Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Stick Chairs - Days 4 and 4 1/2

Day 4 was pretty awesome.  In fact, it was so awesome, that we finally drug ourselves inside from the shop around midnight.  That made things a bit late to be fair with a proper blog post, so here it is today, instead.

I decided to stick around and do a little bit more on day 5 in the morning before packing everything up for the long drive home. 

In pictures, here's what happened:

Jonas leveling his bench preparing to cut the legs to length.

Me gluing a tenon getting with hot hide glue.

Jonas is holding the seat stable for me while I pound the legs home.

Leg seated.

Time to run some stick stock through the planer!

Olav working on his legs.

Mrs. Mulesaw and Asger trying out Jonas' bench now that it is at final the height.

Working on my sticks.

Olav is working on a reproduction from a photograph.  It had tapered, round legs.  The most efficient way to do this with this splintery ash was to plane them octagonal, and sand them round on the lathe.

Shaving my sticks round. 

What a nice coffee table!

Us adults didn't hog all of the fun!  Here Asger is smoothing a pine board.

Half of my sticks are rounded!

I found this to be a good technique for shaving thin stock at the bench.  I am supporting the thin wood with my thumb, but keeping it behind the blade, otherwise the end of the stick doesn't get shaped.

I used a round scraper after shaving.

Yes, even professionals refer to the plans every once in a while.

Meanwhile, Jonas is moving along. 

Here is a close-up of a wedged leg near where the hoop pierces the seat.

I suppose I should quit goofing off and start working on my arm rail, too!

Jonas drilled all of his stick holes by eye.

Olav referring to the photo of the original he is reproducing along with the John Brown book.

I needed to cut a lap joint for my laminated arm rail.

Meanwhile, Jonas is moving right along.
That is about as far as we got on day 4, which was officially our last day.  But we did get to sneak in a little more work the next morning.
Jonas showed me one of his chests that he built out of pallet wood while on board his ship.  It is even more impressive in real life than in the photos from his blog!

Here is the rough shape of my arm rail.  It is resting on some temporary mounting blocks.

Jonas' bench all but done.  Supposedly a settee takes twice as long as a chair to build.  Jonas got farther than I did, and I expect his chair will have finish on it in no time.

Time for me to cut my legs to length.

Olav testing his seat after cutting his legs to length.
At this point I really had to get on the road, so I loaded up the car and took off.  Jonas' parents invited me to pop in on them on the way home, which was about two hours away, but on the way home. 

They have an absolutely gorgeous house converted from an old one-room school house.  They have furnished it with a collection of some of the finest Scandinavian furniture I have ever seen.  One such piece is this fantastic Windsor rocking chair from Sweden.  It is very much like one in a photo of a Swedish Windsor in Drew Langsner's book.
Swedish rocking Windsor.
I couldn't figure out how the seat was constructed, so I peeked underneath.  The seat is actually coopered.  There are several boards glued up at angles with the grain going side to side.  The top is smoothed out and lacquered to complete this dramatic shape.

There is only a little left to do on the chair at home before mine is complete.  I need to drill the holes and insert the sticks, shape the crest and apply finish.

Hopefully I'll get to post pictures of the completed chair soon.


  1. Looks good dude. They say building a chair is one of the hardest things to do in woodworking... how'd this compare to previous projects?

    1. I think that it isn't so hard as it is just different. There are different tools, and some that are the same. I think that it is probably not any harder than learning to build a tool chest, as long as you have some way to learn what to do and an open mind.

      In our case we had a couple of books that had some of the more esoteric stuff explained already. Some of the tools that I bought one might really want to consider if you build a chair like this such as a travisher, a scorp and a few different spokeshaves. Oh, and definitely a tapered reamer. This tool allows you to dial in the final angle of the legs to an astonishing level of accuracy.

  2. That is a great picture of Asger planing.
    It was such a fun build, I am really glad you took the trouble to drive all the way up here.

    1. It was fantastic!

      I just arrived, and the drive up seemed a lot shorter than the drive home.

      So, what do you want to build next?

    2. I think I need to repair the lawn tractor before doing anything else.
      But the next wood project could be a Rorkhee.
      I am also considering to mill some elm for making a Barnsley hay rake table. Or I could wait for the trunk of sycamore from my parents' house.

    3. Your brother has a couple really nice boards of some really wide tropical wood at your parents' house. How long would it take him to notice that you "borrowed" them?

      I saw that sycamore tree. It is a nice, big one!

    4. Those table top slabs he has got are huge. I think my dad gave them to him once. I guess it would be about a year before he would discover that they were missing, because he usually comes home about once every year.
      Mette would like me to build me some deck chairs for the next project. So I'll do that once the marble machine is done.

  3. I love the furniture! I only wish that I could have been there (that is if you would have had me) I have to give Mrs Mulesaw a lot of credit, not only does she allow days of woodworking without batting an eye, she also allows sideburns!
    It looks like it was a lot of fun.

    1. Bill, I told Jonas that for you he should post a photo of Mrs. Mulesaw when she was mowing the lawn while we were playing in the woodshop, but I suppose that this might have been a step too far.

  4. That one may have sent my jealousy meter over it's limit. :)