Its always nice to see and read of someone that 'gets the idea' of what i am about, heres a good example of a man that indeed does 'get it' ... he approaches my no.3 honing guide with an open mind and its a pleasure to see his natural aptitude shine at appreciating the product he handles.
May I quote .... "The finished product very clearly looks hand made...but not in a bad way. What I mean is that no company would mass produce anything of this caliber, with the attention to detail that is paid. This honing guide has a feeling of quality that I haven't felt from any other "new" tool that I have handled".
However sometimes ppl don't get it..... a quick email or chat with me will always shed light on where the customer is perhaps unsure, its upsetting to see ppl toil in darkness ....... and of course with my no.3 there is no such thing as 'all those wedges', two quick bits of hardwood will do all you need. Note also i now have a deep throat version of my no.3 that will cope with deep section mortice chisels, retro-fit kit available, see my website.
I'll soon post a short intro and youtube to my new improved large wheel no.2 - an absolute winner, fast, accurate, incredibly repeatable and hence the minimum of time and metal is needed to restore a dull edge. I enjoy using it so much I'm searching around resharpening chisels i haven't used in decades.
hint ... Note how i talk about positive and negative rake in cutting tools. The use of the felt pen marker to demonstrate the repeatability when re-loading into my honing guide to resharpen. The advantage of larger rollers for increased bearing life (ie less revolutions). The utter delight to get into the super sharp corners of your sharpening medium. Restoring a chisel cutting edge is all about 'raising a burr' .....
,,,,,, and theres something about a guide produced edge that seems so much sharper, probably because of zero 'rock', the extreme edge is so much more acute.
Above is a parcel under construction a few minutes ago for Matthew at Workshop Heaven near Banbury, a box full of no.2 LGE. Matthew has championed my no.3 honing guide and realises its merits, for my no.3 guide in America try Japan Woodworker and Hartville Tool. In Europe Dieter Schmid is the man, he is a skilled tradesman, a knowledgable user of tools.
I've some newly purchased re-cycled boxes that take thirty two no.2 LGE per layer and so any multiple of thirty two off is very convenient for me. A few years ago a customer in the States asked "If I had a degree in packaging" .... and Dieter of 'Fine Tools' in Germany tells me my parcels "are the best" ... praise indeed and much appreciated, i often get good feedback such as this.
The bottom of the carton is strengthened with a sheet of heavy duty board cut to fit and each layer is separated by internal 'floors' and tissue is used to keep all product packaging clean and un-soiled; I always install crush zones so that most instances of mis-handling do not matter. I'm wrapping the no.2 LGE in a roll of corrugated and this solution is excellent, travels very well indeed, the leaflet is wrapped with the honing guide and the gummed paper strip has been on the shelves here for thirty years ..... at last i have a good use for it !
Below is the new version leaflet to go with my large roller honing guides, this yellow version supersedes the previous white one .......
E & OE
observe correct safety procedures at all times, you MUST wear eye protection if ever changing circlips, remove bystanders, circlips can 'fly' ....
I'm busy with a book at the moment that I've had around here for a decade, when I first bought it and found it quite by chance in our local remaindered bookshop I knew instantly it was a good'un ... 'New York 1960' ... 1,300 pages of fascinating detail of the built environment of New York City from the end of the Second War to the Bicentennial in '76. I don't fly and I don't travel but I do have an inkling of what the world is like out there .... I'm not keen on tourism, its shallow and transitory, near to meaningless apart from possible good food, which is all that would attract me.
Architectural solutions fascinate me, what goes into making a good place to live and function, why some locations work and others do not. I've several books here that feed into the subject and an utter gem of a readable overview is Kenneth Framptons 'Modern Architecture' in the Thames and Hudson series.
I've exported to NY City for thirty years, stockists include Constantines in the Bronx (now gone) and Garrett Wade. So i feel a connection.
I had to drive through our local city Newcastle upon Tyne because of a crash at the tunnel and apart from being bamboozled after twenty years by no cars allowed over the only two ways i could remember for getting south of the river i was utterly saddened and angered by the hotch potch and mish mash of the built environment, the city authorities have had thirty years of buggering about and it still looks no better, more like a heap of forgotten toys scattered on the floor. The view up the Tyne from the Redheugh Bridge (apologies to Chinese friends) looked like a shanty town on the Yangtze from years ago......
