Monthly Archives: May 2012

I’ve got my hands …

“It is a tragedy of the first magnitude that millions of people have ceased to use their hands as hands. Nature has bestowed upon us this great gift which is our hands. If the craze for machinery methods continues, it is highly likely that a time will come when we shall be so incapacitated and weak that we shall begin to curse ourselves for having forgotten the use of the living machines given to us by God.”
Mahathma Ghandi

Copied over from the website of an excellent young craftsman.

All I can add is hear! hear!

Ta dah – the story teller’s seat’s tale.

I’ve been at Allerton Primary School finishing off the storyteller’s seat.

This was the set up

Hey, you can tell it’s a school! First aid box, double ropes, tools to the rear, visitor label blowing in the breeze.

I’ve been working on this chair for a few days in hopes of getting it finished today.  It took ages to fix those seat slats, two oak dowels at the back and one at the front, all at opposing angles to make sure everything stayed solid.  I jokingly thought I was going to bore those 15 holes 3 inches deep with a 3/8ths spoon (piercer) bit in a brace.  Bearing in mind this is drying oak, I pretty soon gave up on that and drilled large pilot holes with the anabaric* drill and just finished them with the brace and bit.

Once I’d got them all settled and one of the back pieces mounted and started on an arm rest, interest from those attending the school’s open day started to grow – well it started looking a bit like a chair.

“Are you going to leave it here?”

“Is it hard work?”

“Would you like a cup of tea?” Came the questions thick and fast.  Thought I’d left the armrest risers behind, but then found them in the Land Rover.  Time was ticking by only 12 noon ’til 3pm to get it all done.  Fastened on the second back board and the crest rail, and then the decorative top bead (where I used the only four 3″ rose headed nails in the job) and finally the finials.

Ah all was calming down now, I was going to get it finished and two ladies who attended the school in the 1950/60s (when I was at primary school too) took up seats to watch the finishing touches – fitting the second arm rest, knifing off any remaining rough bits, axing the armrests to size, shaving off pencil marks … all whilst discussing wood types, treatment of outdoor furniture, screening materials and the evils of carbon miles on imported wood.

At last it was finished and everyone had to have a trial sit …

“Comfortable, if I win the triple roll-over lottery tonight I’m having one!”

“Before you put your tools away, you’ve missed a rough bit on the right hand armrest.”

“Let me home to that cold, Rose Cottage beer.”