The Idle Bodger

:-)

🙂

Specially brewed for the Recycled Bodgers Ball (my favourite beer from this brewery however was the Black & Tan mild- very good indeed). Every year there is a theme to the Ball and this year you could make something useful from waste that would be associated with green woodworking.

Off to the Bodgers ball in the fire engine

Off to the Bodger’s Ball in the fire engine

Seeking shelter

Sean Hellman seeking shelter, warmth and a spiritual gathering!

For the first time I took the Essex hose layer fire engine out for a run and had a co pilot- Mr. Gordon. It took a few hours to get to Walesby Forest in Nottinghamshire …and when we got there it was raining. Never fear, the trusty MJ Bedford had a warm interior which quite a few people came to share (especially the little wood stove and spirits).

Tools for Africa

Tools for Africa

The first shop to go to on Friday was the tool shop- it’s actually a very good charity called Self Reliance; they collect donated tools and send them to Africa but there are quite a few they can’t use and, oddly, they seem not to require the green wood working tools, garden tools and an assortment of others. Unfortunately for me they do send all the blacksmithing tools to Africa but it didn’t stop me from buying a couple of good axes, some hedge laying bill hooks, a small First World War spade, a vice and three sledge hammers of varying weights (been looking for a few for blacksmithing). Even Gordon bought some axes and a knife. All proceeds go to run the charity which is also why I like buying tools from Self Reliance. Keep up the good work (and, anyone who has tools they don’t want, send them to this charity, it’s a worthy cause).

Mowing demonstration

Mowing demonstration

Saturday was a day of demonstrations for which we did a mowing demo with scythes and people were encouraged to have a go.

Basket making for all

Basket making for all

Bowl making demo

Bowl making demo

There was a lot to see and have a go at. The basket making was popular, so was bowl making and I took special note of the bowl clamp horse thingy ( I’ll have to make one of these as it is difficult carving bowls freehand). There were spoon carving demonstrations and the best one for me was the one that showed you how to do some very intricate work on the spoon handles ( well impressed with that!).

Superb carving

Superb carving

Tent peg making

Tent peg making

Another nice demo was the tent-peg making- Terry Heard from Dorset can make 800 a day while the old boy who taught him could do 1000! I had a go and, well, could do better.

The competition items

The competition items

The best chair in my mind

The best chair (to my mind)

Tony's recycled vase

Tony’s recycled vase

Time to enter my items into the main competitions- I put a stool in, a birch burr spoon, a pair of spindle knitting needles, an elm burr bowl and a carved heart with an arrow through it. I wondered how I would do?

Recycled knife

Recycled knife

And one from the tool category

And one from the tool category

 

 

The knives were good and I voted for these ( every member of the Bodgers gets to vote on what they think should win and the votes are totted up to see who wins each category). Alas, I did not even come third with any of my entries.

First prize for Tony

First prize for Tony

However Tony got a first prize for his remarkable saw, well done Tony.

Sean Hellman's fan birds

Sean Hellman’s fan birds

Sean Hellman was present as usual and had a tent full of goodies, he even had a flock of fan birds.

Sean's cups

Sean’s cups

A new design of shave horse

A new design of shave horse

Sean's work bench

Sean’s workbench

However the most interesting item that he had, to my mind, was the new type of shave horse. I will have to purchase the plans as these shave horses can be used for all sorts of jobs and can be used by all sorts of people large and small. I also likes his three-legged log bench ( I must have one of these… well, make one).

Elm bark peeled ready for use

Elm bark peeled and ready for use

Elm bast baskets

Elm bast baskets

Woven elm bark

Woven elm bark

Seemed to be quite a few people peeling elm bark but one man won the day with his elm bark baskets. He did have sweet chestnut ones and has tried willow but said he found the elm ones more durable. Although not demonstrating these he did demonstrate making simple elm pots.

Elm bark pots

Elm bark pots

 

How to make one

How to make one

The pots are made from one piece of freshly peeled elm bark, cut to shape and stitched with elm bark twine.

Bowl turning

Bowl turning

Riven oak funtiture

Riven oak furniture

The back of a coffer chest

The back of a coffer 

Another demo was the riven oak furniture.

Tool's of the trade

Tools of the trade

For a long time now I have been fascinated by furniture made purely by hand, especially when the planks have been riven and not sawn. It produces a very distinctive type of furniture, hard to replicate. Might try my hand at making some furniture for the lorry.

Egg and spoon race

Egg and spoon race

First competition on Sunday (and a new one at that) was the spoon and egg race, however it was also a three-legged race! A hilarious race for fun.

The half hour challenge

The half hour challenge

The thirty minute challenge was next- the idea here is to make something to sell within thirty minutes. I said I would make a ram’s head hook and got quite a few remarks about not using wood and all that – didn’t say in the rules it had to be a wooden thingy did it?!

Making the horns

Making the horns

The wind up merchant

The wind up merchant

Gordon seemed well enough to man the fan ( he proved to be a good wind up merchant too). Seriously, I would not have been able to make a hook without Gordon’s help so I was very grateful to him. Burnt my fingers, made a mistake at the end but… managed to finish with thirty seconds left. The judging was tight and I was very pleased to come second. Always great fun to take part (and nearly win to boot).

The team log to leg race

The team ‘log to leg’ race

Kate turning

Kate turning

Mark finishing off

Mark finishing off

Next was the team ‘log to leg’ race- Kate, Mark and I competed against another five teams and, this time, we didn’t come last… in fact we came third- yippee! Then there was the final competition- the individual ‘log to leg race’… oh dear, I didn’t do too well… it started with a flourish but then everything went to pot, BUT, I didn’t come last and that’s a first 🙂

The individual log to leg race

The individual log to leg race

A good time was had by all and then… it was time to go home!

 

About Sadeik

You may ask why "Sadeik" well it means friend in arabic. Worked in Jordan a lot doing tree surgery you see. I have worked in forestry since I left school with a two years in Telecom. Went back to forestry and tree surgery as it may not have paid as much but was far more interesting and dangerous. Spent a lot of years mountaineering, caving and canoeing too. At 29 I went to Bangor University to study Forestry and soil science then did an MSc in Water engineering all very interesting. By a quirk of fate in 1995 ended up helping sort out the woodland and park at Wimpole, funny thing was then I only intended to stay six months or so, but 18 years later I'm still here learning all the time. That's the best bit, if I wasn't able to learn something new every year I would not have stayed and as you get older you realise that the grass is not so green in the next field after all. In fact my patch is getting greener while much of the rest is getting browner.
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1 Response to The Idle Bodger

  1. Michael fairfax says:

    Simon great piece. I have a friend in Scotland who has been making Riven furniture for years, check out his website here: http://www.adrianmccurdy.co.uk/about.html
    Cheers
    Michael

    Like

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