We turned and turned and turned


Nine completed legs. Batched work has benefits from a learning and efficiency perspective.

The three sets of campaign stool legs are now turned and ready for finish, hardware, and leather. Repeating the same form in three different species provided some very useful lessons about turning, particularly how to achieve a clean surface on different stock, including tear-out prone timber (I’m looking at you, ash trees), working stock of differing hardness (that maple was tough stuff), and achieving consistency of form. All in all, I’m pleased with how these legs came out, and definitely looking forward to spending more time at the lathe.


Two different foot profiles

I really like the Roorkee inspired foot detail on the ash and sapele legs, but variety is the spice of life, and as I was feeling comfortable at the lathe by that point I thought it would be interesting to try something different for my third set of legs. So for the maple legs I went for a more rounded ball foot instead of the cylinder and cove profile. Although this is only a small detail, it has a significant impact on the overall appearance of the leg. Rounding the foot was good fun, although probably the most challenging element of turning all nine legs, as it requires an entirely different body position and movement with the tool. Again, this was a valuable part of the learning experience, and with more practice I’ll be up for trying more involved profiles – the aim ultimately is to work up to a set of Windsor chair legs (although that is likely a ways off). Maple takes a really crisp detail at the lathe, and it will be interesting to explore the possibilities presented by becoming more familiar with turning.


It is a simple detail, but one I really like

The tribolts are on order from Lee Valley, although unfortunately they appear to be out of stock until the end of the month. While I wait for the hardware to arrive, I’ll apply finish to the legs (Chris recommended in his book that you drill out the holes for the tribolts once the finish was applied), and then press on with the Apprentice’s Stick Chair. As far as finish goes, the maple legs will receive the same combination of blonde shellac and Osmo as I used for the staked work table. I need to do some sample boards for the ash and sapele legs, but currently I’m leaning towards blonde shellac for the ash, garnet shellac for the sapele, and black wax for both (my favourite top coat for porous timber).


Gorgeous leather seat from Texas Heritage

The burgandy leather has now arrived from Jason, and the quality of material and workmanship is excellent, as I have come to expect.  With three sets of legs up to the standard I was aiming for, I need to order two more sets of leather. The burgandy leather seat has been earmarked for the sapele legs by Dr Moss, so I am thinking of pairing a mid-brown seat with the ash legs, and black seat for the maple. Rising up the to do list is a set of Roorkee chairs to match the campaign stools – making stuff always leads to making more stuff. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Proof of handwork – I’m tempted to leave the layout lines on the sole of each foot

1 thought on “We turned and turned and turned

  1. Nice work. It looks like you are making friends with the lathe. 🙂 I am enjoying your blog. I have been doing a bit of ‘octagoning’ lately. Your posts on the subject have been great.

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