Wheelbarrow of the Mid1800′s

We always fancied one of these, so three years later I was persuaded to have a go, I wanted to get the wheel right first before attempting the project. After guidance from an old wheelwright I eventually got one right.

The project so far is almost done bar a few pieces of the puzzle that is an American style Barrow from the mid 1800′s, it has a unique ability to become a flat cart as well by removing the side panels.


She began life from a dead standing tree destined for firewood, it is Manchurian Walnut that I got about 6 years ago and had in store at a friends barn, now fully air dried, I cut out the main limbs and cross braces, creating through tenon’s  on the pillar drill using a spur tipped bit method, then cleaning out the waste by hand.


Tenon drilled ready for final cleaning out.


Fitting the tenons.


Tenons cut by hand for a nice snug fit.


Showing through glued and wedged.


Tenon’s created, I glued and wedge the main frame and created the handle shape by rounding of the corners for comfort.


Next stage was to build the fore end frame and stays, they consist of a top rail that has four uprights that fit either side of the main frame for the side boards to slide between later.


The front board frame, which is fastened together using through dowels and wedges again for strength.



The uprights will be wedged and trimmed flat afterwards, creating a solid framework.


The wheel now built and fitted using some pressed steel pillow blocks at a fiver each give things a firm and smooth run.





Nearly there, only the wheel tyre to fit and the leg stays, side boards and clamps and she will be full of gardening gear and hard at work.

We have our own plans available for those who are interested in having a go at making one of these, cutting list and parts needed, and if you follow the wheel making program I have shown you will have your own barrow.


Leg cross bracing turned on either end with chair socket & pockets.


Leg fastening, just the braces left to fit.


Front frame uprights glued and wedged in place, also showing frame braces.


The pressed steel pillow block bearings in situ, the front bolt goes clean through the main shaft and retains the front support, the rear fastener is a coach bolt so far into the shaft.


Side board staple and removable side to convert the barrow into a flat truck for those awkward bulky items.


Inside view of the hopper which is around 4 square feet capacity.


Final make up, just the tire to fit.



One of the side boards removed and showing the front boards



Home Made Slug Catcher

Here is my version of a garden slug catcher, it comprises of a isolated container to place either beer of pellets. The container enables the pellet to stay dry and out of reach of birds, especially during the breeding season, where I have seen them collecting the pellets of other gardeners plots who scatter them about, and then the birds taking them in their beaks to feed their chicks.

The unit is dug into the soil so the container edge is level with the soil, the lid keeps the rain off and also deters pigeons which can see their reflections in the shiny top surface.

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Another way of fending off slugs, is to place a single copper nail in the soil next to your seedlings when you plant them out.

Make a Camping Stove in Fifteen minuites.

How to make a portable camping stove for one Dollar.


Take a 500ml camping style water bottle.


Cut the top and bottom half off at 60.00mm, discard the middle section.


On the lower half of the bottle, evenly drill a series of 1.00mm holes x 24 at the half way point, 30.00mm from the base and sand off the burrs inside, then file two small notches in the top rim of the top section, these notches allow the fuel to travel inside the lower chamber.


Gently warm up the lower section/base of what will eventually be your stove  before placing the top section upside down inside the lower half, now swiftly place a flat board on top of the rim and tap it down evenly until it touches the very bottom, this places the original top rim of the bottle securely in contact with the base, (You must warm up the lower section before you do this), because the slightly thicker wall of this type of bottle, it will be reluctant to slide inside when cold and could split the cyclinder. Once the two halves are together it will not be possible to separate them again, so don’t forget to file the two notches into the top rim as shown earlier.


With the two halves together tidy up the top edge, fill with 60.00ml of meth’s and light from the inside. As soon as the main 24 holes of the burner self ignite, you can place the pan, kettle on top.


I placed 1 litre of water into the every day kitchen saucepan, it came to a rolling boil in 8.25 seconds and the burner went on until 10.20 seconds before going out, on 60.00ml of fuel. The stove will comfortably hold 150.00ml of fuel enough to cook a full breakfast, total cost one Dollar and fifteen minutes to make it.

This is a robust stove for what it is, much stronger than the thrown away drinks can versions, a grown man can stand on top of this stove without damaging it.

There was no spluttering of fuel before or after the stove came to life, it worked perfectly first time.

How to Make a Simple Dovetail Square

How to make a simple dovetail jig from a piece of scrap plywood, ply used in this jig was birch ply.

To work out your angle take a piece of good 3/8″ plywood 6″ x  6″and from one corner X  draw a line 1 inch along the edge, Now measure and mark of the opposite edge 5 inches along that edge. Then draw/joint the two as shown below.

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Picture above shows the tail trimmed to size after cutting both angles.

This jig was for cutting joints in softwoods, if your using hardwoods you can lessen the angle and use a 7-1 ratio, but you can vary these angles to your own taste/timbers. Do the same on the opposite side of the tail, allow 3 inches across the tail, or larger if you want a bigger gauge, this version was for using it on smaller timber I was working on.

For your top plate simply cut a section of timber so it sits on top of the tail and the sides are 90 degree ends and sit perfectly in line with the top corner of narrowest edge of the tail, glue and pin the top plate on top of the tail.

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Pictures above show the two pieces pinned together. make sure everything is square.

The angle here worked out a 11.5 degrees, if your going to form the tail using your chop saw.

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Its as simple as that, cheap as chips, I found my metal version afterwards, but the wooden one is a real pleasure to use.

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Don’t forget to mark on the ratio so you don’t use the wrong jig on the wrong timber, measure twice cut one.


