Tuesday, 27 December 2016


Hi all,
Hope you had a splendid Christmas, Mine was quit hectic during the run up due to me having so many Christmas presents to make. For other folk I made  9 pens a lidded box and a spinning top with a base. These were all well received so I'm pleased about that.

My biggest problem came with trying to turn items for my wife without her knowing about it. My workshop isn't exactly private because the entrance to the house, the extra fridge/freezer, tumble drier, and some cupboards are all down the other end. This means that she is popping in and out on a regular basis.

I had a number of items in mind to make for her, all of which would be surprise presents. Turning wood on a lathe was hard to keep a secret, but here is what I managed.

Firstly, I turned her a nice pen from a piece of yew. I had made almost 30 pens so far, but this was the first that I had made especially for her.
It is made from a modified slimline kit and I have added 4 pyrography burnt bands to give it a bit of style.

My next two items were pieces of fruit. My wife has always like bits of false fruit made from clay etc and has always liked wooden fruit. So I had to give it a go even though it was new to me. The first piece I tackled was an apple.

The turning went very well until the last minute. I had shaped the apple, sanded it, sealed it and polished it. The only thing left was to part it off. Parting it off, is just the term used for cutting away the bit of wood that attaches the item to the lathe. Using a parting tool, one cuts through the wood until it is held by a small piece of wood about as thick as a pencil. The lathe is then stopped and the last thin piece of wood is cut through with a hack saw. The problem is, that one doesn't want to do to much sawing and with the lathe spinning at 2000 rpm it is possible to cut to far and have the item leave the lathe and shoot across the room. This hasn't happened to me before, well not until I was doing the apple, I cut too far and it shot off the lathe and went spinning around the concrete floor of my workshop like a whirling dervish. When I picked it up I could of wept, it had more scuffs and bruises than a boxer who had done a dozen rounds with Mike Tyson.

 If I could have mounted the apple back on the lathe I could have rectified the situation but in the end I had to just patch it up and tell my wife I wanted to make it look like a apple that was wind fallen.

Thankfully the pear went much better and I'm proud of that.

Overall, I was pleased with my efforts and was spurred onto the next two items on my list. These were to be a wooden bowl/dish and a few acorns to put in it. In my mind I could see the item which I was going to decorate with some nice pyrography. I will show you how I got on in my next post.

If you would like to see some more of my pens I have made a short Youtube video which can be accessed by clicking here

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


Hi all, Christmas is just around the corner and I'm still still making presents. I have now completed the batch of wooden pens and a trinket box for my Grand daughter which will be an extra present. To make sure her younger brother wasn't left out I thought I'd better make him something from wood too.

Over the years I have seen how grand parents make wooden things for their grand children and I've always thought it a nice idea. These days getting a record voucher, or a google play voucher is so easy, but also a bit of a cope out. Anyway, I've made them both something from wood and I hope they like them.

I had thought of making a yo-yo for my grandson but because the two sides need to be perfectly balanced I decided against it. What I settled on was a wooden spinning top and a base to spin it on. I hadn't had a go at a top before so it was something new to me and I wondered how I'd get on with the shape. The base part was like a bowl with shallow dip in the middle and again something I'd never attempted before.

Thankfully, we have a smart telly and I'm able to watch loads of woodturning videos on Youtube. buying  a smart telly was one of our best investments and it has completely changed our viewing habits. If you are thinking of getting a new telly, a smart one is the smart option, you will be impressed.

