It’s coming out of the woodwork!

I am one for embracing a good saying or phrase. They can be used a surprising amount if you know enough of them. They can be humorous, appropriate or inappropriate, they can go hidiously wrong if you don’t remember them quite right and are very often inherited. This may or may not be where they start to vary! One of my most used is ‘worse things happen at sea, like a crab biting your toe’ and it’s often prefixed with a ‘you know what they say’. Good on ‘they’ for making up some great sayings!

A few other family favourites

  • it’s about as useful as a chocolate fireguard (or teapot – take your pick)
  • it’s as rare as rocking horse ” (insert chosen word for ‘excrement’)
  • it’s a bit grey over wilf’s mums
  • if the cap fits… wear it.

I used ‘its blowing a hooley’ just yesterday and Chris who had previously thought he has heard me use every saying under the sun replied ‘a what?’ It’s a thing… It’s on Wikipedia! Apparently just because I say it doesn’t make it a saying but if it’s on Wikipedia … It must be true right?!

It turns out that there’s a couple of pretty handy wood related sayings out there too but these offer more than a general or humorous observation… They are wise words and ones we have come across so far are…

  • Measure twice, cut once
  • You can cut something too long a thousand times but too short, only once.

French Polishing – Lesson learnt! (From @ChrisINeal)

mitre box
Completed Mitre Box with Polished Lid.

I don’t profess to be an expert in French polishing or even that good at it! But I do love shellac and when I get it right I think it looks awesome! With that disclaimer out the way my lesson learnt is that when using shellac less is more! Thinning down pre made polish 50/50 with more metho (shellac polish is just shellac flakes dissolved into metho (1:4) doing this makes it so much easier to apply and so much more forgiving when, if like me you inevitably stuff it up!!

Interested in learning more tips and tricks? Read more…

I know, I know – you’ve waited this long just to get the pub quiz update – the TimberBits came sixth place last week. Again! I have been asked to clarify this is not last! It’s out of at least 10 to 15 teams!

It’s coming out of the woodwork!

It’s knot just a bit of wood.

I am not going to pretend I know much about wood or woodwork in this blog as it’s not me who is learning and obviously Chris is just starting out and of course I have yet to meet anyone who knows everything there is to know about something. Like they say… You learn something new everyday! (I do love a good saying).

Having got that disclaimer out there… I think its OK to share with you things that we talk about and are interesting! (Although perhaps you can be the judge on the interesting stakes)…Have you ever looked at a bit of wood and considered what knots are and how they are formed? I hadn’t until this week when Chris mentioned it… Knots are where branches or the beginnings of branches used to grow out from the trunk of a tree. A knot marks the point where the branch intersects with the cut of wood you are now looking at (assuming you are now looking for knots in any wood nearby). Apparently the wood used in most things is usually cut from the trunk.

knots are where branches used to be!

I immediately looked at the nearest piece of wood … I sat there and imagined what it looked like before it was one of our floorboards – a tree with lots of branches?! They have so many knots in! Were they all from the same tree trunk? How big was the tree?! We will never know the answers to these questions but maybe this little fact will make you also wonder where your wooden furniture came from (other than ikea… incidentally there’s nothing wrong with ikea (if you are not a woodworker) and their meat balls are pretty good!) or marvel at exactly how far removed we are from that woods previous life!? Or maybe not and that all depends on how long you think about it I guess!

From my perspective though I have always liked wood and can appreciate a nice bit of furniture (particularly if it’s good looking, interesting or comfortable) but my levels of appreciating definitely need to be upped a notch or two after what I have seen and heard so far. Both in terms of considering the many different types of woods and where they’ve come from and the workmanship that goes into something that’s handmade!!

The amount of time planning, drawing, engineering, measuring, cutting, preparing, fixing, building and finishing that go into even the simplest of looking items is amazing.

I won’t be hugging trees nor swearing off mass produced wood items (for the moment) as everything has its place but the very least I can do I guess is look at things a little differently and maybe stop to appreciate them as more than just the end product!

You might have noticed and been worried about the lack of update on the TimberBits pub quiz effort well after a fifth place last week they returned to their top spot so far this week… Fourth! Chris’ random and extensive flag knowledge is yet to be put to the test!

In other news – a man offered me a wafer (of the biscuit variety) Saturday. Just on the street as I walked passed. He didn’t say anything just looked at me and held them out while he ate his wafer. I said ‘ohhh no thank you’ in a upbeat I would love to but I absolutely couldn’t kind of way and then proceeded to try and carry on my conversation I was having with Chris prior to that while the wafer offerer walked along by the side of us! Nice of the man but a little odd!


After sanding to your highest grit rub the wood with hessian – it burnishes the wood to make it shiny then you can apply your finish.

It’s knot just a bit of wood.