One of our series of weekend workshops was a tool handle making course, run by coppice worker Sam Robinson. I was lucky enough to participate, and there is an incredible stillness and focus that comes when you sit on a shave horse with a piece of wood and a draw knife, slowly sculpting it to its useful form. We had six participants and all became engrossed in what they were doing.
We were kindly donated a bag full of ash blanks by a regular volunteer, Graham Fell (left) and another volunteer, David Pilling, is a former woodworking tutor. He attended the handle-making course and was a dab hand at churning out new handles at quite a rate.
A follow-up workshop took place with blacksmith Shaun Bainbridge to fit the newly-made handles and the ferrules (metal hoops used to reinforce join between handle and blade).