My heaviest steam bend yet… an oak board about 7” wide and 1.25” thickand tapered to 7/8” at the other. It took several days of setup before I hit on attaching the form to a 1000lb boat anchor of a vintage case clamp. I tried doing it on the work bench with the form on its back but thatwas hopeless due to the awkwardness and weight of the bendingapparatus that has to be loaded with a steamed part and quickly clampedto the form. I’ll need to improve this and m...
This is a wrap-up posting to talk about some of the lessons I learned in making the chair. I like to retrospect a little at the finish of a project to understand what worked, what didn’t work, and how to apply those lessons to my craft. This was the first time I’d done a project with steam-bending. For the most part that worked out fine. The actual process of steam-bending is not as daunting as it first seems. There were some challenges in building the forms—they need...
Redryder asked about the steam-bending process. I’ve covered that a little bit earlier in the series, but I bent the arms (well, one so far) today, so I took some photos along the way. Here’s the basic set-up. The box is made out of plywood, dado-ed, glued together and caulked on the seams. It has held up fairly well but is starting to come apart in some places and I’ve had to reinforce it. The steamer is the standard Rockler kit. The kit comes with the brass fit...
I got less time in the workshop than I would have liked today—trivial life things like putting up the Christmas tree and watching Kansas City annihilate the Redskins (sob!) kept interfering. Still I got time in to work on a few things. I got the second set of slats steamed and bent. The first set came out of the steamer with some mysterious stains. I’m not sure why, but I read somewhere on the Internets that the minerals in tap water can sometimes stain. So for this set I use...
It’s been a busy week, but I managed to find the time to bend the chair arms for the mock-up chair and see about attaching them. I also trimmed the back slats to a gentle arc. Here are a couple of views: and As you can see from the line of holes up near the top of the back, I had the top back brace too high and had to move it down. While I had the brace off, I also shaped it to the curve of the back. I did this with a drawknife and spokeshave. The drawknife is certain...
My father-in-law has been a long-time builder of Adirondack chairs. He’s retiring this year, so I decided to build him a custom Adirondack chair for his retirement. I looked around a bit for inspiration, and really liked this chair by Michael Brown: The lines are nice, and I like the idea of the bentwood slats for the back and seat, to be more comfortable than the traditional Adirondack design. I posted a question about it on one of the forums, and Andrew Kopac of 24HourDesign...
Recently I purchased a Steam Bending Kit from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware so I could try out some Steam Bending. Bending wood is something I have never tried before and is out of my comfort zone. I wanted to dive into this area of woodworking and challenge myself as well as learn something new. So of the various forms of wood bending (Laminated Bending, Milled Bending, Steam Bending) I chose steam bending to be my first attempt. The kit I purchased included the reservoir, hose, and so...
The Nets are done and I’m really pleased with how they came out, this being my first attempt at steam bending or building my own net frames. Two of them will make nice gifts for my Dad and my Brother. Net#1: Walnut and Alder Hoop with a Walnut Handle. The inside diameter of the hoop is 9”x14” with an overall length of 21.5”. One of my hand made fly fishing lanyards is on the table behind the net. I fish with a lanyard to hold my fly fishing tools rather tha...
It’s been a while since I posted my last update on this project and I’ve made a lot of progress. Once I got the basic shaping and sanding done, I had to stop until I found the net bags that I wanted to use on the frames. As of this week, I have everything I need to finish the nets, so here are some more photos to show you what I’ve done so far: Here is net #2 after bending, but before glue up. This photo gives a good look at how I pegged my circles to the melamine ba...
Fly fishing is one of my other hobbies and like wood working, it can be very expensive. Thankfully, I’ve been fly fishing for close to 25 years and gradually acquired some really great gear that will last a lifetime. To keep costs under control, I like to tie my own flies and build as much of my own gear as possible. I built a custom fly rod back in 1998, and it is still my favorite (a 9ft 6wt on a Winston 3-piece LT blank). I was able to save 60% off the stock rod by building it ...
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