Barter

4 Jun

I put a troublesome poplar down for a friend the other day and the conversation went something like this:
Friend “Henk, what’s the going rate for felling a tall Poplar at the end of my garden?”
H “Depends, but if I can do it as a straight fell, cross cut and stack it easily I will do it for one of your outstanding fret saws”
Friend “… ok, but only if you are sure”
My friend Wes Hedge is an accomplished wood turner and bowl carver and I always like to use hand crafted tools. Something made with dedication has an inner life all of it’s own. It may just be the knowledge and association with the maker, but for me it is a living essence.
So the morning came around for me to fell the tree and Wes asked me:
“Will we need to put a rope on it?”
To be honest there was only a 5% error margin in the direction the tree had to fall. A little too much to the left and the rabbit hutch was toast, a bit too much to the right and a lovely crab apple would catch the full force
“…Just move the gnome mate” I said
Three cuts later and a 25 meter tree dropped onto the lawn with no collateral damage.
The motivation of getting my hands on this baby was more powerful than money.
So now I am the proud owner of this fret saw.
Wes made it with a longer handle for my big mit’, so now I can make a birthday present for my younger brother Nathan and his new wife Anna’ sprog when it is born.
There is an old English expression which says that a fair exchange is no robbery. I would like to suggest that a fair exchange is the corner stone of good will and friendship.

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3 Responses to “Barter”

  1. fromthomas77b June 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    Hi, Henk , I like your new tool, I feel the same way about handcrafted, or even really old well used tools, they really do have character and seem almost to develop personalities. What type of blade, is that on the saw ?

    • Henk Littlewood June 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      Hey Thomas,
      They are available from an American outfit called Gramercy Tools, my friend Wes gets his from there:
      http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/dept/CGT
      They come in several pitches (10 teeth per inch up to 24 teeth).
      I asked him to make the handle longer so I can use the saw vertically to cut detailed shapes. Works a treat. The whole saw comes apart and takes up little space.
      If you want to get in touch with him just say. He makes really lovely mallets for carving from spalted beech – weighted to suit.
      Cheers!
      H

  2. novelinsights June 5, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    Sounds like everybody got something they wished for and the goodwill will be passed on to a loved little one by way of hand-crafting. Perfect x

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