Monday, April 08, 2019

Reaming The Seat Mortises

Using a 6 degree reamer on the seat blank:

I think I'm going to like the new reamers. 

I had an old fart moment earlier that if I were using the 12 degree reamer could have been a problem.  I haven't a clue why but the first thing I did this morning was take a plane and clean up the top and bottom of the seat blank, removing all my sight lines from the bottom. No sight lines when using the drill powered 12 degree reamer could have been a problem, that sucker can get away from you in a second.

Today it wasn't a problem. The center line nail holes were still there so recovering the slight lines was easy and the hand powered 6 degree reamer is a lot easier to control.

Chair building will be slow this week. I've a six day line right in the middle of the day. Oh well, the day job does keep beans and tortillas on the table and for the most part me out of trouble.

See you on down the road,


Sunday, April 07, 2019

Stick Chair Seat Blank

Whatever the question, sharp is the answer.  I guess if prepping the seat blank with hand tools were easy the world would be awash with hand made stick chairs.

Shaping the underside bevel:

The bevel is slow going with many very obvious changes of grain direction.  A drawknife is of some use and a small woodie or a #3 or #4 works well on the end grain but most of it will be done with one or more of the several spokeshaves in the tool cabinet.

When the bevel is finished I'll clean up the bottom and then start to saddle the top.  That's when most of the specialized chair making tools come out to play. BTW, I now have a 6 degree reamer and tenon cutter vs. the 12 degree ones I have been using. It will be interesting to see which I like best.

Sharpening drawknives has always kicked my ass. Mostly because they are long, the handles get in the way and it is damn easy for body parts to find the sharp edge. Several nights ago, one of the drowning in snot and can't sleep ones, I came across a drawknife sharpening video where the presenter used an elevated stone holder. I can't remember who made the video but I thought that's a good idea, I'll steal it.

While digging around in the "tool room" yesterday I found a couple of wood stone holders that if glued together would/should make a stone holder for use with drawknives.

Of course I tell myself that if it works I'll make a prettier one. I can be big on self delusion, if it works I expect I'll still be using it a year from now.


Thursday, April 04, 2019

Stick Chair

I may be winning the battle with Desert Bloom but I'm sure the war is lost. Whatever, I'm back in the shop for a little bit the last couple of days.

This morning I cleaned up the jig sawn leg blanks:

It was quick work, a couple or three passes on each facet did the job.

Not so quick work will be cleaning up the seat blank. The bandsaw did a good job getting close to the line, the rest will be like that movie where John Candy was trying to go home for Christmas. Only instead of planes and trains it will be planes, spokeshaves, drawknives, chisels, and whatever else I can find to cut and smooth the edge.

Once the edges are cleaned up I'll decide which side will be the bottom and mark out the mortise locations and sight lines before beveling the bottom edges.

After beveling the bottom it will be time to drill and ream the seat mortises, give the seat a slight saddle, the Adze, scorp, travisher, and scrapers will join the fun.  Then turn the leg tenons and fit 'em to the mortises and before you know it this sucker will be a chair. The only real question remaining is arm or no arm and if the decision is to have arms do I add a comb.


Tuesday, April 02, 2019

New Leg Jig

First some housekeeping. Not much has happened in Casa Chaos for a couple of weeks. Southern Arizona is having one hell of an allergy season,  I expect because of the wet Winter. Whatever, it has kicked my ass and not much has been done other than trying to sleep without success and doing a great job of feeling sorry for myself.

I like shaped legs on my stick furniture. It is easy to get an octagon leg with a hand plane by holding the leg blank in a jig or using a similar jig to run the blank through the planer. While easy to do, both are time consuming.  I read somewhere that Brian Boggs used a jig and bandsaw to shape his chair legs. I've spent way too much time trying to find a photo of his jig in action with no joy. After some thought, I decided it might be quicker to just re-invent the wheel.

Come on Bubba cut to the chase. After a couple of weeks of butt scratching while under the influence of massive drug consumption (all legal), booze, and "yes buts" this is what I came up with.

