a typical day?

I tend to do a bit of everything each day and today was pretty typical. This morning was very cold with a hard frost, I answered emails, kept up to date and answered some questions on a couple of woody/bushcrafty forums then packed up a couple of parcels of sets of plates. Then I tried out a new Japanese sharpening stone I had been lent by a friend which I was very impressed with.

After an early lunch it was up to the workshop which being 50m higher and shaded by a tall hill was even colder. I cut up a large log and cut about 25 bowl blanks then turned 5 porringers. The hard work keeps the body warm but there is nothing I can do for the hands which are constantly changing from one freezing cold tool to the next. I can’t wear a glove on my left hand because I need to keep feeling the thickness of the bowl as it progresses. I was able to work up to about 4pnm because the snow and clear sky kept it light longer. Some days there has been insuficient light to work after 3.30.

So back home I had another couple of emailed orders and one on the phone to parcel up and a pile of visa slips and cheques from the last week to pay in and record in the books. After dinner now I am going to go and carve the porringer handles, Nicola is already carving some spoons.

5 Responses to a typical day?

  1. Juan December 2, 2008 at 3:43 am #

    Since it is -25C at present in Willow, Alaska, I quite understand your problems with cold fingers and even colder tools. One big help I have found is called a “fingerless glove,” which looks like a regular glove but cut off around the first joint of the fingers. Another is a n “underglove” made out of polypropylene, or “polypro” for short. I usually wear these out around the index finger, and that is just perfect for feeling thicknesses (or for feeling whether I have started a bolt on a stud correctly on my antique tractor. Fascinating blog. Thanks.

  2. johnjoiner December 2, 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    Would it work for you to keep your turning tools in the house, and bring them up to the shop with you in the morning? That way you wouldn’t have to warm them up with your hands each day.

  3. Robin Wood December 2, 2008 at 4:35 pm #

    Thanks for the comments,Juan -25 makes me realise actually it’s not so cold after all ;0) I have sometimes worn fingerless gloves for working. The polypro’s sound like a good idea I will see if I can get a pair to try.John. I have tried warming the tools before I start but in a cold environment they soon cool down and I work like a carver regularly changing from one tool to another so they never really warm up whilst in use.

  4. flyingshavings January 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    Take care Robin! There are stories of milkmen and farmers having to give up their jobs because of abusing their fingers with cold over long periods. I like toughing it out, but these last few weeks have been really hard and my fingers sometimes feel numb when I wake up in a morning. As you’re inside – couldn’t you run to a small stove burning your shavings? There are lots of things on t’web for low tech solutions. I can’t do this as I work outside in estate woodland where fires are forbidden (but I’m hoping to get permission for my Kelly Kettle as a 1 litre flash doesn’t alow for a morning tea break 🙁 )

  5. Robin Wood January 2, 2009 at 8:45 am #

    How woodland management has changed since I worked in it. I am pleased that folk pile brash now rather than some of the huge fires I saw 20 years ago just in the name of tidiness. Having said that I used to love our little campfire out in the coppice, we always had a big frypan and kettle hanging in a tree and it raised spirits when sat round the fire on a cold day.