Sewing and Spinning Wood

This year it seems hotter and muggier earlier, here in Central Florida. While it’s hot and muggy outside, sewing in the air-conditioned sewing room is a much more preferable activity than woodworking in the sweltering shop, even though a fan is blowing the sawdust and wood chips around. In the shop, I have to wear a plastic mask.

working on lathe, with mask

As you can imagine, this activity is very sweaty….so….

I made myself a sweat band, similar to the one I made for DH a few posts back.

sweat band materials & lunch

assorted lost-cause odd sizes of elastic

I found some old towel remnants that were left over from hooded towel and purse projects, a scrap of collegiate fabric, and I picked a soft, blue knitted elastic, sewed and trimmed and turned, and came up with this.

Gator Sweat Band

I like the added terry towel mini-band in the back, because the nape of my neck is where the sweat action is.

The other annoying dividend of woodworking in the sweaty dead heat of summer is getting sawdust and woodchips down your bra. But we’ll address that issue on another day!

I used a little block of cherry wood for my woodturning project.

wood remnants

Cherry wood spurtle

A spurtle (or spirtle) is a Scottish kitchen implement for stirring porridge. Or so they say. I think it looks like a rather thick wand. I mean, I not only need a spurtle, I need a wand, as well. If you’ve ever been to The Wizarding world of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, you know darn well that you can go to Ollivander’s shop there and a wand will choose YOU. (They don’t tell you that you get the same wand as others who have a birthday near the time of yours, or that it’s going to cost you about 30 bucks. If you have a lot of youngsters who want a wand, wow! is it going to cost you! You will find out! You might as well buy a lathe and start turning.) Now, some of these fancy blocks of wood can be expensive. Would you go for a wand made of birch, holly, hawthorne, or maybe elder? And then the tricky part is how to manage putting in the core—dragon heartstring? Phoenix tail feather? Hmmm—wonder how invincible I could be with an elder wand…J/K.

I used a regular roughing gouge to get the square edges off, then I switched to the Easy Tools to work on the bead, the tulip sort-of handle, and the tapered end of the spurtle. Easy Tools are very different because rather than just being a shaft of metal with a sharp angled blade, they have carbide bladed thing-a-ma-jigs on the ends of them. They are truly easy to use, so much that DH thinks you are cheating when you use one of them rather than a skew chisel. My DH was so proud of my spurtle, he wanted to oil it for me so he could really admire my workmanship. He bought some mineral oil, but you can use any food-grade oil to finish it, like peanut oil or sweet almond oil.

Spurtle waiting to be put to use

Do you see my copy of the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook? It’s got a recipe for thick treacle porridge…

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ethgran
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 17:26:13

    Oooooo . . . cherry wood. My folks always bought cherry furniture while I was growing up. Nice spurdle, hon. Are you thinking about going into business? As far as getting chips down your bra – I have a great solution. Get rid of the thing!

    Reply

    • jenyjenny
      Jul 19, 2012 @ 06:48:44

      Not thinking of going into business Ethel, I’m already in the grandma business! Let’s plan our Wednesday Night woodworking adventure for when it starts to get a little cooler. What do you want to make?

      Reply

  2. Na Na
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 19:44:20

    A bib would take care of the wood down the bra thing. The kind like used at a hair salon or barber shop. The kind that fits around the neck with velcro. Just make it a lot shorter so it covers the front of your shirt and top of the shoulders instead of your whole body. Hmm…. Maybe that’s why a lot of men carvers wear aprons to cover their fronts?

    Reply

    • jenyjenny
      Jul 19, 2012 @ 06:46:03

      Thanks, Na Na, my husband is always coming up with apron ideas (up til now, for him) and some day soon I’m going to look at some neckwear to make for woodworking. We watch lots of DVD’s of woodworkers and it’s interesting to see what they wear. Jimmy Clewes wears a one-piece zip-up jumpsuit with a logo on the chest. One guy wears this get-up that looks like a monk’s robe. I have a couple of canvas aprons I got on sale at Joann’s that I want to experiment with.

      Reply

  3. unsouthernbelle
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 18:27:42

    I feel like I learned so much in one post! I had never heard of a spurtle. I need to forward your post to my daughter who will be fascinated by the cookbook. Thanks for checking out my blog!

    Reply

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