Monday, September 30, 2013

Dining Room Chairs - some final shaping and assembly

All the components for this chair are cut, and everything is done except for some last minute shaping, sanding and assembling.

The seat needs to be curved, 

so it was time to pull out my drawing bow from Lee Valley. 

I love this tool, I use it all the time when drawing big broad curves.

After drawing everything, I took it to the bandsaw and sliced these curves into the seat. The upright sander smoothed all the cuts out, and now it's gorgeous.

The last detail I have to consider is the top profile of the posts for the front and back legs. 

I played around on a piece of scrap,  I like this chamfered top, but I know that when I sit in chairs, I usually have my arm draped over the top rail of the chair. So I think that sharp edges like this might be uncomfortable.

Honestly I wasted two hours futzing around with this top detail and in the end - I really think that just a simple rounded edge would be the best thing for this top. Rounded edges usually aren't my first choice.

I'll probably get some flack about saying that, but round-over bits seem to be the first bit that new wood workers employ, and they put that profile on every single thing that they make for the next 16 years.  So I tend to avoid that edge, unless there is a reason to use it. In this case - there is. 

On a totally unrelated note – as I was sanding my seat blank, I kept seeing this little grayish-silver spot in the wood. I thought it was a mark from my pencil, but it wouldn't sand out. My buddy Dan suggested it might be a carbide tooth from my Forrest blade, stuck in the wood from using that seat scooping jig. But I put a magnet next to it, and it wasn't carbide. The magnet wasn't attracted to it at all.

A little digging.... I think it's a piece of lead. It's soft, for one thing. Magnets are only attracted to iron, cobalt and nickle, or their biproducts, but lead isn't one of them. And - all woodworkers know that you will occasionally find metal (lead) in wood, because people shoot at targets on trees. 

I think I'm going to leave the lead in the seat - a nice reminder of this tree's past life. 

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