March 2014

Here it is April first, no fooling, and I’m just now getting around my March blog.  This year March came in like a polar bear and went out like a duck, a frozen duck at that.  March 4 it went down to -12°.   Maple season this year will be pretty sad.  On March 31, we had a really heavy rain, mixed with sleet.  It left the road like a mud bowl.  The New Gloucester road crew brought in four truckloads of crushed stone.  I tried to get wood shavings out the back door of the shop, but no luck.  The disadvantage of a metal roof.   Maybe in a few more weeks…

IMG_0542 In the shop, there were a variety of small projects. I finally finished the single door cabinet.  And got the last of my tree photos taken, with the help of friends around the country.  My daughter did the pen & inks.  Now a bit of organizing, and they’re off to Lost Art Press.

I also got to restore a Shaker spinning wheel.  It was in really poor shape.  The ash post holding the great wheel into the base was completely worn.  If any of you have ever made ash baskets, you know that all you have to do is pound a brown ash log to collapse the large early wood cells, and the smaller, tighter late wood cells come off in strips.  All the early wood cells in the post had collapsed, as well as a good portion of the red oak cells in the base of the spinning wheel.  What was left was an over-sized hole and a shaft with a papery base.  Not only that but someone had tried to lacquer the entire wheel, and did an exceedingly lousy job.  After stripping the wheel (which left a beautiful brown patina), I turned a new conical base with a 1″ shaft 4″ long, and drilled a corresponding hole into the bottom of the post.  I glued it in place and smoothed it to size with a  block plane.  I also had to chase the threads with a file to get the other parts to adjust properly.  A coat of linseed oil brought out the original color.

IMG_0560 Lastly, I purged the showroom of too many items and rearranged everything.  The new single door cabinet is now next to the older 15-drawer chest.  It’s always a surprise when you see a freshly oiled piece of cherry next to an older one.  Stop by and have a look.

IMG_0548C. H. Becksvoort © 2014

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