Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Danish Chair Building Extravaganza III - Day One

DCBE III has begun in earnest. The first day is in the bag.

Jonas and I started the day early. Our normal routine is to get distracted right off the bat on one wild goose chase or another, so this year we both tried to guard against that. We jumped right in selecting wood for our projects yesterday, and were in the shop with seat blanks by around 9:00. It must be a record for us.

Jonas amazingly found a use for his new drafting whales. The perfect tool for the job.
Jonas is building a nanny rocker. It looks like a pretty complicated build. He started off the day after selecting his wood laying out his plan on paper. He spent most of the day laying out his design, and a good part of the rest of it building a bending form for the arm rail.

Late in the afternoon, the mailman showed up with some plans for the rocker that Ray Schwanenberger made Jonas and mailed him. Holy moly! Those were beautiful. He spent a lot of time drawing his design out full size on paper with all of the information Jonas will need for this project. We were all amazed with Ray's work on this.

Jonas decided that starting over using Ray's plan would save time and result in a better project in the long run.

I'm excited about my chair. I selected a solid, one-piece hunk of elm for a seat blank. It will be beautiful. However, it was a bit over-thick, about 2 1/2". I figured it would look better if I brought it down to 1 7/8". Jonas and I figured out a way to thickness it on his power jointer that seemed to work. First I would plane half of the board, then turn it around and plane the other half. Eventually, this left a hump in the middle, but I figured out that on the third pass, if one runs half of the board over the jointer not parallel to the grain, but perpendicular to it, that the board would remain relatively flat. It seems weird running aboard sideways over the jointer, but it worked.

Jonas testing if planing a board in this manner would work. Happily, we figured it out and saved a lot of calories.
After planing it in this manner close to my line, I switched to a handplane to finish the job.

I was then so excited, that I did my first screw-up. I laid out the shape of my seat on the blank, and cut it out on the bandsaw. I had intended to leave the extra wood behind the rear of the seat blank on until after I carved the seat so I had more wood to clamp to, but instead I cut it roughly to shape. I'll have to figure something else out.
Bandsawing the seat blank.
Around lunchtime the other participants arrived. Ty, another Dane, and Olav the Great, the local celebrity woodworker showed up.


Some miniature versions of those froggy pastries.

I finally got to eat one. As an American, they are awesome. But, I see why they say they are too sweet for grown-ups.
Since I flew here, I didn't have all the tools I'd bring if I drove. Luckily, Jonas has a Veritas bevel-up jointer that I once sold him. This plane works very much like my beloved BU jack. It took some cleaning up, because Jonas rarely uses it. Once it was tuned, it worked awesome. I just wish this plane had flat sides so it could be used for shooting.
Me and my old BU jointer.
By the end of Day One, I had a good pile of parts. I should be able to make more progress tomorrow, unless I decide to re-do some of the parts that didn't turn out exactly the way I planned.
The result of my labor on Day 1.

Jonas can't seem to get away from building things out of a pallet.


Selfie time!


  1. that looks fun! Looking forward to seeing more progress of the chairs!

    1. Hey Rudy! It is fun! But it's not a woodworking vacation, it's a woodworking Extravaganza!

  2. I have to admit the pallet thing has me intrigued. Brian I have gotten excited and done the same thing to more than one seat blank. I just hold it with holdfasts or clamps on the spindle deck and go at it. Keep the updates coming.

    1. Hey, Ray! Thanks for the tip. I've decided to bore all the holes for the legs, and the upper assembly before saddling the seat. Hopefully that'll give me some more real estate for clamping.

      As far as the pallet, it was an idea Jonas had a while back, and it seems to work. It just serves as a base on which to screw wooden bits that make the form. I would imagine the problem being that it isn't so small and handy to store for next time.

      Thanks for all the help!