I’m getting to the smaller components for the shepherd’s chair now. This will be the front under-seat framing rail. The dogs in the bench top are great for this, half the battle is holding the stuff still to plane, the other half is stance and sweat. It was very warm yesterday, for Yorkshire, and the next two days are forecast to be hot too (read ‘too hot’). I’ll be milling out a coupe of larger items – crest rail and seat slabs and maybe the wings . I’m milling them on the quarter so they will be as good as riven. The oak butt I’m getting these from has some rather large limb junctions and riving could turn out to be too wasteful.
You can see end on how the above rail follows the rays on the finished face:
The back will be left as is because, being under the seat, it will not be seen, and the extra weight will add to my desired bottom-heavy balance to avoid tipping over.
The ray patterns are looking pretty good though:
The aroma of this brown stuff is almost intoxicating, it just reminds me of whisky maturation warehouses in Scotland where I used to work.
It’s started again. A new storyteller’s chair, for East Riddlesden Hall. It will be styled on a shepherd’s chair, but this time I’m building it properly with mortise and draw-bored tenons all round. The bottoms of the legs will be way oversize again as the chair will live out-of-doors and needs to be seriously bottom-heavy. So here’s the first back leg:
Bit more shaving down to get the top ready for framing the back panel. Proper quarter-riven oak. It took Theo and me about an hour to bust open the first split. Hedgerow-grown timber again with branches just where you don’t need ‘em. Makes splitting with wedges quite a challenge, but we did it. I tried hauling the whole butt onto the trailer with my Lug-All hand winch, but the trailer side used as an anchor was starting to suffer. I reckon it must weigh around a ton. It was still heavy to pull when halved, and on rollers.
This is the other back leg I was working on today:
The second half of the butt made a good impromptu bench. Once I’d got rid of the bark, sap wood and pith, and shaped it up a bit, sawn off the ends, it was handy enough to carry inside the Bodgery and start some finer shaping with drawknife and scrub plane:
Watch this space for more heavy work in the green oak department.
Meanwhile, still a bit of room for cake stands (to customer’s spec., honest!) This was heavy too.