The actual point of this post is to set down some fascinating detail i found out from a search of the architect of the twin towers in Manhattan, architectMinoru Yamasaki, who designed the World Trade Center towers and the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport main terminal. A huge project of his, the disastrous housing complex Pruitt-Igoe in St Louis was dynamited because of its disastrous consequences, crime, poor environment, apparently doomed to fail. Theres an awful lot of 'architecture' out there that really is not very good.
Theres lots of them about, I saw two of them yesterday as i left this house, one across the road attempting / pretending to be able to garden and as i drove out another 500 yds further on, some poor kid set a task, both were hired in or employed and both useless at performing the task and handling hand tools; seemingly being in charge of 'the hand tool' meant they had to grind down to 'dead slow'. Admittedly the latter was edging or trying to edge grass at the kerbside with the utterly useless half-moon shaped edging spade which anyone that has attempted to use one will know they are an abysmal non-solution .... i use my grandfathers spade sharpened to a knife edge..... this has done massive amounts of edging and is a tip-top solution, fast and accurate. The impression I get is that perhaps the grass-edger had never seen a competent man at work, or indeed done any manual task before? The other duffer the first one was gardening for ppl that know very little about gardening, merely his hamfisted movements told me he was clueless.
My grandfathers spade has excellent weight and 'heft' .... something not found in any modern-day replacement; salerooms are where you are likely to find the better solution. The tool appears to be forged from two sheets of fire welded steel forged to a perfect taper that extend halfway up the double curved handle; I replaced the 'D-shaped' handle grip about eight years ago as it was badly wormed and so far has given good service. I reckon it must be before the Second War if not the First.
In an emergency maybe six years ago when my father in laws spade had reached the end of its life i stupidly bought a quick replacement, a 'ladies border spade' seemingly from a reputable UK maker, it was an expensive buy for what it was, a shaped sheet of shiny pressed stainless with an incredibly crappy handle and this has even worked out more expensive, a total disaster. Merely picking the thing up makes me annoyed; a piece of garbage, I detest it. Its obvious neither the designer nor the top bods in that company know anything about nor can use hand tools.
Theres a line from Arthur Millers 'Death of a Salesman' (I wonder where he got the line from, his own father perhaps) it certainly was something that my dad would say .... "A man that cannot use his hands is not a man" .... if thats the case there'll be few men around in this world in a few years time.
Seems i may possibly have churned and modified this quote, but still i'm on the right track ....
postscript ... I have Arthur Millers 'Timebends' here, a book that lay around for maybe twenty years until eighteen months ago when at last i was able to 'get through it' ... having listened to Miller on several excellent youtubes I was able to at last get into his manner of speech and the way he explains things, until then this had eluded me and being 'across the pond' was a barrier to enjoying his autobiography. He was a keen woodworker, I have tried to find a pic from Timebends online but so far has eluded me, its of AM in his workshop making a table of cherrywood.
I'd suggest to anyone to watch 'A View from the Bridge' ... its all on youtube and leads to an interesting diversion reading about the area Red Hook and how its has changed since the fifties.... lots of leads to other topics, actor Raf Vallone, urban change etc etc
As from August 2013 my no.2 guide is issued with large rollers as above. It really makes it an all-round success, I am delighted that I cracked the problem of making larger rollers. Capacity is zero to 2-3/4 ie 70mm. The only guide in the world that will comfortably cope with the narrowest chisels to the heavy section iron from my Norris coffin sided smoother.
The no.1 will continue as small roller, with a 'retro-fit kit' for anyone wishing to change to large rollers, price £10 per kit, all is detailed on my website .... http://richardkell.co.uk.
I also have a pair of polycarb strips ie '3mm risers' to give the final finish hone as per my vid over on youtube, these provide a five degree final lift for finish honing. Will be added to the sales website soon, price £3 a pair plus post. These allow the guide without any re-setting to throw up that final finish bevel and because the whole procedure is so 'well controlled' you can achieve far more re-sharpenings before needing to rough hone again.
I'll make a new shorter film in the next few days re using my no.2 LGE and showing how fast, accurate and repeatable it is. To re-touch a dulled edge is very quick indeed, this accuracy and repeatability means you get more touch-ups before needing to remove metal on the grinding wheel.
All you need to remember is ... one and a quarter inch (32 mm) projection from the sides of the stainless rods and ride on the '3mm risers' for final finish hone. I use a sharpening board as per my film and it really makes life easier for this guide.
