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Greene & Greene Gamble House Side Chair #15: Crest Rails

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Blog entry by TungOil posted 12-29-2017 04:28 AM 604 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Back Leg Mortises and Back Seat Rail Part 15 of Greene & Greene Gamble House Side Chair series Part 16: Center Back Slat- Part 1 »

The next component to be made is the crest rail. This part has a complex profile as well as a curved face and back, making it a bit more difficult to fabricate. I begin by laying out the part on all of the faces of my poplar setup piece.

The order of operations is critical for this part to assure that everything comes out as accurate as possible.

I begin by cutting the mortises. The two mortises in the ends of the piece are easily done using the Leigh FMT jig, as are the two center mortises on the underside. The outer mortises on the underside are angled, so I use a CNC cut template to machine those.

I decided to take my poplar setup part completely through the shaping process to vet out the proper order of operations. I started by roughing the concave curve using the bandsaw. I save the cut-off, as I will need it later. I then use a CNC cut template and the spindle sander to bring the concave face to final shape. The part is too tall to complete using the spindle sander, so I clean up the last 1/2” using a pattern bit in the router table. After the first curve is completed, I bandsaw the opposing curve, spindle sand and route that face. I now have the curved shape completed, ready to move on to shaping the profile. I tape the cutoffs from the bandsaw back in place on the part, then rough out the profile. I use a 5/8” Forstner bit to rough out the inside radii, while the rest of the profile is cut with the bandsaw and a saber saw to remove the waste from the hand hole. Another jig and template are used to pattern route the profile. The part looks good in the profile, but there is a problem- I bored the holes with the Forstner bit after I had cut and shaped the curve in the crest rail, with the cut-offs taped back in place. The clearance between the cut-offs and the part was large enough that there was some blow out on the back side of the part.

Good thing I decided to take my setup piece completely through all of the fabrication steps before I moved on with my actual parts!

To eliminate the issue, I re-arranged the order of operations to put the boring of the holes first and tested the new order of operations on the next part.

I rough the inside curve on the bandsaw, pattern sand and route the shape, then rough the outside curve.

Mounted in the next jig, the part is ready for pattern sanding the outside curve.

With the inside and outside curves completed (and no blow-out!), I tape the parts back together and rough out the profile using the bandsaw and saber saw.

Mounted in the routing jig with the template, I pattern route the profile.

The finished part looks nice, so I do a quick dry assembly to verify the fit is good.

With the first part completed without any issues, I’m ready to move on to the next step: finish out the crest rails for the remaining 13 parts.

-- 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"



8 comments so far

View pottz's profile

pottz

2597 posts in 950 days


#1 posted 12-29-2017 04:37 AM

I goota take my hat of to ya tung,im working on a maloof rocker this week myself and I know what your going through-hell! but enjoyable hell.id blog mine but I’m afraid somewhere along the way I’m gonna f it up and be too embarrassed to show it.so I’m not given nothin till its done-lol.see ya at the finish line,whenever that might be-ha.

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

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

903 posts in 460 days


#2 posted 12-29-2017 04:42 AM

You should do a blog. Mistakes are the best teacher and we all learn from them.

A Maloof rocker is on my WW bucket list for some day….

-- 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 pottz's profile

pottz

2597 posts in 950 days


#3 posted 12-29-2017 04:54 AM

oh trust me I do plenty,this chair is kickin my ass,but teaching me plenty.maloof has always been one of my idols and to do an interpretation of his signature piece is on the top of my ww bucket list.this is one project I’m not rushing,so if it takes a month or a year I’m in no hurry.one screw up can take multiple hours to make a new piece so I’m going back and forth to the video instructions many times.all I can say tung is if you can do what your doing now the maloof will be breeze for you buddy.see ya at the finish line.

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

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

918 posts in 2313 days


#4 posted 12-29-2017 12:59 PM

I managed to cut a couple of the curves for the crest rails and back rails last night after I got home from work before I had to go out and shovel snow. You did 10X that much, if not more, and it is a lot more complicated than what I’m doing. Plus the quality and attention to detail you are achieving is outstanding.

How many hours a day are you working on the chairs? Also, a really basic question – what kind of white pencil are you using? Is it something you order online? The ones I get at the Hobby store don’t work well.

I agree with you about blogs – they are there for others to learn. The mistakes are probably the most important part of the blog. If you mess something up, tell others about it and how you fixed the problem so they can learn from it and not make the same mistake.

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

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1590 posts in 3524 days


#5 posted 12-29-2017 05:04 PM

Love the blog. I’m a big fan of posting my mistakes. It’s actually for selfish reasons. Over the years, I’ve duplicated projects and referenced my own blogs to avoid from repeating the same mistakes years later.

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

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

903 posts in 460 days


#6 posted 12-29-2017 11:56 PM



How many hours a day are you working on the chairs? Also, a really basic question – what kind of white pencil are you using? Is it something you order online? The ones I get at the Hobby store don t work well.

- EarlS

I’ve been on vacation for almost two weeks which helps. When I’m able to get into the shop, I usually get a full 6-8 hours in, sometimes more. I tend to work until I have a step completed, even if that takes me into the evening, rather than stopping at a set time. I am tracking my time on this project closely and I will post a final recap with the last post.

Regarding the white pencil, it is a fabric pencil. The one I use is a mechanical style pencil, I ordered it from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001UAKL4Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It works well for marking Sapele, walnut and ebony. They are a bit soft so they tend to break easily but the marks are generally very visible.

I was going to skip over the mistake to keep this blog post a bit shorter but in the end I decided to include it (In a shortened version) because it really is a part of doing this type of project. Perhaps if I had 100 chairs under my belt this would have been an obvious mistake, but since these are my first chairs I fully expect to make some mistakes and errors. I’m making enough parts for 14 chairs in the hopes that in the end I’ll end up with 12 good ones…..

-- 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

6417 posts in 3112 days


#7 posted 12-30-2017 12:25 AM

It’s always a good idea to make test pieces and see how a process goes—better to screw up on poplar than the expensive stuff! (I had to learn that lesson the hard way, so always test pieces from then on….....!)

It’s also good of you to post your shop hours—I’ve always thought I was a slow wood worker, but I’m learning that I’m probably about average in that department. Projects always seem to take about twice as long as I figure they will. Still have no idea why that is….....

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

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

918 posts in 2313 days


#8 posted 12-30-2017 12:15 PM

Tung – thanks for the link to the white pencils. I just ordered a couple of them. I had previously looked on Amazon but nothing showed up. Wrong choice of search words I guess….

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

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