Sunday, July 15, 2018

Knife Making Comes to Selkie Wood Works

Hi Everyone,

Well it's hot, it's humid, and it's a good time to make a knife!

I don't do metal work-it's enough for me to just to master one kind of material. But my family are all metal workers and as they are relatives, I thought it time to invite them into the wood shop to make something.

My youngest son Critter, whom you'll remember from previous postings, is a welder and a metal worker and he wants to get into knife making, which is a challenge in a turning shop. But I do have a vice, lots of files, and other assorted stuff so he's begun making a camp knife for himself from a stainless steel billet.

He started with cutting out a knife blank yesterday (sorry, no photos) and today he is filing a bevel onto the edge of it. Here are a couple of photos:

The bevel on the knife needs to be the same angle relative to the flat surface of the blank and I wasn't sure how he would accomplish that. He came up with this contraption which utilizes one of my wood files to cut the bevel with. With this he was able to maintain a consistent angle all along the edge (if you click on the photo, you'll be able to enlarge the image):

This is how it's used:

And this is what it looked like an hour ago:

The blade needs a lot of work and he's going to be working on this all week long. And he's asked me to make a handle for him so it's off to find some nifty looking wood for this.

And while he was sweating away with knife making, I worked on a spoon:

Stay tuned,

Friday, July 13, 2018

Selkie Wood Works Returns!

Hello All,
I am happy to announce that I and Selkie Wood Works are returning. My fortunes improved and I was able to hang on to my equipment. Many people were very kind to me during this period and I'd like to thank them all and especially dedicate the blog to my friend Leda.

Due to the kindness of a benefactor, I am going to be enrolling in a cabinetmaking course this fall to finally learn how to make furniture, cabinets, and other things as a professional wood worker. I am excited about this and very grateful for the opportunity. I plan to keep all of you informed as to this latest journey in life with photos and my usual musings.

I've kept busy these months re-designing and carving spoons. I think they are much nicer looking and I've discovered the American cherry is my new best friend wood-wise. It carves easily and it's very pretty when finished:

And I've taken up making and canning my own jam:


Oh, and Rhubarb says hi to everyone:

The course begins in late August so be on the lookout for a posting.

I'm back, the blog is back and we're moving forward. So once again, grab some coffee, put your feet up, and drop by the wood shop. You never know what's on the horizon.

Stay tuned,

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Selkie Wood Works Comes to an End

Dear Folks,

All good things must come to an end and it's with regret that the Selkie Wood Works blog has come to the end of the line. On going severe economic issues are forcing the impending sale of my equipment and without it, there isn't any way to make the bowls and platters and other things you've seen me make over the years.

SWW would never have become the popular site it became without the many devoted fans, friends, and fellow woodworkers who followed me on my many adventures in the wood shop. To all of you I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I sincerely hope all of you carry on designing and making things for yourself and your friends and family.

I wish you all the best in the coming years ahead.

Many blessings to you all,

Victoria Woodcock

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Building a Floor Lamp continued-finish photos

Hello Everyone,
I apologize for not getting this lamp sooner. I had to make an unexpected out of town trip and while I was out of town I injured one of my knees and haven't been able to walk well or do much in the way of woodworking. I have finished the floor lamp with help from my husband and I've also changed it significantly from the original pattern. Here's what I did:

When last we met I had finish making all of the parts for the lamp. While I was traveling I thought a lot about the base of the lamp and I decided to beef up the legs of the lamp with some 1" x 4" pine boards instead of the 2x2 inch pine that the plan calls for.

This is how the base would have looked like had I followed the plans:

Here are the pine boards I cut:

And I beveled the ends a little to make them look less, well, boardy:

Here is the lamp base with the feet attached. Doing this allowed me to use 2 screws to attach the feet to the lamp post instead of one screw. I'm only attaching 3 feet to the lamp post and you'll see why shortly:

The plans also said to purchase a lamp kit and this one I bought (I've never made a lamp before) is the wrong type of kit for this type of lamp:

Instead we purchased a hollow threaded brass rod, an electrical cord, and a light socket and several nuts and washers and used that for the bulb and lamp shade:

This is actually very simple to put together. The brass tubing is about 12 inches long and is attached to the wooden arm through a 3/8" hole I drilled into the end with a nut and a washer:

Next we threaded another washer and nut on the tubing then inserted the lamp shade: 

After that, we threaded the cord to the socket through the tubing and over the top of the arm and down the back of the lamp post. Eventually we stapled the cord down to the arm and post with heavy staples:

The last step involved screwing the socket to the end of the threaded rod and we were finished. We took it inside and plugged it in and it works:

And here is the lamp at present:

And here is the base. We didn't add the forth foot because our grandson, who is a rambunctious toddler came to visit for a while and we wanted to attach the lamp to our stair rails so he couldn't pull the lamp over:

I haven't stained the lamp base because I can barely stand up on my knee at this point but I will get around to it later on.

