Winter’s warmth

Cold snaps overnight this week have changed the leaves to wonderful patchworks of yellow, orange, russet and red. Soon the leaves will fall and winter will set in for three months. This is often my favourite time for working in the woodshop. When I lived in the USA I stoked the stove with my scraps of mesquite and oak and heated my workshop and house for free. Here in the castle my workshop is climate controlled for the benefit of humidity control and stoking woodstoves in heritage properties like Penrhyn Castle is definitely a no-no, but I do miss the wonderful heat woodstoves give.

There are many advantages to woodstoves aside from the heat itself. The magnetic pull at lunchtime when everyone gathers for lunch sitting on nailed and braced shop-made stools. The obvious double benefit of heat from waste and waste disposal. Some of my warmest memories surround the woodstove (no pun intended). I recall making thousands of birdhouses in the winter months from native Texas mesquite when I lived in south Texas. The scraps stoked my fire and kept my wood dry. I recall long nights when I made two pieces for the Permanent Collection of the White House. Without the stove we would have never seen the glue dry in the vacuum bags of the veneer press. Winter’s cold is a period of warmth and warm memories for me. How about you? Stoke up the fire…

I’ll post later on the Hope Chest.


  1. Lighting a fire in the stove with plane shavings for me is a nice way to combine two hobbies.

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