School holidays are here again, so there's been a bit less work going on than usual, and more fun being had! However, whilst it's slowed progress down on a couple of projects, there's nothing that can't wait a bit, and one thing that has slowed things up is the arrival of 'the monster'. It's a great big wood turning lathe that I have been lusting after for years, as well as saving up for the day when I can finally afford the thing. Well, the day finally came a few weeks ago, and so I finally bit the bullet and bought the monster.
The thing is, we had to do a bit of work in my workshop before the monster could arrive. As it weighs around a third of a ton, I had to pour some extra concrete footings for the machine to stand on so it wouldn't drop through the wooden floor. Then we had to try and work out how to get the thing into my workshop. I'll just say that the driver from Axminster tools was awesome and between us we managed to get the monster into the shed, but not before dismantling it and doing a spot of very heavy lifting!
It's been something of a process, but has it been worth it? I haven't had time to even begin to explore the possibilities of what this machine can do, but last night I got a bit of time to turn an off-cut from a board of spalted sycamore. The resulting 18" diameter platter would have been impossible to make on my old lathe, but the monster took it all in its stride. I'm looking forward to turning some very big lumps of interesting wood that I have stashed!
I have been milling some more timber last week - this time cutting some big Douglas Fir beams and some Cedar cladding boards for Big Marv. The pile of new wood is growing rapidly!
The gate for the house is almost finished, but still needs the last bits doing. The pictures are of a work in progress - the frame of the gate is from a Sweet Chestnut tree that came down in the field behind our house, and the posts that fill in the middle are some of the branches. The idea is that the gate is for Bridge Cottage, so the top rail of the gate is the same shape as the bridge, and the branches represent the water running underneath....some artistic license may be required!
At least I've measured the dog and she can't fit through the gaps!
And my carving is slowly improving......