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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Heritage Skills

Sermon of the Axe

I’ve been on an axe binge lately. I’ve made several tomahawks/hatchets and my current project is a double bladed axe I’ve been commissioned to forge. While forging towel holders and camping tripods is good, there is just something incredible about forging an axe from start to finish. Taking a piece of scrap metal and bringing forth a strong useable tool. I thought I would go through the process the best I can using text and try to bring the significance to anyone reading with a quick walkthrough. First, I gather my materials: a 10″x2″ piece of steel(I like using old lawnmower blades and a piece of high carbon steel for the edge(piece of old file). Once my materials are ready, I get my forge burning hot and clean. After the old … Read entire article »

Filed under: Andy's Blacksmith Shop, Blacksmithing, Messages

Blacksmithing a rose-video

A short clip of working a rose   … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blacksmithing

Knitted Flowers

Knitted Flowers

My knitting basket has been sitting idle far too long, so I decided to spend this rainy Labor Day creating some simple, knitted flowers. There are many types and styles out there and they can be used to embellish sweaters, winter-caps, bags and just about anything else! I did a quick search and found a basic pattern‚Ķthen I made some adjustments! I never seem to be able to follow patterns as-written! ūüôā ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†¬† Happy Knitting! _______________________________________________________________________ Here … Read entire article »

Filed under: Heritage Skills, Knitting

The Blacksmith Shop

The Blacksmith Shop

  I started blacksmithing not too long before Erin and I were married. After we were married I began working on my own forge. I started off first with a brake drum forge, but quickly realized that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do with it, so over the winter and spring I began working on another forge. I finished it in May. In this post I will go over the basic things needed to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Andy's Blacksmith Shop, Blacksmithing, Heritage Skills, The Robinson's

Pottery Wheel

Pottery Wheel

  This is a pottery wheel that I built¬†using a truck axle, a barbeque grill and a tractor seat. I wrote an article about it in “Countryside Magazine” around July 2003. It was a fun project! I can send you the plans if you’re interested. My plan is to focus¬†on these and other¬†projects as time goes by. Check back often to see items in detail. We will do our best to update the site regularly and keep … Read entire article »

Filed under: Heritage Skills, Paul's Workshop, Woodworking

What Makes a Candle??

¬† WAX There are several different types of wax available today. …… Paraffin Wax Paraffin is a by-product of crude oil and is readily available for sale. It is good for candle making as it is relatively inexpensive (about $1.00/lb) and has a good melt point (135* F) so it burns fairly slow and clean, but can sometimes smoke. But for anyone wanting to make natural or environmentally-friendly candles, this¬†may not be¬†the your best choice. Beeswax This wax gets¬† 2 thumbs up on both quality and being environmentally-friendly! The bees make wax-cells in which they store their honey, so it is a natural wax. It has a very high melt-point (150* F) so it burns very slow, clean and does not smoke like other waxes will. But, because of¬† this, it can be very … Read entire article »

Filed under: Candle Making, Heritage Skills, Sarah LeAnn

Candle Making Links

Candle Making Links

Here are some wonderful link to Suppliers and how-to sites! Cajuns Candle and Soap Making Supplies Bitter Creek Candle Supplies LoneStar Candle Supply Discount Supplies Candle Wic Candles and Supplies LoveTwoKnow- Candle Making Send us an email … Read entire article »

Filed under: Candle Making, Heritage Skills, Sarah LeAnn

Make A Quilt

Make A Quilt

  Log Cabin Wall Hanging Quilt Basics of Quilting One of my FAVORITE ways to spend an afternoon is to quilt! It is such a soothing, satisfying work.¬† Quilting has been around for centuries and was born from practical need.¬†Truly making a quilting is just constructing a fabric sandwich.¬† You need a top (this is the part that is usually pieced in pretty designs), a middle of batting, and a bottom (a solid piece of fabric).¬† Once you … Read entire article »

Filed under: Heritage Skills, Homemaking, Plain Lifestyle, Quilting, Sewing

Lye Soap Making

Lye Soap Making

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† This page¬†will show you how to make lye soap in an iron pot over an open fire.¬† It has a lot of pictures to help you get the picture of the process. If you do a search on the internet of soap making, you’ll see references to laboratory scales, exact temperatures and other discouraging terms. Let me begin by saying that your grandmother probably made soap just fine without these and you can, too! ¬†¬† … Read entire article »

Filed under: Heritage Skills, Making Lye Soap

Here are some wonderful link to Suppliers and how-to sites!

