Friday, 5 September 2014

Fun at Fab Lab - new laser-cut basket bases

I've been spending a bit of time recently at a wonderful new venture which has opened up in Cockermouth - BEC Fab Lab, where they have a variety of computer-driven machines such as laser cutters, 3D printers and CNC routers which can be used by the general public. The only cost is the price of materials used plus an hourly rate for use of the machine.

It's a place that fills me with inspiration! I've started with easy things - things that will be of use to our customers.

We're always running out of certain sizes of basket
base, so with the help of the lovely FabLab people I've drawn up computer files and cut out some tray bases 18" x 12", as well as a few smaller, square basket bases - some 6" square and some 4" square. We haven't had square ones before, so I hope they'll be of interest to you. The edges are so much neater than the old ones, sawed and drilled with traditional tools. I really like the results.

The beauty of this is that if you want a basket base of an unusual size, you only have to ask. It may take a little longer, as I'll have to set up the computer file first, but once that's done, it'll be easy for us to make them for you whenever you wish.

Suppose you wanted a long, narrow basket to put on a window ledge to hold plant pots? Easy! Just tell us the size, and we'll sort it. (Up to 12" x 24" - 300 x 600mm) We can just as easily create funny-shaped ones - just tell us your requirements!

 I am now working on designs for children's chairs that can be rush-seated or cane-seated. The old, traditional chair kits are no longer available - they simply don't make them any more - because apparently, "there's not enough demand". Well, there doesn't have to be a lot of demand for our flat-pack children's chair kits, as they'll be made to order. We'll keep 2 or 3 in stock, and just make more as we need them. So watch this space!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Our customers' work (3)

Mr JB picked up this nice old umbrella stand on eBay for 99p What a bargain!
He says:
"It was an impulse buy on Ebay and cost the princely sum of 99 pence. The wooden frame looked good, but the cane work was very damaged. I just fancied it as a Winter project, but kept putting it on hold as I couldn’t quite get my head around how to use pre-woven 6 way cane, even though I had previously done 6 way cane work starting from scratch. I found some useful videos on YouTube and followed their advice, with cane supplied by yourselves. I used a water based wood dye to stain the finished cane as near to the colour it was when I originally acquired the stand. It was a lot easier than I’d imagined and I’m delighted with the end result.
As an aside, this exercise also caused me to learn how to sharpen chisels.
Just need a nice Victorian / Edwardian house to go with it now!"

Mr JB used our 18 inch wide open weave rattan webbing for this project. You can buy it by clicking here

Monday, 12 May 2014

Our customers' work (2)

A nice piece of weaving by our customer Mr I.C.,
using special polycord.
Mr I.C. made this stool 60 years ago when he was a lad of just 11 years old.  Back in those days you could get seagrass in a variety of colours, and he made a nice woven seat with red and cream seagrass, which has lasted very well over the years, but which was recently on its last legs.

He bought some of SitUpon Seats' Special Polycord  in similar colours, and he's done a very fine job of weaving the seat to look almost the same as the original.

He says, "My eldest grandson has volunteered to do the stool again in 60 years. He’ll be 78 then!!"

Special Polycord comes in a variety of colours and thicknesses, and  you can buy your own here: Special polycord.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Our customers' work (1)

RW's stool made from an old copper beech tree
I just had to share this lovely stool made by one of our customers from the remains of an old copper beech tree that had to be felled because of disease. The disease, though, created an interesting pattern in the wood, and RW has skillfully turned the wood to make beautiful legs, and a frame for which he has woven a seat with our seagrass.

We love to see what our customers do with our materials! Would you like to share something you've done?