Wide view:

Closeup of the result of all the butt scratching:

I would guess there is a better way to do the job but this jig works a treat. A quick four passes through the saw and a couple of passes on each facet with a plane and you have a octagon leg blank ready for the lathe.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Vernacular Furniture

I posted something similar to this on SMC yesterday and it had a few interesting replies. BTW, "vernacular" is art speak for folk, untrained, or "outside of the Academy" work.

 I've been watching C.S.'s journey into making vernacular furniture with great interest for the last couple of years. I find the form interesting maybe because I've always been interested in folk, outsider, and vernacular art. Back in the day when I was spending time doing post baccalaureate studio art at the university much of my study was outsider art. I'm drawn to the form. It is the same with furniture.

For the past year or so I've been making stick furniture, both chairs and tables and while there have been a few useable pieces made there have been more failures than not, but even the failures can please my eye. Some of the failures even work in their own strange way. An example was a child's chair with one rear leg that went off in a different direction. At first I thought about making a new seat and redoing the seat mortises but the more I looked at the chair the more I liked the weird leg. Perfect whimsy for a young child and it has a life lesson built in: Even if you are imperfect you can be beautiful and useful.

A photo of the child's chair with a full sized chair before it was painted:

The child's chair is a prime example of a common failure if not using jigs. A small misalign can make a huge difference in rake and splay. Splitting of the seat/slab is also too easy and common. One hit pass the "that sounds about right" will usually result in a split. The other day I split a slab when driving a cross grain wedge into a leg tenon. It shouldn't have happened but it did. Sometimes the split can be repaired with a butterfly key.

I've been using  a 12* reamer and tenon cutter for making the seat/slab mortise and tenon joints. I now have a set of 6* reamers and tenon cutters. My hope, and I expect I'm correct, is the 6* M/T joint will be more forgiving and not as likely to split the slab.


Friday, March 15, 2019

MsBubba's Desk Version II

The desk changed a little 😀.

I made a measuring mistake on the first build and it didn't fit well in the space available. I made a couple of small changes to make it fit and it did but damn it was butt ugly. The base is now in the back garden, where it will live while waiting for a top or a trip to the fire pit.

I don't know if the mistake was subconscious or not but it allowed me to build the desk I wanted to in the first place. This time with MsBubba's blessing.

The desk with a coat of Danish oil, waiting for it to cure.

Over the last year or so I've become a fan of vernacular furniture. To my eye it just looks right in our house. There may be some argument from MsBubba but I think she is coming around.

In Casa Chaos news: The wall (kinda a retaining wall but not really) between the pool and the gully fell the day of our big snow. The bids are out for the repair job but none received yet. I don't think I really want to know but whatever it has to be done.

After years of being deaf as a post I got a hearing aid yesterday. I didn't realize what a beautiful, pleasant world I had lived in for the last 20 or so years. Damn the world is noisy, even turning on a light switch sounds like a gun going off and this morning I could have sworn the washing machine was defective. It may still be but whatever it seemed to have washed the load. If it wasn't for being able to understand MsBubba when she talks to me and the wonderful sound of music from the radio I'd go back in a heartbeat. Oh, one other thing, the sound of a sharp plane on wood is beautiful.


Monday, February 25, 2019

MsBubba's Desk With Top

The desk is coming along. The slab is sized and needs clean up and beveling. I'll start on the drawer tomorrow or Wednesday.

The joys of home ownership. I expect because of the amount of rain we have had the pool retaining wall fell this weekend. The original contractor is out of town, so no idea what the repair cost will be but I bet I don't want to know. Oh well, it's only money.

BTW, because of the problems of Unplugged Shop I'm building a reading list. I'm digging through my history to find blogs I like to read. It is a PITA to do it that way and I expect some will be missed. If you would like for me to read your blog please either reply with your URL or email me with the URL so I can add it to the list.


Unplugged Shop

The last post I received on Unplugged Shop was posted 02/21. I've cleared my cache but still no joy. Any suggestions? BTW I assume Unplugged Shop is still working and posting new links for others just not for me. Well, maybe not. I just thought of trying Unplugged Shop on my iPad and same story the last link was from "Endangered Alphabets" on 02/21/19.