We have been living on the quinta now for over a year with a severe lack of convivial eating furniture. Last year a slightly decrepit foldaway camping table and some slightly decrepit foldaway chairs did the job, but barely. 6 people to a meal meant there was only enough room on the table for the food. Plates on knees didn’t make for easy enjoyment of the fruits of our labour in the garden, and neither did the occasional chair collapse, so a workshop on lashings at Easter weekend’s Encontro Verde provided both inspiration and skills to remedy the situation.
A few days ago I went up into the woods to cut pine poles for the purpose with Valeri, our new WWOOFer, and today we started work.
Lashing 3 long poles together to make a tripod. The middle pole lies in the opposite direction to the outside pair.
Close up of the lashing. A timber hitch attaches the cord to one of the outside poles followed by loose figure-of-eight pattern over and under the 3 poles. This is finished by frapping turns between the poles and and a final clove hitch. The middle pole is then flipped over, tightening the lashings, and the tripod is formed.
One complete tripod. The bark has been left on the poles. Purely for aesthetic reasons: it will make them more prone to being eaten by wood-boring insects, but since the whole thing is constructed from pine and pine isn’t a particularly durable outdoor timber, it will likely rot just as fast. By the time it does we will probably be ready for something different.
Second tripod completed and table supports in place secured with square lashings.
Checking spacing of the 2 tripods to make sure the 2.5m planks for the table and seats sit right.
Lunch time: an opportunity to test the table height.
More square lashings and a longer pole create the supports for the seats.
Table in place and checking height of seat. Table top comprises 6 planks which are screwed onto two short planks forming cross pieces underneath. The cord strung between the 2 tripods is for hanging lights and has no structural purpose.
Almost complete. Seats need cross pieces to hold them together. Each of these will be propped by vertical poles to prevent sagging. Then seats and table will be sanded and treated with linseed oil. And runner beans will be grown up the legs …
We now have a table that can seat 10 in comfort and 12 at a squeeze for the price of 10 planks of wood, a roll of nylon cord and a couple of days’ work. Many thanks to Leen van Melle for the workshop and Valeri for her help.
The lashings I used are detailed in this information sheet from the Scout Information Centre.