October 2014

Another October, another busy month.  There were several highlights: the 3 day class at New England School of Metalwork (see below), our annual Open House, Shaker Friends Work Weekend, and another clock made in the shop.

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Our Open House, October 11 & 12 was a great success.  Held this year in conjunction with Maine Craft Weekend, we had loads of visitors.  The Maine Crafts Association had a listing of all participants, with maps on the web, and made bright orange road signs available.  We had donuts and cider from Thompson’s Orchard, and spice, lemon, chocolate, and cheese cookies made by Elise.  Visitors toured the showroom and the cleaned up shop.  We talked wood, furniture, and sold a few books, DVDs, several cabinet doors, a stool, and even the box featured in FWW issue 239.  Looking forward to next year, which should be bigger and better.

IMG_0763October 25 was Shaker Friends Workday.  It rained the day before, but Saturday was bright, dry and sunny.  Over 60 Friends, and many new Friends, showed up to move picnic tables, pull weeds, remove screens, cut brush and rake leaves.  There were tons of leaves, trailer loads, which had to be moved.  Unfortunately, as seen in the photo above, there were still lots of leaves left on the trees.  The noon meal was delicious as usual,  and it was  a great opportunity to socialize  to re-connect with folks, we sometimes only see once or twice a year.  If you’re interested in joining the Friends, check our website: http://www.friendsoftheshakers.org/index.html  

One of the reasons that October is my favorite months, is that it’s my birthday month.  This year I treated myself to something I’ve wanted for a long time, a Silky pruning saw.

IMG_0765This Silky pruning saw has two extensions and opens to 16′ in length.  The handle is oval aluminum and is  stiff with almost no flexing, but it’s the blade that makes this saw so amazing.  The teeth are extremely sharp and aggressive, and zip through dead pine, hemlock, ash or maple branches.  After years of using a wooden pole pruning saw, the Silky is a real treat.

CHB clocks_2Lest you think that I spend all my time taking classes, volunteering or spending time in the woods, I do keep regular hours in the shop.  This month I built a walnut and oak railing and newel post, restored a school desk, and built a Shaker tall clock, my favorite version.  The original was pine with a mahogany stain, but I think it looks stunning in black.  This one is maple, with a bit of figure in the back, so when you open the door to see the weight and pendulum, the interior is bright, natural maple.  A real contrast.   The movement, made by David Lindow, is  hardened brass,   exquisitely made and polished, with a 1-second escape (60 tick-tocks to the minute).  A real gem.

C.H. Becksvoort © 2014

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