smacks head, walks away muttering…

It has been suggested that I would benefit from adult supervision. Less a life coach and more a babysitter. For instance, I walked around the house in circles this morning looking for my phone then realised I had set out to find a book.

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I’d ordered hardware for my camp stool a while back, not trusting that the local hardware stores here in the DR would carry what I needed. When it arrived I thought it looked a bit thin. Then I drilled the holes and did a test sit in the thing. The hardware is indeed too thin, or I too fat. Whichever, need bigger hex bolts.

As such, the stool is totally ready except for the necessary parts. I’ve been sitting on this project for a while already, and another delay is…well, another delay.

This brings a Chinese idiom (chengyu) to mind: 万事皆备,只欠东风. Roughly translated as ” Everything is ready except for the east wind.” If memory serves, the story is that a general, in preparing for the defence of a city, prepared such a complex and meticulous plan that every element was critical. Of course as the attack began there was no wind from the east, which was apparently a very crucial part of the plan. I want to say there were flaming arrows involved, too. Anyway, the town was SOL.

Three Legged

The seat of my camp stool has been done for some time and needing legs. Three legs. As such, I spent an inordinate amount of time making three different legs because I wanted to see what I could do without a lathe. This was something of a blank space in the internet. No clear directions on how to hand carve curves that taper in and out. Or end abruptly in the middle of the piece.

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Legs in pine, sapele, and oak

Three legs – tapered and rounded sapele in the middle; rounded and tapered down then back out on the right in oak; and a rounded leg tapering to the flat top of a rounded foot in pine.

I didn’t bother keeping track of how I went about the rounded taper. I forgot with the taper in-and-out in oak.

So, on with the pine leg that tapers down to a flat topped foot. image-17

The process was draw lines, taper, draw more lines (as shown in this post on cabriole legs), chamfer and then round. I used a combination of chisel, plane, and rasps.

Initially  I’d set out some guide lines using a method for drawing an octagon from Chris Schwarz as seen here. Also, finding the centre at both the top and bottom and using a compass to draw circles provides other reference points.

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The foot was a completely experimental. It rounds horizontally and vertically. Basically whittling a ball. Finally I sawed the bottom off to flatten it and arrived roughly at the point I had intended. image-21

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Camp stool seat

Just a few pics of the seat I made for the camp stool from Chris Schwarz’s Campaign Furniture.

One thing to point out, Chris mentions that quick rivets can be used instead of brass rivets. I was tempted into that, especially since they are a lot cheaper. There’s a reason. They are thin, flimsy, hard to set right and, for a 6’1″ 200 lb meat bag like me, they don’t inspire confidence.

I got fed up with them and ordered brass rivets. Much different, much better. Thicker, easy to set, appear like they’ll hold up, and more importantly, hold me up.

Cutting the leather out goes pretty quickly once you have the templates. I was going to post some pictures of the veg tan leather cut outs. Little too reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs.

Templates and veg tan leather.

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Dyed leather with first corner done up.

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The seat all riveted. It needs a bit of cleaning up around the edges and burnishing, but otherwise good to go. With a punch set, dividers, and rivets the whole seat took about half an hour to put together.

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