Anyway, here is a picture of the spinning top and its base.
The black pyrography lines were burnt around the base with wire which was quite easy. However, I struggled to burn the circle on the underside of the top. I had read that a burn mark can be made by running a piece of cardboard in a groove while the lathe is running. This wasn't as easy as it seemed, because a piece of cardboard that is small enough to go into the groove just crumples when enough pressure is exerted on it to make the wood burn. I had to experiment with various thicknesses of card and shapes to eventually get a decent burn mark.
Having finished this present I hadn't realised that another difficulty would lye ahead. In our house, my wife does all the wrapping at Christmas because she likes it and is very good at it. Anyway, when I gave her the spinning top to wrap she said, " I hope he enjoys it because I can't see what fun anybody can get from a spinning top."  At this point I picked up the top and spun it on the base to make sure it worked and try to impress her with my expertise. Anyway, she took the bait and had ago at spinning it herself, the first couple of goes were failures but than she was hooked. I left her playing with the top while I got on with some other stuff and when I returned half an hour later she was still spinning the top whilst timing herself to see how long he could get it to spin for. She's now put in a request for a top of her own. I just hope my grandson likes it as much as my wife.

This will probably be my last post before Christmas, so I will wish you all a good one and I hope that it is very peaceful.

By the way, if you would like to see picyures of my pens, here is a link to a
Video on youtube.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Christmas Presents

Hi all,
This year my run up to Christmas has been very different. In years gone by, when I was still married to my first wife, I used to book a day off work so that we could trundle about shopping centres and find gifts for everyone. I would like to report that this was always a joyful event but I'd be lying. In fact the episode rarely contained any Christmas spirit and would often sink into the depths of misery by the time we'd finished.

With my second wife came a new regime, she was happy to take the Christmas shopping reins and pick things up at her leisure at any time after the end of September. This worked well until she discovered the joys of Amazon and more recently Amazon Prime. A vast range of products with next day, and often free delivery. What more could anybody want.

Anyway, things have gone well for the last few years and  I haven't had to lift a digit towards the acquiring of Christmas presents. However, now that I have a lathe all that as changed. Like many other woodworkers across the country I am now loaded down with requests from my wife to make gifts for friends and family. The main item requested by my wife is pens and so I have made her nine so that she can give them away as presents.

This was the last pen in the Christmas present series.
It was turned from maple with a zebrano insert at the nib end, and made from a black chrome kit. The black lines are burnt into the wood with stainless steel wire. It's funny how that 6 months ago I didn't have a lathe and also know idea how to use one, yet here I am now chief pen maker to all who need a special gift.

I love making pens and would like to turn some more but I've got other things to make for my wife's Chrimo present list. The latest of these was a small box turned from lime. I turned the box and decided to burn some primroses on the lid with my pyrography iron, but it didn't come out very well. "You should have just put the recipients name on it," my wife said, "instead of trying to be clever with flowers."

I guess I was just trying to show off and now I was left with the decision of scraping the box or trying to rescue it. Well rescue always seems the best way for me, even if the chances of a successful outcome are tiny. So, with rescue in mind I made a small jamb chuck so that I could remount the lid onto the lathe. My intention was to use sandpaper to grind away the pyrography flowers and that is what I did. Once I had a blank lid, I drew the name on it and burnt it in with my pyrogaphy iron.
Here is a picture of the lid when I'd finished.
Disaster, Can you see what I can see? Yes, if you look closely you can just make out some of the outlines of the dreaded flowers that I'd burnt on before. I could have wept buckets, but I decided on another option, I took it back to the lathe and, this time, instead of attacking it with sand paper I obliterate the name and the left over flowers with one of my wood turning tools. In fact, I took a scrapper to it and removed the name completely.

I redrew the name and burnt it in again and then finished it off with some wax polish.
That's better isn't it? Well actually, only just, I can still sees a few left overs from the flowers which I can't understand. Still it is done now and I have permission to move onto a spinning top. I will let you have a look at that in my next post.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Disaster and Rescue

Hi all,
Those of you who have been following my projects for a while will know that I have sometimes used polymer clay to enhance some of my boxes. Well the other day I had an Idea that I could also make use of polymer clay in my pen making quest. In fact, polymer clay could help me save some money, which in my mind is always a good thing. Let me explain.

