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 Post subject: Some assembly required
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:13 pm 
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Hey Folks,

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that for the past two months I’ve been working on a set of dining chairs to go with the staked leg tables that I have for sale at the shop. The chairs (and tables) are the design of Christopher Schwarz, from his book, “The Anarchist Design Book”, available from Lost Art Press. This is the same design as used for Le Chaise d’Enfer.

This is only the second set of dining chairs that I have built, the last one was thirty (yes 30) years ago and is still functioning well, so that’s an encouragement. The big difference is that these chairs require a great deal more hand work than most as they were designed to be built by hand. They also have a number compound angles that complicate their construction.

Normally, when building repetitive objects, there is some saving in cost or labor in scaling up production. In building these chairs however, making five chairs really is five times the work!

So to tally up, that’s:

Five chair seats.
Five steam bent crest rails.
Twenty back spindles.
Twenty legs.
Twenty wedges.
Twenty pins.
Eighty holes bored.
Eighty tenons turned.
Twenty holes taper reamed.
Twenty matching tapers turned.
Forty tapers planed.
Forty additional facets planed.

Did I leave anything out? Oh yeah, there’s a couple of spares of most everything in case of accidents.

As I mentioned, assembly comes next then finishing. This is not over by a long shot, but perhaps, “…it is the end of the beginning”.

Cheers,
Tom

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:16 am 
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TOM.....you TRULY are an inspiration. I got my 'EXPANDED EDITION' of that book and your post has punctuated my motivation to 'start' another project or two. I really admire the integrity of your craftsmanship. The placement of the heartwood in the seats to match is the most blatant example of your design & execution skill. The effort and dedication is fully apparent in the picture!
Do you plan to stain? What wood is it...ash? Did you use shave horse or just planes? Do you plan to pad the seats?
Really looking forward to seeing this through with you. Thanks for sharing!

Don


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:09 pm 
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Hey Don,

Thanks, but you're making me blush. Just a note on the grain matching of the seats. The sapwood faces are actually in the center, effectively reversing the original orientation. The chairs are entirely black ash.

I'm still pondering the finish but will probably do a combination of milk paint and either varnish or soap finish. I like the paint scheme used by Brendan Gaffney in his Popular Woodlworking post.

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I did not use the shave horse, I prefer the bench and planes. I'm still debating cushions or not. I have these in mind.

Cheers,
Tom

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:46 am 
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Tom,
Did you carve the depression in the seats with a hand planer?
How did you get the curve in it?

I don't even own a hand plane.
I would have had to use an angle grinder with a sanding disc.
Zulu

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:42 pm 
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Hey Zulu,

Those green chairs with the saddled seats are not mine but Brendan Gaffney's, editor for Pop Woodworking. I posted the picture as an example of how I intend to paint my chairs. Mine will be black.

My chairs do not have a saddled seat, they are flat. I may make some cushions for them in the future.

In the past, when I have saddled seats, such as the rocker I made for my wife, I have used an angle grinder as you suggested. But that seat was bubinga which is a bit like working with bricks. I used a carbide cutter and a lot of abrasives.

Cheers,
Tom

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 9:52 am 
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Looks like a good project that will be enjoyed for a long time. Nice work so far.

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