Morgan and I got back from a west-coast vacation a couple weeks ago and I’ve been carving seats and gluing up chairs ever since. I’ve got 18 undercarriages together and 22 to go. I might switch to putting backs on for variety. I’ve never had a opportunity to get in a rhythm carving seats, but it’s getting faster and better – I’ve got it down to around a half hour per seat, minus the scraping and sanding.
In my downtime I’ve been watching Youtube videos. I re-discovered this rake making video last night – I love making rakes and pitchforks and have sold them sporadically to museums and re-enacators over the last 20 years. I live in America’s plentiful forest, so I start with a huge log just like American tool makes have done for 200 years (and how Drew Langsner’s book taught me). Europeans often have a different take. This video is from 1978 Germany and shows the making of an angled, two-sided rake such as I had never seen before:
They start out in the fields cutting saplings. I love their steaming setup for straightening the saplings (I won’t spoil it for you). Then they head to a very nice shop for some indoors work.
Roy Underhill would be happy to see him waxing his saw blade – I’ll always remember Roy going from bench to bench with a block of mutton tallow, greasing all the saw blades and offering encouragement as students cut out their seat blanks.
I’ve never seen someone loosen a holdfast by hitting the end under the bench – what’s that about?
I love how they can eyeball all the hole angles, even though random-seeming handles will go into into the holes. Do all trees grow branches at the same angle? Probably not.
Photos of my chairs-in-progress: