Donkey work….~

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Since my last blog things have inevitably been changing, one challenge was my daughter Amber being offered a marquetry donkey or ‘chevalet’ and the actual logistics of bringing it back to Sussex from Buckinghamshire (by car) and then checking it over and some minor maintenance before getting it shipped up to her in Wrexham. I didn’t want to drive up specially; I’m saving that trip for the Christmas holiday time. Instead, there happened to be a company near the GMC workshop, which deals with carrier deliveries all the time. So a compact pallet load for £75 was pretty much what I was expecting and it saved me a four and a half hours plus drive each way so I was happy. Since then Amber has carried out some improvements and customisation to this venerable piece of kit so I’m hoping it won’t be too long before she gets back to doing what she enjoys, designing and cutting out marquetry on the chevalet as opposed to her day job of programming and cutting with a laser before assembling marquetry veneer designs that make a thousand piece jigsaw look relatively easy.

The marquetry ‘donkey’ or ‘chevalet’ which Amber refers to as ‘The Beast’ reassembled, checked and ready to go to its new home

Back home the Bailey workshop has been shuffled around yet again. My daughter Lucy is an enthusiastic potter and her learning of the subject while working with Geoff Pittman, a highly talented potter in his own right and ex ‘Century21’ set builder (think Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet) is definitely beginning to pay off. So I have managed to create a space for her rather substantial potters wheel while also accommodating both of my sons workshop requirements, somewhat at the expense of my own! However I can still access the tablesaw, bandsaw and compound mitre saw so it’s largely business as usual.

My garage/workshop is now definitely just a workshop now daughter Lucy’s bit potters wheel and bench extension are now in place

The first firing of the woodburning stove, the pyramid shape of kindling over scrunched up newspaper gives a quick start to the burn

At the same time I’ve also brought the lounge woodburning stove back into action having swept the chimney a second time this year just to make sure it is clear of obstructions and also replaced the door rope for a tight seal. This is quite important as a leaky seal can give a false impression about how efficient a stove really is if oxygen is still leaking in. I’m not boasting, but I’ve got about two years of wood supply, either dry or drying, but I realise I haven’t identified which sacks contain kindling rather offcuts or logs. So this weekend I need to go through them and mark them up. After that I’ve got a stack of favours from people want me to do odd woodworking jobs, but more of that later….

Until next time.


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