And that is that. It provides some much needed lightening in our living room and for about $40 in parts you get a serviceable lamp.

I wish I could fix my knee this easily. Ouch....

I'm not sure what my next project will be - probably seeing my doctor is my next project. 

See you all soon,

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Building a Floor Lamp-Discussion and Plans

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all are doing well and your autumn is getting off to a pleasant season.

My living room doesn't have any overhead lighting with the result that in order to read something, we have to have the windows open during the day or use the lights in the kitchen to illuminate this room. Basically we have really poor lighting in the living room. Now we did have a floor lamp in one corner of the living room but that is broken and all attempts to fix it have left it more broken than before. So it's time to do something about it.

There is a very simple floor lamp plan that was published online by Better Homes and Gardens at
The lamp is a very simple lamp that can easily be made with simple tools and if you have a never ending scrap wood pile like I do, it could be made with scrap lumber. What's not to like about that?


Make a floor lamp out of some leftover pine 1"x2"s and hopefully illuminate this vampire cave that passes for a living room of mine.


Ok, here we go:

The plans call for 2x2 lumber and I had some nice, clear, usable 1x2 pine that I laminated together-in fact I had enough for the center post, the legs and the arm that the shade will hang from:

It took a day for all the laminating and cutting the parts to be finished:

And I beveled the ends of the legs so I won't stub my toe on a sharp corner on the floor:

The plans also call for a bracket that attaches to the central post and the arm. I bought a silver metal one and decided to paint it a different color. So I sprayed it with primer and set it aside to dry:

The next thing I did was to stain the wooden parts with Minwax penetrating stain/red chestnut stain and that looks pretty good. Once that was finished, I've taken them to my deck for finishing: 

Here is the central post after I've applied a coat of polyurethane. This is going to look nice:

Tomorrow, I'm going assemble the wooden part of the lamp and try and figure out the lamp kit I purchased for it. I'll also paint the metal bracket and get that ready to be installed. 

In the meantime, enjoy the fall colors and I'll see you tomorrow.

Stay tuned,

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I'm starting a business

Hello All,

Well, it's been a quiet beginning of autumn here. The leaves are changing colors and it's getting cooler. Perfect time for some more woodworking and carving.

I looked at my supply of wood and other supplies in the shop and as my supplies are getting low, I decided it was time to begin a small business selling some of the things I make. I've given away a lot of spoons, platters, and bowls for testing in the kitchens of my friends and since nothing has fallen apart and are still functional I feel confident I can sell kitchen ware and please some customers.

So announcing the opening of the Selkie Wood Works US shop on Etsy:

I've got spoons, platters, serving bowls, kitchen mallets, and a serving set out of white oak. Everything is well made and should look great in your kitchen. They also will make great holiday gifts.

Why not take a look?


Friday, September 8, 2017

I've Returned, Arguing with the Band Saw, and Carving Spoons

Hello Everyone,

I'm baaack!

I hope you all had a good August and if you have wood shop, you got lots of work done. I recovered from some surgery and I'm happy to report I'm fit and ready to resume work.

Which I was eagerly anticipating doing. I was making some spoon patterns out of some 3/4" thick plywood on the band saw the other day when BOOM! the blade broke. We went through this in spring and it turned out to be a worn bearing. This time it's another worn bearing and worn tires on the wheels both of which are fixable. But the wheels have never exactly lined up properly and I think this is causing the blade not to track properly when the wheels spin. So I'm off to find some bushings for it. Stay tuned for more about that.

As the band saw is a critical piece of equipment, I won't be able to cut out any turning blanks and the spoon blanks I make I'll have to cut by hand. Survivable but it will slow me down a bit. :(

I have been carving a lot of spoons and those have gone very well. I bought a large gouge and that has really made short work of hollowing out the spoon bowl. I also invested in a set of curved cabinet scrapers which was one of the smarter things I've done this year and those have proven invaluable with regards to smoothing the spoon bowl and handle.

Here's some photos:

I got a whole set of these for about $20 and it was money well spent. These really smooth off carved surfaces without softening any surface carving. And they're easy to sharpen as well:

And here are a couple of kitchen spoons out of red birch. I'm also using American cherry and black walnut, all of which are very carvable and readily available:

Here is a coffee scoop out of hickory, which is carvable with that big gouge I bought:

And here is a coffee scoop out of cherry:

Ok, I'm going to go and tackle the band saw. When I'm done with that, I have some sugar maple and some hickory planks to turn and I also have more red birch and some more cherry for spoons.

Stay tuned and keep everyone that has been affected by the recent hurricanes here in the US in your thoughts.