Last week I had the pleasure of having Geoff and Peter in the workshop making a continuous arm chair each.
I enjoy the watching the week unfold. There's a familiar theme. A few days in the 'saddle' of the shave horse first. While not back breaking work, the first two days are long, especially when using tools which are unfamiliar to most, such as a drawknife. You can sense that in the back of their minds they are wondering if there's going to be enough time to get this chair made. I often get asked, "are we making good progress" or are we up to speed.
But in the days that follow, leg holes are drilled and reamed, the seat carved, legs and stretchers fitted and the crest rail that they carved by hand and steam bent on the second day, comes out of it's form and finds its way on to the arm posts.
Suddenly the chair begins to take shape. The seat with four legs now starts to resemble the chair that captured their attention when they first saw it.
Lastly, with spindles shaved to fine tolerances and 15 hand split wedges at the ready, glue is warmed and the crest rail is glued and wedged into place. A wave of relief washes over them, a smile appears and finally they get to see the fruits of a roller coaster week of new and interesting techniques that has culminated in a fine Windsor chair.
Peter and Geoff both made a great chair and it was a pleasure to have them in the workshop for the week. Even better to see the satisfaction on their faces as they loaded their chairs and patterns into their cars for the trip home. Well done guys.