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There are a lot of photo's with this, so I'll do it in sections over the next few days.
I and another 5 candidates spent a week with James Muriel at his workshop in Sussex, to make a continuous arm windsor chair.
I have taken a photo of what we are going to attempt to make, so I can compare my result at the end of the week.
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For those of you that think I'm going to post some high tech equipment to aid chairmanning are going to be disappointed, James makes his chairs in the traditional way, and surprise, so are we.
The first part was choosing a piece of ash for the continuous arm.
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After doing a bit of shaping it's off to the steam room where James will explain how to use the equipment.
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The time the continuous arm was to spend in the steamer was calculated by James, this was 12 minutes.
When the arm came out of the steamer, we had very little time to complete the two bends. this made us all a bit apprehensive. I for one was concerned that under pressure I'd mess everything up. But with the expert tuition from James, our minds were put at rest.
The first bend in the arm was to shape the back, it's all done on the same former, but in two stages.
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One or two of us had some slits in the wood during the second part of the bens. Nothing to worry about, this will be dealt with later when the wood has dries.
To assist in the drying, the arms were placed into the kiln. This consisted of a plywood box built over a radiator, again nothing high tech, but very functional. The arms would now stay over the heater for a few days while we got on with the other parts.
I will add some more to this thread later.
Now down to part 2 of the week.
The next job we were tasked with was making the spindles for the back of the chair. Off we went to choose the wood. James did mention that we wanted to choose the pieces of wood with the straightest grain, tis became evident when we stated ha[ping with the draw knife and spokeshave.
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We had 11 spindles to do in total and these varied in length, so it wasn't a quick job. I tried to get the spindles exactly the same in shape, but I'm not so sure I was successful. But in the big scheme of things I kept telling myself that it's a hand made chair.
Spindle all done.
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It was during day 2 that James gave us a turning demonstration on making the legs. What surprised me was the speed in which he achieved this. Whereas I would take ages James did a leg in a matter of minutes.
I have to say that the legs we choose were actually made in rough form by James, all we had to do was finish them off. The reason for this was time, if we'd turned our own legs then an extra day wold have been required, also many of the students had never turned before so an element of risk would have been introduced.
Now it's onto the seat of the chair. I choose ash for my seat but the other guys were using tulipwood.
I will have to start another thread to continue because it won't let me post more than 10 photo's.