Bmac

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Everything posted by Bmac

  1. Using the dominoes are definitely for alignment first. The coopering of the seat makes the glueup very difficult without the dominoes, also the dominoes are critical to keep the correct orientation of the joints. Maloof believed they added some strength also, perhaps they do.
  2. I'm with you, I couldn't hold my router flat and it kept running on me. Using the starter pin is like an extra hand and I feel like I have so much more control. I will not use the grinder at all on this build, all RAS. It's not that I dislike the grinder, a grinder does a great job and is a little faster, but I do dislike the mess it makes. Also I feel like I have better control with the RAS. It won't run/jump on you and when you learn to use it you can be aggressive or really fine with it. Hopefully after this build I can make the case for the RAS and you'll give your RAS even more love.
  3. We are moving now. Here's my progress since last post.... This post I tackle the seat joints, pre-assembly shaping, and the seat glue up. Cut the back notches for the rear leg joints. A few thoughts here, first the size of the notch is only somewhat important. I try to be dead on but as you'll see with assembly there is extra seat here extending out past the rear leg. So if you cut the notch at 2 15/16ths" instead of 3", you'll be fine. The real big deal is the fact that this notch needs to be dead on square, I mean dead on. The front notches are only 1/4" deep, I set up the blade and the fences so the cut is done without needing any adjustments. Also I just leave on my standard blade and nibble away, quicker than setting up the dado stack; Against the Incra stop; Against the tablesaw fence; Cut is a little rough at first; Router plane makes quick work of this and gives me a perfectly flat surface. I would have used the router plane with the dado stack anyway, another reason I just use a standard blade for this notch. Once you have your notches it's time to route the notch to develop the classic Maloof joint outline. I find using the handheld router here a mistake waiting to happen. To me the router table with the starter pin in place gives me much more control; Few minutes later, looking good. With the maple I did get some burning, esp with the end grain. I don't think there is any avoiding this and the joint has a ton of gluing surface anyway; Now before I glue up the seat I'm going to take a minute to do some pre-assembly shaping. This helps a ton developing the contour of the future seat. The outside boards are placed next to the already cut boards they will be glued to. I strike a line for depth and begin shaping. Here you can see my guide lines; One side done; other side done. Take notice how little dust is present on the table. This operation was completed by the Festool Ras and took about 7 minutes per board!!! Is it necessary to do this pre-assembly shaping. No, but it helps. I can hold my RAS at an angle that is not possible when the seat is assembled. If you look at this photo you can see the RAS disc would be digging into the adjacent board. To do this operation once the seat is assembled you need to hold your grinder in a much more awkward and less effective angle; Here's a view of board number 4, I'm pretty aggressive with my reduction. I was aware of my domino placement and we should be fine. Once the seat is completely shaped then I would expect this area to be slightly over 3/4" at it's thinnest; Finally, all glued up, I almost forgot you need to put the seat in this position so glue doesn't drip down into your joints. Positioned wrong at first but caught myself; So you can see from above I'm well on my way to shaping this seat, it's nothing more than blending together the boards now. Also with shaping I think the biggest thing I see people do that I don't think looks good is they scoop out on the perimeter at a harsh slope to their depth then they have a large flat area 1" below the top of the seat. I want my slope to be more gradual and much less "flat" area. This shape tend to cradle the legs and the backside and is much more comfortable. I'll elaborate on this in the next post as shaping the seat is on the agenda then. These operations took just 1 hr, so I'm sitting at 4.5hrs so far. Thanks for looking.
  4. Yes, right now my plan is to use TransTint dye, I'll be testing it on a few scraps before putting it on the chair. After the dye I plan to use a oil/poly finish followed by an oil/wax finish. This will be the same finish Maloof used and I've had great luck with it on my previous chairs, but this will be the first chair I dye prior. Here's a few questions to people that have experience with dye, I've used it occasionally in the past, but not extensively. I know if mixed with water it will raise the grain and I'll have to resand. Does prewetting the wood help? Or is it better to use something like lacquer thinner with the dye? Are there any issues using a solvent like lacquer thinner instead of water? What gives the best most even coloring?
