Story chair – reprise

I had to rig up a little shelter in the wildlife/sculpture park at the Dales Countryside Museum, we had regular bouts of hail from the North East, but the small tarp turned it a treat and kept all my tools and me dry all day.
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One thing I’d left to finish off (amongst the many others) was drilling and draw boring, following the excellent advice in Peter Folansbee’s book “Make a joint stool from a tree”
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The internal bending of the pegs was quite apparent in a couple of the mortice and tenon joints:

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I think the finished piece retains the spirit of a shepherd’s chair, even though the very untraditional halving joints on the sub-frame front and sides are untraditional for almost any wooden chair.
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Although the later joints (with pegs deliberately angled differently for security)  did withstand most admirably the hacking out of the dog-tooth pattern (thanks Peter F) on the front frieze. (Spot the wooden nail unshortened).
SAMSUNG CSCThe whole project just leaves me wanting to add lavish 17th century carving to any flat surface, and to make more m&t joints.

 

And finally a quick tip for beginners.  NEVER make a pencil out of a tree nail in a project requiring 20 pegs – you will always have difficulty finding your pencil.

Two legged chair

Well, it will be six-legged by next Wednesday!

This is what it looks like today:

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I’ve been working on the back today, between getting stuff ready for Otley Show etc. The two ‘horns’ on the ends of the crest rail will be removed after final assembly, they are just there so I can whack the thing together/apart. It now fits together, so I’ve drilled the 5/16ths holes in the crest rail, but not in the tenon yet, as they will be draw-bored.  That is, the hole through the mortice marked onto the tenon and then offset and the hole drilled a might closer to the tenon shoulders to pull the joint together, pure 15th century magic.

I had fun setting out the outline of the top.  The middle section I drew as two overlapping arcs to get an interesting shape.

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Then I drew in the curves above the top of the stiles. Good what can be done with a pencil and a piece of string, eh?
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The crest rail’s chamfer and lambs tongues (merp!) are marked out but will be cut in situ at Hawes next week when I assemble the whole thing including hammering in pegs, cursing, adjusting, wishing I’d done some things differently, growling, chatting with the public, and hopefully finally relaxing in said shepherds chair (Didn’t appreciate you were a shepherd as well as all the other stuff I notice – Ed. I’m not – FS)
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Bodgers’ Ball

Hello!

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We were at The Bodgers’ Ball at Wimpole Hall this last weekend and had a great time. Took the De Waard tent and collected my daughter Nim from Cambridge railway station.

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A bright start to Saturday morning.

SAMSUNG CSCOne of the good things about camping is cooking out-of-doors.  Nim’s tucking into porridge with raisins.  This is real porridge where the oats are just hulled and cut.  This means they need to be soaked overnight and then cooked for about half an hour.  We use charcoal, shavings that have flown, Kelly kettle, dutch oven and a great little Vietnamese charcoal cooker:

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Bolton Abbey charcoal, of course, easy to light, burns hot and long, and a steal at £3 a 2.5kg (easily portable under the arm), made from FSC woodland thinnings (Ok, less of the gratuitous self-advertising – Ed).  On Friday night we had fine couscous with a ladies fingers curry, 4 course dinner on Saturday was, sweetcorn cobs, barbecued veggie kebabs with grilled pitta bread, then sweet followed; barbecued bananas filled with chocolate.  I had a handful of syrup tin potatoes at this point then we had home-made cake and coffee.  Then the residual heat was used to stat the porridge soaking.

As you can guess from above, I did a bit of scything.  I’m just beginning learning this skill so I managed to pick up a few tips from the more experienced people there.  The meadow was a mixture containing fescues which dull your blade quickly because it contains silica.  I wasn’t sure whether it was that or my sharpening or cutting technique causing poor cutting.

There was Doug Joiner there doing some demo horse logging, here’s Simon from The Hall getting a bit of tutoring:

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Simon’s energy in organising and running the Ball was immense  Wimpole Hall and model farm is run by The National Trust and has quite a few heavy horses of its own.  Mostly the breed is Shire horses which apparently are on the endangered list.

SAMSUNG CSCThese are some of their cattle, an Irish breed, you can tell they are a heritage breed from that very square body.  Compare some of the old paintings, here’s out local Craven Heifer, much celebrated in pub names round home:

Even though the regimen is RSPCA Freedom Food it looked to me like the hooves of some of them needed clipping as they were very overgrown, I suppose lying about in crap all day doesn’t help, I suppose they’ll be let out once the grass is long enough.

There was such a lot going on, you really need to go to appreciate that.  Many pole lathes (all different designs) tool auction, log to leg racing, food, AGM, straw-plaiting, hedge laying, scything, timber hewing, purse net making (for rabbit ferreting), new and secondhand tools, and much more.  Such as Mr Nic Westerman making an axe from scratch.  He was using coke rather than charcoal – don’t blame him, an axe is a big chunk of steel!  Have a look on his website – he has some really beautiful leaf fobs that actually look like the species they represent.

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Here’s his natty forge made from what looks to be a wagon wheel, I wonder what the secret of the magic bellows box can be.  Runs from a 12 volt battery and there’s a switch hanging from the forge edge lower left.