Nothing else is needed to produce the quickest most repeatable results, saving you time and valuable chisel steel.
Hint ... once you've 'raised a burr' the chisel will be sharp, that is all we are looking for and look at my first film re this no.2 LGE to see how a felt pen can illustrate the accuracy of re-loading the chisel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBz2hAhfhDQ
......shorter film to follow.
see my prevous information two posts ago on this blog.......
.... would enter Whitby harbour and it was my dads job in the late fifties, early sixties to load them with lime that had come in from Pickering, from the quarries. I assume it was burnt lime they were shipping, now recognised as an evil and noxious substance. Slaters my dads employer, before they were taken over by Thomas Tilling, I vaguely remember the owner himself Mr Slater was a keen yacht enthusiast.
I never knew why we left Whitby, my dad transferred to a country quarry or group of quarries and I wonder if the lime was the reason, reading wiki we find how reactive and noxious it can be ..... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_oxide
The names 'Helmsdale' and 'Roselyne' stick in my mind, yet its the 'Rosemarkie' that seems most prominent in my memory from a job that he moved away from in the autumn of 1964, a silly move I would say but no doubt he had his reasons. I vaguely think I got to be taken aboard that vessel, to see the engine room and have a look around; I remember the ladders from level to level were not easy for a six year old. I can also vaguely remember someone made ship models from matchsticks and another or the same man perhaps was into making short wave radios; men needed a hobby to while away their time off duty.
Another time I remember i made a drawing of one of the ships moored up alongside my dads shed at the new location, we now lived across river having moved to Church Street from Dr Baines' at Victoria Square; I can remember he told me he had shown it to the Captain, he never told lies, he must have indeed. Leaving that town would place me at the grand old age of six and three quarters say October 1964. I can tell this because all three hobby technical magazines he subscribed to cut off at that point. In fact I still have all three boxes that he had accumulated and these have been invaluable to me over the years, treasured posessions, for instance in the 'backwater' we moved to it allowed me to 'see further' to read ahead at things mechanical, woodwork and wireless; a good grounding in a broad range of work, when such subjects were highly practical.
What prompted me to write this post was finding a framed photograph of the Rosemarkie in a box alongside the tv listings paper for the week before we moved into this house circa August 1991, also a couple of books I had often looked for over the years; looking for my power drill to attach the new bird box was my reason to explore the cupboard under the stairs in the first place, otherwise i would have never known it was there......
What a fine model the Rosemarkie would make !!
And above is a name I cannot recall but is entering our leaving at the previous or original location for my dads shed, when it was down along the pier before it was moved to inside the swing bridge at the new wharfe. it looks to be timber, appropriately considering the vessels name and perhaps it was arriving from Scandinavia and taking lime back? The photograph is doubly interesting as the three men look very like my dad, uncle Alf that was a fisherman with the vessel 'Midas' and perhaps my dad, also a shorter man like Alf, the greater certainty is that the the younger taller man is John, a very good likeness. I can even calculate the day of the week that its likely this was taken, most likely a Sunday as John is not at work (he was a butcher and butchers have Mondays off) but theres a few ppl on the quayside so that pins it down as a Sunday! I can remember being in that shed (the new shed too) and all the lime that was brought in by lorry. The picture i would say is no later than sometime 1963.
Its probably forty years since I have seen or heard Jack Hargreaves and tootling over on youtube there are numerous snippets well worth watching. I can remember distinctly being round at my friend Jimmys a few yards along North Lane seeing these programmes, perhaps our own tv couldn't receive that channel, if it was bbc2 then we wouldn't ... or perhaps simply the tv was .... nbg !
Jack Hargreaves immediately strikes me as a man well worth listening to, even more so in these more 'modern times'. Here in the clip below he tells us that before the Second War agriculture was a horse driven affair and after returning from the war it was all internal combustion engine, lend-lease USA tractors had flooded the country to quote the man himself. Perhaps we can wonder if this was to de-skill and increase production. He also tells us at 00:20 that ....
"The week I came back I saw two beautiful shire horses and the same I had grown up with ... win a ploughing match .... and go to a butchers the same night"
*livejournal embed and linking seems to be in the doldrums tonight....
Contact with horses is a very rewarding activity, it was proven nearly a century ago that when shell-shocked soldiers came back from the First War that the only thing they could connect with or that could reach them was in fact working with horses. I started being involved with horses thirteen years ago and can well see the wisdom in this.
