Alternative to woodturning 22-04-2020

I’m sure most of us are enjoying the nice weather we are having at the moment even in spite of the lockdown, that is those of us lucky enough to have a garden. I know I have been taking advantage of this fine spell to get my vegetable patch and tunnel greenhouse planted with this years seeds for the coming season. Now it’s on with cutting the grass, and I have a lot of it but the tractor mower makes light work of it. I have received some pictures and text from Nick Simpson that may just assist with your planting, it does also have an element of woodturning involved, so this post is not so much off the usual approach as may at first glance be thought, here is what nick had put through to me,

Nick’s News – Week 1

Seed Pot maker

This is a simple 2-part combination project which is useful and cost-saving for every gardener.

The principle is to produce seed pots from newspaper. These can then be planted directly into the ground and avoid the inevitable ‘check’ in growth that occurs with transfer from plastic pot to ground.

Picture 1 shows the two turned items and one newspaper seed pot. Pictures 2 and 3 show the dimensions of the 2 elements. I prefer to use Ash but any wood including pine will do. The potmaker tool is turned between centres and the base-forming tool is cross-grain. There is a 10mm deep recess with 5mm thick walls at the base of the potmaker tool. This recess and the dome on the base-forming tool form the firm base of the pot. It is important that the potmaker tool has a slight taper so that the pots can be slid off easily.

My version of the potmaker tool is marked with scorch lines at 1½ “, 2”,3”, 4” and 5” being the depth of the intended seed pot. The tool is placed on the newspaper as in picture 4. Decide the depth of pot you want and add 1½” inches to turn over to make the bottom of the pot. Draw a line and cut a full width of tabloid newspaper as a strip. Now, roll the strip around the tool as in picture 5 making sure you have the 1 ½” over at the base; a drop of paper glue will hold the flap in place but is not necessary. Fold over the newspaper at the base (picture 6). Now form the base by firmly rotating back and forth in the base-former (picture 7). Picture 8 shows the finished pot ready to be taken off the pot-making tool. The finished item is show in picture 1.

Now fill the pot with seed compost, sow your seed(s) and then water. Store in the normal way and plant out directly into the ground when growth and conditions are right. I like to cut off the base at planting out time but this is not strictly necessary.

I hope you enjoy this and find the tool useful. They make good birthday presents too.

I must add that this is not an original idea. I first saw this in a video by Steve Jones who is a production turner in the Midlands of England and whose wizardry with a skew chisel is a wonder to behold.

Regards to you all, and keep safe,

Nick Simpson.

Here are the pictures that accompany the text,

Read the text and follow the numbers.
Your seed pot should now be ready to be planted.

I thought I would show you what I have been doing over the past 10 days, my veg patch is almost complete, my small veg seed trays are in the greenhouse to germinate, I will harden them off prior to planting out.

Picture taken this morning, the sun is out, the temperature is good but you can still see the snow that remains on Sgurr Mor. My tunnel is 48 feet long by 18 feet wide, the veg plot being slightly bigger can be seen to the left of the tunnel.

If any of you want to use this space to get anything you are finding difficult to get during this shut down just email me with your request or question and I will post it on.

Regards to you all, and keep safe,

Alec Mutch.

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