My kind of holiday

Last week Kat and I went on holiday to visit her father’s house in France. He has a lovely house and barn as part of what was once a farm, a couple of hours drive south of Caen. Whilst we went for holiday and general seeing of France, I got the added benefit that Kat’s dad is also a woodturner, and in his barn he has a rather nice workshop. Complete with a large Record lathe and bandsaw.
So I took with me some tools and overalls so that I could spend some time whilst there doing some wood turning. It was really nice to have some real time to spend turning, and also to get to use a slightly large selection of tools than I currently have.

The lathe is much nicer than my own, being variable speed, and capable of having the headstock rotated for large bowl turning. My main objective was to have a go at this month’s wood turning challenge from Bill and Harry. That of a candle snuffer.

And here is the result of those efforts:


It was interesting to make, the main challenge is in getting the angle of the handle such that the whole thing sits nicely, that is to say, the ‘bell’ section should be completely flat on the surface when the handle is also resting on the surface.

I have it in mind to also try something a little more adventurous if time permits, but I shall write about that when I do it (and only if it works 😉 )

Finding myself with a little more time and some laburnum kindly supplied by Harry I thought I’d try to make something I recall seeing in some book or another. I made a wooden scoop:


This made use of a the bandsaw to cut the scoop shape. So it made the most of having such tools available. I was a little apprehensive at that stage. Having spent all the time to shape and finish to the point of having something looking like a hand bell. To then take to the bandsaw where a careless slip would pretty much destroy all that work. Fortunately it went very well, Kat’s dad had even changed the bandsaw to his narrowest blade for me, and the result is pretty pleasing.

I’m particularly happy with how the two colour nature of laburnum works in this piece. The inner core is quite a different colour to the outer. This picture shows it off a little more:


Obviously it took a fair amount of hand sanding once the bandsaw cut was made, but it was worth it. It’s been nice to make two items of a slightly more complex nature. The candle snuffer requiring two pieces, and the scoop requiring the bandsaw. All in all two satisfying projects.

I have no idea what I’ll use the scoop for, possibly for measuring out rice or some such. And the candle snuffer may be waiting a while before I have occasion to use it. It might take me a while to even find a candle to light even just to say I’ve used the candle snuffer.

So those where my two projects completed on holiday. It was really nice to get to use some extra tools, although it has set me realising a few more things I ‘need’, like some smaller bowl gouges with fingernail grinds. And a couple of scrapers. Plus of course the desire to upgrade my lathe to something more substantial….I think the D&M Tools show in November is going to be dangerous 😉

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