If we could cut out the spiralling modern madness of endless insurance cover, fear or threat of being 'liable', over-protection and knee jerk claims for damage, so many good things would be possible.
If I had my way there would be many places nationwide that offered help to people that have difficulty with life, using horses to farm with, grow produce for sale. I am sure any financial assistance ploughed into them would be money well spent and a far better way of using money than the many madcap schemes for art and nonsense that seem to be the norm these days. Ditto the absurd sums of money I read about channelled for assisting small business, eventually so much seems to get soaked up in salaries and costs before ever reaching the intended recipients; common sense is increasingly uncommon.
Imagine the sound of the horses each morning as they trundle out to work and the sound again as they return home, I am sure many would benefit from this, a very 'grounded' real sound. We seem to have lost track of what is good for humans, obsessively reaching for the latest technology or the latest pretension; we should stand back and choose what suits us best. I do this deliberately in my own workshop, theres lots i do that will have altered little in a century, it suits me.
Another backward step in the UK has been the loss of Remploy, an organisation that was employment and a proper job for the disabled. I did a few days work for them as a toolmaker twenty years ago and was impressed with the factory and the product. But money pressures were hellish for the manager i was dealing with and years later a huge network of factories and facilities has been closed down, everything sold off. The lunacy of this beggars belief, I'm still uncertain of the true story i sense some cooked up set of reasons to 'sell the idea' of closure.
Theres a very good song by George Butterworth 'Is my team still ploughing' that is a real tear jerker, well worth exploring; theres more to this than is immediately apparent. It is adapted from A.E.Housman 'A Shropshire Lad'. Local man Thomas Allen from Seaham is famous for this piece, but heres someone else....
I am fully aware of the poverty and strict limitations by social position of working people in times gone by, the difficulty of tied cottages, working in cold and wet, seldom a doctor, work at fourteen or earlier, perhaps also an ignorant or callous employer. Its not always the amber glow of the setting sun of another 'interesting' rural day, more a nackered pained and weary dive to bed after some victuals. In the area i live now which years ago was devoted to coal mining it was built on the migration of families and workers hoping to escape rural poverty a century or more ago. You cannot thwart the inventiveness of clever men, the rise of mechanisation and the need for increased output meant horses were sure to be ousted as motive power. In many cases I can only see it is to the good when it reduces some of the back breaking work of years gone by that was always done by hand; here I'm thinking of the working man, but still we should choose a level of technology that suits us, can provide activity and a better way of living that can sometimes pass as 'modern life'.
For what i consider to be a more realistic view of older times theres obviously Sturts 'The Wheelwrights Shop' but also Rose 'The Village Carpenter' and I would suggest 'Ask the Fellows that Cut the Hay' by George Ewart Evans, which gives voice to the people 'at the sharp end' so to speak. E.P. Thompson in his 'The Making of the English Working Class' is incredibly worthwhile. Also Mayhew provides a view of those worse off.
Postscript ... however theres more to Jack Hargreaves than I had realised, he was in fact a Director on the Board of Southern TV in the UK and his wiki tells us its central London where he made his mark, known as a talented and innovative Editor, broadcaster and latterly tv work.
A minor point but fascinating .... Jack Hargreaves Edited 'Lilliput' magazine as well as 'Picture Post' and of the former the excellent front cover illustrations were for many years always a man, a woman and a small terrier.
I now have available larger wheels for my Richard Kell no.1 and no.2 honing guides.
A customer in Ohio prompted me to give some more thought to being able to make these larger wheels.
In short, problem solved and it lifts my no.1 and no.2 to a very good product indeed. David Charlesworth a few years ago badgered me to do the same, others also, its only now I can 'see' the solution and actually see how to make them on my machines.
setting the projection of the chisel is much less critical.
copes perfectly with larger western style chisels and irons; no.2 above with 2-1/8" Norris plane iron.
retaining the excellent polycarbonate side grip and always exact squareness.
tip-top !! ... handles beautifully, its a winner.....quick and easy to use... cap zero to 2-3/4 ie 70mm.
As I wrote to my Ohio customer ....
copy and paste....
Since we last communicated I have done some good work on this project, my plastics people have recommended UHMWPE ... a big mouthful for 'ultra high molecular weight polyethylene' ..... I have been saying it to myself for a week and it sort of 'comes natural' now..... (after a week).
