Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A chance to play

A while ago, I was given a set of white van man speakers. For them as don't know, thats the sort that get offered as a spare from a recording studion but to you guv...............

..and rubbish they are too. However, the Chinese company that made them got it wrong. the bass unit is really very good. So they have been through a couple of changes but now I have decided to do a bit of a job on them. Not worth doing them REALLY well but they should be presentable at least.

So its the 12" bass units, Celestion HF1300 tweeters  and KEF T27 as supertweeter. Whilst I was at it, I started veneering them too. Did the first and then ran out of contact adhesive with just one side to do!! Annoying as the French don't sell proper stuff and a friend bought some Evostick out with him. I now have to wait until next month for the next visitor.

I'll get round to cleaning it all up when I can finish them. They sound extremely good. Well pleased with that bit.

Pics. 1. As they came - 2. First change - 3. One done - 4. One part done

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Ah well, I'm not a builder see........

So the new roof got a thorough testing as the heavens opened.


...anyway, I had to get back out there and remove the built up wall I had done and do it again properly, this time with some zinc flashing. Its sold in 2 x 1 metre sheets out here so you have to slice it up yourself. I did it the quick way with an angle grinder. This leaves a nice sharp edge on one side which, if you put the bend on the wrong way, takes a huge slice out of the hand whilst clearing the gulley after rendering!! YUP!

Last night it poured again and we have a nice dry kitchen with not even a small patch anywhere, I was a bit worried about the chimney as the plate that it came with is not designed for canal tiles. However, lots of glue and mastic seems to have done the job. We'll see if it stands the heat and cold long term.

Its a bit damp today which means I get a rest but will have to get out and finish the rendering tomorrow. Another day for my hand to heal too!! :-)

Oh what fun we have.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The cats will be upset

They have got used to freedom of entry over the last couple of weeks. Sadly, in a couple of block's time, there will be no way in and out until I make the opening windows at the sides. No more wandering free at night for you my boy!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

At last.......

...we have a view from what will be the lounge.

Stage 1 is taking the old roof off..actually not quite true, the real stage 1 was building the kitchen ceiling and boarding it BEFORE the old roof came off.

Anyway, we are due some prolonged sun so here we go.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Six months, worth it I think!!

Well, apart from a bit of smoothing to do here or there, the yew that has sat on the bench being hacked at for six months is finished.

It going back to the style I was developing before I damaged my back so badly. I seem to be rediscovering the route I was on.

Over the last year or two I have been knocking out a huge amount of stuff and its building up in spite of managing to sell quite a lot.

So this week we are having a sale of things I have at home, but as the guy that runs the local gallery is closing soon, there will also be quite a bit coming back. I will miss his sales but thats life. What with all the stuff I have spread around elsewhere, I am going to have to clear the decks.

I reckon a GIANT sale is going to happen. Probably with stupid prices to encourage folks to invest in a piece of art.

Basically, I need to slow down the turning and concentrate on the house for a while. In any case, I am 'retired' now and its about time I started taking it just a bit easier (ask Ronnie if she thinks that is possible!! ;-)  )

Two pics, one of said object and one of the table of sale stuff.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A couple of pics.

I mixed rather too much green dye into the cellulose so I didn't waste it!!

Might be nice to try another colour though. The background is the stock I keep at home. I have loads out at various places although its all a bit quiet at the mo. At the fayre I did at the weekend, almost nobody was in a buying mood. Made a small profit but rather prefer big ones!!!

The yew wotsit on the right is the one I have been worrying at for six months. It may end up as firewood yet

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bloody sun

The sun shone today. Not a sign of a friendly grey cloud or the spatter of warm drops of rain. Or even cold ones.

Ronnie smiles that smile and points me in the direction of the strimmer, the push mower and the ride on. "take your pick" she says.

How I hate gardening. How come I married a professional? I'm sure I don't remember her telling me before we got married.

Anyway, once I had suffered enough for one day, I went back into the workshop and switched on the compressor. I have enough stock out there now in various places so I don't need to do any basic turning. Its back to decorative work for a while.

I'll post some pics of progress in the next day or two.

One piece of yew has been sitting on the bench, daring me to finish it for six months now. I just haven't been able to get it 'doing' anything. I think, maybe, that its started in the right direction now. We shall see. Its surprising how long some things can take to come together.

Some things never do of course, no matter how long you stare at them.

Monday, May 20, 2013

here comes summer

You can judge the weather by the cat's behaviour.

If it sunny and warm they are outside doing what cats do, keeping the mouse population down, trying to catch the swallows as they swoop down and rolling around and stretching in the sun.

So what are they doing at mid-day today????

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ye gods, I'm getting old

The weeekend at the flower show has finished me off I reckon!!

