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Everything posted by Bmac

  1. This is a simple and fun chair to build. I started building these 2 years ago and always seem to have one at some stage of building in my shop. This will be my 8th highback and I also did one with arms, so 9 in total. They are addicting to build and look great around my dining room table. The design came from an older book that is a favorite of mine, "Building Fine Furniture With Solid Wood", by Ken Sadler. Reading this book is like listening to your grandfather where you knew whatever he is saying it is wise to pay attention and listen. The build requires basic tools and a good lathe. Even though lathe work is not my favorite, I enjoy turning the spindles and legs for this project because I love the outcome. It seems each chair I make I'm getting a more refined result. This isn't a true build journal, but I did start taking a few photos as I was in the middle of the build. This chair is done in cherry. Seat legged up, seat already shaped, holes already drilled for the spindles. The backrest is laminated; Spindles are turned and measure from 23" to 25.5", long spindles like this on a lathe are challenging and a spindle rest is mandatory. Some of the spindles are darker because I seem to do a few and then set the project aside, getting back to the lathe when time allows. With time they will all darken and look fine. Legs go all the way through the seat and are wedged. Seat is about 1.75" thick. Spindles fitted, ready for backrest; Back rest and spindles glued up. The chair with a rubbed oil/poly finish; This chair will soon join the others in my dining room, this will be it's new home; These chairs are what inspired me to tackle the other chairs I've made, but I still love making these. I have two other seats and backrests sitting in my shop waiting for me to start turning more legs and spindles. I may run out of room in my dining room and if I do I think I'll start giving them out to my relatives! Thanks for looking.
  2. That's some purty wood!
  3. I really like that wavy walnut. I've never cut black locust, but I'd like to get some for some outdoor projects. As for milling it with my chainsaw, all I can say is my mama didn't raise a fool. I'd be hiring someone like you for that!
  4. I think I'll need a bigger saw!
  5. I milled 6 hickory logs this winter, man they did a number on me and my chains. I was sharpening the chain with every tank of gas. I've become good at sharpening chains! I've even quarter sawn red oak with my mill, don't think I'll do that again but it was an experience. I have a few nice white oak logs sitting on my property now that I'm going to quatersaw, but I'm hiring a bandsaw mill for that job. The more I mill with the chainsaw the more I think about getting a bandsaw mill. And yes, a dream come true to buy a few acres on a lake and build your house from the trees on the property.
  6. Love talking about milling, like a lot of your photos also. When I get the chance I do a little chainsaw milling. I have the access to the wood and I love milling, it's addicting. It was very impressing with your earlier post where you split that huge maple log done the middle with a chainsaw. It looks like you did that freehand! With my chainsaw mill I can handle logs up to 34", using a 42" bar. I know I earn every board I cut, milling is hard work. I tend to buck my logs at about 7' because I usually saw by myself and I can't handle much larger boards. Also because of the waste with a chainsaw mill I usually cut 9/4 or 10/4 thick boards. Minimizes waste and I just resaw on my bandsaw in the shop. My saws are Stihls, two MS 660s run my mills and both have ported mufflers to breath better and run cooler. Here's a pic of my mill cutting crotch walnut, 36" bar is on the mill for this cut. I only live edge crotch wood, I try to square up at least one side if it's not crotch wood. Here's some pretty walnut; Not sure how this will behave when it dries but I couldn't resist milling it with all the color and swirl in the grain.
  7. Love hearing from sawyers, so with the way you described your quartersawing method, I believe you cut the wood like this off the quarters? I believe this would give you true quatersawed boards in your first 6 cuts or so and then a more rift cut boards after that with a chunk of waste wood once you are finished, correct?
  8. Thank you guys for the input, no need to convert than as I have neither problems you guys listed and esp since I won't know the difference.