When I purchase wooden blanks for making a pens they cost about £1 each. However, when making each pen I don't use the whole blank and always have about an inch left over. Having now made over twenty pens I'm getting quite a collection of these off cuts. I suppose I could bin them but I follow the notion that they might come in handy one day even if they are only 1 inch long.

Anyway, my idea was to use polymer clay to fill the space between these 1 inch off cuts.
I had 4 off cuts, all in various types of dark wood and I thought it would go well with a polymer clay that was mixed from green, yellow and black. The clay was mixed but not thoroughly so that the individual colours could still be seen. This was then baked in the oven in line with the manufacturer's guidelines before being sandwiched between the pieces of wood. I used a epoxy resin called Milliput to ensure I got a good bond between the clay and the wood.

When I put the blank on the lathe to turn it I didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised because the clay and the Milliput turned very nicely. In fact, it was the wood that I had a problem with. I had somehow fixed the top piece of wood with the grain going sideways instead of length ways and a piece chipped off. The only thing I could do was to used my parting tool to remove the offending piece of wood. I did this and glued another piece in place. I didn't have any dark off cuts left so I had to use a lighter wood, which I must admit did spoil the look of the pen a bit.
When I showed it to the wife she couldn't stop laughing. She said it was bloody horrible and should be chucked straight in the wheelie. I think it has a certain charm and if the top piece of wood had been the same as the rest I thing it would have made a very nice pen. At least I proved that my idea about the polymer clay would work and if I can get a free pen out of the off cuts it means I will save about 25% on the cost of my blanks.

If you have any comments to make on this pen I would love to hear them.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Wild Mango

Hi all,
I've managed to turn a new pen that is of my own design and I've added a bit of pyrography, if only in a simple but effective way.

I have turned a slime line pen already from wild mango and it looked like this.
Notice the gold band around the middle of the two parts. This is a characteristic of a slime line pen. The pen has to be turned thin in the middle to allow for the size of the gold band that comes with the pen kit. My wife refers to it as a Munro pen for obvious reasons.

I can't say that I am over the moon with the shape either, so I decided to modify the design. To do this I made my own centre band from  a mixture of yellow, green and black polymer clay. I stuck this onto the end of the bottom blank and turned it to the size of the barrel that I wanted. Then I removed the centre bush and butted the top blank against the centre band and made it all the same size. Here is the result.
I like it because it has more style than the standard slime line pen. The three black rings were added by burning them in with a wire. I turned a narrow groove around the pen then with the lathe running I strangled the groove with a long piece a of pyrography tip making wire. This techniques gives a nice accurate black ring around the pen. I shall be making more pens based on this design so please watch this space if you are interested in seeing how I get on.

By the way. I am having a free book promotion on amazon from 22nd to the 24th of November. If you would like a free download of my book, "The Reluctant Pom please click on the books tab at the top of the page then click on the book. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Pyro Pen

Hi all,
Another week has passed and I'm still building my collection of turned pens. The scope of pen turning is enormous and my head is full of different designs. Here is a picture of the collection so far.
I have made a couple of others since the photo above was taken that I have put aside for gifts; they will not make it into the collection box so here are some photos of them.

This one is turned from a wood called wild mango and, although it turns well, it isn't anything special to look at. The grain is plain and it has green blotches.
The next pen is turned from  a wood called mopane, which is a member of the pea family. It is a very hard wood and takes a lot of effort to saw and drill it. However, it turns and finishes very well.
The wood reminds me of the semi precious stone called tigers eye. This is my favourite pen so far.

The next pen was turned from a piece of maple, which is not the best looking wood when it comes to turning. The leaves on a maple tree may have fantastic hues in the autumn, but the colour of the wood is down right boring. However, being a light wood does make it attractive for some pyrography, so after I'd turned it I set about it with my pyrography iron. I had in mind a sort of barley twist design making its way around the barrel, and in my mind it looked quite splendid. In reality the design looked terrible, I got about halfway up the pen and decided it was awful. Luckily, I was able to put the pen back onto the lathe and turn away the offending burn marks that I had made and start again.

