Tuesday, 26 March 2013


Here's a coat/hatstand I made recently for a colleague at work. A while ago his wife said she had seen some rustic looking stands from unusually shaped branches in a natural form. Anyway, I said I'd have a look and come up with something. I cut the Hazel (corylus avellana) pole a while ago and let it season in the shed. It's about 3" in diameter, so quite substantial; so I was worried it may be a little TOO rustic. Thankfully she loves it so all's well. 

 As you can see the log has an helix running through it which makes it quite a conversation piece. This is caused by a vine called Honeysuckle (lonicera periclymenum) or Woodbine to give it its other common name. As Hazel is a fairly soft and fast growing timber, the vine strangles the host sapling as it grows. Other timbers I commonly see exhibiting the same deformity are Willow,birch, rowan, ash and some of the poplars. Heres a close up of the stand:-

In the UK now is the best time to spot Honeysuckle in the woods as they are one of the first to break bud and absorb light before the spring canopy is formed. They tend to thrive on the very edge of mature  woodland .
Here's an example of Woodbine growing through Hazel in the wild:-
   And a branch with the vine peeled off , leaving the helical deformity. These are cherished by walking stick makers for stick shanks; they call them 'Twistys'. 
The rest of the stand is just made up of seasoned oak, shaped with a drawknife. The hangers are socketed in with round tenons and the legs have squared tenons to stop them turning. The whole thing was finished with some boiled linseed oil which gives good protection to wood with the bark left on.

Finally my current tune I'm learning to play on the banjo is Johnson Boys


  1. That's really a nice hat stand! I love the helix

  2. I love those vine-infested woods, and the stand you made is awesome!

  3. Thank you for commenting guys, I've got a lovely piece that will make a nice walking stick; I'll have to get a handle carved for it...JM