  9. With the grain layout I agree with you. First off I should take more time with that part of the build. Cherry the grain isn't as visible before you finish and I don't take the time to wet with mineral spirits to see the grain pattern before jointing. If I had thick enough stock with the cherry I could have made the backrest nicer. Another challenge with these sculptured chairs is trying to figure out the grain pattern in the seat. What I mean by that is I'm taking 3/4" to 1/2" of material off, visualizing the grain pattern that far below the surface is tough. As you reduce the seat boards I sometimes think I've made good choices but they blend less and less as stock is removed.
  10. I'm having some electrical work done in my shop, putting in a few more 220 and 110 outlets. I see that the Laguna 14/12 bandsaw can have it's wiring reconfigured to run on 220v. Has anyone done this, how's it improve the bandsaw, and any reason not to do it?
  11. Well time to wrap this up. It was fun doing this journal and I appreciate all the comments and feedback. I'll critique a few things about the chairs as I go through this post. These chairs are now headed to my dental office so parents that come back with their children for treatment will have a nice seat to sit in. The single back leg design allows the chairs to nicely fit into the corners of the treatment room. You can see from the photos the chair is almost made for a corner. Finished both chairs with 4 coats of Maloof oil/poly and then 3 coats of Maloof oil/wax. Finished and ready for sitting; Another angle, this shows the stretchers, which were the toughest part of this project for me, turned out very nice; A couple photos of joints, not too bad; The backrests, the plan called for the glue up I did on the cherry seat. For the walnut seat I had a thick enough piece of wood to be able to cut the curve of the backrest out and not go through the piece on the show side of the backrest. I did glue on a backer piece for the joint on the walnut chair. Definitely like the walnut backrest better. If you ever plan to do these chairs you will need a piece at least 10/4 thick to accomplish this. A picture of two legs of the walnut chair to point out a few details in the construction. To make the legs you need to glue up stock for the proper thickness, the plan called for glue up of two 7/4 pieces. The plan then called for you to keep that glue joint centered on the leg. I had a slight misstep and planed my initial leg blanks too thin for the joint. I need to add to the blanks and this made the glue joint off center. I think if I was confronted with that problem again I my glue two equally thick pieces of thinner stock on each side of the blank to help keep the glue joint centered. You can't see the glue joint in the first photo, but it is more obvious in the back leg. The glue joint all but disappeared in the cherry chair. At least the back leg is in a corner against the wall. These photos also show the plugs, used the same wood as the chair's main wood, these didn't blend in as well on the first photo of the side leg but did blend in better on the back leg. Finally, photos of my repair, hard to tell it was broken, very pleased with this outcome considering the work I put into the chairs at the time of the break. There is a smudge on the seat of the walnut chair that I noticed while posting this, I just checked the chair and it was only a dusty finger print as I just came in from the shop and must of put it there moving the chair into the staged photo. Overall this was a really fun build and Scott Morrison's templates and video instruction were very nice, made the whole project go smoothly. I think I'll revisit this build in the future, these are chairs I'll likely make again. They do ask for large blanks and there is significant waste, but I do like the final look and they are very comfortable to sit in. They will also reassure my patients that if I'm capable of doing this in wood, doing there teeth is no problem. I often tell my patients as a dentist I'm nothing more than a glorified and expensive carpenter anyway.
  12. First off these chairs are very comfortable. In fact way more comfortable that I expected. The leg extending up does not seem to be a problem. The design also allows you to sit in the chair sidesaddle, meaning one leg over the side and one leg in the front. Time wise, these were my fastest sculptured projects/chairs yet. It helps you only have 3 legs and 3 leg/seat joints. I'm also getting faster. As for specific hrs spent on them I can't say, I don't track that and I would only be guessing. I started this journal June 15th, and from there I've only worked about 8-10 hrs per weekend. When I started the journal I had the seats glued up with the joints cut and the leg blanks glued up with no joint cut yet. Building took less than a month. If you are interested. here's the website for the plans, a real steal for $29.99, video and templates.
  13. Well I thought the repair would be fine, but it was sure reassuring to hear others agree. I would assume like Drew said that if it were to break again it would not break at the repair. Well got the first coat of finish on the walnut chair, few pics; Just about 6 more coats of finish to go before I can show off the final result.