Veneer Knives

A Victorin style veneer knife, it consists of a hand rolled tapered brass body incorporating a wooden shadow taper inside and a slot down the middle to encapsulate the blade, which can be extended as it wears down over time. The taper is very gradual and the tube only needs the slightest push and everything locks up nicely. overall length 6 inches., blade 4 inches.

The handle is made from Steamed Pear and the blade is a strip cut off of an old  pannel saw blade, when you have finised working, you can turn the blade around and insert it the opposite way round in the handle to protect the fine point, it feels very nice in the hand and can be turned easily as your going along due to its shape.






The second knife below is slightly longer 8″ in total and made from local wind blown Laburnham and German silver for that extra finesse.


As all of our tubes, it starts life as a flat section of metal that is then rolled around an mandrel, then fluxed from the inside along the seam, then wired, soldered and polished into the final hand rolled tube. By learning to hand roll tube one is in control of any size and length, totally unique every time different.


Finished hand rolled tapered German silver  tube.


Next the inner handle is turned so it fit nice and snug over the timber.


Handle turned to the desired shape and polished.


Showing the component parts, the blade is 6″ long and should last a few life times is cared for properly, the spring steel it was made from came from an old good quality pannel saw from the 50′s.


Showning blade turned around and stowed away for protection.


Born of skills and a unique one off pieces of art lovingly created.


Native fruitwood handles, Pear Top & Laburnum, from trees long past their cycle to tools, and a beauty that lives on.






Kenya Bar Top Bee Hive.

The Kenyan bar top beehive is growing in popularity today, here is my version of one of the oldest systems, but with a few added extras, to bring it up to the cutting edge of bee keeping in the horizontal.

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The main layout of the hive showing a few of the bars removed, the bars have a triangle hanging middle for the bees to associate with an area to start building their comb along.

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My version also has a fully sealed box drawer with a mesh floor for varroa control, she has a slide out base section for the varroa count, the box is removable for a solid floor to be used if preffered.

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The queen introducing cage/bar in situ, for adding a queen to a queenless colony. With the cage removed a feeding station can be inserted in its place. I also have a side feeding box, not shown.




Knitting Bygones

Here at W E we are also keen woolen engineers too, below is a sellection of our spinning and knitting tools that we still use today, all made in house to the highest quality from 100% recycled materials.

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An unusual horizontal wheel made from reclaimed Brazillian Mahogany, coming from some 70′s scalloped sided window sills, the fashion changed and the wheel was born of quality timber from the rubbish. 





 A Saxony style wheel 30″ made from English Ash, the double treddle aids working comfort, this timber was also reclaimed from old work projects, the timber was air dried in the traditional way which give such fine design stability in our modern cenrally eated homes, prevents warping and shrinkages due to constant heat.


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A cottage style upright spinning wheel made from Devon Walnut, which was reclaimed from some old timbers cut back in the late 50′s. With an extra large flyer and bobbin for greater capacity



Apair of knitting sheaths, to hold the needles while your working, the sheathes slide in behind a belt to support them, good for whenj your knitting large heavy yarns.




Wool combs for straightening out the longer staple yarns prior to spinning.

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Darning mushroom made from a English Holly top section and a Brazillian Mahogany handle.



Basket Weaving Tools

A sellection of handmade basket weaving tools.



From left are three fidds, and two cleaves, one made from Holly and the other from rosewood with a brass tri-cutting head.


Wheelwrights Equipment

To add to the theme, here are some pictures of what a wheelwright uses to ply his or her trade.



One of the most important jigs is the Spider support frame/beam. This consists of two sturdy beams 7 foot long, each having a metal plate attatched to the middle beam so it can support a Knaff and Knaff board with a through bolt, the knaff board has an adjustable pointer which runs along a slot running down its top half, and a pointer that can be adjusted horizontally,to align the spoke evenly once fitted into the Knaff.

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Knaff board and adjustable pointer, which is a reference point for lining up spokes in the knaff.




The support plates showing their layout, they recess slightly into the beams for support and have several height adjusting holes and bolt and wing nut security.


Showing the spider in the jig with the Knaff board and pointer in position resting up against the edge of a spoke.




The spoke gauge, an adjustable rail whith a locking head/wedge that cannot be lost, this is used to mark the ends of the spokes to length using the scratch awl fitted in the face end of the adjustable block, the beam has an angled end which you rest up against the apex of the knaff and spoke, and cratch the line into the spoke. Pencil marks are unreliable and liable to rub off.

CooP’s and Minuites for all.


Many people have often wondered what they can trade with instead of Fiat, how about skills. Skills are what brings us everything that we use to function. There are some really good venues running today, and others going to waste, who chase the grant money to survive, and some are also having to operate at a loss, only to fail when the hand out’s cease to materialise.

In order of gaining many of the things we have today, many that we could never have afforded,  we took the time to gather the skills from generous like minded individuals, to one day bring back those benefits to our kind, this is now our ultimate goal for the future, if the interest is forthcoming.

Here is a real chance for others to broaden ones knowledge base, in order of saving your own labours for yourselves, it’s about the only true alternative left inside the rules laid down before us today, regardless of anyones position within society today, who could using their own spare time for themselves, learn then share with others who actually want to help themselves.

As a society we could well jump start its own reality in many ways, in order that we might be able to fend more for ourselves using our own hands in the future. What any paticular CooP proposes is not a new idea, but an age old resolve in an ever decreasing reality and society, seemingly hell bent on destroying itself, by forceably stealing someone elses fortune and labour or working anothers gain, across the global whole.

Whether its a hobby setting like ours, or profession, all like minded crafts people are welcome to come on board.

Join us today.