Storyteller’s chair; part 1

SAMSUNG CSCIt’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:

SAMSUNG CSCBit 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:

 

SAMSUNG CSCThe 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:

SAMSUNG CSCWatch 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.

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Should have been a stonemason

Well I would have been a stonemason if I’d been born a hundred years ago.

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My Great Uncle Martin.

Several of my ancestors worked in stone and what work those old masons used to produce.  Here is a selection I took from around my village on Friday, as the Winter bike having had a new chain fitted, along with new brake blocks all round (occasioning really filthy hands), has done the usual trick of complaining that it would rather like a few new chain wheels as I changed the chain too late and the chain now jumps at those tricky moments like when straining against the pedals uphill.  Anyway, to resume.  Here is a simple ball:

SAMSUNG CSCEach individual chisel mark can still be seen.  This ball is about 18″ in diameter and my brother reckons they used to take a day to make.  And they are not turned. Amazing in their perfect simplicity.

From a mighty ball to really delicate vernacular grave stone style:
SAMSUNG CSCWhat artefact could be more beautiful?

Reminds me of the strapwork of Mr Folansbee, but it appears so free-flowing.  The next is from a later gravestone, probably Victorian, but wow!

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Almost makes me want a headstone myself, but I suppose Amazon would charge very highly for delivery.  I’ll make do with an oak sapling.
Now here’s one of the older properties in Farnhill:

SAMSUNG CSCIt has been altered over the years and would have originally had windows all the same as the upstairs ones with stone mullions.  Pure vernacular. I was over the wrong-side of the canal so I couldn’t get close enough in to see what has happened to the date on the door lintel, but here’s a blow up:

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Looks like the date in the lower centre panel has been removed. Why?  A mystery.  Maybe it’s 1716, must get a closer look.

I have been doing a little woodwork between felling, tushing and trudging about in the snow.  Mended the horse, attempted three threaded rods for another screw clamp, but found what I thought was cherry was alder (wildly weak and unsuitable.)  Made a brace of hurdles.  The odd badger, preparing for a memory box and a set of these big boys:

SAMSUNG CSCCheese boards for a country wedding.  It’s spalted beech from a tree that has been left in log for three years.  There is just about enough nature left in it to get away with.  Looks pretty eh? Thanks Nature.

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Ah well, blue skies returned last week and are still here, feels a bit Spring-like, but there will doubtless be a Wintery sting in the tail to endure yet – remember Candlemas was sunny too. Here it is bursting through over Silsden and Barden Moors:

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And here it is over my felling site:

02043475130204Glorious!