I haven’t been too great at keeping this blog updated. On weekdays, I typically work in the shop until 10:30 or so, and am too tired to post. Work has been crazy busy, so haven’t had time there. Weekends I’ve ben out of town lots, so no time there either. Good news is I’m making progress. Bad news is not as fast as I need to, and I still don’t have the wood for my legs/arms. (I should have it this time next week though). Updates on progress:
I’ll start with the seat. If you’ve followed my blog, you may remember the problems I had with the spalted maple. It warped, checked, never stayed straight. After the initial disappointment of it moving after the first attempt at flattening, I steamed it, clamped it flat, an put it in an oven at 140 degrees for about 36 hours:
After dry, I took it back over to Jeff (JL7) and reflattened it. Thanks so much for access to the drum sander!! result was a flat, cracked board thinner than I wanted. – the cracks happened during drying – After consulting several others, the final idea was to continue using the board anyway with the cracks, and during glue-up, put pressure horizontal to pull the cracks together while glueing to the other boards. (seat is a laminate of walnut top, spalte maple middle, walnut bottom).
Walnut top being glued:
Then, the three layers were glued together:
I haven’t taken any pictures of the outcome, because it’s still not done. Because the maple got so much thinner than I wanted, I now need to glue ANOTHER layer of walnut on the bottom to build up thickness. I will be doing that this week.
In between all the gluing of everything seen on this page, I made the templates for other parts I’ll need while working on this project:
Next, headret. As you’ll see, my headrest is a bit different styled than most. Each headrest billet is a two-ply laminate (couldnt find thick enough wood initially). I like how it’s coming along.
Billets, top row is the inside, bottom row is outside:
Glueing th front and back together to form a full thickness billet:
I missed taking pictures of all the individual billets, and the multi-angled final glue up. One interesting side-note. I didn’t use any pinch dogs like the plans called for. I didn’t want to damage my wood, and since parts of my wood are spalted maple, I wasn’t sure how well they would work on potentially damaged wood. So, I got creative with clamps. I first took two 2×4’s and glued 120 grit sandpaper to one edge. Then I clamped this to the end-most billet to create a place for other clamps to pull from (so I wasn’t pulling across the entire headrest potentially snapping other joings). It worked well, but took a long time to get right. I’m glad I’m only making one chair!
Another problem with the headrest is that I don’t have a bandsaw capable of cutting the arc on this 8” tall headrest. So, I went with the tools I had: beltsander, small hand plane, sandpaper, and elbow grease. It took me a total of nearly 6 hours of sanding and shaping, but it’s pretty good now.
Final look at the outside of the headrest:
I’m still not quite sure how I’m going to do the ID of the headrest. Neither the belt sander nor the handplane will work. I tried a ROS, but it’s not going to work for this application. I’m thinking about just using a carbide carving bit on an angle grinder, and lots more elbow grease with sanding. You gotta make due when you have limited tools!
While I didn’t tke pictures of the raw pieces, I also have the rockers and backrests glued up.
Don’t worry, the rockers have no been trimmed to length yet. They are nearly 5 inches too long, so that back arc will be much more subtle and not look as huge when I’m done. I just don’t want to trim it yet, until more things are in place and I know exacty where to cut.
Glueing the extra thickness adders on the bottom of each:
Adders feathered in to make a more gentle curve:
That’s about where I’m at for now. I know it doesn’t look like much, but I don’t have all the bells and whistles in my shop that make many of these tasks simpler and quicker – so, lots more elbow grease. That’s ok though, I’m enjoying working on it and learning a lot while I go. All the little changes I’m making probably don’t help me much either with the speed. I’m hopig that once I get a bit more “on track” with the plans, the speed will pick up. I’ll have some more questions coming about the seat/leg joints, but since this is long enogh already, I’ll put those up in a differnt post. Any input is always welcome!
-- Ryan -- Maple Grove, MN