  5. As I've promised I'm going to journal my next Maloof Rocker build. This is one of my favorite all time builds and this will be my 5th rocker in the past 2 years (third rocker of this year). I started building chairs about 4 years ago and it has become an obsession to me. During that time period I've built approx 30 chairs. I've learned a lot along the way. For all those who have been wanting to start this build I'd encourage you to get started, it is a challenging but immensely satisfying build. Since this is a guild project I'll be following basically Marc's instructions and I'll point out where I've deviated from his directions. Marc does a great job with this build and with my first rocker I followed his directions down to the letter. Since then I've built chairs that were from plans supplied by Charles Brock and Scott Morrison. I've picked up a few tricks from these guys and my build will be an amalgamation of what I've learned from all three. The wood will be some gorgeous curly hard maple from @Spanky, I'm excited to use this lumber. I ordered two batches from him and one batch is a little more curly than the other, but I think it will all look great in the end. I know one thing, I'm saving every scrap of this during the build. Finally, in some of my past builds many of you have asked how long it takes me for one of these builds, I'll try my best to record the time I take to complete each step and try to keep a running tally as I go. I originally thought I'd start this around Thanksgiving, but I'm getting an earlier start. This build will be slow though, as it's prime surf fishing season here in the Mid-Atlantic region, and I'll be playing hooky from work and from the shop to wet a line. Started the project by going thru the stock and began milling the parts. The seat is made from 5 pieces, approx 4" wide and 22" long. I had a board that was 11" wide, I was able to get two 22" lengths from this board and then I was able to get two 4.25" wide boards from each length and one 2.5" wide board from each length. I glued these two thinner boards together to make the center board for the seat; Back legs, always good to get these from the same board and I had nice grain to follow at the bottom of the leg, headrest will likely come from the piece above and the adder blocks will come from the waste between the legs; The front legs and the arms; The back slats, you need 7, I'll cut out 8; The plan calls for the width of the back slats is to be 1.5", I like my slats a little skinnier, these will be around 1.25", to me wide back slats look clunky. No matter how wide the main part of the back slat is, it still goes down to a 3/8th" tenon into the headrest, so thinner back slats are not weaker; This is my piece for the rocker laminations, unfortunately I found some bark inclusions as I was prepping. I should have enough usable material and I can work around those inclusions; Once stock selection was completed I moved on to the 5 seat boards. Glued up the 2 skinnier boards, jointed, planed and cut to length. Once that is completed I need to cut the 3 degree bevels for the coopered seat. These bevels will be on both sides of the middle board and on the out side of both boards that join with the middle board. You can see the direction of the bevels marked on the end of the boards in this pic; ****Real quick, a point about the coopered seat, I've done these seats both ways, coopered and just flat. I do like the coopered look a little better, but it's not extreme. The flat seat also looks pretty darn good. The coopered seat is definitely an option you can use or skip.**** Cutting the bevels, table saw set at 3 degrees: Bevels cut and marking out domino placement; This next step is really a little tricky, you need to domino into a beveled surface on some boards. Marc does a nice job of this and cuts all his slots with the 90 degree guide on the domino retracted, and the base of the domino sitting on his workbench. This results in a domino slot positioned toward the bottom of the boards and out of the way for future sculpturing, but is very difficult to do on boards 2 and 4, as the bevel orientation makes it difficult to get a correctly positioned domino slot and have it perpendicular with the face of the board. But his technique works great for the centerboard joints. Below is a pic of the domino cutting the slots into the centerboard, you put the domino on the bench and slightly tilt to the face is perpendicular the the joint, it's hard to see if it's tilted, but it is, the opposing surface for this joint is 90 degrees, so you simply put the domino on the bench and plunge into the 90 degree surface; Now with the other joints, the angle of the bevel prevents you for doing what I did above. So instead I set the angle of the domino to 87 degrees and cut the slot using the fence. To do this you need to put the fence on the bottom of the board as the reference for your plunge cut; Charles Brock handles cutting the dominos a little differently than Marc did, and I do a mix of their techniques. Now that the dominos slots are cut, I assemble and cut the seat to the correct width, you do this by cutting the excess equally for both outside boards. Once the width is correct I draw the outline for sculpting the seat; Pre-sculpting bandsaw reduction is next. I want to cut my reduction with the 90 degree side of boards 2 and 4 on the bandsaw table, in this pic you see which side is which; I then draw a line 1" from the bottom and develop a reduction cut line from that. I take a lot off, I want a deep seat; Here's the board on the bandsaw, 90 degree jointed surface on the table. You can also see from the above pic I've got plenty of stock over my domino slots. The center board is tricky, you have a bevel on both sides; You can mess with your bandsaw table and put it at 3 degrees, or you can just cut from both sides, as the cut angles toward the surface and the end result is just a ridge in the middle of the board where your 2 cuts intersect; Here are my 3 center boards with their pre-sculpting cuts, you can see in the center board I just have a little ridge, toward the front I've cut out an outline for the pommel; Next are the joints that are cut into the outside boards and some pre-sculpting shaping. It's easier to do some gross shaping while the boards are apart. Almost forgot, I'm about 3.5 hours into this.
  6. I've used both techniques and much prefer the bandsaw removal preshaping technique, but both will work. The bandsaw technique gets you real close to symmetric reduction if your cuts are accurate. As for symmetry, you don't need to be exact. Your eye doesn't pick up little discrepancies, feeling the seat with your hand picks the discrepancies up way more than your eye. For symmetry get it looking symmetrical to your eye, then feel it with your hand marking high spots and reduce until it feels acceptable. The soft foam interface pads are great at helping get things smoothed out and more symmetrical.
