A Deckchair made for two

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I am on holiday, not something I do well, and I am stuck inside as outside its torrential rain, a left over from Hiurricane Bertha. Luckily this year we are staying at home, I had a major project planned for the Garden, digging up tree stumps with a digger, great fun, which I am managing to slot in between downpours although its beginning to resemble the somme out there.

Therefore I decided to keep myself busy whilst its raining by building a Deckchair made for two, in which my beloved and I can sit back on a summers eve sipping our exotic cocktails, I wanted to say pina colada but couldnt spell it and I am not sure I like them anyway, whilst we watch the sun go down. As luck would have it, my trusty video camera finally gave up the ghost after 10 years, and its replacement has arrived so I needed a project to try it out on so everyone wins.

To use a familiar phrase ” I have never made one before” and “I dont have a set of plans to work to, or one to copy” gives the impression that I dont know what I am doing. Like many of my projects this one has been in the back of my mind for some time. In my mind I have made several already and I have been a covert studier of deck chairs as we visit trendy antiques stores, it gives me something to do apart from being amazed at the prices.

The woodwork is quite straight forward, and I used steamed Beech left over from real work, and spent a happy morning cutting up planks and running them through the planer nothing like making a mess to put a smile on your face. Beech is perhaps the luxury choice for this kind of project, it has the advantage of being strong, with a straight grain which means the struts can be made thinner, plus I had it to hand which makes it even better,as I frequently say nothing but the best for you my dear. I was particuarily pleased to be able to use a circular tenon cutter I brought from an antique tool fair. As a Wheelwright I have several of these all adjustable, whereas this one comes from a chair bodger and can only cut one size, a 28mm tenon, but as it happens that suits just nicely and I have to say it worked a treat.

Once you get into it you start to appreaciate the simplicity and clever design of this seaside classic, although I wish I had one to copy as its taken several moments of head scratching to get it right. However its going too well and you as an astute reader can see there has to be a problem coming.

The issue is the cloth for the seat. The only deckchair material I can find is about 40cms wide Ok for a standard deckchair, but not suitable for this love seat. My solution is to use a double thickness of Upholstery material, which somehow I will get through the sewing machine. Continuing the leftovers theme the only piece big enough I have is slightly gothic, so its definetly going to be stylish, and if it works I am convinced I will start a trend, and fully expect to feature in the Guardian Magazine style section . The sooth sayers around me arent convinced and are salivating at the prospect of me sprawled on the floor covered in fruit juice, I pretend to be offended but I do have form for this they remember the hammock, but we wont talk about that now .

Wish me luck

Tom

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