wardrobe project

Moving house as often as I have in the past I have been used to hanging my clothes on one of those clothes rails like they use in cheap clothes shops. The trouble with buying a wardrobe is that I’ve never really seen one I like and, being a bit of a furniture snob, I could never quite convince myself that buying a cheap bit of flat-pack furniture was a good idea.

So, the solution, now that I have a workshop, was obviously to make myself one.

Cutting up bits of tree trunk like I have done in previous projects seemed like quite a chore for such a large piece and the resulting weight would require a forklift truck to move it from the workshop to the house.

I would have to buy plywood anyway so, as I mentioned in my last post, I bought some off-cuts from a cigar box factory, thinking that it would help keep the weight down.

So.. the ultimate in flat-pack, a load of timber, arrived and I started the assembly … that was a month ago.

I don’t really like large brown things so it is to be a painted wardrobe, giving me an easy time when it comes to hiding flaws and dodgy joints.

Progress so far….

As the sides are sloping, the doors will have to have special hinges. They are about $30 each so I decided I will make my own from a bit of brass (another eBay purchase).

I’m going to make some carved handles and some decorations, possibly out of copper, for the doors so it’ll be a while until I’m finished..

I’ll post more later…


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Magic Mushroom Jar

…or other magic stuff if you don’t have any mushrooms to store…

I just finished making a tea-caddy shaped cookie jar style thingy from tiger oak and spalted beech…

It’s about 6 x 6 x 9 inches [16x16x 24 cm] and has a sprinkling of faerie dust in the varnish, more on the inside than on the outside.

The faults are filled with my ‘black opal’ filler and the underside of the lid is painted with gold paint.

It’s my first piece that uses my new logo.

I have no idea what it could be used for … probably not great for foodstuffs as it would be a little difficult to wash out a lot although it is very well varnished inside and out..

Anyway… I’ve just started on my next project which is a wardrobe. For this one I bought some offcuts from a cigar box factory as it’s going to be painted so the boring wood won’t matter much and it saves tons of sawing…

Quite a big thing to make in my small workshop but it’s needed..

more photos of the project as it progresses…


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Making a branding iron

I wanted to be able to ‘sign’ my future pieces with my new logo…

I started off with the following, a scaled image of the log, some Copper Art Clay, two pieces of hard wax and a good scalpel.

There are instructions on Youtube if you want to make copper clay rather than buy it…. I bought some ($17)..

I wrapped the image around the wax

Carved the image into the wax ( I gave up on the very small image, my eyes couldn’t do it)…

Pressed the clay into the wax and carved it out deeper when it was a little drier (it was very sticky)…

Left the clay to dry

Fired it with my torch in the BBQ

and… with a bit of practice it looks like it should do fine…


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“Well, it’s not real, though, is it!”

Don’t you love it when people say (about virtual worlds) “Well, it’s not real, though, is it!”

Some of my virtual friends bought some of my virtual trees with their virtual money which I then converted to buy a cast iron drill.

How’s that for reality?


Some of you may have heard, I’m upgrading my workshop. I’ve spent the last month or so doing it and I’m more or less finished.

I thought you might like to see some photos…

The reason for this is to get a bit more space (especially for drying wood) and I’m hoping it will augur a new phase in my work. I want to get a bit more professional and try and make stuff for sale.

That’s the big idea anyway, we’ll see where it goes.


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Theology and carving

Well, it should have been quite simple… (story of my life)… I thought I’d do a bit of carving on the oak stool, particularly on the bottom rung or stretcher…

What could be easier. After a lot of messing about I thought a nice bit of latin would look good and I chose the phrase which Jung used above his front door.

Vocatus aque non vocatus deus aderit…. called or not called the god is present.. he chose it to mean that the archetype is aways there whether you believe in it or not. I thought I’d change the singular, god, to plural gods, just to underline that this isn’t some Orthodox Christian stool I’m building.

So … vocatus atque non vocatus deorum aderit?? not sure of latin so I tried Google, then Tweeted a distress signal … but no response. No help.

I wanted to get started so I attacked the carving with gusto only to find that I would need a smaller chisel than my 1/4 inch one. The spaces between letters were getting too big. Hmmm … maybe I could use ‘dei’ as plural gods?

This was getting complicated but dei took less space than deorum, so I carried on without a new chisel. After having pondered the problem in bed that night I was horrified to realise that ‘aderit’ is singular too, so it would have to be ‘aderant’ (maybe… this is all guess work) and that is a longer word.

I had horrors of running out of space like they do on dodgy posters and having to cram a few letters on the end.

So… philosophy be damned, I went back to the singular ‘deus’ and decided that a theological compromise was better than buying a new chisel.

I know Jung would have sent a man (or one of his women) out for a new chisel but then he was better paid than me and was probably really boring at parties just hanging around in the kitchen etc.

So … my Orthodox Christian sounding slogan reads “ called or not called the god is present”

…. I just wanted a bit of decoration.

This is it before corrections (that’s what the gods made filler for…)

It’s going to be painted gold with a turquoise background …

more pictures later.


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Oak Stool Project

I’m back in the workshop after having taken it a bit slowly due to my arm/elbow complaining for a while.

