Company Message - Company Message

Recent Posts

Recent Flooding
In the Workshop
Hawkes Bay Big Sky
Early Mornings


and wonderful
Bamboo pipemaking
Students playing
Touring Hawkes Bay
wood pipes
powered by

My Blog


What am I Turning Now?

I have been very lucky with some very kind donations of wood.  When I went to Motueka  in the South Island for a conference, I met up with an old friend who lived in Motueka, but once lived in Hawkes Bay.  He had an orchard...  of Olives.  

He gave me four little logs of Olive wood.  I cut them into twelve billets for turning.  Here are two pieces, one on the lathe, the other ready to turn.  I can get a wonderful polish on Olive, as you can see in the foto.  The second piece has some very nice grain, with coloured stripes along it.

Fun Guy

The post is a pun on fungi, the plural of fungus.  Clearly  "fungus" is latin, and so the plural is not part of the English canon.  It follows the canon of Latin plurals, hence Fungi.  [pronounced
 FUN GEE with a "j" sounding "g"].

I took Cousin Gareth for a wander in the Mohi Bush.  In late Autumn you see, especially in a wet Autumn, lots of rot,  produced by Fungi of every kind.

Wordworth wrote, after a walk in the fields, " all at once I saw a crowd, a host of lovely daffodils".


This is the log that Jake cut.

This is  a jarra tree that has been dead for some time before it was felled. Jarra doesn't rot easily.

Behind is the forest. This shot shows the clearing which has young trees.  Ziggy gives a size comparison for the size of the log and the plants.

A small pinus radiata lies split revealing the colors inside.

The newly built wing on Jakes house shows planks cut from jarra. 

Jake cut off a metre or so of the log of Jarra so that he could get it on the trailer.

Grandchildren things

I am going to visit Australia where I have two grandchildren.  So I have been busy.

For the 9month old I have made a rattle

I made two.  Here they are still drying in clamps.

Here they are ready for oiling.

One freshly oiled rattle with one freshly oiled "giant weta".

I start my journey on Saturday so they will be dry enough for travel by then.

For those interested in woods, the body of the weta is Macrocarpa, the wheels and base-legs are pine and the feelers Mahogany.  The outer leg parts are not wood they are composites of bamboo.

Mondays Wood..

I started turning these pipes on Monday.  Now look at them..[Friday]

Mahogany I have turned before, and the tones is always very good and clear. The other pipes are made up of five By-wood pipes and one of Pittosporum.  "Pittosporum" describes a family of small trees popular in New Zealand gardens as they are easy to grow native trees. The wood is very white.

I have just started on the blanks of Plane tree wood.  They have strong mottling in the grain....  like Rewarewa.

A new set of pipes

I have started on a pile of wood that is in 4X2 [or 100 by 50mm] form.  This is the standard size for building.  They are left overs from demolition of my old shed, and some off-cuts I got from a timber merchant. They have all been cut into halves so they are now 2X2 [50X50mm]

The bottom shelf has blsnks  of wood, mostly Rimu,  from the old shed. The top shelf has Plane tree wood.  That is from the timber merchant.

Her are the billets of wood waiting to be drilled.  There are two pieces of Eucalyptus on the left, four pieces of Mahogany in the middle and a piece of Bay tree wood.

Turning the Eurythmy Balls

Sometimes Eurythmists [movement teachers in Steiner Schools] ask me for exercise balls turned out of wood.  The order was for twelve, so I turned them out of Matai with a diameter of 61mm.

I laid them out just before I wrapped them up for posting.

The matai comes from verandah posts in a big house that was pulled down in Nelson.  It is the most beautiful golden matai.  All were made between the 21st and 24th of August 2017. On one of the balls you can read 21 8 17.  Another says 24 8 17.


How do I get wood.

Mostly what I use is destined to be burnt.  I listen for chain saws.  Then I go to the place and beg a small piece.  That is one way.

I find out who is cutting down trees.  I beg a section of the tree.  [It would normally be burnt.]

I give people things    in exchange for   ....     wood. 

Some people give me wood, because I make things form it.

I have a big saw which allow me to cut the wood into billets.  [400 X 55 X 55mm.

Up North

Up North
One of the nicest woods I get to use to make pipes, is Tawhero.  I was recently in the bush at a friends place deep in the bush below  Cable bay and Mangonui.

Find the place on google by looking on Google maps for "Peria" and "Honeymoonvalley Road.  My friends place is nestled in the foothills along a 3km track which is her driveway.  It has a a distinct disadvantage;  the surface in many places is bare clay.  This is a great surface when dry, but is slippery as soap after rain.

Tasmanian Blackwood

Today I have been processing some Tasmanian Blackwood.  This wood came from a friend's property in Havelock North.

Blackwood is some form of Acacia, which is itself one of the trees in the Fabaceae family of plants.  These plant are the nitrogen fixing legumes of the world. Peas, lupins and gorse are examples.  [The trees of this family  are reknowned for very dense heartwood.]

Here are three views of a pipe made of gorse.

Note the pretty patterns in the wood.  What you won't see is how hard and dense the wood is, but you might see the amount of filling I have done to fill the holes in the wood.
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint