My visits to the bodgery last week were squeezed in between bookings for demonstrating and teaching polelathe turning at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum (of which more later) but I am very grateful to Derrick for getting full steam up and pushing me to make the missing part, namely the comb, for my comb-back windsor side chair.
The steam chambers are simple plastic drainpipes heavily lagged by old carpet and braced with battens. The steam source is a wallpaper stripper or kettle heating element in a plastic water reservoir.
My chair was only one of many on the production line during the week and I counted parts of at least a dozen chairs and stools in progress and perhaps equally enjoyable was the sheer diversity of style and design.
Derrick and Veronica are working with Este on her Elm seat base. My side chair is unconventional in that the comb and seat base are made from beech rather than elm. My choice, and entirely because I have access to beech that I planked up a couple of years ago from fallen trees on the commons. Elm rarely comes my way, let alone in chair seat diameters.
Somewhere in a store not far away there is a stash of monster Elm planks, but as this is valuable stuff I shan’t reveal it’s exact location nor it’s owner. At least not until I’ve had a chance to save up and raid my piggy bank!
Thanks to Derek, Veronica, Sue and all at the Stratfield Saye Bodgery for the help and encouragement!