Friday 25 July 2008

Fun with a chair

We recently acquired two chairs made by a cross eyed Sri Lankan odd job man about a hundred years ago. I kid you not - one of my ancestors by marriage was in the colonial service. Anyway, one of them fell apart this morning when my son sat on it, so I spent the morning putting it back together again. As it's an heirloom its emotional value is immense. Its practical value is probably negative; I'd have been better off going to Ikea (yes, I said Ikea) and getting a flatpack replacement.

Anyway in the course of trying to get it to work, i.e. to support some weight, I realised that the said cross eyed Sri Lankan odd job man had a capacity for making things eerily similar to mine, although he was probably more ingenious. Following that logic I started working on the assumption that nothing that was intended to fit did actually fit. This worked quite well, especially when I realised that there were two currents of idiosyncratic DIY going on because the chair had at various points in its life been lovingly "repaired" by other people with the same level of skill as me. Woodwork was one of the subjects I failed at school.

Anyway, I did pretty well with this chair. I managed to figure out how to get the sides and the front to speak to each other again, and then to marry as if they were one.

But I hadn't followed my own logic through well enough....

When the frame fitted together, the seat didn't fit the frame.

I hammered it into place. Sometimes ingenuity just has to give way to a good bashing.

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