The reality is that surface of a pen only provides a very small canvas for any type of artworks, so I decided that simplicity would be the best option. With that simplicity in mind, I burnt a number of random circles into pen and I think it worked. Here is the finished pen and your comments are most appreciated.
The only downside to the pattern I burnt onto the pen was the effect it had on my carpal tunnel syndrome. Being a repetitive pattern was a real problem which meant I had to do the burning over several sessions to allow my wrist to have a chance to rest. Regardless of the resting, the night after I did it I still woke up in the middle of the night with terrible pins and needles in my hand and a feeling as if my fingers had been amputated and replaced with a lobster's claw.

One of these days I'm going to have to go to the doctors and get sorted for the operation but I can't face it at the moment.

One last thing, if you were one of the many that downloaded a free copy of my book last week, I hope you are enjoying it.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Small Turnings

Hi all, Some of you may recall that I purchased my woodturning lathe earlier this year and after doing a few practice spindles and some lidded boxes I made my wife a bowl full of acorns for her birthday.
At the time I thought they looked pretty damn cool, but now I'm not so sure. The problem is that they are much too big. We all know what an acorn looks like and they are not 3inches long.

Anyway, I had a small piece of maple left over from the end of a pen blank and being a bit of an old miser I didn't want to throw it way. I scratched my head a few times and wondered if I could turn a small acorn that was more realistic than my previous attempts if only in terms of scale.

I chucked up the small piece of maple and had a go. I was very surprised at how easy it was to turn a small acorn on my lathe. Here is a photo of it.
You can see why I was well pleased, but there were two things wrong with it. Firstly, it seemed rather perverse to make an acorn from maple instead of oak and the whole thing needed a bit of colour to bring it to life.

So, I made three more from a piece of oak. I didn't have any brown stain to colour the acorns, so I mixed some green and orange wood dyes made by Chestnut and painted that on. To give the shell a bit of texture, I drilled into it randomly with my Dremel using a small burr tip. Here is a photo of the acorns.
They look a bit larger than they should on the photo, but being actual acorn size they are very cute. My intention is to make some more from various woods and put them all together in a bowl that I have yet to turn.

It's quite ironic really, I purchased the lathe with the sole purpose of turning some bowls upon which I could do some pyrography. So far I haven't turned a single bowl but I will in the near future. I have a load of pens to turn first for Christmas presents and a nice piece of iroko that is screaming to be made into a lidded box. A bowl may come after that, oh yeah, my wife wants me to turn her some wooden fruit so that should be fun. Please keep an eye on this space to see how I get on.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Yet more pens

Hi all, I guess I'll have to apologise because I have got stuck in a bit of a rut making pens. However, you may be pleased to know that I have started a project that doesn't include any pens. I'll show you that in my next post, meanwhile here are a few more pens for you to look at.

The one is made from rose wood. I have used chrome pen parts because I think they suit the dark wood better than gold. I enjoyed turning this wood which has the colour of a dark rich chocolate.
This pen was made from olive wood. I'm afraid the photo doesn't do the wood justice; it looks very nice and it was a pleasure to turn. The wood is warm and smooth and looks like caramel.
This pen was turned from a piece of yew. Nice to turn and a pretty grain pattern.
This was made from a piece of ash.
Here is one turned from a piece of walnut.
Here is the last one for now. It was made from segments of mahogany and tulip wood.
This was my second go at segmented work. I did the first one with the end grain on the sides and it split so that was my first pen failure. All in all I'm very pleased with pen turning. Once the blanks are prepared it only takes about 30 minutes to make a pen from start to finish. I don't know about you but I can get pretty fed up with projects that go on for too long. If you have a lathe I would encourage you to try pen turning.

I once heard about a man who made a model of tower bridge from kangaroo teeth. Not a quick job, but each to their own I guess.

Next time, I hope to have something different to show you.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

More pens

Hi all, I'm still doing pens. Well I purchased 12 wooden pen blanks when I got the pen turning mandrel, so I've got six more in the pipe line before I need to hunt out some more blanks.