  14. Started shaping the backrest on the second chair and then disaster struck! Complete disaster! I had the chair clamped to the workbench and with the backrest added it made the chair top heavy with the way I had it positioned on the table. After removing the clamps to reposition the chair I forgot the precarious top heaviness of the chair. As I put the clamp down I saw out of the corner of my eye the chair slowly tumbling off the bench. Needless to say I was too late to catch it. Falling 3 feet and landing on the back rest put too much stress on the back support. I was beyond depressed. Here's the devastating result of the fall; I have put too much time in this chair to scrap it, but it looked hopeless. I picked up the pieces amid tears and slowly tried to see how the pieces fit together. Remarkably I was able to piece it together. With a few clamps here it is; Now to epoxy and clamps; Off we went to the beach for a few days and when I returned everything looked hopeful, after sanding it looked even better; So it's back together, the initial joint held and the break was mainly in the support. What is everyone's thought on this repair, am I right to be hopeful or should the chair stay mainly unused in a corner somewhere?
  15. I'm enjoying this build so much I can't stay out of the shop. Finished with work early today and spent a few hot hrs out there moving forward with this project. So far this project has gone very quickly for me, but I am getting quicker with each sculpted project I do. Also helps this project only has 3 legs to blend and shape into the seat. So here's my progress today; Attached the backrest to the walnut chair, turning it upside down to avoid any unwanted glue run out. Got to sanding the cherry chair and after a few hours I was done. This project calls for you to sand the stretchers prior to assembly and I had everything from the stretchers down already sanded to 220, everything between the backrest and the seats already sanded to 180, so I had a head start. Here's the chair sanded and ready for finishing, some nice hard lines and detail with the backrest; Nice organic flow to seat; Looks inviting to sit in; I'm using the Maloof finish for this as I've done with my other Maloof chairs I've done. Going to get 4 coats of the oil/poly and 3 coats of oil/wax. Use the OOO Steelwool to rub on the finish and wipe dry with rags. After the first coat; Always great to get the first coat of finish on. Hope to get the walnut chair shaped and sanded to start finishing it this weekend.
  16. Worked as long as I could stand, it's 100 here in the Mid-Atlantic and humid. When sweat is dripping onto the table saw you know you need to stop, esp when it's a sawstop. I thought a well placed drop of sweat might fire the brake. One other challenge with this project, I just upgraded to the sawstop and I didn't get the dado brake yet, so I had to cut the 3.25" dados in the seats with a thin kerf blade. Time consuming for sure. Here's my progress today; Started by refining and shaping the neck of the back support that the backrest attachs to; Then sanded this neck area to 320, you'll see I won't be able to easily get back to this area once the backrest is attached. Next was to start shaping the backrest, esp in the area of the neck. Here are my outlines to guide me. You can see from this picture how tight this area is. Now I scooped/shaped out the area in the backrest next to the seat support. And then rounded the underside of the backrest to blend in with the front bottom line angle of the backrest, taking away the flat area at the bottom of the backrest. Then sanded this area, the hard to reach area, to 320. The rest of the shaping will be done when the backrest is attached. Proceeded on to glueup for this backrest. With the area between the neck of the support and the backrest being so tight I was very concerned about glue run out, so I did not apply glue to the very bottom of the joint to help minimize glue run out. I figured glue would creep into this area when clamped. I added glue to the seat support the same way. Also applied the epoxy in a thin layer. This is were the greater thickness of the System Three epoxy was a big advantage. Once clamped I turned the piece over and will let the glue set up in this position. Minimal glue run out, if any occurred, pumped about that. Next I started working on the backrest for the walnut chair. Cut the dados while sweating, avoided tripping the sawstop brake, and then cut out the shape for this backrest. Glad I went as far as I did with the first backrest, as I was able to do a better cutout knowing what the next steps were. Here is all the waste from the walnut backrest. Finally called it a day once I saw the backrest fit well and looks great. Got some great grain with this on. I said I did this one slightly different than the cherry backrest, as I had thick enough stock to handle the concave cut and only needed to glue up enough wood in the back of it for the thickness of the dado. I really like this technique much better. Thanks for all the compliments, but please feel free to add any pointers or suggestions as I really did this journal as a challenge to myself and to get feedback. I will say I've enjoyed doing this journal much more than I thought I would. I'm also getting better at documenting the steps and showing the building process. Knowing you are going to show your work also challenges you to pay attention to detail. I've already looked back at some of the photos I've posted and I can see things I need to tweak and improve, these were things I didn't notice in the shop. Time to jump in the pool and cool off. Oh one last thing, Steve, I will be signing and dating these, no doubt.
