The Palemaking Competition makes its return to the Kent County Show for 2018 and is kindly sponsored by Homeleigh Timber and Euroforest. Entrants have just 40 minutes to make as many pale bundles as they can to as high a quality as possible. Pales are the lengths of wood that hold up fences and require the palemaker to split round timber into cleft wooden pales. Using a froe and froe club, the craftsman splits the wood along the grain, and with surprising accuracy, can produce pales that are uniform in size. If the competitors want to walk away with the trophy, they must meet the meticulous criteria of each bundle containing 25 pales and each pale being as close to 10cm wide as possible.
Manual skills, like palemaking, were once commonplace but are becoming increasingly rare. The accuracy and skill required for making pales however has made it a task that is difficult to mechanise, and so palemaking is still a coveted skill in any wood worker’s arsenal. Don’t miss out on seeing this rare craft form and watch the competitions on the Saturday of the Show.
The Palemaking Competition is just one of the many activities going on in the Woodland Area during the Show. Also see chainsaw carving, hazel wood flowers, working horses, and birds of prey demonstrations. It’ll be tree-mendous!