Peter Wood, chair-maker, green wood-worker and teacher of traditional woodland crafts has won the world championship log to leg race held at the Association of Professional Foresters biannual trade fair held at Ragley Estate
With heats on the first two days of the show the final was held in front of a large cheering crowd. Competitors have to race to complete a matching pair of chair legs starting with a freshly felled log of Ash. The wood is cleaved (split) to the right size, then roughly shaped using a traditional drawknife before the billets are set on the pole lathe (a foot powered lathe) and turned into a matching pair chair legs.
Penalty time is added for mistakes and if they don’t match! with Peter winning with a time of
7 minutes and 27 seconds!
He was awarded the trophy, a wooden Mazer (a wooden drinking vessel) turned on a pole lathe (of course) by the 2012 winner Dave Jackson.
The race is held to commemorate the chair bodgers, highly skilled craftsmen who used a foot powered pole lathe to turn chair legs for the Windsor chair-making industry. They would be turning up to 150 chair legs a day, sometimes living in the woods, to satisfy the booming chair-making trade.