The Wympole Green Woodworkers were in on Saturday as Sunday was the Cambs County Show which is always exceedingly busy.
The usual motley crew were in but we had some newcomers, namely Gordon who spent the day finishing off his new axe handle. Jim lent him his Titan jaws with a modification to help spin the axe handle around as you spokeshave it -an excellent idea.
Paul spent the day learning how to peen his scythe blade (not an easy task to learn). To get an idea of what is required it’s best to get some 1-2mm mild steel plate; this deforms rather rapidly under the pressure of the peening hammer however it does show you what happens much more visibly and, once you master this, you can move on to some harder steel that has more carbon in it. After that you can peen a blade and know what should happen. Carbon steel scythe blades have about .4% to .5% carbon in them which makes them harder wearing but are still reasonably malleable. My competition Hartstahl 110cm blade has more carbon (about .6%) which makes it harder and more difficult to peen but it does not need honing so often. Hartstahl means hard blade in Austrian.
The carving blocks and bowl tables were in use and proved a real hit when axe trimming ash for the pole lathes. My visit was rather brief as I had a sheep shearing course on but, at the end of the day, I did come back to Cobbs Wood Farm and tried to make a fan bird… Alistair had made a few very good ones, but mine? Well a fire lighter more like!
The sheep shearing went well and the two ladies managed to trim a few sheep each. In fact the sheep were young rams from Home Farm. They also trimmed the feet, checked the teeth (as this can tell you how old the sheep are) and rolled the fleece up.
Here is some information from infovet:
Aging Sheep and Goats By Their Teeth
Introduction: Both sheep and goats have a total of 32 teeth. They do not have any upper incisors. The dental formula for sheep and goats is as follows:
0/4 incisors, 3/3 pre-molars, 3/3 molars. The first number in each formula represents how many sets of teeth are on the upper jaw; the second number indicates how many sets of teeth are on the lower jaw. For example, the 0/4 means that sheep/goats have no upper incisors, but have 4 sets of lower incisors (8 lower incisors in all). Most of the time the dental formula looks like this 2 (0/4 incisors, 3/3 pre-molars, 3/3 molars) = 32.
All baby sheep and goats are born with deciduous teeth (teeth that will fall out). Deciduous teeth are much smaller than permanent teeth. The deciduous teeth are replaced with permanent teeth as the animal ages. The following table outlines when the permanent teeth will appear or erupt:
|Permanent Tooth Eruption in Sheep and Goats|
|Permanent tooth||Age at Eruption|
|Incisor (I1)||1-1.5 years|
|Incisor (I2)||1.5-2 years|
|Incisor (I3)||2.5-3 years|
|Incisor (I4)||3.5-4 years|
|Molar (M1)||3 months|
|Molar (M2)||9-12 months|
|Molar (M3)||1.5-2 years|
Common Dentition of Sheep:
So there you go, now you can all age sheep.
Darn! The weather broke on Sunday and it was rather wet BUT at least it wasn’t lashing down which would have spoilt the day. As it was the show was very busy.
We provided some entertainment at the Wimpole NT stall- Tom was blacksmithing (once I had shown him how to make a ram’s head hook), Jim was turning a bowl (well quite a few) and Alistair was making fan birds again. I, on the other hand, spent my day riving some oak and making quartered oak planks to make a box.
Quite a few stalls to wander about and gander at but I mostly concentrated on the woody stalls- there was some stick furniture and, of course, Tim Radford’s Wonderwoods willow weaving fence work.
Then there was a thatcher plying his trade and next to him was the vintage tractor section.
Next to our stall was a local tree surgery firm (GTS); oh how I wish we had some of this equipment- a hydraulic log splitter and post hole borer, a very big Timberwolf wood chipper and a stump grinder (don’t need one of those though) plus loads of other gadgets. Still, we had a nice forge to keep us warm.