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I posted this elsewhere this morning ie 21st October 2018 as two comments and as it makes such good sense its a shame not to allow others to read these words. The subject was the loss of insect life and climate change.

Quoting myself ....

Its saddening to see so many gardens turned to block paving, gravel or a sterile 'nothing'. I like abundance and a 'jumble', lots of nooks and crannies for the Vanessids (butterflies) to over-winter and goodness knows how many other things too, Lacewings etc; all are welcomed. Likewise I always allow autumn leaf litter and organic debris to aid soil life such as microbes, algae, molds, worms etc. If we are obsessed with eliminating leatherjackets, wireworms and daddy-long legs (all the same thing) what will bats and birds have to eat?  Theres few pests in this garden, I think the birds get them all. And try not to cut back too far in the autumn, its natural to have leaf fall and some debris. I've many layers of flowering things here hidden beneath the soil that unfold as the year progresses, in fact I would like to put a 'no-dig' covenant for one year onto the deeds of this house.

For instance, being mindful of encouraging a healthy soil and its inhabitants, each hand fork of earth when weeding always exposes lots of earthworms, often a Robin or two following me around in this garden and feeding from next to my feet, even landing on my boot! In winter or when feeding young i will deliberately be in the garden turning over a couple of forkfuls each day to assist their survival. But note i am hesitant at the near universal promotion of 'garden compost' as per say Gardeners Question Time on bbc radio (not a favourite programme of mine) as a wonder 'do-all' ... it will in fact destroy crocus bulbs and as a very old compost is little better than 'dust'. Maybe dug-in for a veg patch but otherwise i would say merely replicating natures way ie leaf litter, twigs, organic debris is by far the wiser route; the worms would agree with me.

Often the best route to encouraging worm activity and loosening up a heavy soil is FYM / muck left exposed on the soil surface over winter.

After a half century of tv gardening programmes how is it most ppl garden as ten year olds?

I'm a bit sceptical of how Local Authorities eliminate dead or decaying wood, strim and cut back as they do. I'm sure it can be tweaked to aid insects, invertebrates, molds, fungi, algae, diatoms. Mindful or the fire risk of course, vandals and firebugs.

Gardening should be a subject at school, I mean to some depth, with spirit and detail, the interconnectedness of things, not just as punishment for the backward lads as it was fifty years ago; it would also aid in helping the kiddiwinkies to actually settle to a task and get something done, something achieved with their hands and something to observe over the months as to their success or failure, the results of their efforts. Something to nurture and not just some one-off exercise that is seldom re-visited.

Even the smell of freshly turned soil is theraputic.

Here I added to the above ...

  • Oh yes and my hobby horse - diatoms. These are a fascinating google image search, wonderful for children to learn of. Its my opinion that the diatom collapse with their symbiotic relationship with Bryozoans ie the coral reef is also at the base of all marine food chain collapse ie in the Pacific. I've not been able to specifically find this connection in general media. The massive Pacific seabird collapse of say three years ago also is hardly reported, huge numbers of ocean going birds flying to shore (whole populations?) ... all stomachs empty. We can assume diatiom collapse again? As James Lovelock explained diatoms also generate ocean cloud formation and with other microscopic algae convert 20% of the worlds CO2, check out James Lovelock and DMS. And please fact check all I say, only my hazy recall to depend on.

    Its a horrible irony that we obtain 70% of the worlds oil and gas from ancient diatom deposits deep within the earth, the worlds best paid diatomists work for oil companies.


    With climate change theres now too great a timelag between data being collected, peer review and publication. As Sam Carana tells us the situation is dire and we need action very quickly; the IPCC does not stress sufficient urgency and totally ignores impending methane release fom the shallow East Siberian ice shelf. Likewise the IPCC most recently discarded material written by the worlds expert on Arctic ice ie Prof Peter Wadhams.

    When the President of the USA knows nothing other than golf courses and a ten second soundbite and is a total climate change denier then the outlook is bleak. The canary is screaming and all they can do at the EPA is deny, dismantle and wreck ....

