Tuesday, July 2, 2013

From Across the Country and the World

The family and I just returned from the Black Hills in South Dakota. I'll try not to bore you with too many vacation photos but here are a few. Mount Rushmore is simply awesome. 
 Mr. Borglum who carved the mountain died just before it was completed. His son finished the work. It took the crew 14 years to carve all the faces. I thought chairs took a long time.
 We saw Crazy Horse. This is a mountain currently being carved to commemorate the American Indian. The silhouette in the foreground is how it will look someday. They have been carving this for 50 years with no end in sight. To give the size, the Mount Rushmore carving could fit on the forehead of Crazy Horse. It's huge!
 Everywhere I went I picked up beautiful granite rocks. This one was blasted from Crazy Horse. I'll put some of these rocks in the foundation of the timber frame shed.
 We drove through the Badlands. No garden here. Very cool place. I could imagine it would be like walking on the moon. Logan wanted to climb everything which stressed out Kim.
 Rapid City, South Dakota just happened to be in Pennington County. I could live here if they had more hardwood for chair making. (my last name is Pennington if you didn't know)
 Upon returning home I found a wonderful package with curly Red Gum inside. This is from Glen Rundell from Australia. This is what his firewood looks like.
 Recently he blogged about some firewood he got that was all very curly. Well you know we Americans love curly wood so I requested some to turn some handles. Check out his blog here.
 Instead of turning handles for an antique draw knife I thought I would finally do something with these stained handles on my Barr knife with the big nuts. Don't get me wrong, this is a great knife and the handles can easily be removed which is a good feature. But those nuts....
 If you have never removed your handles from a Barr knife this is how it looks.
 While I had the handles off I heated the handles to bend and fine tune for a bevel up knife. Heating to cherry red is the only way to bend this knife. I also buffed the whole knife on the baretex to polish further.
 Then I turned the Red Gum. It turns nice but I really had to sharpen the tools to keep from chipping this curl.
 I turned the handles to incorporate the nut that holds the handle inside the end. I had to cut some of the stud to keep the same length handle.

 I like the simple look and the heft of this wood makes this knife have a quality feel. Glen, you are the man. Thanks for not burning those two pieces. Cheers!


  1. Nice work Greg. The handles came up a treat. The other piece I sent over is called Ringed Gidgee, one of our desert hardwoods which is usually in excess of 1200kgs/m3 or 75lb/ft3! So it makes the Redgum seem like Balsa in comparison! Cheers

  2. Those handles look way better!

  3. Glen, thanks, I was wondering what the other was, very cool! I look forward to doing it justice with another handle.

    Ziggy, miss you guys. I'm starting the timber frame shed finally this week.


  4. Be sure to post a lot of photos! We've been doing some fun porch work on our end... our live edge oak siding is soon to go up. Can't wait.

    We hope to head back your way this fall!

  5. Great to see our ozi red gum being appreciated! The new handles look like they were meant to be there all along..