In short the 'nylon 66' with inserts have been binned and I have used up a two meter length of the new stuff to get an idea of machineability, tolerances possible, machine times, etc.
I think we are onto a winner, the material itself as explained on wiki is very impressive and I feel we are on the right track here. Its oil and water absorption is very low indeed, something that can be a problem with all plastics material; hence its use in the food processing industry. A company many years ago used a 'plastic' as bearings in a fishing reel and came unstuck (or actually did stick 'em .. jam tight) when absorption became apparent. Theres more to 'engineering plasctics materials' than first apparrent.
The UHMWPE I have been recommended is used a lot in food processing machinery, it seems to 'shed' dirt dust and debris. Its the choice for kitchen cutting boards ie non-absorbent and is used in artificial joints and even bullet proof vests .... the list of applications is huge.
So far so good, the rollers are 40mm O/D ie 1.575 inches by regular Richard Kell width and bore, all machined to tolerance; fully interchangable on my no.1 and no.2 guides.
I have now had my web-man add them to my website as of August 2013......
£10.00 per pair GBP, plus the std £3.60 postal charge, plus vat within the UK. I'm building up stock as I know they will sell.
ie total payment within EU is inc vat and post = £16.32 ditto non EU ie USA etc = £13.60 to pay.
I'm assuming I will continue to supply my no.1 in my already existing smaller Ertalyte TX roller as its very popular with woodwind players that need to maintain their reed making apparatus and change the no.2 over to large wheel as standard. Either can be retro-fitted with the other size roller, its all made to interchangable limits.
I have 'whizzed' the rollers round at high speed and high pressure (say 1,500 rpm) for a few thousand revs and they seem fine in the new material, excellent low friction properties as wiki tells us.
Note also the rollers have intentional clearance on diameter and width, this allows gunge and dirt from honing to be flushed out after use. I will also include a pair of circlips to retro-fit but its essential eye protection is worn and that no-one is standing in 'line of fire' when these circlips can 'ping' off into the distance......you must wear eye protection for this and clear others out of the way. E&OE.
Hint, get a car or motorbike mechanic to do this, he will have the requisite circlip pliers and know exactly what he is doing.
Table of chisel projection from edge of stainless location rod, rounded to convenient numbers ....
*** to be honest do what i do and use 1-1/4 for everything. see the youtube I made linked at the bottom of page and how two bits of 3mm plastic raise the jig for the final hone, two strokes and razor sharp !!
My Richard Kell bevel gauge is a handy tool to ascertain bevel angles.
Heres a film I made to show that the jig need only be clamped up at the one 1-1/4 setting to get both roughing and finish hone and how very quick it is to re-touch a dulled edge ....
My early films on my youtube channel aren't very good at all, out of focus etc but you can see and hear my heart is in the right place so to speak, the content is good. As in all things in life we get better with practice. I've deliverately held back from heavily promoting my wares, as with this blog endeavouring to offer 'interesting' material rather than pushing down ppls necks the endless 'promotion of product'.
An aside .... to get fancy we could construct a graph or that wonder of old fashioned engineering ... a nomogram. Theres more to this than many people realise and is well worth reading about, but as stated before I set to 1-1/4 and forget about any other setting ....
Note at 20 deg you will need a 2-3/8" length of chisel to clamp along, therefore woodwind players with small irons for their reed-making apparatus to maintain will probably need the original smaller rollers. For woodworkers the no.2 with larger wheels means these projection settings are much less critical or finicky to achieve and more repeatable for exact replacement into the guide. In other words its fast and slick in use.
As with the general concept of my guides the flat datum surface (ie the surface that doesn't have the bevel) is the correct datum and lies in direct contact with the stainless rods, the polycarbs grip very well indeed with only finger pressure required on the hex nut.
copyright richard kell 2013. All rights reserved content and product.
.....this provides a remedy to this, i was particularly glad to see again artifacts from Sutton Hoo, i have a book here 'Metalwork and Enamelling' written by Herbert Maryon that draws heavily on early work such as Sutton Hoo, i would read it twenty years ago and it deserves to be better known; written i think in the same practical outlook as Bernard Leech 'The Potters Book', both worth reading even if the field of activity is not your own.
I am talking here of the shear ability of hand and eye and simple tools to produce such stunning results, also you can browse on that link backwards and forwards to other work.
The added notes and quotes on the link are very worthwhile, for instance three or four pages further on we find ......
