|Project by Don Johnson||posted 04-12-2011 09:03 PM||4493 views||31 times favorited||17 comments|
I previously asked for assistance with designs for ‘The Franklin Chair’, and this was the one that I eventually used – so thanks to those who provided info’. I drew my own version in Sketchup (prior to finding one already available in 3D Warehouse – Doh! ) and used it to print patterns for the curved items.
It is made from Maple that I found in a fence material supplier’s woodyard, and it seemed a good buy at the time. However, I find that the lack of ‘figure’ in most of the parts is a little disappointing, and it does not seem to have the character of items I have previously made using oak. The only areas with some interest I used for the seat and the top step.
I was aware that my – rather panicky – glue-up technique leaves a lot to be desired as I usually worry too much about getting glue to squeeze out of a tightly clamped joint, and forget about overall squareness. In this instance, I glued up the front section by itself, and it seemed OK. However, when I came to do the back part I found that the two sections did not match perfectly, and despite then using the front part to align the back as it was glued, it would have been better to have glued both sections at the same time. Picture #3 shows my attempts to hold the two sections together before putting on the main clamps.
In the previous entries about the chair, I had remarked that the design I used employed ordinary hinges to join the sections of the seat, but that this meant that the hinge stuck up above seat level. I cockily proclaimed that I had found the ‘proper’ hinges for this application – counter-flap hinges. I made up a router guide for the hinge rebates – which are not simple rectangles – and that was no great problem, but then I discovered that the extra hinge piece between the two ends needed its own cut-aways to enable the hinge to sit flat, and to rotate from one position to the other. A further complication was that the two seat parts mate together at 22.5 degrees off square so each side was not the same – see picture #6. My chiselling skills were severely challenged by the task of fitting these hinges – it took me a large part of a day to cut the four recesses – always having in my mind that if I made a mess of it, my nicely figured seats would be lost! It would be fair to say I was not so cocky during this time!
Making this chair employed practically all my available tools, including a dentists drill fitted with a wood burr when fitting the hinges, and proved the value of the newly-purchased bandsaw and spindle sander. With prompting from a pal, I even bought and used some cabinet scrapers, and found them to be excellent tools, although I need some more practice in producing the burrs.
To try to improve the plainness somewhat, I applied some coloured Danish Oil after the first nuetral coat, but I was not too happy with the results, so went back to nuetral for a further two or three applications.
It will be interesting to see whether anyone will be interested in buying the chair when it appears at my Rotary club’s Art/Craft show for which I made it, but I think I will probably have more luck if I make some more bandsaw boxes. Anyway, if the chair remains unsold, my wife Avril says she wants it.
(Later) I forgot to mention that the original build instructions are on http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/woodworking/4226197, and a version is also stored as ‘Library Chair/Stool’ in Sketchup 3D Warehouse.
The original suggests that the parts are screwed (and glued) together with plugs covering the screw heads. I didn’t fancy this, so I used my Joint Genie ( a dowelling joint jig ) for the first time on the joints, and it worked very easily and accurately. I did use some dowel points occasionally, such as when fitting the slats in the back, as this was easier, but the Genie guide ensured that the first holes were drilled square – their ‘second’ holes being square by the use of the drill press. I do like the fact that dowel joints hold everything together tightly in ‘dry’ assembly without the need for clamps.
And . . . the clamps reviewed at http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/product/1998 held the Genie perfectly!
And here’s an animation:
-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk