The penultimate day has been written up by Julia…

After spending yesterday making the furniture components en masse — 21 steam-bent legs! — our goal for today was assembling as many chairs and stools as possible. This was the last full day and I think we all wish we had a few more ahead of us!

The morning was spent steam-bending, planing and sanding legs, drilling holes for screws of all sizes, and frantically clamping components in place to have them dry correctly. With so many pieces, a mistake of a few millimeters can throw the whole thing off.

Both of our teams encountered difficulties in assembly and had to make adjustments accordingly. The stool team produced a beautiful product, only to find that it was seriously wobbly and probably could not withstand a child’s maneuvering. The solution was to double up the legs, which, as of now, seems to be working. For the chair team, the back arch proved to be the largest source of trouble. A lot of them broke in production, and then some of the successful ones dried in a more obtuse angle than would fit in the frame. We managed to get two decent ones, but for the third chair we had to improvise a different back — an asymmetrical design, with a straight bar meeting a curve. Even though it’s the “bad” one, we all feel a certain fondness for its idiosyncrasies!

After dinner, we worked a bit on the design, layout, and binding of the publication; we’ll do the final round tomorrow morning so that we have time to print all of the copies. Ed finally made good on a verbal agreement to make one last special Japanese-style print, and we all loved it so much that we decided to make it the center spread of the publication.

Prize of the day goes to Nigel, who was a tremendous help in the planing and sanding of dozens of legs!