Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Stool for Annabelle.

A few months ago, my nice neighbours over the road were cutting back a whopping big Cape Lilac Tree in their backyard.  Brad and Aimee offered me as much of the tree as I wanted. I took a big heap of log sections home, just in time for the Green Woodworking workshops I ran in July.

Breaking down a chunk of Cape Lilac. It cleaves apart quite nicely.

At the time, I told myself I would make something for them as a thanks, and thought it might be nice to make their daughter Annabelle a three legged stool.
Meanwhile, I have been messing around with a Spring Pole Lathe I have made - based on the machine brought back into existence by legendary US woodworker Roy Underhill, who adapted his model from a 17th century German technical encyclopedia.

My trusty Spring Pole Lathe.
First of the three turned legs.
I have been wood turning on powered lathes since I was 12 years old - but it takes a bit of getting used to the techniques required for these pre-industrial Pole lathe machines! However, I have been having a lot of fun playing with and fine tuning my Spring Pole Lathe so have been making some sets of legs for three-legged stools. The first set I completed would be for Annabelle.

The top for the stool was cut out and then shaped with a spokeshave.
Using a spokeshave to shape the edge of the seat. Held in a bench vice.
Holes were drilled in the underside of the round seat, and after the legs had dried for a few weeks they were returned to the lathe to turn down the tenons to the right diameter - a tad over an inch.
Holes drilled in the underside of the seat ready for the legs.
The legs were then driven into the holes with some glue (Titebond 3). The stool was complete, ready for finishing.
Legs now driven into the underside of the seat.
With the legs fitted, the next step was to level and cut the feet. Then I wrote a small inscription on the underside of the seat before applying a couple of coats of Orange Oil followed by a beeswax mix.

It was time to present the completed stool to Annabelle...
Annabelle and the nice little stool made from her tree...
The tree has not been totally removed from Annabelle's backyard. There is a massive amount of material still there, as a multi-branched collection of coppiced trunks. I'm hoping to score some more next time when more bits of the tree are removed. Meanwhile, this is the best kind of storage for green wood!
The stool perched on a stump of the big tree from whence it came.
These three-legged "milking stools" are a great little project. Easy and fun to make, and a great chance to play with the spring pole lathe. Nice. Thanks, Brad and Aimee for the chunks of your tree.

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