Apologies to all of you who are avidly following this unfolding story of the birth of a set of chairs – I missed my blog last night. Today I only got a half day in, so you haven’t missed much. Yesterday (Weds) I achieved my assembly of the two last panels in the allotted 3 hours (inspired by The Great Pottery Throwdown the night before), so I then had all 6 panels assembled.
In the afternoon, I took two of them to pieces, and with a spokeshave, a scraper and two Abranet pads (amazing pads with course and fine abrasive sheets held on with velcro), I then had to reshape and smooth each lath and the cross-rail. I have left cleaning up the crests until I have fitted the ends into the back legs, which is some way off yet. Here’s a pic of one set of laths shaped to fit into their mortices, and another set having subsequently been reshaped and smoothed off. Can you tell the difference? I bloody well hope so!
Today (Thurs) was the most dismal day so far this winter (only 0.2 KW hours all day from the solar panels capable of generating 2.75 KW/hour). Forunately the recent wind had died down so with the shaving-horse snuggled up close to the wood-burner and with the i-pod generating a good rhythm for sanding, I kept myself comfortably warm.
If any of you (either of you!) know the music of AltJ, try sanding a piece of wood while listening to this song of theirs: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/altj/thegospelofjohnhurt.html. I was off on a kind of red Indian – sorry – native American chant. I’ve no idea what the lyrics are about but they are very relevant to a green woodworker.
In the meantime, I had put all the rungs and rails made on Monday into the oven of our Tyrolia kitchen stove (wood-fired of course) just on tick-over. After a day at about 80 degrees C, they had dried beautifully, with the tenons shrinking to a good oval cross section of about 14.4mm by 15.3mm, pretty well perfect to squeeze into the 14mm holes I shall be drilling in a few days. I’ve put them back into the rack above the living room stove, so I can get a beef casserole on the go for Saturday, when we have friends to visit for lunch.