Some time ago, the baker at work asked me to make litle chairs for knitted rats from Thailand. Yes, I know, so far so ordinary. It’s the sort of thing people ask all the time.
This is one of the rats in question –
Not easily stable so a stool wouldn’t work. It had to be a chair, with arms, and a means to lead the tail out of the back. I only have to make two. I didn’t promise a table with cards and ashtray and whisky bottle but I’ll make a table anyway. It just doesn’t need to be ready in time.
Time is less flexible than I thought it would be. I have to be away for a few days next week because of a reason so I have to finish these to hand over on Monday. That should not be a problem.
It does mean, however, that I won’t have the model for Lesia ready in time. So I’ll just tell you now. It’s a monster truck made by combining a Mercedes Actros chassis with… a Trabant. It will have smokers inside. Who wants to donate to Lesia and get it when it’s done? Biggest donation gets it, every donation gets a signed book. Random books, sorry, unless you have a wonky table and want a particular book thickness. Just let me know by email (contact page) how much you donated and an address for the book/model.
Note that I might not be able to post until the week after next.
Okay, back to the little chairs. Photos come variously from the garage or the indoor workshop depending on how cold it was. Here is the starting material, cut to manageable lengths.
The plum wood has lots of little side shoots that need to be cut off I could have just planed them into little planks but that’s too easy. Besides, rat chairs wouldn’t look like they came from IKEA. I needed to work on ‘rustic’ as a theme.
Taking off the side shoots would probably best be done with some delicate tiny tool from my toolbox. A Dremel with a saw blade, perhaps. I used this:
I didn’t want to take the bark off completely, just enough to be sure there’d be no flaking later on. So coarse sandpaper was good enough to get to where I wanted. And, apart from slightly shortening one finger, no injuries to report.
This is where things started to go wrong. And a tad painful. I had planned proper mortice and tenon joints but plum wood wasn’t playing. It holds and holds and then just lets go. Injuries were minor but too frequent.
Then Sensible Brain Cell spoke up. ‘They only have to hold up knitted rats. You don’t have to make them to support any tonnage’.Why that brain cell waited so long I’ll never know. Possibly because I don’t usually listen.
Now the joins will be simple. Filed curves in the ends of the pieces with gold-plated pins drilled and glued through.
So here are all the bits, filed and ready to start putting together.
So ends part one. Part two will see the bits being assembled into something that looks a bit like a chair.