The fifth pen I did was from a piece of purple heart. This is a strange wood, because although the wood was coloured purple when I did the turning, when I polished it the colour changed to brown. This was a shame because I like rather liked purple colour. I had seen a couple of videos on youtube where the presenter showed how it was possible to get the colour back by attacking it with a blow torch. Anyway, I didn't think it was worth the risk of putting the pen to the mercy of the blow torch's flame and decided to leave it alone. I'm glad I did because a couple of days later the brown faded to purple again.
The next one I did was a bit plain. The wood was sycamore and although it didn't look stunning it gave me a chance to practice my technique. I also acquired five more pen kits with chrome trimmings as can be seen in the pic.
After that I did another one in maple. This is another plain wood so I did some pyrography on it with the idea of colouring in the pattern with wood dy.e I did jut that and it looked quite amazing, a bit like a stained glass window.
I guess you will have to take my word for how good it looked because as you can see, the dye came off when I polished it. My own mistake, I used sanding sealer before putting the dye on so it didn't get chance to be absorbed into the wood. The rule, is dye first then sanding sealer. I will try again soon and see if I can get it right.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Pen Turning

Hi all,
today's post is about something completely different. Those of you who have been following my progress will know that I started off doing some pyrography, but finding that the sort of wooden blank I required was getting more and more difficult to purchase. Sure there are a lot of hobby shops selling blank wooden items just waiting to be decorated. I've tried them and I don't know what type of wood it is, but when you burn it with a pyrogrphy iron smells like a gone off kipper.

Anyway, I'd always fancied having a go at wood turning, so I though if I purchased a lathe I could make my own blank on which I could do some pyrography.

I have turned a few lidded boxes and done some pyrography on them like this.
I enjoy doing boxes like this and will no doubt do a few more, but recently I've become involved in pen turning. It was never my intention to become involved in this side of wood turning, but I think it might be more addictive than chocolate biscuits.
Here is my very first turned pen, it's made from a piece of zebrano wood.
How cool is that. In fact I thought it might have been a fluke, so I turned another from paduk wood.
Then I tried some wenge.
After that I did one in beech, which is a lighter wood so that I could do some pyrography on it.
So you can see that I'm getting addicted to this craft. The thing I like most about it is that each project is relatively quick. It's not that I'm in a hurry, but I do like finishing the wood with a bit of polish. The transformation of a grotty piece of wood into something nice to look at, and at the same time useful, is quite amazing. The pen parts are not a lot of money and the blank pieces of wood are also relatively cheap.

The time it takes to make a pen from start to finish is less than half an hour so it fits in nicely with my other duties of which there are many and varied despite my retirement.

In my next post, I will show you some more pens and the lovely pen collectors box I've purchased to keep them in. If you have any comments about the pens I have made so far I wold love to see them.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Turning Competition

Hi all,
 I have been a forum member of the Ukworkshop   
for a couple of years now. It is an interesting website with lots of content for those who are interested in wood working. It has several different forums within the website, which I initially joined because of my interest in scroll sawing. However, after buying a lathe, I began joining in the banter with the wood turning members. In fact, I go to the forum almost every day to see what is going on and look at pictures of what other members are producing. It is a very friendly site with lots of help and advice for those who want it.

Anyway, the wood turning forum has a competition every 3 months to see who can produce the best turning in line with the subject that has been chosen. The latest challenge was to produce a wood turning that had some pierced element to it. Most of those who entered just drilled holes in their turnings to comply with the competition requirements, but I saw it as an opportunity to use my scroll saw and pyrography iron.

Here is my entry. It is a lidded trinket box turned from maple.
I was very pleased with the result and I managed to come 5th. Which was very near to last, not because of my scroll sawing or pyrography work, but because my turning wasn't up to the required standard. I've only had my lathe since April, so I can understand that.

