Saturday, September 29, 2018

Danish Chair Building Extravaganza III - Day Five

This morning started out great. Three of us were in the shop making marvelous progress. I started the day by finishing up the carving of my seat blank. I had gotten as far as hollowing out the bowl last night, and today I finished up the shaping of the seat blank.
Doing this in raking light was much better than carving it after dark.
Ty seems to be moving more at a pace of realistically finishing his chair.
Ty is fast approaching a finished chair.
Jonas' nanny rocker is coming along, too. He has his legs mounted.
Jonas giving it a test-sit.
It was such a beautiful morning. The sun was shining, it was warming up outside, we had the door to the shop open to let in some fresh air, and life was good. This is about the time that Hurricane Brian hit the shop. I didn't get any pictures of this because it was so embarrassing.

A giant Danish bee flew in the open door and decided to investigate the area around my bench. I'm not normally bothered by bees, but the thing was trapped inside, so I figured I ought to help it out before it got angry about being trapped inside.

Naturally, I grabbed the closest thing to shoo it away, a shop broom. Unfortunately the bee didn't follow my directions and fly back out of the door. Instead he made a beeline (get it, "bee-line?") for the window near my bench.

While he was on the window sill, I figured I'd put him out of his misery, so I gave him a whack. It turns out that brooms aren't really that efficient as flyswatters. The stunned bee took a couple more whacks before I hauled back and went for the death blow.

I have no idea what happened to the bee, as the broom went through the window and I forgot all about the bee.

Luckily, it was a single pane of glass and wasn't expensive to fix, but poor Jonas didn't really get much farther after this point as he had to go get a piece of glass, fix it (in which he broke his new pane of glass, too), and finish the window off. By the time that was over with, Jonas' dad showed up for a visit, and it seemed as if Jonas never did get back into an efficient rhythm until after dinner.

Later I apologized to Mrs. Mulesaw for being so clumsy. She said, "Don't worry, it happens all the time."

This begs the question: who else has broken a window in their home with a broom?

Let's get back to some non-bee related events:

Jonas' dad, Jens, arrived with another trunkload of Swedish tools to sell us. It's fortunate I arrived by plane this time. This helped me in selecting only a few tools which will fit in my luggage, rather than my customary glut of chisels, hammers, and axes.
We had a miniature Swedish tool flea market in the horse barn. Olav, Jens, and Jonas.
Jonas looks pleased. He wound up fixing the glass with another piece he must have found at a nearby archeological site.
Meanwhile, while Jonas was fixing the window, I got all kinds of progress done on my chair. Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of the finished seat. You'll have to wait until tomorrow for that. It is ready to go, except for a bit of final scraping on the seat.

While Jonas and Olav went to the home center to get a new piece of glass, Ty went to visit his mother and I was alone in the shop. I spent that time looking through Jonas' wood stashes for a suitable hunk of wood for rockers. I found the perfect piece. It was a little over an inch thick, and had some grain that followed an arc. The arc doesn't perfectly match the pattern for the rockers, but it is close enough that there are some long wood fibers that go all the way from the front of the rocker to the back.

I copied the general shape of the rocker from Ray Schwanenberger's nanny rocker plans, and added my own flair to the decorative parts. I think a plain form will better suit my chair.
I finished the blank of wood to the final shape before resawing.
The blank of wood was not so thick that I could waste thickness resawing it on one of Jonas' machines, so I used a Dick saw instead.
Action photography by Ty, who is a professional photographer.

More action photography.
I took my time, and tried to make the most perfect cut possible.
Jens, who is a retired wood shop teacher, gave me an A- for my resawing skills..
Seeing Jens again was great fun. He is a character, and loves woodworking.
Jens giving my chair a test-sit.
Meanwhile, Ty is finished with the woodworking for his chair, so he started sewing the canvas seat.
Ty's chair is beautiful. The wood he chose was hornbeam.
Now it's time to mount the rockers. With all the care I took to ensure the legs lined up perfectly, they are now a tiny bit out of alignment because I was just a hair off on one of my stretcher mortises. Not the end of the world, everything will still fit together with some care.

I used the method from Elia Bizzarri to mount the rockers, which is fairly uncomplicated. It involves clamping one rocker to the legs and using it to mark angles and locations for a perfect fit. The only thing that made this difficult was again my choice to use octagonal legs rather than round ones.
Laying out the stretcher mortises.
Eventually I was successful with one mortise. It only goes in a little way while I fit everything and align the rockers, then I'll sink them to their final depth.
At least it fits. Hopefully it aligns with the front leg.
One of these joints is as far as I got today. Tomorrow I'll finish fitting these and mill the final parts to my chair
The state of my chair after Day 5.
Cross your fingers there are no more bee incidents tomorrow.


  1. Did you forget you’re allergic to bees??? 🐝
    I laughed out loud because I could just see it! How are you going to get that chair on the plane? Maybe you can sit on it.

    1. Dipples!

      I think I'm more allergic to being an idiot. The plane was pretty easy, since I didn't get as far as gluing up the chair. The long parts went in a cardboard box with my dirty laundry to protect them, and the seat went in my duffel bag with my tools. Everything seems to have made it.

  2. Looks like another great time Brian. Can’t to see how your chair finishes out.
    Sorry for the late comment. My iPad is having issues letting me comment on blogger accounts.

  3. Replies
    1. Hey, Greg! Thanks for the nice comment. I'm looking forward to finishing it, too. However, The Frau isn't too pleased. She's already found someone at work who wants it. :)

  4. Great documentation of an anarchist gathering