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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Pictish Bench

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  • Jerry Harder
    How do you tell if something is steam bent or bent in some other fashion or simply grown that way?
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 16, 2013
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      How do you tell if something is steam bent or bent in some other fashion or simply grown that way?

      On 4/16/2013 12:11 PM, Vels inn Viggladi wrote:
       

      There's a real bit of trouble with material culture from that era of the Isles. There isn't much to work with and even less published. As a social group, the Picts were transient peoples living on the geographic fringe of "civilized" Britain from at the least the Roman Occupation onward. It wouldn't be wholly incorrect to say they were the target of a slow genocide, perpetrated by at least a half dozen competing cultures. That they didn't seem to produce many large artifacts as an itinerant population, combined with the competition for living space they repeatedly "lost," whatever was produced was likely destroyed unless singularly valuable or very well hidden.

      There's our liabilities.

      To make a bench that would 'likely' be appropriate, you are looking at some version of a four-post forme or dressed log. Both of those are against the desires of your client. You are probably looking at making an "inspired by" original design rather than a reproduction for this one.

      If the client is unwilling to accept your design based on this piece because it isn't a recreation or reproduction of a known piece, you may need to politely educate them that what they are looking for does not appear to have ever existed.

      Interesting aside: It looks like the arms/front posts of the NMS throne were steam bent. While not outside of the available technology for the time and place, I'd think it more likely those might have originally been hewn rather than bent to shape. Modern materials and labor investment considered, steam bending sure is an improvement.


      Vels

      > From: williams@...
      > Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 04:51:16 +0000
      > Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Pictish Bench
      >
      > Greetings, my friends,
      >
      > I've been tasked with building a "Pictish bench." The owner wants it to knock down for travel to events. We've seen images in standing stones, but they are often very aged and 2 dimensional. We've seen the Pictish "throne" that was recently reconstructed in Scotland, but my customer doesn't want the rounded seat - it may look like the images on certain stone, but those images may have represented arms rather than the seat, and besides, it looks as uncomfortable as hell.
      >
      > Would anyone in the group know of images for a bench that serve as a starting point for a 7th century wooden bench? She wants a back and arms, not just a flat board with legs stuck in. Ideas?
      >
      > Thanks for any help you can offer.
      >
      > Bayard


    • Vels inn Viggladi
      ... fashion or simply grown that way? From this: http://www.angus.gov.uk/new/Releases-Archive/2012/images/2012-06-28b.jpg I d go with the grain making an 80°
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 18, 2013
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        >From: geraldgoodwine@...
        >
        >How do you tell if something is steam bent or bent in some other
        fashion or simply grown that way?


        From this: http://www.angus.gov.uk/new/Releases-Archive/2012/images/2012-06-28b.jpg
        I'd go with the grain making an 80° turn perfectly with both "arms" as my biggest clue that it was steam bent. Short of asking the maker there is nothing certain, but the particular turn of those parts makes finding that as a natural formation improbable. Also, the grain orientation as it's shown is textbook for which faces should be where for a good steam bending.
        Even green, I don't see oak this thick being bent to a held form without steaming.


        Vels
      • K
        Hi, I don t see the wood bending here, exactly the opposite, large sections (like in this chair) do not tend to bend well, If I were to try to make this chair
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 18, 2013
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          Hi, I don't see the wood bending here, exactly the opposite, large sections (like in this chair) do not tend to bend well, If I were to try to make this chair I would look for a tree or branch of a tree that already has the bend in it. like the parts of a cruk church, or the knees for boat building.

          yes I am butting into a conversation I wasn't asked to join. so now I will apologize for that and leave you to it.
          K
        • Vels inn Viggladi
          ... If it weren t for open conversation, we wouldn t have this medium to do it... The real indicator to me was the cathedralling of the grain following a
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 18, 2013
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            > From: kaisaerpren@...
            > Hi, I don't see the wood bending here, exactly the opposite, large sections (like in this chair) do not tend to bend well, If I were to try to make this chair I would look for a tree or branch of a tree that already has the bend in it. like the parts of a cruk church, or the knees for boat building.
            >
            > yes I am butting into a conversation I wasn't asked to join. so now I will apologize for that and leave you to it.
            > K

            If it weren't for open conversation, we wouldn't have this medium to do it...

            The real indicator to me was the cathedralling of the grain following a consistent arc to the bend in arms.

            There's also the possibility that for the reproduction they may have gone with cold compressed lumber rather than steam bending.

            I've dropped a message to Adrian McCurdy, asking how he went about making those sides.


            Vels
          • Vels inn Viggladi
            Just got word back from the museum piece maker. Turns out kaisarpren was right. The arms are branch bends and retain the full strenth of the wood grain. I
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 18, 2013
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              Just got word back from the museum piece maker. Turns out kaisarpren was right.

              "The arms are 'branch bends' and retain the full strenth of the wood grain. I was lucky to find good shapes in the nik of time.
              hope this helps
              Adrian"

              I suppose I'd have lost a quarter on this bet.


              Vels


              To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
              From: velsthe1@...
              Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2013 15:26:48 -0400
              Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Pictish Bench



              > From: kaisaerpren@...
              > Hi, I don't see the wood bending here, exactly the opposite, large sections (like in this chair) do not tend to bend well, If I were to try to make this chair I would look for a tree or branch of a tree that already has the bend in it. like the parts of a cruk church, or the knees for boat building.
              >
              > yes I am butting into a conversation I wasn't asked to join. so now I will apologize for that and leave you to it.
              > K

              If it weren't for open conversation, we wouldn't have this medium to do it...

              The real indicator to me was the cathedralling of the grain following a consistent arc to the bend in arms.

              There's also the possibility that for the reproduction they may have gone with cold compressed lumber rather than steam bending.

              I've dropped a message to Adrian McCurdy, asking how he went about making those sides.


              Vels



            • Broom
              ... consistent arc to the bend in arms. So I looked the term up. See the 2nd picture here, if you re as green (no pun intended) as me:
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 19, 2013
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                Vels shot over my head here:
                > The real indicator to me was the cathedralling of the grain following a consistent arc to the bend in arms.

                So I looked the term up. See the 2nd picture here, if you're as green (no pun intended) as me:
                http://www.stephanwoodworking.com/CommonBoardGrainPatterns.htm

                Cathedral grain leads to "cupping": the chipping or of those arch-pieces that are weakly bound to the rest of the wood fibers.

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