Posted in Chairmaking, Polelathe, Uncategorized, What's in the shed today?, tagged bodgery, chair making, elm, greenwood working, Polelathe, steam bending, windsor chair on August 28, 2011 |
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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.
Having steamed the beech comb for just over an hour we placed it in the jig and applied the pressure using a simple pipe bending vice.
Once bent the comb stays in the jig until it’s cooled right down.
Now I have the comb and the back sticks all I need is the time to finish the assembly!
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.
Derrick is something of an Big Elm connoisseur. For example the new workbench in the workshop is one huge slab of elm.
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!
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Posted in Chairmaking, Polelathe, What's in the shed today?, tagged bodgery, bodging, chair making, crafts, greenwood working, rounding planes, windsor chair on August 24, 2011 |
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The last week of August is Full Steam ahead – literally – at the Bodgery. Where Derrick kindly allows a group of chair makers of varying talent and experience to invade his workshop. This lovely set of spindles is destined for a child sized chair – unfortunately not my work, but it does inspire me, and is one of the reasons I enjoy taking part in this week at the bodgery. Unfortunately demonstrating and courses on the weekend before and the coming bank holiday weekend have limited my ability to join in this year – and I’m keen not to make the same mistake next year!
Derrick has had something of a clear up and change around in the workshop and it enabled 9 of us to work on various parts of stools and chairs at the same time. As always the floor is liberally carpeted in shavings – we keep telling him that there is gold in them there shavings !
I’m making some sticks, spindles and the comb for the back of a Windsor chair.
For making the straight sticks a shaved blank is turned down using a rounding plane. Derricks Ashem crafts rounding planes were getting plenty of use making sticks for a range of chairs.
At this point Derrick and I noticed that our Ashem crafts planes are very different. It looks as if one is an earlier design – but which one? I think it’s Derrick’s and he thinks it’s mine (on the left). A Quick google reveals that Derrick is right and mine appears to be an earlier design. Does this make it a collectors piece? And why did the design change?
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