|I've been eagerly awaiting this book.|
My plan is to build a pair of side chairs in the Welsh stick chair style starting in June. I have a couple of things going on at the moment, so I think setting a starting date in June is a good idea. This will give me a chance to read this book ahead of time. I imagine there are some choice morsels of wisdom in here I will be able to use on my chair.
I think it would be great to do a group chair build during this time. If you have ever thought building a chair would be fun, or if you have bought the "Chairmaker's Notebook," or in any way have any interest in building a chair this summer, let's do it together! I'm starting in June, but if you want to build a chair this summer, post some pictures on your blog, instagram, or just email them to me and I'll either post them here or post a link to your build.
Come on! It'll be fun!
Here goes the very start of my build. I plan to build two side chairs together. I'm hoping that building two won't be much more difficult that building one.
The heart of a chair is the seat. Everything sprouts from the seat blank.
Last fall, Jonas had cut down a dead elm tree and cut the log up specifically to make chairs with. With only three of us there to build chairs, there were plenty of extra elm chair blanks. Jonas graciously allowed me to steal a few to bring back to my shop.
I pulled my three blanks out the other day for inspection. For some reason, there is only one that stayed mostly flat. One cupped a good bit, and the last cupped a whole lot.
|Three two inch thick elm chair seat blanks.|
The top one, however, is bent really bad right in the middle. After a little inspection, I discovered that about half of this chair blank contains pith - the center of the tree rings. This makes the chair blank unstable, and it is indeed along the pith line where the bowing is most severe.
I decided that the best way to deal with this blank is to saw it along the pith line, removing the pith, and glue it back together. In fact, I might even be able to "un-cup" it a little. Hopefully, it will remain stable that way.
I think the reason these cupped so much is the log wasn't anywhere near dried all the way when we started the chairs last fall. I think that the log had only been processed a few weeks beforehand.
Now that these boards have had a few months to acclimate, they did what wood does - it moved.
Here is what I have done:
First, I marked a line along the pith line the best I could
|This line goes from one side to the other along the pith - the center of the log.|
|I clamped the blank up in my leg vice. This will take a bit of care to finish the cut.|
|Saw to the line.|
|Finished cut. Not perfect, but it will clean up.|
I think the best move now is to clean the saw marks with a plane and let this blank sit for a month or six weeks before I glue it back up. Here is an opportunity to let the inside of the seat reach equilibrium with the humidity of my shop.
Who's in with the summer chair build?