Anyway, the whole thing was a bit of fun and it's the taking part that counts not winning, he say's as another tears drips off the end of his nose.

I'm going to have a break from lidded boxes for a while, so if you want to see what I'm getting up to next, please watch this space.

Saturday, 24 September 2016


Hi all,
I like doing pyrography on wood, especially now that I am turning my own items. Dark pyrography, when done on a light wood can look stunning. However, I keep having these urges (settle down I'm OAP now) to put a bit of colour into some of my work. In the past I have tried watercolour and acrylic paints and met with some success along with some failures. There is something odd about the way paint lies on the top of wood that can sometimes can be less than appealing, or in other words, it can look a bit crappy.

Anyway, after seeing what some of the wood turners on youtube are doing with wood stains, I decided to have a go with them. To that end I turned a couple of boxes from lime wood and did a pencil design on the top of each. Before I used the stain to colour the designs I introduced them to my pyrography iron and used this to create a burnt border around each part of the design. The trouble with wood stain is that it sinks into the fibres of the wood so the edges are hard to control. By burning lines into the wood I was able to create clear borders and keep each stain within its allotted boundary.

Here is my first attempt of some primroses.
I think the stain worked well, but the composition let the whole thing down. A big blob of colour in the centre does not quite do it for me. I think I will stick this one back on the lathe and skim the image off and do something else on the lid.

Taking what I have said above into account, my second item was better. I drew some harebells, which gave plenty of space around and within the image.
I think this is better and, although I think stains are better than paint, I think most of my pyrography will be left plain in the future. Which box do you prefer?

My next project involves me making an item for a wood turning competition. It will include a bit of pyrography, so if you are interested please watch this space.

Saturday, 10 September 2016


Hi all,
Summer is over and autumn's chill is in the air. I don't mind because it is the second best season of the year for me, a close second to spring. I'm not sad that summer is over, especially August, which is my least favourite month of the year. I guess I can almost hear some of you sun lovers call out in horror, but there are good reasons why I think August is grim.

Firstly, even though we are talking about England here, I do find that some days in August are too hot. When is too hot creativity goes out of the window and so does a good night's sleep.

Secondly, August is too busy with the kids off school and people on holiday.

Thirdly, I can't stand wasps and August is the peak time for the little blighters.

Lastly, I don't know why, but August seems like an angry month to me, people, insects and even the traffic seems more aggressive.

So Autumn is here and we can enjoy some of its pleasures like the colours of the trees and picking nuts from the hedgerows. Conkers and acorns are beautiful and everywhere. Talking of acorns, you may have noticed that it is the title of this post, so I'll get to the point.

In April when I bought my lathe, my wife said she would like me to turn her a bowl full of wooden fruit for her birthday in August. In April, August seemed a long way off so I thought I would be okay with meeting her request, however, I never got close to making a bowl or any fruit, so I turned her a selection of acorns with the promise of a bowl to come later.

Here are the acorns.
I turned them from various species of spindles that were 2 inches square and did some pyrography on the thick end where the wood was a light colour.
The one above is tulip wood.
This is walnut
This is sepele
This I think is beech
This one is tulip wood which I stained a dark colour and I did a different pyrography pattern on the case, which I think came out well.
Lastly, this one was turned from sepele and tulip wood. I did a spigot on one and a recess on the other and joined them together with a bit of glue.

They are nothing to get excited about but my wife liked them and it was all good practice. I will get around to make a bowl to put them in one of these days and I might even make another bowl full of them, only this time I will make them much small. In fact, I will probably make them the same size as real acorns. To do that though I will need some smaller jaws for my chuck and that will mean another trip to Axminster and spending more money.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Grinling Gibbons

Hi all,
I think Grinling Gibbons is our most famous wood carver and his work can be seen in many stately homes across the country. Well, I decided to do a bit of wood carving myself and make something nice for my wife's birthday. I will of course buy her something proper, but I know she likes me to put some effort in and make her something special just for her.