Three days of two way journeys and lugging heavy flower pots around is too much for these tired old bones. I might have to take a day off to recover.

Anyway, its finished for another year and thanks to
a) the weather
b) the economic situation
c) the twits advertised the wrong dates on their website...............!!!!!!

the footfall was a bit down this year. In the end, the take was only about 50% of last years. Still a reasonable profit but this is the biggest one lump earner of our year so all a bit annoying.

Anyway, amongst all the rush I forgot to take a camera but these were the main elements of the display along with a floral arch. The cheshire cat decided against accompanying us to the show but allowed us to include him here sans grin. The cards had already had their heads chopped off but I omitted to do a bloody bit around their ex necks. Probably sensible as there were loads of kids at the show. Wouldn't want to upset any of the poor little dears now would we???

Thursday, May 9, 2013

All quiet on the GusBlog front

Not much going on with me at the mo, its all about Ronnie.

Her main show of the year is this weekend and its been quite hard work for me.

I don't enjoy gardening or anything connected with it very much, I just cut the grass and she does all the rest. However, the show demands that we have a good display and this year's theme is Le Grande Epoche which is basically Victoriana.

We decided to do Alice in Wonderland and so I've been making silly things like giant teapots, white rabbits and headless playing cards with arms!!

Should be a laugh. I will try and remember to take some pics when its all up and running at the weekend.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Why oh why???

can't I leave well alone??

We are having a swap (SWOWP??) for the UK members of WOW. Its been extended a bit to include whoever wants to join in, its a postal swap so some of the postage might be interesting.

Anyway, I 'finished' mine early and wrapped it up and put it away. Couldn't resist having a look a few days ago and found a couple of tiny cracks had opened up. Not unusual with yew but I thought, as this is to go to another turner, I'd try and fix them!@!!

Oh dear oh dear. I'd forgotten that I hadn't put a finish on the wood but just buffed it and waxed it. The CA immediately went in and stained all around the cracks. Stupidly, I then tried to sand it out and of course, now have some flats and obvious flaws in the surface.

My wife, Ronnie, called me a ..... well it shouldn't be repeated on line.

So, I've done a back up and am going to try and remount the original and redo the outside. This is going to be very interesting indeed. Its going to have to be hot glue mounted and absolutely dead centre at that. The walls are a bit thin. So there is every chance that it won't just be spoiled but translated into firewood.

I could have just wax filled the cracks and polished but there you go. A lesson learnt every day.

Its annoying because the original had a unique feature that just made it especially attractive and its damn near impossible to repeat because it depends on the bit of wood used. I searched and searched the woodpile but nothing was right.

Shame I'm a twit.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Life is just great.

Started to cut some oak up for the fire yesterday, reached sideways for a lump of wood and POW....

....the back has gone again. Can hardly move.

There goes any turning or anything else for a week or two at least.

Probably my own fault for not doing enough limbering up and flexibility exercises every day.

My wife's brother has given her instructions to give me a good clout round the head if I don't do them!@!! Trouble is, I can't move quickly enough now to avoid the incoming!!!

As Hugh Grant so eloquently put it


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Yew to Ash

Much as I love working it yew, it has made a lovely change to turn some different wood lately. There has been some pear, chestnut and cherry but mostly its been ash. I have three or four big chunks from a year or so ago and now have what seems like half a tree in the barn with the other half yet to arrive. The new one is well over 800mm diameter and should provide for a few bowls!!

Anyway, a few test pieces on the earlier delivery. After my experience with some green chestnut, I expected a bit of movement but this has stayed rock solid and dead round. If you work in the right grain direction, its like cutting butter. My favourite of the forms looks just like alabaster in the flesh. Really nice stuff,

More experiments to follow I suspect. I thin Ronnie has already earmarked one for our 'collection' upstairs. I though this was for money and stuff!!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Its a bit bent!!

This bowl is made of chestnut. I made it as big as possible from the log I had but included rather too much sapwood I think.

Anyway it started very round. Now it appears to have been made on an oval lathe. It still seems to be moving and is becoming rather like a rugby ball!!

Its rustic init?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ain't retirement great?

As I now have all this time on my hands, Ronnie reckons that I can do my turning AND keep working on the house!!

So I have to try and finish the kitchen. Old smartie pants thought he'd make some nice round steps. A couple of people failed to see them so I am adding oak cappings to the edges to give it some definition. Great fun but uses up rather more wood than I would like. I did want to make them continuous but have compromised and split them in two.

One more bit to make and then I can finish this one off. I am not sure if the glue I'm using is strong enough but the test is obvious.

Edit - all the edges seem to be holding up!! We are considering adding some panelling to the doorway, just to annoy a friend of ours who says that we shouldn't 'over restore' our house!!!