Anonymous 12th c. author: "God cannot be seen directly. The contemplative life that begins on earth will only be perfect once God has been seen face to face. When a gentle, simple soul has been elevated to speculative heights and when, breaking the ties of the flesh, it has contemplated what lies in heaven, it cannot remain long above itself, for the weight of the flesh pulls it back down to earth. Though it is struck by the immensity of the light on high, it is quickly reminded of its own nature; yet the little it has been able to taste of the divine sweetness is of utmost benefit to it, and soon thereafter, inspired by great love, it hastens to resume its upward flight."
Like most people I have many interests, not just workshop and it seems silly not to share this. I apologise for the rambling length of this film, but the subject matter seems to require it. At 08:16 in the youtube embed a juvenile thrush appears and photographs beautifully in the dappled shade.
Twenty two years ago when we first moved to this house I planted thirty two distinct named varieties or species of rose, including a 'Complicata' hedge, all pre-planned and backed by much reading. We've lost maybe a quarter since then and it is right to say that the garden itself decides what will grow, ie soil structure, moisture, light levels.
The garden has many layers of planting that are successively revealed as the seasons roll by. What you see now is nothing like it was in say mid March or early May or will be through winter, I doubt theres a day of the year when there isn't a flower of some sort in bloom. And I was delighted a few years back when my new neighbour said "You have this planted just for the birds" ... yes !! There is very little bare earth here, what i crave is abundance.
Hint ... never mulch crocus with garden compost material .. it will kill them !!
Also an excellent trap for slugs is a brick turned cavity down, then snip them with scissors. These bricks are useful to walk on as stepping stones in more obscure areas, minimises soil compaction.
I never clean away leaf fall, organic debris is essential for a healthy worm community, benificial micro-organisms, algae, molds etc and also the blackbirds are drawn to leaf litter, to turn it over looking for food. For many years i have actually brought in woodland leaf fall, but be careful to know the land you collect from and that it doesn't harbour the dreaded lesser celandine in spring.
Complicata above, part of the hedge I planted twenty two years ago, apparently Vita Sackville-Wests favourite rose.
The above is 'Constance Spry' named after the 'woman that did the flowers' for the 1953 Coronation. Its an excellent rose and after a couple of years of not doing much (due to shade) after a prune last year it has put on a good show. As with all my roses I used David Austin.
The above are rescued from Mrs Nields garden before the new owners got in which I knew would spell doom, clueless and too mean to give the garden the attention it needs, determined not to ask for advice. Not exactly Canterbury Bells, something similar, the name escapes me but books would soon provide the answer. A very dear friend left me three or four years ago so I built this garden area rescued from being a semi-forgotten cuttings bed. Theres lots of seed raised hardy cyclamen that late summer will carpet the drier margins, some of those must be twenty years old. Likewise in spring there are many species of bulbs everywhere, as long as i don't stupidly mulch them, hard lesson learnt.
I use bricks placed cavity down as both stepping stones to avoid soil compaction and also act as slug traps, I do not use slug pellets in this garden; every few weeks I go around and snip with scissors whatever slugs I find underneath. Yet I also encourage snails, planting Bergenia specificaly for this; the thrush suffers badly because of over-tidy 'modern' gardening, leaf litter and organic debris is essential for both worms, invertebrates, algae and molds within the soil and for the blackbird to turn over seeking food. Leaf litter from the autumn fall is also essential as an insulating blanket before the snow and frosts appear, seldom is this ever acknowledged.
Its mid July and i am not seeing many bees this year. Likewise for Vanessid butterflies ie the colourful ones, very few this year.
Note above the beak of the juvenile resident in the box. Below we can see two at once yearning for food, I wonder about those inside the box that cannot make themselves seen?
Note above, there is a second beak can be seen poking from the box.
Its less usual to see young thrush in the garden, the species altogether is too seldom seen. So, seeing these young ones really has been a thrill this year. As you will see in the youtube at top of page my garden which starts at 8:00 has plenty of hidden places for them to keep safe and provide food for them.
The above pics were all from the same one hour lunchtime interlude, sitting quietly in the deckchair as usual never getting my book read and letting them wander near.
Here at this blog i can post whatever i hope will interest others, my main selling website with paypal facility for my honing guides and woodworkers tools to aid marking and measuring can be found .... http://richardkell.co.uk .
