steve folkers

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since Dec 14, 2014
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Recent posts by steve folkers

David Wood wrote:For anyone interested in doing a coopering course in Victoria, Rundell and Rundell in Kyneton host a course led by George Smithwick who's a 6th generation cooper, a nice bloke and a patient and excellent instructor. Even an inexperienced woodworker like me successfully made a bucket that held water! With, it should be said, a fair bit of help from George.

Here's a link with some photos:

http://rundellandrundell.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/put-this-on-your-bucket-list.html



David, thank you for pictures of a good bucket class. Some of his horses and tools look just like mine! And I covet his bick iron. And thank you especially for the link at the end to a 26 minute video (a 1981 episode of a BBC show on handmaking things) on an Irish cooper making churns in regional styles. (Ireland has at least five styles.) I recognized Ned Gavin right off from an article I have, a chapter out of the book Irish Traditional Crafts. At first I thought the pictures in the article might even be stills from the show, because he's making the same County Mayo type churn, but no, he has his coat off throughout, and instead of white cats, there's a little white dog. A note I put in the margin reminds me of an Irishman I met who grew up in County Clare, who remembered tinkers coming around in the spring and fall to do repairs, including replacing damaged hazel hoops on churns with tin, probably in the 1950s.
4 years ago
Here's some more shots of my old croze. Ignore the shape of the body-I was copying an old one. Make it fit your hands.
I used sycamore, oak and walnut. the old one was buckeye and laurel.
4 years ago

Mike Patterson wrote:Thank you, Judith, for all this great information and wonderful pictures!

I'm trying to track down a curved drawknife and am having somewhat of a hard time finding a good source. Would your husband (or anyone else) have any recommendations for where to buy one or a good manufacturer to look out for? I don't mind paying a higher price for good quality. I'd prefer to find a good used antique one somewhere, but might be a bit more lost as to knowing wether or not it's any good.

I've found that flexcut makes a small drawknife that's apparently flexible, which maybe would work? Didn't see anything on Lee Valley's website. Lie-Nielsen has a somewhat expensive one that says it's curved, but doesn't look to be curved.. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/product/drawknives/1-draw-c-drawknives?node=4090

Thanks again for all your quality posts!

-WY



You seem to have the major woodworker's tool sites ( if you also have Woodcraft and Traditional Woodworker). I can only add that I suppose that by "curved" you mean a barrel cooper's hollow knife, presumably still available from more specialized cooper's tool suppliers, at astronomical prices. I don't use one (although I have inshaves for bowls, etc.); I use a 4" scorp on buckets and churns and a 1 1/2" one on smaller stuff. I do tubs so rarely it hasn't been a problem. (I do the hollowing of the inside of the staves after setting up, or raising, the vessel, instead of hollowing staves individually beforehand as barrels are done.)

See Alex Stewart in The Foxfire Book 3 for making your own croze. The old French word croze just means cross, because the tool is basically a specialized marking gauge, a stick through a board (looking like a cross from the side),adjustable and held by a wedge. The cutting tooth on a bucket croze is usually a piece of an old file, burnt to un-harden, with saw teeth filed into it. (A barrel croze has two knife blades and a "hawk" raker.) Router or croze, whatever you use, the important thing is to get a clean edge to the groove, without chatter or rip-outs that would leak. Usually this means going around and around, a lot of careful little cuts, instead of one big oops.
4 years ago
(Nine out of ten acorns, for inspirational, historical and technical.)

This is a grand survey of traditional woodland and village crafts of the British Isles, with an emphasis on central England and Wales, homeland of the author, an experienced folk museum official. Many of these crafts came to the U.S. unchanged; others were modified to suit the materials available or local needs (such as our more extreme continental climate). But our crafts only go back three or four hundred years, where many of Britain's are two thousand years old, or more.

This is not a project book, but it describes the tools, materials, and methods (and regional variations) fairly completely. It is vastly inspirational, including the understanding of craftsmanship in general displayed in the introduction. Especially inspiring is the coverage of bygone woodland crafts, by which one could earn a living in the woods with not much more than a knife and a hatchet (and an accumulated millennium of culture), making thatching spars, barrel hoops, clog soles, rakes, wattle hurdles, coracles or chair parts. The text extends to blacksmithing, saddlery, drystone walling, brickmaking, and more. The only weak spot is perhaps the nine pages on the woolen crafts, which are very historical on all the preparations but leave out the weaving entirely, as appropriate to a whole 'nother book, I suppose. Still, this book is something that I knew I had to have as soon as I saw it, and that I have read cover to cover four times, and some chapters many more times.
4 years ago