut soon ... unfortunately it's not just a matter of being grabbed and chucked on the saw.

Prepping of the logs to be sawn ...


... at a proper Sawmill involves scanning for metal and then having a session on the debarker shown below. If you can get Steve interested enough to grab and prep it there's a pretty good chance it's going to make it on to that week's cutting programme.

Stuck in the grey box is Charlie one of Steve's sons who gets padlocked in at 8 in the morning and unlocked when he's done enough logs. They are spun round whilst a cutting head strips the bark and cleans the log - the stuff stripped off fuels the Kilns so we pay for that too!


I was asked if ...


... I would take part in 3 mile race. I quickly said no chance but then I was told that it was for sick and disabled children. I thought, hmmm I might be able to win that!


I then went to see a Consultant about my memory problems ... the bastard made me pay in advance.


Or, if you like a more scientific bit of humour - How do you titilate an Ocelot? You have to oscilate it's tits alot.

My mate Ant completed his bandsaw ...


... and the finished product was entirely made and designed by him, using a mixture of recycled steel and mostly second hand bits. He's made a few fab things but he's excelled himself this time. I saw an episode of Alaskan Bush people where they made a bandsaw saw from old stuff ... it worked for a coupla of hours and then fell to bits.


You'll see from the pic below that this beauty isn't going to fall to bits - it's certainly gone longer than two hours as he did me the honour of bringing it to the Woods for it's maiden journey away from base. I expect he'll post a You Tube vid on it so I'll shove a link in then.

It has an electric feed so Ant pictured is able to observe from all angles as it performs it's cut - a 7 foot length of Oak in this shot. Before you ask, no he won't build you one - I've asked already!

Ant's next trick was to crack ...


... something I haven't managed in over 20 years - sharpening of the bandsaw's blades. Over the years I sent them off to various places and they come back quite a few quid later sometimes sharper and occasionally not ... which is v annoying I can tell you.


A good start after viewing every published bit of info on the subject on The Net is to make a machine to do the blades. Beyond me of course but to a man who built the machine above a piece of piss. I encouraged him to use the same decent quality and size of blades as my Timberking and within a couple of weeks he is sharpening my blades better than anyone has.


His Saw made easy work of a ...


.. chunky Beech log he had acquired and as the resulting 29" x 2" x 7' boards are right up my and my punter's boulevard so I coughed some cash for them which actually paid 20% of his construction costs for the bandsaw.


The pic with poor Winter light doesn't do justice to them. I can see the two either end being put togther for a resin table.

With Winter receding I thought I really ought to ...


... make a bit of progress on the kids camp we have been working on and off for the past year. What you need is a bit of skilled labour with the brain and enthusiasm to design tricky things that will appeal to everyone.


Cue call to my friend Richard who did a lot of work on the Cabin in 2016 and the kitchen extension in 2019 ... having left him in peace for 3 years it was time for more of his magic. I gave him very clear instructions " Come and do something good for the camp".


So he did - sorting out the side access for the slide, a ladder, some decking and making the front door look a lot better than the dull bit of osb board it is by cladding it in Cedar and adding a funky window. The really sexy bit was knocking up one of those things with pulleys and guttering that you can get a ball 8 foot in the air and down a series of drops to a bucket at the bottom.



I could have put a picture of the finished thing but you can come and see that but not Richard's smiling friendly face as he says for the crap money I pay he's not coming back!

I had my annual prostate check up and my doctor is ...


... very thorough. I said where do you want me to put my pants doc? Oh, he says, just leave them there on top of mine !


So, finally Esther as Cyril used to say on ...


... That's Life just before Spring I popped over to me favourite timber source and picked out a few things I know you'll Iike. I've been going here for well over 10 years having found it through a customer Rob from Hebden Bridge in Yorks.


He emailed me that as I was always going on about sourcing some London Plane he's been on the phone to a bloke in London who had a yard full and did I want to speak to him. I did & he did and the rest is historically documented in old blogs.



This is the ever cheerful & helpful Steve picking out a nice bit o' Sycamore that fitted nicely in the back of the Pick up.


There's also some Tree of Heaven there which I have a fan club for and sold my last bit last year so hopefully more of that in the next issue with other things even more fabulous and desirable as me - though not as cheap as I am!


Hope to see you at the Woods during the Summer - bring sunshine and Gold.




Paul Goulden

Top of Page