|Project by CueballRosendaul||posted 04-04-2016 11:18 PM||636 views||1 time favorited||4 comments|
Since I loaned my “wood stretcher” out a while back, I was forced to come up with a different solution for a too-short chair. My sister bought this chair a few years ago, and I don’t think she sat in it before she brought it home. I surmise that it used to be a rocking chair 100+ years ago, but at some point the rockers were cut off and the seat was only about 12” off the floor.
In order to make it more practical, I built a blanket box as a new base after cutting the legs off. As I was cutting them off, I could sense the maker turning over in his grave, but it had to be done. I didn’t feel guilty about it after I started measuring and planning. It was sooooo out of square, and when they cut the legs off, one side was 3/4” higher than the other. There was also a nasty split in the back leg that had been repaired at some point but was bound to break again because the grain of the wood was going the wrong way.
It was interesting to see all the original tool marks and study the materials. It was made before the days of sandpaper, so I could see chisel and saw marks all over it. The front stretcher appeared to be a piece of trim from a house, perhaps window casing, and the spindles with beads were from some fretwork perhaps leftover from a house project.
I decided to leave the legs a little proud of the bottom stretchers to wrap down onto the box so it didn’t just look like it was sitting loosely on the base. I’m quite happy with how it came to fit. The final picture shows the stain I mixed up to try to match most of the chair. I was sure to leave some tool marks and a little “bench rash” on some of the pieces so it didn’t look like a perfect new piece.
Material is cabinet grade maple plywood with a few pieces of hard maple to cover the ply edges on the front. Most of the joinery is pocket screws. The base is attached to the chair bottom with some brass “L” brackets so it can be easily removed if necessary to work on the springs for the seat.
I saw somebody on Instagram use pennies on projects to mark them with the date made, so I’ve started doing that with my major projects. On this one, I put it on the inside bottom of the back stretcher. A 3/4” forstner bit makes a perfect hollow for a penny to be epoxied into. I added it before the spray lacquer, so it’ll stay shiny forever. My branding iron is still on order, so for now, the penny and a signature will have to do.
-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.