A place for me to display some of the varied projects that come out of my shop, as well as to "talk" about some of my experiences working with wood.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Please seat yourselves...

With the bench complete, it's time to focus on the chairs. There will be four of them and my model at the left is a reminder of the design. I normally build a full size prototype, but I am becoming quite confident at the chair thing so I thought my prototype would be with quality materials. So in keeping with my favorite wood choices for chairs, I am using cherry and ash.

I will work out all the measurements and styling on this chair and apply it to the remaining four.  I always thought this chair should be natural and not painted and stained, so I am making one to prove this to myself.

I am continuing to work my way through the wrist-slitting work of turning legs - while the pile is dwindling, it is not dwindling fast enough. My strategy now is to stay ahead of the assembly process, I will have just enough legs to build the next chair.  There is also a small matter of leg stretchers which I have not even thought about yet!

There is some production line work here that I thought I would get out of the way - really to avoid turning more legs :-).

Bowback mold in use
Normally an English-style bowback has a steam bent bow and when I started this was the plan. Bought a steamer and steamed a few pieces of ash and maple, after much swearing and frustration I sent those sticks to my buddy for his chiminea. It was at this point I decided there would be a laminated bow for my chairs, AND it was still going to look awesome. Having considerable experience with cold bent laminations in my rockers, benches and chairs I went about building a mold.

I resawed and sanded to thickness 30-some 1/8" 60" long strips of Maple and Cherry for the lams and started to make some bows. The picture at left is the cherry lams for my "prototype" baking in the mold. Leaving them to cook for 24 hours ensures there is no spring-back once they come out of the mold. It is also important that for a bend this severe the lams need to be very close to on quarter, or more swearing will be the result.

While the bows were drying I had a few other jobs I wanted to complete,  so I used the time to check these off...

Our Nylon String Taylor needed a re-string and a cleanup on the ramps, as it was eating strings.
Classical Gas on this guitar is the most heavenly sound. Yes that is Cocobolo.

I built my workshop cabinets in 1994 and it was time for an upgrade. The door needed replacing from the missile off the tablesaw, and I wanted more storage underneath. Drawers were my weapon of choice.

The drawers installed with full-extension slides, I think I gained about 40% more room,
not to mention how easy it is to access stuff at the back.
I needed to brighten things up a bit so decided to paint the cabinets, the base cabinets
and doors are done; next will be the top cabinets.
Some new hardware from Lee Valley spruces them up also.
This has brightened up this end of the shop a lot already.

Back to Laminations!

One Cherry and one Maple one complete, with the next one cooking in the mold.
The strings are there to hold the legs together, but is not really necessary - they are going nowhere.

With a couple more to go I decided to do some layout on the seat. I want to get outside and carve them before its too cold to work outdoors. The dust generated by the grinder is just too much and there is just no way to contain it indoors. I will rough carve them all outside before installing the legs for test-fitting the stretchers.

My layout work on the seat. This design will not be heavily carved like the Maloof style.
I am only going down 1/2" in the bum section to provide some relief. If I don't like it I will go a bit deeper.

Now back to turning those friggin' legs...