A turning point for Wand'ring Bark
I had a new carpentry experience last week, but before I go into that a bit of background is necessary.
Whilst there is much I love about Wand'ring Bark, I don't love her tiller. It's like Belle and my feet, I know she loves me dearly but she is less than fascinated by my feet - odd, but true.
When Wand'ring Barks builders made her tiller they must have resorted to the ministry of crap design. I can well imagine them casting round the yard for something that will "do the job" and alighting on a scaffold pole. The said steel pole was bent into shape and a lump of wood was hammered onto the end of the overlong tiller arm, but this arm was so long it swept any passengers into the cut, which wasn't very popular. This arrangement lasted one whole day before I took a hacksaw to it and removed about a foot, hammering the wooden handle on the new end.
Over the years the handle has rotted and about two years ago I spent a week's holiday picking the soft bits out with a key. The next year I filled it with plastic wood but after a year this came loose again and I spent most of 2010 with it held on place with Duck Tape.
My failure to replace it wasn't due to a lack of effort. I looked in every chandlers I came across, but no one had anything which would fit.
Then, a week ago, I was working in my front garden and a neighbour walked by and we engaged in conversation. Suddenly I remembered him telling me he was keen on carpentry, and that he had a lathe. So I asked if he could help me resolve my tiller problem. He was delighted, found out a suitable hardwood off cut, and we agreed on an evening when I would go round and he would show me how to do it.
Now, I havn't used a lathe since I was at school but I was very keen to give it a go. After a few clonks and bumps I got the hang of it and managed to fashion a handle which fits snugly in the tiller, and was comfortable in my hand.
If may not be a professional job but it is functional and most importantly it is my work.
So, I may still covet all those of you out there with your shiny brass tillers, but I do have a home made handle and somehow I think I am going to get rather attached to it. Its good to get a handle on ones dreams.