Today I returned to the workshop to work on the other section of the tree that I barrowed up the the workshop on Friday. It was a quarter of the very bottom section of the tree, which I marked with the ‘curtain ring’. Unfortunately it just yielded 7 rather than 8, so I cleft it into 3 rather than the preferred 4. I then marked each third to give 4 legs.
After cleaving I had the front leg blanks for the 6 chairs, which I plan to make before Christmas.
While I was doing this, I had the chair legs, crests and laths from Friday, gently steaming away. Top right is the wallpaper stripper feed steam down the flexi pipe into the plywood steam box that I resurrected. In the woods we had been using a box made of 2″ insulation boards but that was in a poor state, so I’ve used those boards to lag the stronger plywood box. The big advantage of the foam box was that it was very lightweight and easy to lift on and off the wood-fired drum. Now the steam box is fixed, that’s not an issue.
Using pretty much the same jigs as in Going With the Grain 2nd edition, I bent 3 pairs of back legs, 3 sets of laths, 3 cross-rails and a couple of crests. These are now drying around our woodburning stove in the living room.
The afternoon was spent shaving the 6 pairs of front legs, following the gentle curved that came from the butt end of the tree. I tried using a 1 1/2″ tenon cutter to size the tops of the legs.
I concluded that was a waste of time and used the ‘curtain ring’ as with the back legs. These legs will now be dried gently along with all the steamed bits. The shavings will sit outside being dried by the strong wind and will be ready to use for kindling within days.