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Bmac last won the day on November 8

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About Bmac

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    Addicted to working with wood esp chairs and sculptured furniture. Most of my pieces made from lumber milled with my chainsaw

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  1. Great questions and you are right, there is some figure that is going to pop. First, it's not a compound angle. The inside of the back legs should be parallel to each other. You simply need to copy the angle of the splay. So that angle I got from the chair is all I need. Sculpting the headrest the answer is no. All the sculpting I've done up to this point is pre glue up, and it's pretty extensive. It's the only piece on the chair you work this much prior to glue up. But I'll have another round of sculpting after glue up. After glue up you have the spindles to deal with, so the more you can do now the better. After gluing I'll rework all the joints and blend in the joints to the rest of the chair. The underside of the headrest, where it meet the back leg is a real tough place. This final shaping step of the headrest takes a lot of time. Great question also. On my different chairs I've played with spindle position, bunching them more toward the middle and away from the back leg. I had great luck with that and no change of comfort. This chair I plan to do the regular spindle placement, and after laying out spindle position on this headrest, the difference was very minor, so I'm not worried about that. It does mean the middle spindles will need to be angled slightly more forward, but it looks like that won't be an issue either. As for comfort, I'm not sure. It amounts to about 1/8- 1/4 of an inch forward at the midline. I think, but don't know for sure, that it will be comfortable. Charles Brock has developed a plan for this rocker using all 8/4 stock and he claims it's just as comfortable. I think his main changes are arm stem height and headrest sweep. We'll see how it turns out. If it's not as comfortable as the others (which I doubt) it will at least be prettier!
  2. Well this is moving along. Was supposed to fish this weekend but the weather was not favorable so I went to the workshop instead. Covering a lot of ground in this post and I do think there are a few important tricks I've learned that I share with you in this post. As an over view I cover sizing and fitting the headrest, shaping and blending headrest into chair, horns, sanding , and final spindle shaping. So lets get started with fitting the headrest. When you watch Marc do this it is very cumbersome and awkward. Once you try it yourself you realize it take 3 or 4 hands to do easily. Now don't get me wrong, Marc's technique works, but I'm going to show a way easier way. First you need your stock. It's 7" wide and approx 22" long. It should be 10/4 thick but my favorite sawyer @Spanky could only get me 9/4. After milling we are sitting slight more than 8/4, and you can see I was not over aggressive with the milling, leaving some spots unmilled because I know I'm going to cut those areas away or sculpt them out; Now to fit the headrest lay your chair on your work bench, putting a 2" wide board under the back legs like such; You then can lay your headrest under the top of the chair so you can record your reference lines and angle of your cuts to fit the headrest; This technique differs from Marc's as he does this with the chair in the upright position and holding the headrest which is very awkward. So from there I go to the chop saw and make my cuts. As with most chairs, my angles were not identical for each side, they varied slightly so don't assume they are the same. So looking good; Now that we have the headrest sized to fit, we can start cutting our curves and sculpting the shape. The first thing to do is cut out the curve of the headrest. Here, since I'm a little thin my pattern overhangs the back a little; It's not short by much but I need to look at my options. First I could glue a piece to the back to beef up the area we are short, but I don't like the idea of it not matching. I could strike the front line and cut that piece off and then glue that piece to the back, this works and I've done it on 2 other rockers, but you can still tell the piece was added. It's not a big deal because It is in the back of the rocker and after sculpting it really turns out to be a small addition, but still I'm not keen on that. So i'm trying a different idea. I'm going to lessen the curve, and I don't think it will have much if any effect on the final outcome. You end up doing so much shaping to this piece. So I struck a few lines and the arrows show you how much I'm off; So I changed the curve; In the end I maintained uniform thickness by adding to the front and the back in proper proportions, it took a few tries but I figured it out; Now I can cut my bottom profile. I like this shape; Next are the spindle holes and THEN the top profile; Now to attach the headrest to the chair with screws. Clamped it up on the bench, stood it on the ground after clamping. Then I drew my guide lines for the screws; Once you are done with that you disassemble and shape the headrest off the chair. Shaping is covered very well by Marc, and it starts with an endgrain template; Not much to show with the shaping, but I will tell you all was completed with just the RAS, rasps and sanders with interface pads of course. Here is the headrest screwed back onto the chair after shaping; So you can see that the back legs don't come close to blending in with the headrest and that's our next job. But first I need to shape the outline for the horns; And a few minutes later using only the RAS; For sculpting I start with the front of the chair and using the RAS, rasps and sander (with interface pad) I get a nice flow to things; Now to the back side. Before shaping; When sculpting the backside, this is one area that I still use the die grinder. In fact it's the first time in this whole project I've used it and I'll use it for the horns. I may use it on the rocker/leg joint, but here and with the horns cutting the coves it is necessary. Also used the RAS, rasps and sander (yes, with the interface pad); Now the above is not finished as nice as the front, that's because I have to add the horns to this part of the shaping; Shaping the horns is tough. I use the die grinder, the rasps, the curved scraper and sandpaper wrapped around a large dowel. This area takes a lot of work and time. And here we are, you can also see I refined the cove all the way down the back leg/headrest joint; All that above is a lot of work, and I'm glad it all went so well. I thought this is a good time to sand everything to 400. I want to do this before I finish the spindles because once they are glued in you have much harder access to certain parts of the chair. I'll sand the spindles