    As you can imagine, as an engineer / toolmaker these incredible items ie diatoms fascinate me. For eight years say 1994 - 2002 freshwater biology and the microscope were my hobby, an excellent adjunct to my rambles out with my first beagle.

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And I make things...

... of my own invention with my own hands. And its all got my name on it.

I sell lots into the USA and generally worldwide, my website can be viewed by anyone on the planet and I can supply likewise.

You will find in the links at richardkell.co.uk some good stockists. Likewise they can supply genuine Richard Kell.

This page is in response to what seems to be misinformation I found on Amazon, entries and listings blocked specifically to one country ie England where I live.

The general purpose of this blog is to add background workshop information in addition to that you will find on my paypal sales website ie http://richardkell.co.uk/   I am well known for my clever and very well made honing guides (fast and accurate) and my Richard Kell bevel gauge etc. They are simple and effective to use. It takes a lifetime to pare things down to the essentials.

I am the inventor and manufacturer of all the products here at Richard Kell.

I am an enthusiast for old time craft manufacture, I enjoy using my hands at this close tolerance work, have done for many years; I work alone and prefer it, no distractions and I can push quality to the limit. I like to feel how the tools are cutting and to hear that 'sweetness of sound' all is going well. The skill is in my hands. I am passionate about quality and making an effort to hit the top level. But note never 'needless quality' but a result appropriate, I work to close tolerances where appropriate and strangely tighten tolerances further as I become familiar and expert at whatever task. Hand turning is a significant feature of what I do here, long since discarded by any manufacturer a hundred years ago.

Everything here is made by me, my no.2 LGE honing guide and my Richard Kell bevel gauge are very well known and highly regarded, made in my own workshop and by methods long discarded by modern methods. Beware of a despicable inferior copy of my bevel gauge and also of my centre finder, all I think now long disappeared; which in fact these hackneyed rip-offs never last the course, handle as poor items and as can be guessed are what prompted me to write this first post for my blog here.  I am known for the quality and detail of my work ie hand deburring and utterly consistent and flawless surface finish on every item; I actually suffer physical pain if it is not tip-top!

Buy my products and I give you the benefit of a lifetime in the workshop from being a young boy, I am a stickler for measuring critical features of every component as I make them, they are even plotted on charts; for instance the selecting 'matched in pairs' of one third of a thou inch (0.0003in) honing guide bobbin diameters has a reason for such precision, it is so that all marries up and functions as I wish it for when the two parts are matched together and clamped up into the jig on my Bridgeport milling machine to drill the pairs of holes for the stainless guide rods, therefore there is a reason to the accuracy. My Ward 1A manual capstan lathe of Second War vintage I've fitted with large dial test indicators graduated at a thou per division are a real advantage to controlling size / tolerance, both X and Y axis.

I was so lucky my Dad had boxes of 'Model Engineer' and 'Practical Wireless' and 'Woodworker' for me to read over and over again, a home workshop lots of hand tools and abench plus a Myford ML7 screwcutting lathe, this gave me an immense 'head start' on what a usual schoolboy would know and realise. With hindsight ... I was better off than I realised. My dad Robbie Kell named after the great bard himself also bought me a set of Caxton encyclopedias (I still have them here fifty years later and they are still most useful) ...  when I was say ten years old, but he could only afford half the set, therefore its fair to say I know everything to 'G' !

Serious in my activities yet I am not a 'miserable git' ...  I enjoy my work and as my afternoon helper will testify I am worthwhile, wide ranging conversation and fun to be with; open and always keen to help, to enthuse and educate my assistant.

My honing guides (and I recommend my Richard Kell no.2 LGE) are regarded the best in the world; the quickest to use, ultra reliable and 'spot-on' repeatable, they satisfy my own impatience. Theres a full no quibble money back on anything you purchase.

Please read all you wish of this blog,'drill down' as the modern term goes (theres lots to uncover) .....

copyright richard kell 2019,
E&OE no liability accepted.

You must always comply with safe procedure, remove bystanders when changing circlips, wear eye protection etc. Think !

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