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I bought quite a few items including a really beaut. of a plough plane – here it is already in service on the story/shepherd’s chair:
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That router can go back in its box now, noisy, dusty dangerously frightening semi-controllable beggar!

I bought a good flat adze in the auction to replace the one that grew legs and walk off from my workshop whilst unshafted. Also a new pair of large size log tongs. If you handle large lumps of wood get some of these, they will save your back and make life much more pleasant believe me – they are a dream when loading and unloading my trailer with 4 foot felled timbers. They become like an extension of your arm, and with practice you can throw a log and release it by jerking the tongs in a special way (Glad you didn’t try to make that particular point an instructable, remember the cost of your public liability insurance – Ed).

Also on my shopped for list were two hessian sacks, rather hard to come by these days, but good for informal rain hoods, aprons, bagging shavings or small children (Steady on! – Ed) OK small animals then.  They need a good banging with a carpet beater but today it’s going to pour it down all morning – floods appearing already.  Got a couple of presents for friends too.  Sean Hellman sold me a cake of pink honing compound, I’m finding Autosol that I’ve used up to now a bit too messy, so having a swap.

I visited the Shed Therapy setup and I’m rather taken with their ‘Make a Pencil’ activity for kids – should go down well at shows, and it’s Otley Show this coming Saturday.  Gavin has posted me some pencil leads so here’s hoping they arrive in time.

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OK I need to post this or it will be next week.

To finish a few pictures on the shepherd’s chair progress, making lambs tongue stops on the back frame members’ chamfers:

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Story chair update

Now where was I?  Keep getting interrupted by courses, stove remodelling, fitting doors, skirting boards, bees etc, etc.

Well yesterday I found I had to split out some more oak for a back panel for the chair.  The butt was not so big, but nonetheless still needed the winch to haul it onto the trailer.  It turned out to be heavily infected with something oak is prone to but which I couldn’t identify, however, the timber that isn’t rotten is a warm brown.  I’ll be making the side wings from it which need to be as light as possible to maintain the bottom heavy weighting for stability.

Here’s me doing some speed splitting – nearly as good as watching paint dry.

(Did I notice the head come off the sledge-hammer?  Really! -Ed)

Today I’ve been fitting the panels in the back.  At first I was going to have them raised with a small upstanding rebate and worked them up so using a fillister plane and a little finishing plane for the chamfer:

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Eventually I decided to go for a less formal fielding without the step as in the East Riddlesden chair:

SAMSUNG CSCIt’s a more colloquial style more fitted for an outdoor location, so here it is dry fitted:

The riven oak is producing some decent grain patterns, the storytellers will need to beware of this eye in the back of their necks!

SAMSUNG CSCNext up will be stopped chamfers to the frame and then the arms and seat, and finally attaching the back frame to the seat frame – no chair has been built like this before (Good job too – Ed)

I rebuilt the stove today as the firebox was just too big; that was what caused the flue fire.  I only need a slow fire to produce smoke in Summer to keep the midges at bay.  I decided to try keeping the smoke a bit more under control by adding a plate from scrap steel plate to join the flue to the fire bricks:

SAMSUNG CSCIt seems to work very well, with almost all the smoke going up the flue.  With the amount of firebrick in there I should be able to cook potatoes in 25 minutes.

On my commute this week a new dwelling has appeared on Silsden Moor, a splendid new shepherd’s hut:

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All around my hat …

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Well Spring has certainly well and truly sprung and it’s so busy – bees:

SAMSUNG CSCWent to an auction at Brickhill Farm (above) run by Halifax Bee Keepers Association yesterday and there was quite a lot of stuff there, these’re just some of the 300ish lots.

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I managed to buy a good used hive for a fraction of the cost of a new one:

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Pine, so I need to treat it with some harmless-to-bees preservative, and get some frames and make them up.

Also I picked up a small smoaker, I’ll be finding out what from my extensive wooden stores smolders nicely.  Maybe I could bottle some of the stuff from the charcoal kiln.

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There were stock and extensive fruit gardens at the farm where the auction was on the outskirts of Bradford,

English: Bradford Town Hall

Bradford Town Hall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

with added pigs:

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Back at Strid Wood, rebuilt the stove at the bodgery last week, adding a further dead wheel to the base in hopes of getting the top of the flue well above the tarp to keep the smoke exit level higher.  I’ve got a cough!

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Fired it up Sunday.  You can see that the flue is now higher than the ridge and more smoak should stay out of the workshop.

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I fixed the flue up with three scavenged Jubilee clips co-united.  Minutes after I lit it I had a rather hot chimney fire, but managed to put the ridge timbers and ropes out standing on the lathe bed and playing the fireman with the sharpening water luckily.  ‘Worse things at sea.’ As they say when they’re not at sea.

Still hammering away at the shepherd’s chair, here’s some speed axing of part of the back panel (One day, you’re going to fix that unstable chopping block. – Ed):

The axe chips vid that comes up after the axing finishes, is just for people who rather enjoy watching paint dry.

Watch this space for the slowly evolving story chair story.  Got the third of the major tenons fitting today (well nearly).