separate and I'll need to sand the whole headrest area again after that glue up, but now I'm going to go over the rest of the chair. I start with the small sander (with interface pad) and 180 grit. Then I hand sand 220, 320 then 400. I then burnish with a white 3M pad. This helps ALOT. The pad cleans the surface and small scratches magically become visible. I could not see the scratches below until I went over them with the pad; Those scratches may not seem like a big deal, but they will stand out with finish on the chair. So on to the spindles, with the backrest still screwed on I put the spindles in their bottom holes and can now cut them to length. Then it's on to shaping the tops; The above is done with all rasps and the Veritas tenon cutter. Since I can't try the spindles into the headrest holes while it's screwed to the chair, I take a block and fit them to a 3/8ths hole in the block; So this wraps up this post. Wanted to mention one thing and I don't mean to sound redundant. I rely very heavily on my small sander and the interface pads. I can't stress enough how important I think these are. First my Rotex 90 is small enough to get into tight places and light enough to use with one hand. This makes a BIG difference. Also with this chair, you really have NO FLAT areas. NONE. The interface pad is too soft to make a flat area. So using it it aids in giving you the subtle round overs and the Maloof look. Don't doubt me on this, it helps a ton and it helps speed things along. Talking of that, here is my time; Headrest- 6.5 hrs Sanding chair- 4 hrs Spindle shaping (top half)- 2 hrs Total time spent; 47.5 hrs Thanks for looking.
  3. Yes, I'm excited to see that seat with some dye and the finish, I might have a keeper there! Thanks Paul
  4. At this point I've got all the joints to the seat and arm sculpted. Still have refining and sanding, but I'm close in these areas. Rockers are glued up and transition blocks glued on. Waiting here to finish the headrest so I can balance the rockers and start to fit the legs to the rockers. So I'm left with the headrest and the spindles, started refining the spindles now and headrest is on deck. So to tackle the spindles, which have already been cut out to rough shape, I start by shaping the bottom half of the spindles. The front side of the spindles have a slight crown on the surface and the back of the spindles have a heavy round over. With the mid line marked and the line on the side of the spindle guide me for my first surface, the light crowning of the front side; I handle this just with cabinet rasps; The back side before starting heavy round over; Roughed out with the RAS; Both sides of center line roughed out with RAS; Then rasps to clean up and even out the round over; Next is the round tenon at the bottom of the spindle, need this to be 1/2"; A Veritas tenon cutter makes quick work of this; Now on to the the small sander with interface pad. Front of spindle presanding; The unevenness is quickly smoothed with 120 grit; Now the backside presanding; Again, sander with interface pad makes for a nice rounded surface; The spindles need to look uniform and the spindle shoulder height needs to be uniform. Here is a line using the two outside spindles and a mark up on the outer edge of each spindle from the seat at 3 1/4 "; I level the spindle shoulders to that line. This is all rasp work; I am only half way done with the spindles. Headrest is next before I can tackle the top half of the spindles. Oh this took awhile, 4 1/2 hrs to put my total time at 35 hrs. Thanks for looking.
  5. Super result and I like the finish, you did a spray finish, right?
  6. I will sand this to 400 grit, I have a lot of grits ahead of me still.
  7. Back at it since returning from another unsuccessful surf fishing trip for the depleted Striped Bass. Was able to get a few hrs in and worked on the arm to leg joints. These go pretty quick and gives you the best example of my method of what I refer to as power sculpting. Started with the back leg to arm joint. You have a decent amount of excess arm material which I quickly take down with the RAS. Then I switch to 80 grit on the RAS as I'll be using this for more fine refinements next. Once material is flush I start with the outside of the arm. Here I first use the rasps and then move to the small sander with an interface pad. There is a large flat area here that I lightly crown over and I'm a little more aggressive removing wood on the underside of the joint. This goes pretty quickly; Now it's to the top inside edge of both arms. In this first pic you can see where I start after the RAS reduction. Smooth contours but a sharp edge; After the rasps; Then the small sander with the interface pad, this gets me in the ballpark; Next is the inside of the arm where we add the classic Maloof detail of a sweeping curve sculpted into the arm. Maloof used a long sweeping curve that travels up the arm further than the curve I use. Start by marking it out; Now you can see in the picture above we have left a little more thickness here to build in this detail. First thing I do is use the RAS with the 80 grit to start the reduction. You do this with a light touch and with the edge of the pad. This machine is great for this; Now on to the rasps. Like the modeler rasp here; Now you can see I still have some bulk below the curve; Handle this with the small sander and the interface pad. The edge of the interface pad rides along the curve; This is post sanding; That gives me a nice result, stand chair up and look at it from a different angle, still notice some extra thickness below the curve; After a little more reduction we are better; You can see from this pic I put my plugs in the screw holes. For this chair I decided to change species and went with walnut plugs. In the past I've always used the same species for the plugs but with this lighter wood I was concerned the glue line would stand out. After that I move to the arm to front leg joint. Here it is prior to shaping; After some quick work with the RAS; Now the rasps; Now the sander/interface pad; Still need to do a lot of hand sanding in this area but this is a good start. Then I move to the front profile of the arm, I leave some bulk here for clamping on the arm. Create the more delicate edge after arm is glued on; So once that is done I got a few other areas addressed. Started rounding over and sanding the back legs above the arm but below the headrest; Worked on the underside of the seat; Worked on the side profile of the front leg; and getting ready to glue my blocks on the rockers; So next is on to the headrest and spindles. I'll glue the blocks on the rockers and set them aside so they are ready when I get there. Also throughout the next few steps I'll do some more refinement and hand sanding. It's good to get away for a few days and look again when dealing with refinements. All total for this session is 3.5 hrs, bringing my total to 30.5. Thanks for looking.