I sometimes decry the use of the web versus books, in effect defending the old way, but in this instance a whole new fascinating world can be quickly revealed with a few clicks of the mouse.... and to my mind would make an excellent educational project for younger people in learning how to make a few marks on clay or plasticine as per twenty five centuries ago.
I have found a picture of the Nabonidus cylinder and as with the Cyrus cylinder that is in my head already I am immediately excited by such beautiful ancient objects and examples of fine craftsmanship.
paste from wiki .....
The Nabonidus Cylinder from Sippar is a long text in which king Nabonidus of Babylonia (556-539 BC) describes how he repaired three temples: the sanctuary of the moon god Sin in Harran, the sanctuary of the warrior goddess Anunitu in Sippar, and the temple of Šamaš in Sippar.
The Nabonidus cylinder from Ur is particularly noteworthy because it mentions a son named Belshezzar, who is mentioned in the Book of Daniel.
end of paste.
All of this post was prompted when I had initially searched for the explanation of the word 'eschatalogical' as encountered in a book I'm reading at the moment and a quick search revealed ....
I am fascinated by the prescision and the quality of this item, the maker of the cylinder and the scribe or scribes that worked it have my utmost respect. It makes me wonder how difficult it was to ensure the clay was workable sufficiently to take all the impressions.
Imagine it actually being done, picture in your mind the workroom; was there a 'rough text' to work from, worked out previously on a rough form or mock-up, where would it be stored both during the making of it and when drying and when completed. Would the King himself have handled this object, inspected its quality, entered the workroom?
I wonder if this thing was mounted between centres as on a lathe ?
Exploring this form of ancient and extinct writing would make a great little project for younger people, learning of the stylus, making a few decipherable marks on their own clay tablet, even if only a simple word or two, a valuable window into history. I looked into this a couple of years ago and the idea still seems a good one. I've always thought introducing the worlds writing systems has so many benefits in education, it can be conducted without the dreaded keyboard and screen and also is vital development in hand eye co-ordination, in what was described as 'handicraft skills' in times past. Probably something now sadly lost in this 'modern age' with the endless meddling of the Educationalists, witness the end of the traditional wood and metalwork courses, we now have young people that are utterly clueless with hand tools. Anything that engenders a sense of neatness of working can only be to the good, even handwriting is going down the pan. I feel so sorry for those kids that have a hunger for this work, all the old tools will now be under lock and key, mothballed! Also I have a feeling with a lot of 'modern education' children can get away with giving the impression they can do something or have memorised and understood it when actually they have not.
Mandarin is basically what I am interested in, but occasionally I make little journeys into other areas to see how little I know.
Exploring cunieform (pron .... kew-nia-form or kew-ni-form.... as culled from two separate talking dictionaries) as a writing system these last few days has been one such foray. However, should not be too new to me as these are books bought by my Dad when I was ten.
Note in the above the highlighted part of the illustration halfway down the l.h. page. It relates to realising the use of the word following King and how it might translate from other languages, the script in that cylinder seal is in three languages and needs to be read at a headturning 90 degrees. This was the first step in 'cracking' the language. I hope my pics are good to click to enlarge, they are consecutive and meant to be read.
Above left is another cylinder seal, (Noah in his Ark or at least the Gilgamesh Story) .... these things are tiny, barely an inch long (as a cylinder) and roll out to say two inches max length of 'cartoon'. I think they are incredibly fascinating. If I had money this is what I would buy. At right is the stone of Hammarubi, the first known Laws set down in writing.
And above as you can see over the page the quality of material continues .....
The above are from my Grandfathers Harmsworth Encyclopedia, circa 1910. Also, we have the two volume Harmsworth 'History of the World' circa 1900 which are very good, the section on China has some incredible old photographs of old Peking as well as good text, Pangu Creation Myth etc. I will post on that another time.
The text that accompanies the illustrations on the right was actually written by Flinders Petrie, I was enthralled when I read this.
This again illustrates the value of the old fashioned printed book, more than a century later and these pages are a valuable information source. When these books were printed the motor car was still regarded as a crazy new invention, horse transport was universal and the Wright brothers didn't become airborne till 1903 and my grandfather by then was thirty three years old, my grandmother was much younger, born 1890 being thirteen when the Wrights flew at Kittyhawk.
Things Babylonian were very leading edge and exciting in the nineteenth century, the British Museum for instance has a massive collection of cunieform tablets. And we read above that deciphering cuneiform was one of the great intellectual achievements of the nineteenth century.