Sunday, December 4, 2016

DCBE - I'm Dreaming of a White Safari

I finally finished the second Safari Chair that I began while at the Danish Chair Building Extravaganza a little more than a month ago.
White safari chair in elm and white leather.
I am pleased with the result of this chair so far. I say so far, because there are still just a few little tweaks that need doing in order for me to say it's completely done, but it looks done.

Another glamor shot.
On the surface, this looks like a plain old safari chair with not too much in the way of crazy new ideas. At least there was no burning of wood...
hairy cowhides...
or crazy twisted sticks.
This one is a little less weird.
Still looks pretty normal.
There were, however, a few things I had not previously tried. For example, most of the belts on this chair I fixed with rapid rivets, rather than copper rivets, which I've always used in the past.
Looks good from here.
I used them because there was just a little less banging with hammers required to install them. While that was true, I found that the tiny cupped setting tools that are required to set them either marred one side of the leather, or did not set properly in such thick  (10 oz.) leather. My only option when they didn't set fully was to set one side on a flat surface, rather than the cupped one, which deformed and flattened one side of the rivet.

Ultimately, one of the belts on the thigh strap completely failed when I tried to tighten it, so I replaced those rivets with copper ones. The rest seem to be holding for now.

Not being happy with how they turned out, I chose to go with traditional copper rivets on the show part of the back, but found you can also get brass rivets.
I think brass rivets look good with this white leather.
The brass rivets seem to work just like the copper ones. Only time will tell if they hold up, but I have no reason to think they won't.

To give my neighbors a bit of a break on Saturday evening, I only set the brass washers, I still have to clip the rivet post and set them with an awful lot more banging. I suppose I'll try to do that when most of the building is at work.

One problem I had was once again I punched holes for these rivets in a bit of a hurry, which resulted in the back being a bit too narrow. I've made this mistake once before, and apparently did not learn from my mistake. You can see a gap in the above picture between the leg and the wooden back piece. That is due to the leather being too short. That's the only way it will fit. I might have to insert some kind of spacers there, but the chair works the way it is.

Another problem I found too late is the seat piece has a big slice right in the middle.
Big slice, about 2 1/2" long.
The slice doesn't go all the way through, and is purely cosmetic. I haven't completely decided how to best deal with it. I think I can get some glue in there which will stabilize it and prevent it from fraying in the long run. Surprisingly, this cut isn't too easy to see unless you are looking for it. As an alternative, I have some more leather I can use to replace this panel. Perhaps I should also replace the back piece. I'll have to think about that.

Something really cool on this chair are the cup washers I've used. Alex gave me these cup washers, which are solid because they were milled. The cup washers I've used before all were stamped from thinner sheet metal.
Bad-ass cup washers.
While the stamped ones look fine, these ones are nicer.
Thanks, Alex!
The big difference on this chair compared to the other chairs I've made is something a bit more structural. On this chair, instead of using my Veritas 12 degree tapered reamer, I used the six degree reamer that I've used on my staked furniture.
Six degree taper. The end of the dowel exits in a hole about 3/4".
I was amazed at the difference. I would say if you already have a 12 degree tapered reamer, use that. If you are looking to buy a new one, go with the six degrees. I got mine from Elia Bizzarri.

One big difference is the six degree tool is extremely accurate. It is possible to dial the mortises in to a degree of accuracy that surpasses the accuracy of the tenons. It was no problem to get all eight mortises 100% perfect. I've never been perfect with any other chair I've made. This accuracy isn't strictly necessary, as the chair seems to be able to work just fine with some small deviations.

The fact that these mortises are straight result in a chair that is extremely stable. It doesn't squeak, or rock in any way. As a bonus, the chair stands perfectly stable with none of the leather attached. This makes it much simpler during construction and assembly.
These parts stood like this for several weeks in my office without falling apart.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with how the chair turned out. Unfortunately, the Frau isn't crazy about the color combination, so I might have to make another one for the living room, and this one can stay right here in my office.
At home in my office.
Before that, however, I think I need a Dutch Tool Chest...


  1. I think all of your iterations look great. This white one perfectly matches its local. A very modern, sleek and urban version. Nice!

    1. Thanks, Greg! I'm really proud of all the Roorkee chairs I've made. I really like doing new and unusual things with them.

  2. I think it looks incredible good. And like Greg says, it looks right at home in that room.

    Great job!

  3. I agree with the others that the white fits wonderfully in that room. I do think the white would also look great with some charred red oak, but maybe I'm just a pyromaniac.

    A DTC is also pushing ahead on my ever increasing project list as well, so I look forward to seeing what you do with yours. Any tricks up your sleeve?

    1. I think you can still get a split of that white leather from the Tandy Outlet online. You should try it.

      I've started the DTC, and the dovetails are do-able on my saw benches. One challenge is I left my square in Munich, so I'm using a piece of A4 paper as a square on the recommendation of Jonas.

      And, I'm going to make some more home-made milk paint, this time tinting it with spices from the Mercado. What do you think about brick red over yellow?

    2. I've added it to my project list, at my current rate I should get to that c.2025.

      I like the red yellow combo, Classic combos for Legos or ketchup & mustard both of which are winners in my book,

      I'm thinking mine will be a dark blue over black though there is a piece of me that says it should be blackened to match the general theme I've got going on in shop items of late. I guess it'll come down to whether I make it from oak (on hand but rough) or pine (not on hand, but easily acquired s4s, also light)