  8. True, it is a minor detail and quite frankly in my past chairs I've left more of an end grain edge there than most people do. But my concern here is that the way the rocker sits, slightly tilted back, that edge is more visible and I'm concerned the dye may make this area darker. Even with that said i still will likely leave somewhat of an end grain edge and test the dye on a piece before I put it on the chair. Don't like the knife edge you see some people develop. Thanks as always for your kind words.
  9. Short update, only spent a little time in shop and have a busy weekend, so here's where I'm at. Finished shaping, sculpting all leg to seat joints. Sanded to 180 but I still have a few scratches to work out. also need to put plugs in and work those areas. Front leg area the tougher than the back area. Cannot be shy or hesitant, there is a lot of material to remove in the front leg to seat joint area; You can see here I have a little less width in the leg at the joint than above or below joint, I'll need to work on that; Also started rounding the underside of the front part of seat; Still need to work this area to make it look thinner; Flow to back legs look good, minimal work left here; Here you can see the side "wings" or extensions coming up from the seat and joint, want to make them flow and be mirror images of each other whether its side to side or top to bottom; So now I can glue on the arms and when I get back to this I'll be working this area; Finishing up the front legs took me 2 more hrs so I'm sitting at 27 total hrs. Believe it or not it may seem like I'm moving but there is a lot of work ahead of me still. Thanks for looking.
  10. Sounds like you had some wet white oak. True the cell structure, having tyloses that fills the pores of the wood, is different than other oaks and other woods. But it's this cell structure, or these tyloses, that have made it the wood to use for ship builders and whiskey barrels. Since the pores are filled it doesn't absorb water. This characteristic, along with other naturally occurring rot resistance characteristics, that makes this wood suitable for outdoor use. Now, these same characteristics make the wood very difficult to dry. Drying white oak requires patience and experience. I'm sure @Spanky can attest to this. A quick overview of the wood in the wood data base lists the wood as very durable in regards to rot resistance.
  11. Well it has a lot to do with practice. First time I sculpted something it didn't go as nearly fast! Now do we need to talk about your underwear choices?
  12. Don't forget white oak, other woods mentioned are also good, but white oak is pretty accessible everywhere and strong. Whatever wood you use remember that a wood's sapwood portion is much less resistant to decay than it's heartwood in all the woods mentioned.
  13. Good questions, I didn't really cover this when I went over that. The jig I use is limited, will sand at max 3" wide laminates. But it works well enough to not have to go out and get a drum sander. First thing is that the plan calls for 3/16" thick laminates, 6 per rocker. In the past I've used 1/4" with no problem on other rockers. These laminates after sanding measured in slightly below 1/4" and I used 5 laminates per rocker instead of 6, rockers measured out 1 1/8" thick once out of the glueup jig, about what you get with 6 laminates at 3/16". I don't think there is more of a problem going thinner, if anything there will be less chance of breaking if thinner. Breaking would be more a problem the thicker the laminates. The curve on these rockers is not extreme. In other projects where I've done bent lamination where the curve was more extreme I went thinner than this, less than or at 3/16". One thing that I pay a lot of attention to with the laminates is straight grain. Irregular grain or knots are more vulnerable to breaking. I use exclusively air dried lumber, except with this build. This build is KD Maple I got from Spanky. This is one reason I tried to get the laminates below 1/4" because my belief is KD is less forgiving when bending. This lumber worked out great for this, bent very easily and no issues. I don't have as much curly figure in these rockers, picked lumber with less curly figure thinking it would bend better, but that was based on nothing more than an uneducated guess.
  14. I thought that the figure was going to pop on that chop, it looked interesting even before you applied the finish.
  15. That's an interesting question. I think when sculpting I don't look at the joint or the grain, I just try to see the curve or silhouette. Look at the silhouette and feel it with your hand, that helps a lot.