  7. Sure, I get that, but in the end it's still a bench. If it doesn't look beat up and used in 10 years you are not really doing work on it. Dog holes round or square? I went with round and am perfectly satisfied.
  8. Looking good, and I like the fact that you understand this is a workbench, not a piece of fine furniture! What are you using for the legs, Cherry? By the way, you can't put off those chairs forever.
  9. Thanks boys, it wasn't much different than scooping out a seat. Really love this sculpting thing, has opened up my eyes to what I can do with wood.
  10. Shoot, I was hoping he couldn't fit it in!
  11. Been working as a Christmas Elf for the past few weeks, trying to think up some simple gifts. Made some candleholders, a few bigger pieces of furniture, some boxes based on @gee-dub continuous grain boxes, great link here... But @Gary Beasley got me thinking when he was begging for slabs from @Spanky to make some bowls. Well I'm not much of a bowl turner, but with the development of my sculpting skills I thought this might be a great gift idea. Went out to my drying piles where slabs hold down the roofing, lean against the back of a drying shed, and a few extra ones are lying around waiting to be chainsawed into fire wood. I grabbed a walnut and cherry slab along with a hunk of paulownia. After knocking off all the bark I cut the slabs into chunks and jointed/planed to thickness. The thickness was dependent on the usable wood in the hunk. Then I drew random bowl shapes onto the hunks, avoiding cracks and defects. Once again the wood dictated the shape I drew. Now it was outside my shop where I completed aggressive wood removal with the angle grinder. After a few days and some sanding, scraping and anything I had to smooth the bowl, I had 10 great looking organic shaped bowls. All the slabs were a few years old and dry, hoping no cracks develop but we'll soon find out. Here are what I saved from the fireplace; Second batch; Not bad for a few days of grinding and shaping. Thanks for looking.
  12. I like the way you think.
  13. Love the drawer fronts, great job with matching the grain. Can't wait to see it with a finish on it.
  14. Well I'm glad you are thinking of me, tell Coop if he can't get it home I'm not afraid to buy it!
  15. Great job and some stunning stock you found to build with. So the two subtle changes to the project I see are no metal inset on door and flush through tenons on sides. Any other changes?
  16. I told you during our conversations you may well be headed down a path that is hard to leave. I made my first chair about 4 years ago and it has become somewhat of a obsession. The variety of chairs you can make is extensive and I learn something new with every different style of chair I make. I really look forward to following along with this build as I also have found your thought processes and and design ideas are always interesting. I think you are starting with a solid design and concept and the end result should be a great set of chairs.
  17. Looking forward to following this too! Have used TB III too like Mick for my bent laminates, and I've even used TB extend for more involved laminate glueups. I have looked into the Unibond but went with what I know. Maloof always just used a PVA for his rockers. But you got a super result with that. I've never had such invisible glue lines. Looking up the product it has long open time, sets pretty quick and it's for interior only. What's it handle like, runny or more thick?
  18. Plan to do a rocker with that soon, I'm knocking out some other projects now. Thinking I'll get started on that rocker around Thanksgiving, can't wait to tear into that wood.
  19. That's an impressive week's worth of work, still doing ties? Used the Butternut you sent me for a project, it was a pleasure to work with!
  20. LOVE that first table. That really came out nice and very unique!
  21. @derekcohen, I appreciate your humble and measured response. I think the saying "you don't know what you don't know" applies here. Perhaps you moved some of your members to the next level where they realize they don't know and are interesting in learning more. I for one want to thank you for your journals and your website. They have been very helpful and inspiring. Hand cut dovetails are now becoming a part of my projects, something 3 years ago I would have avoided doing. Looking forward to your next project!
  22. Mark, he mentioned it was the Perth Wood Show. I think this is the link; http://www.fwwa.org.au/woodshow.htm
  23. Great job with the decorative sides, turned out very nice.
  24. Derek, I guessing that there were no hand cut dovetails in the first place piece ( maybe the drawer, but I'm thinking a router was involved). Your piece shows a love and dedication to the craft of woodworking. The other piece shows a love for veneer and an artistic flair, but it totally lost me when I saw the side mounted drawer slides and the false drawer/door fronts. Also the adjustable shelf and the bulky, ugly door/drawer pulls show a lack of refinement. Oh, and what the heck was going on in the 4th pic of the first place piece, the back of the drawer shows a total mess. I can't understand how you can do such detailed veneer work and be so sloppy with a drawer back. Not first place material. Your drawer bottoms ran SEQUENTIALLY and the inside of his drawer were a total glue mess. My vote is for yours, a true piece of fine craftmanship and beauty.
  25. Yes Coop, it's a deep chair. I think it wouldn't be too hard to move the backrest forward, it would just be changing the location of 2 cuts. The other thing is they are very wide, much wider than the Low Back. That may not be a big problem, but could be if you have a desk with limited leg/knee/foot space. Changing the width is more difficult as you would need to change the pattern. If you want any measurements of the final chair just ask, I'll get them for you. Submitted and they are now posted on the guild site.