David Wright and Ray Talbot are two Cotswold Canals Trust volunteers who simply love wood and what they do with it.
The pair have worked together in the construction of a twin hulled trip boat, fitted out the Visitor Centres at Saul Junction and Wallbridge Lock and generally sawn, jointed and assembled a diverse range of CCT equipment and fittings.
Their skills, however, extend way beyond marine plywood and medium density fibreboard.
Pictured right are pots and bowls turned from timber of a higher quality and greater age.
The picture left is the lock gear assembly in the middle chamber of Ryeford Double lock.
The picture bottom right shows the hand of one of our artisans holding the top of the salvaged jackpost.
The term 'jackpost' describes the piece of timber that supports the cast iron gearing system that raise lock paddles.
Regular readers will know that another Trust volunteer, Jim White, has been busy researching the replication and replacement of lock paddle assemblies.
Jim’s work involved the removal and measuring of the lock-gear installed in the 1700’s.
Ray and David were quick to prevent the remaining baulk of ancient oak from taking a trip to the Western Depot’s log production compound nearby. Instead, they examined it closely and found that just millimetres below a patina of lichen and time worn windlass scars lay perfectly seasoned and beautifully grained oak.
One of Ray’s many interests and pastimes is bell ringing. He knew that ancient belfries often yield useable oak when bells are re-hung.
Some sections of the salvaged jackpost bore the stains and pigments left by generations of rotating and rusting iron. That was inspiration enough for Ray and David.
They decided that the wood itself would soon be rotating!
David is a member of the Gloucestershire Association of Wood Turners and has a lathe at home, whilst Ray uses the lathe at the Eastington maintenance depot.
The pair simply applied their combined knowledge and expertise to the next steps. They cut the timber into turnable sections and set to work with sharp tools and an acute eye for aesthetics.
David commented, “The grain of the wood and its colours determined the shape and type of what we turned”
You can savour the grain and colouring of the finished work by clicking on the bowls picture.
Ray added, “The Cotswold Canals Trust pin badges applied to centre points add to the uniqueness and of course… the value of the pieces”
Layers of protective grain enhancing wax have been applied to over twenty items so far.
The 'The Talbot Wright Collection’ has been released for sale at the Wallbridge Lock and Saul Junction Visitor Centres.
Click on the icon below to find out more about The Gloucester Association of Woodturners.