Sunday, July 22, 2012


want to really test out a saw?
I bought this bad boy from Mike Allen on Ebay and I knew it cut well right off the bat
so I figured, well, this is what I bought it for
these blanks are 10/4 and I only need 8/4 for the seats
seventeen by seventeen, and with a good resaw, we're talking a drawer bottom later on
I just couldn't stand to waste half an inch of this lumber, and that's a hell of a lot of planing
so let's get to it!

by the way, this is a 28" saw plate!

working from the corner, establish a kerf along the line away from you, tilt the saw up and work down the face in front, then cut the hump in the middle, if it's cutting straight and true on both faces, just keep going!

that is till the vice breaks

yea jammed up and I don't feel like figuring it out right now

so now it's clamped to the apron
some carefully placed wedges and a six inch metal rule to keep the kerfs from closing under clamping
it's a bit tougher rotating the piece this way, but all the cuts are in the same plane

about an hour later and there it is

Sunday, July 15, 2012

smokin' joints

so, I cheated a little
and let me explain why

each back leg is 48 inches of 10/4 walnut
there are two graceful s-curve cuts exactly with the grain
a meat-powered bow saw cuts this material at an inch a minute when I'm fresh
for every five minutes sawing five minutes are needed for break

bow saws are a real workout!

for every half hour you just have to walk away
maybe get two and a half full hours in one day
for six legs that's 576 inches to rough the side profile
and another 576 inches for the main
at 75 inches a day we're talking almost 16 days of sawing
and in terms of full days, that's only two a week, max
now we're talking eight to ten weeks
then, add to that the front legs, about 25 inches long each

and you get the idea

I like to saw, and we all know practice makes perfect
but there's a threshold where experience becomes torture
I'd like to get these chairs done someday and get on with the table

my bandsaw took care of the side profile cuts in about three hours
lights dimming, the faint smell of hot walnut and ozone

and I could begin the joinery

a pegged Maloof joint by hand is not the trickiest task

carefull layout and a good bit and brace to get the rounds
then cut out the slot tenon

and then the rabbet

on the legs its pretty straight forward, lots of cutting and pairing

it always takes a few tries to get it to fit

the front legs are simply a through tenon, slot tenon and a bit of overlap on the outer surface

two more to go then it's on to carving

if you want more info on the initial chair build (I'm only doing three 'cause the first one's already done) please meander back through my blog and you'll find it

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

saddle up

oh the thought of not seeing that slab
an edifice anchoring my flimsy garage wall
but the time had come, as it always does

to cut

a hundred pounds of walnut balanced on my sawbench
the fifteen pound offcut would have to be supported as well so a stack of kitty litter buckets and a filler of pine were enlisted

nice, dry, no binding, no warping all the stress perfectly removed
it cut like butter

I wrestled the remaining slab back against the work bench
and clamped the block back down

in disbelief I ripped an inch and a half from each side
and I arrived at a blank

no flattening, no jointing, no glue up, no sapwood
no seams

but PLENTY of grain reversal

the sawbench seemed the perfect height to start the saddling

a few misguided attempts to use the adze, then I got the rhythm

some further refinement with a chairmaker's plane
and a few passes from a round scraper

not bad for a couple hours work

Please remember, this piece is the original scrap, there's plenty of wood here to do all three, this piece just screamed for attention.
I'll be filling these voids with epoxy, and then smoothing the whole shebang
if it doesn't look good I can always plane the top back to flat and start over
this slab is about a half an inch thicker than the one used for the previous chair
so I've got some wiggle room