The Swivelstool is an ingenious yet simple design of a seat that rotates around its own axis. While this design allows Compendium researchers to spin around on their chairs, it also allows them to work on multiple desks at a time while researching. While traditional seating has to be shifted around or about, the Swivelstool allows effortless swivelling. Though more traditional heavy oak seats are more decorated and prestigious with many a crafty carving in them, these chairs often bind the researcher to one desk. Some of the more messy Compendium researchers who work across numerous desks needed something new; a seat that allowed them to swivel from one desk to another: The Mechkanika solution to this problem came from a simple design by the Compendium researcher and engineer Jonael Tomeskrift.
|Image description. A Swivelstool as it can now found more and more often in the Compendium Halls. Picture drawn by Jonael and Seeker.|
Description. As can be seen from the picture, the Swivelstool’s simplest design bears resemblance to a decorated wooden stool. The prototype constructed in the Compendium halls itself measured three fores in height and had a seat diameter of one and a half fores. What made this chair an exceptional step forward was the top half of the chair’s ability to swivel about on its own central axis. As with any Mechkanikan design, the final product had to be simple in its application and design. As such, the Swivelstool can be broken down to three basic components:
This part consists of the disk onto which the researcher sits. Though the prototype consisted of a smooth polished wood surface, later designs soon made use of cushions and small forms of back support for those researchers who spend ages on end behind their desks. Some researchers even went as far as re-fitting their seats with some of the finest materials from all over Caelereth. Among the sages of New-Santhala, there goes a rumour that the compendiumist Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang expended no less than three silverbards to have his five-legged Swivelstool fitted with a cushion of Carmaladian velvet, and to have said cushion embroidered by seamstresses of the Fymbel guild. The embroidery is said to be a faithful copy of the famous “Cycle of Life” tapestry that hangs in the Lorehold library in Lorehaven. Once more this idea follows the ideal of Mechkanika: The chair’s individual pieces can be customized according to the user’s needs without affecting the general function of the item.
This is the ingenious component of the seat. It consists of a series of grooves meticulously carved out into the top and bottom side of the chair’s single leg. These grooves are carved out as semi-circles on either side of the ‘bearing’ so that when joined together, a ring shaped hollow is formed. Into these the prime component of the Swivelstool is then inserted: The Ball Bearings. These incredibly hard and accurately carved metal spheres are crafted by experts from the Thergerim's Jewelcrafting industry. It is only due to their prestigious work on these spheres that the seat’s design works.
Though not visible once mounted, there is a smoothly polished iron rod which travels down the very centre of the chair’s leg. This is the pivot of the chair. It has been crafted into the chair in such a way that the bottom half is firmly attached to the rod, while the top half only comes in contact with the iron where necessary, to minimise the resistance against the seat turning. This ‘smooth contact’ state is achieved through the lubrication of the space with fat or wax. While these substances greatly increase the ease with which the chair rotates, it also meant a slight setback for the designers: The fat and wax would have to be serviced and cleaned from time to time in order to keep the seat clean.
The turning effect is then further enhanced by the ball bearing’s rolling through the immaculately carved grooves. Its greatest asset is unfortunately also its weakness. Because of the spherical nature of the bearing balls, the Swivelstool is not appropriate for continuous heavy loads, limiting its use. As Jonael wrote in a letter he had attached when sending the prototype to the Compendium: “It is a flawless design… but do not go sticking a troll on it when you first present it, or it will no doubt falter!”
The legs are the most decorated part of this construct. Their design can be altered to incorporate all kinds of art or materials, as long as the simple concept of a minimum of four legs is kept in place, giving stability to the chair. Early prototypes of the Swivelstool were three-legged, but this design proved unstable, as some test-sitters swivelled about all too enthusiastically, toppled over and had to be attended to by the servants of Nethor. Unfortunately, the victims of these accidents lacked understanding of the principles of Mechkanica, and therefore believed their mishaps to be potents of demonic forces, which they assumed to be at work in the Swivelstools. Jonael Tomeskrift had to summon all his charm and powers of persuasion to convince his test-sitters that their injuries were nothing but the natural results of a minor design flaw. Thus, and with Seyella’s help, Tomeskrift succeeded in preventing the spread of ugly rumours that might well have brought the Swivelstool into irredeemable disrepute.
Though a reasonably new design (early 1667 a.S.) that is still in its testing
stages, the hope was that after its launch orders would come in from fellow
researchers who considered the transition from an old heavy throne to a dashing
revolutionary new form of seating.
History/Origin. Known to regularly work across three desks at a time in his research study in the Compendium, Jonael Tomeskrift soon found himself enraged at the hassle of having to shift his heavy ornate chair from table to table. As a fellow Mechkanist though he did not despair, but instead went about finding a solution. Thus, after long nights of scribbling away one ink pot after the next, he had finally conceived a design which could alleviate the problem.
After a month of strenuous work and a constant stream of letters between Tomeskrift and his ‘testers’ the Swivelstool’s design was completed. Both fascinated and delighted with the improved design, Jonael Tomeskrift presented the proposal and design to his superior, the venerable Sage Artimidor Federkiel.
Thanks to much praise and encouragement from fellow researchers, the design was approved and the order to proceed with its production was issued. Since its first manufacture, Swivelstools have been purchased by fellow Compendium researchers, including Jonael, Talia, Alysse and Shabakuk.
 Mechkanika: This is a fairly new concept that is slowly but surely creeping around the planes of Caelereth. At its most basic, it promotes the ideal of making things in their simplest yet most effective possible design. While the art in itself is intricate and complex, in Mechkanika every invention (usually practical in orientation) is to be made of simple components that together work to perform great tasks and jobs. Other names for a fellow Mechkanist may include: Tinkerer, Crafter, Smith. A further ideal of Mechkanika is that knowledge and the feats it performs should be available to everyone from simpleton to noble, and as such promotes the spreading and sharing of Mechkanika knowledge. [Back]