Diversification

I’m unsure, at the moment, whether it is enlightening or worrying, that customers have such a varied and far reaching perception of what picture framers and wood-turners do.

This particular customer turned up with eight McIntosh dining room chairs.
Could I please re-upholster the seat squabs and re-glue the joints of the chairs?  It’s true that these particular items were showing signs of considerable use by persons (or otherwise overweight mammals) greater in mass than the McIntosh designers had envisaged would be using their products.
Disintegration would certainly be an inappropriate term: imminent collapse would seem to fit the bill quite nicely though. :lol:
McIntosh furniture is very good quality ~ from the 1960-70′s era.
Kirkcaldys’ finest.
But these particular pieces had been subjected to either an exuberantly boisterous family or a hard life.  It’s the same thing, I suppose, really.

Oh, and could you re-polish the chair frames too, please?
Oh and, there is a dining table, to seat ten, and an 8′-0″ long sideboard from the same suite, which needs re-polishing if that’s possible, when you’ve finished the chairs.
Oh yes; another thing. I want two carvers made, to match the eight chairs, as well please.

I explained to her the bit about picture framing and wood-turning, but it didn’t seem to register at all.  It was almost as if I hadn’t even mentioned it.
I said that I’d contact her in due course, with a quotation: first for the restoration of the chairs, then we’d see.
The theory, in business, is that when faced with work which you do not want, for whatever reason, you submit a quotation which takes the customers’ breath away.  Literally. :lol: :lol: If they hastily look around for a seat to sit upon, and look faint, you know that you’ve achieved your goal.  :twisted:   It’s not that I don’t particularly want the work; but if I become inundated with framing &/or turning work as well, I’m going to be working day and night shifts, just to keep everyone happy

I contacted a local upholsterer and obtained a quote from him.
Based upon his quotation, if the client has all the work done which she is planning upon, she’s definitely not going abroad for any more holidays for quite some time to come.
A long weekend in Corby, in a tent, maybe:  if she pays for it in installments. :roll:

Well, as you can see, I have concluded by on taking on the commission, with the condition that it will take a month to complete ~ thus allowing for any sudden influx of framing or turning work.   Even if, or even hoping that, I don’t get inundated with other work, I will certainly be able to take a holiday in the Caribbean at Christmas.   :lol:

Tiger Moth Propeller

Earlier this year I was given a Tiger Moth propeller to repair, and modify, to enable it to hang upon a wall as a display piece.  Not work I had ever done before, though not so dissimilar to many strange pieces which have found their way through my workshop over the years.

This one, manufactured originally from South American mahogany, had served firstly upon a Tiger Moth, and then upon another aircraft, not a Moth but obviously of similar characteristics and fitting arrangement.  The prop had subsequently been damaged on one of its trailing edges.

So the commission was to splice a new piece of similar timber into the damaged area; then devise a means by which the propeller could be mounted for display upon a wall.

The following are shots of the prop in varying stages of repair and modification
click on any image to enlarge & the ‘back-button’ arrow to return
the repaired trailing edge
the original prop as it was when I received it
the eight bolt holes to attach it to the engine mainshaft flange surround the mainshaft aperture.
the new nosecone, turned on the lathe from in-stock African mahogany of approximately the same era.  The spigot is a tolerance fit into the mainshaft aperture.
the finished prop – the oak mounting ring on the rear is to screw it to the wall & the nosecone fits onto the front, covering the fixing bolts which hold the prop to the mounting ring
the full length of the finished propeller. It scrubs up pretty well, for an old ‘un, doesn’t it? :lol:
large as the propeller is, I always find it difficult to imagine how something this relatively small can power a twin wing plane, with a pilot and a passenger, hundreds of feet into the air.

I enjoy doing this sort of work – relatively simple, but not a common commission. :-)  A bit out of the ordinary.  It requires a little thought and the ability to work with quality hardwood species, involving conventional bench joinery, wood-turning and, carving when necessary.  As well as working with the appropriate polishes and finishings.

Pot-Purri Bowl #

A client has commissioned me to turn a decorative bowl for use upon the dining room table to hold pot-purri, when the table is not being used by the family.  The instruction was that the bowl is to be made from English oak, to match the legs of the dining table, which are visible through the glass surface; and the design of the bowl is to be in keeping with the format of the oak legs, which form two ‘X’ shapes, at 90° to one another.
It sounded fine to begin with.  Not a problem.  I initially suggested a bowl turned from a 12″ cube shaped blank of oak so that the finished bowl would have four prongs resulting from the four corners of the cube, which would replicate the tops of the four table legs.
Great so far.
Until the question of sourcing the 12″ cube arose ~ followed by the cost of the cube.
I have a lot of oak in stock, but inevitably not a seasoned 12″ cube: and the 12″ dimension is part of the client specification.
So I started to look at other possible design shapes.
I produced sketches on AutoCAD of several different shapes and formats, and submitted them to the client.
Each was well received, but it was clear that nothing ‘rang-their-bell’.
And in the midst of my sketches I did one which was not a turned bowl at all, but an inverted truncated pyramid, but with the fours sides curved rather than being uniformly, and probably totally uninterestingly, flat.  Without much thought, I posted it to the client.
Almost immediately, I received an instruction that the inverted pyramid was exactly what was required.  I confess to being somewhat surprised as I had offered it as merely a passing thought ~ an idea ~ a concept; nothing more.

However, we now had a design to work to and the positive side of the selection was that the material cost will be relatively negligible when compared with a seasoned 12″ cube of oak.
I have the 32mm x 170mm material in stock.
The less positive side of the selection is that I have had to put my ‘thinking-cap’ on to visualise how I am to make the bowl and produce the finished article to represent the sketch that I so thoughtlessly :oops: produced.

I made a start yesterday (Friday) and produced the initial blanks from my stock.
And I have decided to blog the process, with accompanying photos, as part of the ongoing project.
It may be that it fires your imagination.  And you would like to try something similar.
It may be that you conclude that I am quite mad.
Whatever: :-D :-D