I decided to turn a small trinket box from lime wood, but I needed something special to decorate the lid with, just a bit more plain pyrography would be nice but not special enough for the big day. Anyway, she admired a few things I'd done recently that were based around oak leaves and acorns. I'd used my scroll saw to make a plaque for a gate in the garden and I also made a house number plaque the same way.

To make something for the top of a box that is less than three inches in diameter would mean working a little bit finer but I was up for the challenge.

First, I turned the box and then drew around the lid so that I could draw my design of three leaves and three acorns to the right size. Then I cut out the acorn leaves on the scroll saw and shaped them using a Dremel. I then burnt the pattern into the wood with my pyrography iron.

The next thing I did was to carve the three acorns and then stick the leaves and acorns to the lid of the box with wood glue. I used clamps to hold the parts in place while the glue dried to make sure it all came out flat. Once the glue was dry I used my pyrography iron on the acorns and touched up a few places on the leaves. The lid was then given 3 coats of gloss varnish to give it a bit of shine.
Here is the finished box.
I was pleased with the way it turned out and my wife liked it too. I was going to have a go at a bowl next but I have been informed that my woodturning skills would be better served if I did a bit more spindle work first.

In my next post I show you something different.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Pyrography Rose

Hi all,
I think that the plan to buy a lathe and turn my own boxes is beginning to pay off. I have done 6 boxes now and each one has become a little bit easier than the last. Being able to buy wood and make my own boxes means that I am in control of all of my materials and my head is full of ideas. Pyrography is always my first choice and I will show you my latest pyrography project shortly.

Besides pyrography I have also thought about doing some mosaic work on a box which should be interesting. I also like the idea of inlaying patterns into a box with resin. I have also seen some fantastic wood colouring work on You tube and would like to explore that a little more.

I'm full of inspiration at the moment but lacking in the time to carry some of it out. There are so many jobs to be done about the house. When I think I've got them all done the management comes up with another. A couple of weeks ago we had 6 storage heaters replaced because the ones that came with the house purchase were on their last legs. Anyway, storage heaters are full of bricks and I was left with a stack of them to get rid of. I was going to take them to the tip but my wife had another brain wave, she said I could incorporate them into a water feature for her.

To cut a long story short I had to dig up an area of lawn
and replace it with a water feature and the bricks from the storage heaters. I also had to purchase  a number of alpine plants which I planted and dressed the whole thing with golden gravel.
Here's a closer picture.
It came out pretty well, but it hasn't half cost me a lot of time which is why it's been a long time since my last post.

Anyway, here's my latest turned box complete with pyrography rose.
I hope you like it.
By the way, for those of you who are interested, one of my books, "Carp Rustlers" is free on Amazon for the next three days. Please grab a free download while you can by going to my website and clicking on the books details. The theme is fishing but you don't need to be an angler to enjoy it.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Pyrography Box

Hi all,
Following on from the success of my last lidded box I thought I make another one while the going was good. However, this time I thought I do one with a bit more detail in the pyrography.

First I drew a design that I thought would suit a round box lid whilst making sure it was big enough to drape down the sides. When I was happy with the design I turned the box out of a piece of lime wood.

Once the lid was turned, I transferred the drawing to the box using tracedown paper, which makes life easier than using tracing paper. Having said that, the lid part went simply enough but draping the paper over the side was not quite so simple. The drawing distorted as it went down the sides, so I had to abandon the trace down paper and just simply draw the design on the sides by hand, whilst using the original drawing for a guide.

Here is a picture of the top of the finished box.

And here is a picture of the side.
I looks very nice and I'm very pleased with the result. However, I'm not sure that it is worth taking the design down the sides and taking it over the joint between the lid and the box in a mistake. Once you cross the join the user has to match up the position of the lid on the box to make it look right, and whilst this may be enjoyable on the first couple of occasions I guess it will prove to be tedious in the long run.

My next box will just have pyrography on the top so watch this space if you would like to see it.