Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Making Bush Furniture

I spent an weekend with a bunch of amazing people all interested or skilled in traditional crafts. Set up in a clearing in the bush we five crafts: blacksmithing, weaving, spinning and dieing, spooncarving and bush furniture making. I spent time with most of these but this post focuses on the construction of bush furniture.
This is the start of a rustic bench seat. First a slab was hewn with a hand saw from a dry log. then four short legs were cut and the ends shaped with a draw knife to the same diameter. Four holes were angled in the base with an auger. Each leg had a split cut in the shaped end and a wedge placed in the top of the split. When the legs were fitted and driven home the wedge caused the leg to grip tightly.
The bench now has its legs and two slots were augered into the top for the back of the seat. The slots were made with two auger holes side by side with the middle chiselled out.

This lady made a ladder out of green timber. The frame was made by splitting a straight length of branch in half. The ends of the rungs were all shaped on the shaving horse (below) to the diameter of the auger holes. Once these were fitted a peg was hand made to keep the ladder together.
A ladder rung being shaped on the shaving horse.

This guy made a stool. The seat was cut as a slab from a dry piece of hardwood. Three legs were shaped with the draw knife and slotted into holes augered all the way through the seat. Three other pieces of green wood were cut to keep the legs apart and rigid.

The legs were pushed up through the holes to sit proud of the seat. A slit was cut in each one and a wedge driven into to seat level. The slits had to be cut perpendicular to the edge of the seat or the corner could snap off.  Any part of the leg still above the seat level was cut off.

The completed stool.

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