This past weekend I drove down to the Milwaukee area and picked up most of my wood. I know I bought way too much, and because of that spent much more than I wanted to, but overall I’m pretty happy with my purchase. The big downside I found once I got there was the lack of 8/4 wood. He’d been cleaned out pretty good of the maple and walnut, and the fresh-cut 8/4 won’t be in and out of the kiln for a few months. This also lead to me purchasing too much, but there’s really never such thing as too much wood in the shop – right? More for other projects! I did have to modify my plans a little bit, but I think the modifications will make the chair even more unique.
Instead of using 8/4 coopered pieces for the headrest, I’ll be using 4/4, double thickness. There will be a seam then where you can see the two pieces joined together on the top, but it likely won’t be all that noticeable. I will also be able to have some unique grain patterns on both the inner and outer sides. I’d have preferred 8/4, but this compromise will likely only be noticed by me, and other extremely picky woodworkers. My wife likely a) won’t notice, or b) might notice, but won’t even think twice that it’s not supposed to be there.
The seat: he didn’t have a thick enough piece of nicely spalted maple for the 1.5” center section. So, we found a superb piece of not-quite 4/4. One end of this piece is not spalted, and I will laminate this below the spalted piece and plane down to my desired 1.5”. Minor amount of extra work, and overall you will never even know it’s there with the seat design I’m going to use.
The back and front arms and arm rest really concerned me using 4/4 though. Also, he only had very narrow 4/4 walnut, about 5 inches wide. So, since this project will take me months anyway, I opted to wait on getting walnut until this early spring when he plans to have more walnut dried. He’s cut it already, but just hasn’t gone in the kiln. It’s supposed to be really nice stuff with figure in it, so I’m fine waiting.
The picture below shows my wood purchase. The tall bookmatched live-edge pieces are Ash, and the far right are Elm, those two will end up being a coffee table for my mom for Christmas. The other wood is my maple, walnut, and scrap ash for making forms. I’ll update as I get moving on this.
-- Ryan -- Maple Grove, MN