|Project by jsheaney||posted 05-18-2013 09:27 PM||810 views||2 times favorited||4 comments|
This is one of those projects that I started a long time ago, set aside and finally finished. A handful of members of our woodworker’s guild decided to take a class, maybe four years ago or so. One of us really wanted to make a chair. I really didn’t care about making a chair; I just wanted to take a real class. None of us actually finished our chairs in the class, but that one member did finish his a couple of years later. I had done the arm and back assembly and I had tapered the legs and I had the remaining side pieces milled. And there they sat, in my shop.
The design was intended to be fairly simple. The workpieces are two arms, a back, four legs and four sides. Beyond that, the design was mostly dictated by the wood. Back then, I had never used cherry, so I wanted to make it out of cherry. But we bought a load of wood, sight unseen, for the class. The two cherry boards I received had quite a bit of sapwood, so the delicate design was mostly about removing as much sapwood as possible. Even so, there is still some visible.
It was really frustrating trying to get the angles right. I had to hit the mortises under the arms and it had to be very accurate. The four side (left and right) joints are compound angles. I started with one sliding bevel, but I quickly realized I would never be able to get it right. I bought a matched set of Veritas Sliding Bevels from Lee Valley. Totally awesome! Being able to keep both angles set for a joint made a huge difference. And the way the cam recesses into the body means you can use all four sides as references.
The rails inside supporting the slip seat incorporate a tongue that fits into grooves in the sides, so there’s a good mechanical connection along with the glue. Keeping some space between the ends of the rails and the legs give someplace for the fabric to go in the corners of the sleep seat.
I had never done a slip seat before. It’s 1/2” baltic ply with slots routed into it to provide some give. I didn’t want a big puffy cushion, so it’s about 3/4” of dense foam (camping mat) and some over an inch of softer foam. The seat is just set into the chair for now, but I did inset a 1/4-20 T-nut along each edge, so I can bolt it in place if I ever want to.
I used two or three coats of Bush Oil.
As delicate as it looks, I find it feels very sturdy. I was treating it as just a class project, but it turned out better than I expected. I’m glad I finished it…finally!
-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.