Language is not a static thing. Words can have multiple and evolving definitions with regional variations. Consider bodge, bodger, bodging, bodged. We can start with a bodger being an itinerant wood-turner that would travel in areas of England. They would set up near a village, purchase green lumber and turn chair parts on spring-pole lathes.

Another definition is an incompetent mender of things. In the US it is also spelled botched, botcher, botching. A contemporary definition is people who make things using unconventional methods or materials. I found no corroboration but I think makers of steam punk could be considered bodgers.

The definition of bodger I am pursuing in this post is a pragmatist that does what needs to be done. Coming up with a solution that may not be elegant but is certainly serviceable. Doing the best they can with what they have at hand. It might not be pretty but it’s also not horrendous.

I have here a set of picture that shows the efforts of bodgers. Things didn’t quite go as planned, yet you come up with something that works and looks somewhere between fine and just a little odd.

First one, what you do when you have to install an attractive pull on a chest with a really think drawer front? The pull is attached with relatively short eye bolts.

A really attractive pull with eye bolts. Click to enlarge.

A really attractive pull with eye bolts. Click to enlarge.

This is the thick drawer front. Note the thin dovetail pins as discussed in a previous post.

Click to see the elegant solution.

Click to see the elegant solution.

I wonder if this was a solution widely used in production.

The rest of these pictures are just examples of what you do when things just don’t work out the way you planned. It is a less than ideal situation but you can’t afford to throw it away and start over. It could be an error in measurement or given the hardware you have to work with, it’s just how it has to be. The lock goes here and the molding goes here. It’s all interesting stuff and not fatal.

All I need is another quarter inch.

All I need is another quarter inch.

You bought which lock?

You bought which lock?

Key still fits.

Key still fits.

Think they'll notice?

Think they’ll notice?

Have file. Will travel.

Have file. Will travel.

This blog was inspired by a talk given by blacksmith Peter Ross at last weeks Triangle Woodworkers Assoc. meeting.

If you care, the sites I found most useful in researching bodger are:

Wikipedia
Urban Dictionary
World Wide Words