Cleft ash hurdles

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Keith in shave-horse action-shot. Look at him go! Notice blanks on the ground ready to be shaved.

Keith and Hywel have been making a large number of cleft ash gate hurdles. They are made from straight-grained ash logs which are split (cleft) down into thin lengths. The two uprights are joined by either three, four or five rails, and the hurdle is strengthened with two diagonal braces and a central upright. All these components are cleaned up with a draw knife on the shave horse, then fitted together with mortice and tenon joints.

 

Hurdles on the assembly line.

Hurdles on the assembly line.

It is finally nailed together to create a rigid, light-weight and beautiful hurdle. Hurdles are used for penning livestock temporarily, particularly sheep. These days many people also enjoy them as garden fencing or as plant climbers, where they look fantastic. For this reason we have made some smaller hurdles than standard. We have 2’x3′ and 3’x4′ hurdles available in stock, and can make any other sizes to order.

 

Finished and stacked in the truck.

Finished and stacked in the truck.

The ash used to make these hurdles grew in Centre Vale Park, Todmorden, and was felled as part of woodland management activities in early 2013.

Would you like to learn how to make ash hurdles? Well you can! Keith is running a number of courses over the next few months. Find out more here.

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