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Posted by / 04-Mar-2019 10:48

After felling a suitable tree, the bodger would cut the tree into billets, approximately the length of a chair leg. Using the side-axe, he would roughly shape the pieces into chair legs. The finishing stage was turning the leg with the pole lathe (the pole lathe was made on site).

Other definitions of the word bodge taken from Robert Hunter's "The encyclopædic dictionary", suggest that it could also be a corruption of "botch", meaning "patch".

The "sides" of the shelter may have been enclosed in wicker or wattled manner to keep out driving rain, animals, etc.

High-Wycombe lathe became a commonly used generic term to describe any wooden-bed pole lathe, irrespective of user or location, and remained the bodger's preferred lathe until the 1960s when the trade died out, losing to the more cost-effective and rapid mechanised mass production factory methods.

Chairs were made and parts turned in all parts of the UK before the semi industrialised production of High Wycombe.

As well recorded in Cotton the English Regional Chair Bodgers also sold their waste product as kindling, or as exceptionally durable woven-baskets.

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Of the other craftsmen involved in the construction of a Windsor chair, one was the benchman who worked in a small town or village workshop and would produce the seats, backsplats and other sawn parts. The framer would take the components produced by the bodger and the benchman and would assemble and finish the chair.

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