Getting Into Gear

Behold the caber! Roped it to the car roof yesterday along with the fence rails I was transporting up to Robyn’s to re-fence the copse (that’s today’s delight). I now have a 12-foot caber, between 4 and 6 inches in diameter, nicely sanded and varnished at the business end. Not tapered, but hey. I’ll manage. I’m just pleased to HAVE a caber!


I also followed Alan H’s instructions to make myself a practice Scottish Hammer, and was extremely pleased with the results, so I’m going to detail the process here: I picked up some weight plates in Tesco (my second home). They didn’t have enough 1kg plates, so I grabbed two 2kg plates and two 1kg plates and cable-tied ’em together in a neat stack like so:Image

I also bought myself a length of plastic electrical conduit, cut it to 50″ and reinforced one end slightly (thanks for the tip, Rob) by inserting a suitable piece of roundish wood (actually, the remains of last year’s radical hedge-trimming) about six inches long. Drilled holes either side of where the weight stack would go, then inserted bolts.


Attached the weight stack and secured it in place with the second bolt:


From this angle you can see the piece of wood inside the tube. Rob pointed out that if I were to just drill holes in the tubing, it would be a weak point, whereas if there was something reinforcing the head-end, it would not only be that much stronger, but the tube would flex along the handle rather than trying to flex from the end. How right he was.

Once I had the hammer assembled, I added some hockey tape reinforcement to the weight stack, before realising that gaffer tape (duct tape) really was going to be the order of the day. Now I look as if I have the world’s biggest silver lollipop, or possibly a kilo of cocaine on a stick:Image

Chupa Chup, anybody?


One final modification was to wrap the handle to about halfway down with black hockey tape, then add rings of hockey tape at hand-width intervals so I could carry the thing without the tube sliding through my hand (thanks again for the idea, Rob):Image

Yes, that is a scythe leaning against my workbench! I borrowed it from Robyn’s garage in order to engage in a bit of slash-and-burn gardening the other day. My soi-disant “lawn” had become a kind of unlovely cross between a tyre dump, a piece of derelict waste ground and the sort of tussocky, waist-high weed-fest that you see on programmes like ‘Ground Force’. My poor abused lawnmower would probably have been swallowed whole by the jungle, so I brought in The Equaliser to whop everything off at ankle-height and give it a fighting chance.

I love using the scythe! It’s just incredibly therapeutic, and it feels stupidly cool to carry it tilted over your shoulder like Death’s more casually-dressed young cousin. It also gives you a hell of a workout for your core muscles – you grip it by the handles and do a big, powerful, dipping sweep from right to left, move a pace forwards and do it again, and again, and again. I had the waist-high wasteland chopped flat in about fifteen minutes, and that includes the time taken to wrench the blade free when I got it stuck in the wooden hen-run (yeah, sorry about that, ladies).

So, off fencing today (yippee skip). Hopefully I’ll have enough energy left later on to try out my new gear, which is waiting for me up at the farm!


[Update: One VERY long day’s fencing later, and no, I have no energy left for anything beyond crawling into my bed. On the plus side, I’ll really need the exercise tomorrow, otherwise I’m going to be stuck in a pretzel-shape, so I should get some good practice in with the WFD, Hammer and caber. I may even be able to persuade one of the daughters to take some photos.]


12 thoughts on “Getting Into Gear

  1. SWEET! You made yourself a Thor’s Hammer! I gotta get me one of those… (Also, TIL the phrase “soi-disant” – and totally fell in love with it. When I do get me a Thor’s Hammer, I’m totally gonna be Soi-Disant Thor.)

  2. Sweet mother of pearl, you are the best. EVER.

    Your description of your lawn had me in stitches. Also, you as death’s cousin should definitely get you a series gig (at the very least on BBC2 or ITV!)

    OMG I know what you mean about Tescos – the one closest to us in when we lived in Brum was so fricken huge we could buy anything and everything there! Sometimes my heart is sooooo homesick for the UK.

    Fab post, fab snaps and the fact that you fence is just the cherry on top of an already smashing cake.

    • You lived in Brum! No Way! I come from Stafford – relatively speaking, just next door but without the silly accent. Wow. Small world indeed, Ethel!
      You do realise it’s the ‘making a fence’ type of fencing, not the ‘en garde!’ type of fencing, right?

      • LOL. I totally thought you were talking about en garde! But a day of making fences is hard a hell, so the major props stand!

  3. NICE!!! Swing that hammer, girlfriend! Toss that caber! Guid on ye, lass!! The hockey tape will help with the grip, oh yeah!!

  4. Hey, here’s the thing…..for a while, before you actually practice throwing the thing. Just swing it. How many times can you swing it around your head without falling on your arse or your face? Practice just swinging it ’round until you can swing it 6x around your head without going ker-plop on the ground or staggering around like a gaffer with 8 pints in him. When you can swing it 6x around your head, EXCELLENT. Now throw it a few times, you’re done for that day. The next practice session. try to do that twice….swing 6x, rest 30 seconds, swing 6x before practicing throwing it. When you can do that, do it three times…swing 6x, rest 30 seconds, swing 6x, rest 30 seconds, swing 6x before practicing the throw. Work that until you can swing it around your head 36x total, in sets of 6 and stay in control the whole time. When you’ve got that…it will take a couple of weeks…. you are well on your way to becoming a hammer thrower AND your gut and hip muscles will be a lot stronger, for the workout you just gave them!

    When you’ve got 36 winds under your belt, and you can throw the hammer, say, 38 feet+ It’s time to work on the two big refinements that will put you well up into the high 40’s…”wind on the right”… and “head (and boobs) UP!”

    • It certainly is – and my shoulders and ribs are really feeling it after getting a few practice ‘winds’ in yesterday! Thanks for following – hope you enjoy the lunacy!

  5. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that
    over again. Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!

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