Saturday, 17 December 2011

Tool and Tree

The trouble with using exotic woods for the pop-a-bobbin shuttles is that it is difficult to match the plug for the middle of them.   Him in the garage tried to make them with the tools he has available but it took a lot of time and effort.  So he looked on e.bay for a dowelling machine, these are now obsolete,  in other words they are not made anymore and are really collectors items.  Of course there are big machines that now do the job quicker and efficiently in factories and the wood is cut to shape in bulk.  A machine was found, in the USA, an offer was made for it and accepted and was duly purchased, it cost nearly £400, but this did include a cutter and the customs charges.   But he is so happy with his new toy, it is vintage probably made in the 1960/70s.  If you look closely you will see that it says Stanley USA on it. It works on the same principle as a pencil sharpener.

The plugs after coming out of the new tool but they still need to go into a grader and then sanded

The Vicar phoned a few days ago to say that a branch had fallen from a tree in one of the churchyards in the high winds, he asked if we wanted it?  Well of course we did but have only had a chance today to go and get it, armed with a saw.  It came from a  tree called  Sequoiadendron – Wellingtonia
The so called Mammoth Tree or Wellingtonia, the 'Big Tree' of California.

The light was failing when I took the photograph but it is a extremely tall tree

Now I know for many people in the world these trees are very common, but it is not often the tree itself but where it is actually growing.  This one stands opposite the cedar tree from which other shuttles have been made from and is growing in the churchyard where the father of the Revd Awdry (author of Thomas the Tank Engines stories) was once Vicar when Mr. Awdry was a boy.


  1. So, looking at that branch can I ask how long it is and how many shuttles will 'im in the garage be able to make from it? I won't ask how long it takes him or the amount of skill it needs - that's obvious when you see the shuttles themselves. Amazing to see a manky old branch which the tree didn't want anymore turned into a beautiful shuttle.

  2. What a wonderful tool! I love vintage tools, even if they're ones I'd never use. I would love to own a Thomas the Tank Engine shuttle... that is what you'll be calling them, isn't it? : )

    I have a rock maple quilt frame that my dad made. No one wants it. If I sent a piece to you, would it be something 'im in the garage might be able to use? Dave's going to use most of the wood to make a table for me, but I'm sure there will be leftovers.

  3. I love the stories of how "I'm in the garage" makes the shuttles- the one I won from you is my favourite shuttle and once I have funds, I plan to buy more!

  4. Our guys get as excited with their new tools as we do with shuttles and thread - big kids toys. of course THIS tool is important since it will be used for important work so we can all be happy for Him in The Toy Room. Karen in OR

  5. Hi Sally,
    Didn't find your email so using this method to reach you. We have some Oregon Myrtle wood and would like to offer to give some to you. My husband will be working with it in his shop this winter and has said to ask if you'd like a chunk.
    Karen Fish, who usually signs Karen in OR

  6. I haven't tatted in years. The 6 point snowflake inspires me to try tatting again. Where could I find the pattern? You have a lovely blog. Very inspirational.

  7. Thank you FootHeel Sock Knitter for your very kind comment, there are some great tatting patterns available these days. The star comes from a book written by Martha Ess
    or go to my sisters tatting blog here
    for somemore great patterns.


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