Cajuns Candle and Soap Making Supplies ¬† Bitter Creek Candle Supplies LoneStar Candle Supply Discount Supplies Candle Wic Candles and Supplies LoveTwoKnow- Candle Making … Read entire article »

Filed under: Candle Making, Sarah LeAnn

Step By Step Candle Dipping

Before you start, gather these items: Wax and color/scent (if wanted) Wicks and dowels( if you are¬†dipping single candles) Cast iron pot, matches, firewood and kindling, Large pot or bucket of ice water (to cool candles between dips) ¬†¬†¬† A rack to hang either looped candles over or to rest dowels on. *Two¬†chairs¬†and¬†two broomsticks will suffice.¬†Set the¬†chairs almost the broom’s length apart with backs facing each other. Rest the ends of the broom on either chair’s back, making a 2-pole rack, open in the center. See picture below:   Chair- broom rack Step-By-Step Instructions for ¬†Hand- Dipping   Start . . . by melting your wax,¬†in¬†the pot over an open fire.¬† Break your blocks of wax, or old candles (remove old wicks)¬†into small chunks and place those in your pot. *** You do not have to have the pot full … Read entire article »

Filed under: Candle Making, Sarah LeAnn

What Makes a Candle??

¬† WAX There are several different types of wax available today. …… Paraffin Wax Paraffin is a by-product of crude oil and is readily available for sale. It is good for candle making as it is relatively inexpensive (about $1.00/lb) and has a good melt point (135* F) so it burns fairly slow and clean, but can sometimes smoke. But for anyone wanting to make natural or environmentally-friendly candles, this¬†may not be¬†the your best choice. Beeswax This wax gets¬† 2 thumbs up on both quality and being environmentally-friendly! The bees make wax-cells in which they store their honey, so it is a natural wax. It has a very high melt-point (150* F) so it burns very slow, clean and does not smoke like other waxes will. But, because of¬† this, it can be very … Read entire article »

Filed under: Candle Making, Heritage Skills, Sarah LeAnn

Candle Making

Candle Making

¬† She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. Proverbs 31:18 ¬†Here on Shepherd’s Hill, I (Sarah) make our candles by the hand-dipping method, in a large cast iron pot over a fire. I will use this page to give information and instructions on how to dip candles and also give some links to good suppliers. I hope you find this page helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to email … Read entire article »

Filed under: Candle Making, Heritage Skills, Plain Lifestyle, Sarah LeAnn

Blacksmithing

  ¬† ¬†¬† Blacksmithing is an ancient and fascinating art. It is not easily learned, but good results can be obtained early in your tries. I am amazed at the spiritual lessons that the LORD gives me as I¬†hammer out the steel. Anytime the Bible mentions fire, it has a spiritual reference to judgement. Many scriptures refer to fire as being purifying. Before the steel is put in the forge, it can be rusted, dirty and of little value.   ¬†¬† Once in the fire, the cleansing process takes place. The once hard steel, becomes pliable under the hammer and can be shaped into a usuable object. It is “tested” or “proved”. Other metals that are brought to a melting point are purified (see Numbers 31:23). Our lives go through testing, or through the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blacksmithing, Heritage Skills, Paul's Workshop

Treadle Wood Lathe

¬†¬†¬†¬†   This is a treadle powered wood lathe that I built. It draws a lot of attention at the craft shows that we do. It works quite well and I’ve been told that the speed is equivalent to a modern lathe. I built it from pipe-fittings, hardware store lumber and some pillow block bearings. There was some minor modifications that I made to it after putting a few hours on it. I think most of the kinks are out now.   ¬†¬†¬†¬† I’m just an amateur at turning, but I do have a lot of fun with it. Some of my lathe tools are homemade from old files. They seem to cut pretty well and hold a good edge. So far I’ve only done spindle turning on it but started a bowl recently … Read entire article »

Filed under: Woodworking

Woodworking

Woodworking

¬†¬†¬†¬† My grandfather was a wood carver and whittler. My early childhood memories are of sitting in his cedar shavings and of him letting me try his Buck knife. There is something special about taking wood and creating a one of a kind item.¬† Just knowing that our Lord chose carpentry as an occupation should make us think twice when we do it!¬†¬†¬†Living on a farm, I get lots of opportunities to work with wood. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Woodworking

My Pottery Wheel

¬†¬†   This is a pottery wheel that I built¬†using a truck axle, a barbeque grill and a tractor seat. I wrote an article about it in “Countryside Magazine” around July 2003. It was a fun project! I can send you the plans if you’re interested.       My plan is to focus¬†on these and other¬†projects as time goes by. Check back often to see items in detail. We will do our best to update the site regularly and keep a newsletter, of sorts, going. Please write if you have questions.   ¬†   Sincerely,   ¬†Paul   … Read entire article »

Filed under: Paul's Workshop

The Sacred Cedars

¬†¬†¬†¬† They were always given special place whenever we‚Äôd walk in the woods. I remember clearly, my father bending over and uncovering a small cedar as it struggled to emerge through the forest floor. I didn‚Äôt see the big deal in it at all, as they seemed like such useless trees to me. But somehow the smell of the cedar always made me think of home, family and sometimes even Christmas. Only when I bought my own place which had an abundance of cedar trees would I come to understand their importance to my father. As Angie and I walked through our new woods, I bent over to help a small tree up. I told her the story of my father helping a little tree out. I jokingly called them the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Paul's Workshop, Woodworking