Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Mont De Lancey - Part 2

The weekend before last Lisa, Tom and I packed up the car and my ute with half the workshop and made the journey across to Mont De Lancey in Wandin for the Wood Steel and Steam Festival. It was a great little country style fair, with steam engines chugging away all day, the sound of Blacksmiths hammering at the anvil and brilliant wood turners demonstrating their skills at the lathe. In amongst it I set up my bench and shavehorse and talked all things Windsor until I was blue in the face. 

 Also on board was Dad with his Timberking Sawmill, which drew a huge crowd every time he fired it up. He milled a stack of logs for some of the locals.

There was face painting for the kids, great food and coffee and of course the spectacular Mont De Lancey homestead and out buildings too, which is just like the original owners walked out the door over a hundred years ago. Read about it here -

We had some great feedback over the course of the weekend and Tom entertained as only he knows how, sitting confidently at the shavehorse and wielding a spokeshave like it grew out of his arm! He even had a good little dialogue going, describing how the spokeshave was cutting his spindle. He's got a bit of size to him, so a few people were very surprised when they learnt he was only 4. With a couple of courses booked and an order for a chair, perhaps I'll put him on the payroll!

Since returning from the U.S. last year I've been trying to get a copy of Pete Galbert's chair makers adze made up by a blacksmith, as I don't have a forge of my own. I'd contacted a few smiths but had trouble even getting a response half the time. I had an old rabbit trap setter, which was the ideal blank. With this in hand, I took it over to Dietmar Fleckhammer ( great blacksmiths name hey? ) in the blacksmiths shop, with some scale patterns I took while in Pete's workshop. No problem said Dietmar and before I knew it he was back with the modified setter now in the form of a adze.

 Brilliant. Over the course of the weekend Dietmar also whipped up a couple of sets of hold downs too, again in the blink of an eye. 

We couldn't help ourselves and end up buying a set of his fireplace tools too, knowing that the little house we are about to move into, has open fires. Deitmar is a very skilled and competent Blacksmith and has his shop set up at Mont De Lancey. It's well worth a visit. 

Keep an eye out for the Festival next year, it's a great weekend and good to support the small groups and communities that run them. I often get asked how to sharpen edge tools with curved blades so next entry I'll be showing how I sharpened and turned and fitted a handle to the adze.


  1. Let me get this right. Your Dad was milling up some face painting for the kids on that giant of a machine? Now that's something I'd pay to see...

    Stay JOLLY!

    1. Actually, I pay more to see Tom in action too!

    2. Hey there Dave, is there something in the water in Chicago? Yeah he was actually milling kids. There was a line and a half too! Good to hear from you mate and best to Stacey.