… simply because I couldn’t afford pristine collector examples
at the time and partly because I enjoy the challenge of making a
basket case into something useable.
One such lost child was this Scottish infill smoother.
This was the eBay image and as far as I could see… the casting
was in great condition… the lever cap was beautiful gunmetal… so
it looked ok from these shots (yeah right!) …and although the
infill had been destroyed and replaced with pine… it looked a
pretty good candidate for restoration and it was cheap!
Once I had it in my hands and in profile it was clear that
something was not quite right with the lever cap…
and so it proved to be when removed…
I have seen stems slightly bent before…especially these old
style thin ones..but this is way beyond that. A replacement was
therefore needed and my dear friend Andy from Bristol suggested
there might be one at Bristol Designs... just up the road from
There was… and in the meantime… I had sourced some boxwood at
Timberline in Tonbridge… Robert the owner giving me a really
large piece he had secreted in his special place.
And so the long task of restoration was born… and this is the
The story of how I got to this stage is now described…in the
hope this may help fellow restorers.