The butterfly joints that I showed last time were to tie together the two pieces I needed for the top, the seat, of my oak stool and they are coming along nicely. There is a bit of a curve that I’ve carved into the top even if it doesn’t show so well on this photo. I have yet to start on carving the edges; and the back (underside) is still pretty scruffy.

For the legs I’ve gone for two A-frame pieces using the heart wood colouring to give a bit of interest. The backside of these two have some blue colouring from a natural iron and tannin interaction which is sometimes seen on oak.

I’ve used this ‘blue’ oak for the pegs which will disappear into the wood to strengthen some of the joints.

The bottom stretcher/rail is gently curved with, I hope, a sort of wave carved into it eventually. This is the fancy joint I used to tie two pieces with similar grain pattern together.

I’m mostly finished on the design stage although I am still drawing details. The way the legs join the seat is still a slight problem for me as I don’t want to put the legs through the seat and I don’t really want any sort of wooden or metal brackets.

The ‘problem’ is that, if I want a simple design, I will be relying on the glue and the single mortice (15mm deep) to stop the wobble that can come with age (of the stool, not my wobble … that can’t be solved with glue) … so I’m still trying different ideas on paper.

Anyway it’s now down to months of sandpapering before I can’t think about assembling…

In the meantime I’m still busy on PMGrid with my build …. I’ll keep you informed


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There are few things as exciting as a blank canvas, and a new sim is just that, of course.

Bob Wellman of PMGrid has been kind enough to give me a sim with, hopefully, the possibility of upgrading to a Var region sometime in the future.

PMGrid is on the Hypergrid so you can hop there from anywhere on OSGrid …. even though I haven’t yet managed at the time of writing … I have my own PMGrid avatar and hop to OS and Craft for some shopping.

The reason I have decided to build there is that I need more space than I can afford. To really give the impression of being in a forest or other landscape, one sim is just too small. I don’t have the money to be able to hire 4 sims but I feel that this new landscape should be built, the metaverse could use some extensive wilderness areas.

A Var region would give me that opportunity and, on the hypergrid, it would be available to a different selection of people as opposed to, for example, one of the closed commercial grids.

The new possibilities of saving linksets makes moving trees from one grid to the other a lot easier than it was before, even though it doesn’t always work out perfectly. That gives me access to 7 years of my builds, and a varied selection of flora for a new venture.

So… time to build a new landscape, I’ll keep you updated as I go…

It wasn’t quite a blank canvas, but I love that little “return” button…

and then I got the bulldozer out….

…terraforming is some peoples’ idea of heaven. The secret is … slowly, slowly…


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The chairs, finished

OK, so, finally… [I started in November] … I have finished my chairs, with a little upholstery help from my eldest daughter at Krumnaalen Upholstery in Silkeborg, Denmark.

So … a few photos

Now, the trickiest joint I used was this interlocking tenon … I was way outside my comfort zone, but it worked out…

I hate traditional wood filler, so where needed I made my own from resin and glitter … I think it works well.

..and this is the pair in place with the footstools, [the carpet is not my choice, it came with the rental]…

…and very comfy they are too, especially compared to the last pair of crappy rubbish I had…


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Workshop news.

Well, it’s been ages since I last wrote anything. My workshop has been full of plantlets and seedlings but I’ve been doing stuff that hasn’t really been interesting enough to blog about.

Firstly I decided to make footstools to go with my chairs…

I had to make a sort of cradle to hold the legs at 45 degrees…

…and some of the pieces warped a bit so I ironed them. I know, it sounds a bit mad, but heating the wood makes the lignin melts a bit and can then reform in the right position if you clamp the wood ‘flat’ while it cools. I heard about this on YouTube and so I tried it and it worked…. [they used a paint stripper for the heat]..

Anyway the result…

..and then there was choosing the fabric… I went for this colour…

… it’s manufactured on the Isle of Bute, up in Scotland. So now the cushions are being made in Denmark and I’ll post more detail on that when it’s done.

So, that’s about it really…time for a new project…

This is my new project, 2 hours old… it’s a solid piece of oak which is huge and too heavy to lift, so the first job is to cut it up…

I’ll post more as it progresses, I think I’m going to make a small bench, but I’m not totally decided yet.


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It’s always with a bit of trepidation that you start to assemble pieces or components into a finished piece. You don’t know if you got the measurements right, if you’ve mixed up left and right of, just plainly miscalculated how the whole lot will look.

Anyway, that’s the current stage in my marathon chair making project. The hours of sawing are over, the plane is sort of set aside, the mallet and chisel are resting and it’s all down to glue and clamps and sandpaper. Lots of sandpaper.

Some of the parts are already glued as you can see and it’s starting to look like a chair…

The spindles at the back of the chair are going to take a long time as each one is a slightly different length and at a slightly different angle … no mass- production possible, but then there’s no hurry.

I’m using wooden pins made from some peach wood to reinforce some of the joints that are likely to get most strain and they take a little while to make too, but it’s the sort of handwork that isn’t too strenuous and I prefer the idea of pins to metal screws.

Well, still a long way to go before I’m finished but I’ll keep posting as it changes…


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