Tuesday 24 December 2013

Strange reindeer and rude joints

I put the current chest together the other day, fitting the till and the floor boards. I will leave the last board out until after Christmas to allow the others to season a little, then drive it in to tighten them all up. I can't really do it yet anyway. Richard Bent is making me some rosehead nails, but they won't be ready until the New Year.

After this I started prepping the rails and stiles for the panelled top. I opened up this log which I had been saving for the lid panels, but disaster struck, the log was twisted and unusable inside.

A typical case of not counting your panels before they are hutched. Not the first this week as I found out the other day I had not been accepted to show at Bovey Tracey Craft Fair. If this is not Devon craft I don't know what is!

Anyway, onwards. I need to clear some space and use up the more twisted oak, so I can get some more suitable stuff for riving in.

I am meandering from hand tools on this job, its not like I'm out to make a seventeenth century pole lathe. I must confess to never having turned anything in my life before, but I will need to turn the front legs on the settle I am going to join next.

A nice piece of holly for the bed.

 Some riven oak billets for the legs.

I have based this on a pole lathe made by Sean Hellman. I bow to his greater experience in turning matters. The joints are rude but appear to function well enough. I don't want to spend weeks fashioning a perfect lathe. I am very much into the functionality of tools and not so bothered what they look like. I prefer to put the effort into what I am making with them.

My modern electric drill succmbed to its inbuilt obsolence yesterday and I didn't fancy a hand auger or brace to go through the six inches of not very green holly, so it was out with this beauty. Presumably a 1950's beast that was made before some fool thought of IO. It reminds me of black and white Flash Gordon rocket ships.

Next for a length of hawthorn for the swing arm pivot. I was aiming for a reindeer but ended up with this strange beast. A treadle, a swing arm and some centres to add but that's another story.

Best wishes to all for the festive season.

Saturday 14 December 2013

Is the chest half full or half empty?

Last week I came to trial assemble the chest I am working on. Ooops, I had made the back 3/4" too short. I was a tad miffed to start with, until I realised that instead of one chest being only half-finished I was almost halfway to having made two chests!

I did not have a tree wide enough to make another three panel back, but a four panel back will do. Today I have been making the till. This needs to be fitted at the same time as the front, back and sides are drawbored together, as its parts are sandwiched between the front and back.

I picked up a few books from Oxfam bookshop yesterday.


which was written in 1888 or thereabouts in Karlsruhe, Germany. 1000's of designs for everything from a guilloche to to a handbell.