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Greene & Greene Gamble House Side Chair #12: Roughing It

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Blog entry by TungOil posted 12-12-2017 03:29 AM 1575 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: A Lumber Mill Run Part 12 of Greene & Greene Gamble House Side Chair series Part 13: CNC Templates and Begin Back Leg Fabrication »

The sapele has been in the shop for a week acclimating and my CNC cut templates will not be ready for a while, so I got busy roughing out parts. I started with the largest parts, the back legs. A leg blank 7 inches wide will allow me to cut both back legs for a chair from a single board, helping with grain and color match. Several of the boards were a bit over 14” wide, allowing me to get two pairs of legs from each cut length.

To be sure I have spare material in case of an error, I cut enough parts for 14 chairs. I ripped the wide stock to 7” widths on the bandsaw, then joined one face and edge before planing to final thickness.

As I started planing the stock to thickness, some internal compression damage was revealed on several pieces. All of the damage was located where the lumber had been stickered in the yard. In the image below you can still see some of the sticker stain next to the damaged area.

I went back to the lumber pile to rough out some additional replacement boards. With these boards planed to thickness, they are as far as I can take them until I get the templates.

Most of the damaged boards were salvaged later to make smaller parts such as the front legs (that’s why we always start with the biggest parts first, right?). In some cases the grain was not running parallel to the edge of the board, requiring me to lay out the parts parallel to the grain and true up on the bandsaw and jointer. Truing up in this way helps avoid the diagonal grain seen in the top leg below, which will be used for setup only.

As I was working I kept a pair of diagonal cutters in my pocket to remove stray staples from the lumber yard. I don’t cut the staples, but I find the diagonals get a good bite making them easier to remove.

Next I roughed out the stock for the back slats. Ideally the center slat and two outside slats should come from the same board and be kept in sequence. It’s going to be a real challenge to keep all of the parts properly labeled and oriented as I make these parts.

With the two largest parts roughed out, I moved on to cutting the stock for the smaller parts. The crest rail and lower back seat rail are made from 8/4 stock. The side seat rails and front rail finish up at 7/8” thick so I will resaw the 8/4 stock to get two parts from each blank. The poplar blanks will be used as setup pieces.

The majority of the parts are rough cut at this point, with the exception of the lower stretcher components. These parts are small and can be easily cut from the drop offs left over from roughing out the main chair parts.

Next step: Finish roughing out the remaining parts then joint and plane to size in preparation for pattern routing and sanding.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"



9 comments so far

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1132 posts in 2376 days


#1 posted 12-12-2017 01:17 PM

You certainly have been busy. I can certainly relate to using the scrap for making the smaller pieces for the chairs.

I’m curious if you are keeping track of the hours spent working on a project this large. That band saw looks very impressive as well.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View pottz's profile

pottz

2656 posts in 1012 days


#2 posted 12-12-2017 02:22 PM

and the journey begins!its gonna be a fun trip,cant wait buddy.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1601 posts in 3586 days


#3 posted 12-12-2017 04:34 PM

You make me really miss being able to back the truck up to MacBeath’s in Berkeley, CA and load up a bunch of mahogany and QSWO for various projects. I really need to make a nice heirloom piece. You’ve inspired me. But first I have to finish building the shop. Not complaining. Looking forward to you getting your CNC’d parts. These kind of projects in my mind justifying buying a benchtop CNC machine.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

945 posts in 523 days


#4 posted 12-12-2017 07:52 PM



These kind of projects in my mind justifying buying a benchtop CNC machine.

- CaptainSkully


I would have thought so as well, but for less than $350 to cut the templates there was no way I could justify it (This time…). I really don’t have room for a CNC or time to learn how to program it anyway.

Good luck with the shop build, that is always an adventure.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

945 posts in 523 days


#5 posted 12-12-2017 07:56 PM



I m curious if you are keeping track of the hours spent working on a project this large. That band saw looks very impressive as well.

- EarlS

Yep, I have a simple paper form that I jot down the start and finish times as I’m building. I keep track of time by process step. I created it in Visio, and it’s a page in the master file where I have the steps for the entire project layed out.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

6567 posts in 3175 days


#6 posted 12-13-2017 12:01 AM

Looks like you’re off to a good start!

I’m looking forward to seeing how your templates turn out. Question, though: Are you concerned about using MDF material for the templates as opposed to 1/2” plywood? It seems with the number of parts you’ll be milling with these templates, and the relative softness of MDF, that the templates could lose the integrity of their edges and cause parts to be imprecise copies of each other?

The reason I ask, is that I’ve had MDF templates get dented slightly along the business edge, and have to be refabricated. Swore I’d always use 1/2” Baltic Birch from then on….......!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

945 posts in 523 days


#7 posted 12-13-2017 12:19 AM



Looks like you re off to a good start!

I m looking forward to seeing how your templates turn out. Question, though: Are you concerned about using MDF material for the templates as opposed to 1/2” plywood? It seems with the number of parts you ll be milling with these templates, and the relative softness of MDF, that the templates could lose the integrity of their edges and cause parts to be imprecise copies of each other?

The reason I ask, is that I ve had MDF templates get dented slightly along the business edge, and have to be refabricated. Swore I d always use 1/2” Baltic Birch from then on….......!

- Mean_Dean


Not so much, but I agree it is a risk. One option is to harden the business edge of the templates with some thin CA glue. I’ve never needed to do this but I think for this project it is probably a good idea.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1132 posts in 2376 days


#8 posted 12-13-2017 06:35 PM

If you are worried about the integrity of the original templates, you can always start the project by making a set of copies of the originals that way if one gets a ding, you can make a replacement off the original. I’m sure there is some technical term that is used to better describe the parts and process.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

945 posts in 523 days


#9 posted 12-13-2017 08:40 PM

That’s a good idea Earl, I need to pick up some sheet goods to make the routing fixtures for this project anyway, I should grab a sheet of MDF while I’m there.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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