  17. Was hot in the shop today and my lame cooling system barely kept up, made it only partially tolerable. Shaped both chairs to the point I just need to make the backrests and shape the backrests and the backrest area. Everything above the stretchers is sanded to 120, stretchers and below is sanded to 220. I also got 1 backrest roughed out. Here is my progress. Here is the walnut chair shaped; And the cherry chair; For plugs I've used the same type of wood as the one I am building with. I sort of like that better than using a different wood. I've done this with the many Maloof style chairs I've made (rocker, barstools, lowbacks, and bowtie stools). Here's a pic of those plugs. When people look at what I've made they don't even realize I've used screws. Backrests traced out on the blanks; First backrest roughed out. Cutting that back rest out of the large blank resulted in a lot of waste, something I don't like about these Maloof projects. I wish I could laminate and bend the backrest, but by starting in the block shape you are able to cut your dado joints. If I could figure out how to do the dado joint with the laminations I would laminate the backrests. Also you'll see that the way Morrison does his back rests is with 3 boards glued up to get your width. I don't particularly care for this. With the walnut chair I had a thick enough board I was able to just glue on a backer board that the dado will be cut out of. I'll highlight the difference between the two as I progress. If I can bear the heat tomorrow after church I hope to get the next backrest roughed out and begin the shaping of the backrests. This has been a fun project so far and I'm on a roll so I really hope to progress more tomorrow.
  18. We are moving forward with this project. Spent a few hours in my hot shop to begin shaping the chairs. Started with putting screws in all leg joints. Then I started shaping and the joints started to show up. Shaping is so much easier with the interface pads, Hope to have more progress photos tomorrow if I can stand the heat.
  19. My only experience with epoxy is this product. I looked into the West System, and this was easier for me to get (sold at Woodcraft) and seemed more reasonably priced. What you are looking at cost around $30, I think. I've seen Marc use the West System and this seems to have a thicker consistency and doesn't need filler. This is the slower set product by System Three and you simply mix to a 1:1 ratio, simple to use and no need for dispensers and etc. Has 40-60 minute working time and full cure in around 24 hrs. I've use this with some dye to fill in knots and other defect and I will say the thicker consistency made that a little more difficult, but in the end it still seemed to work well for that.
  20. Haven't had a chance to get back in the shop much this week, but when I made it out I continued to struggle with the stretchers. Once I got one chair close to going together well I used the front stretcher from that chair to size my stretcher for the second chair and this helped speed things up. I got both assemblies looking real good, and everything went home tightly with clamping. But when I took the clamps off I continued to have a little spring back with the front legs. Best way to explain that is with some photos; See how a gap opens up in the joint with both legs, and this was happening with both chairs. I finally figured out the problem was not stretcher length but the angle of the stretcher holes in the legs. I drilled these hole by sight and there was no real way to measure the angles. This sort of reminded me of the problem I had, and others had, with the back slats in the Mallof Rocker. Marc corrected this by flattening one side of the round tenon. Once I did that I got a big improvement in fit but couldn't get it any better than this. Tenons flattened; So on I went, I could get the leg joint closed with hand pressure but it would spring back open once released. I thought the spring back was acceptable, at least I hope, esp with glue and screws to support the joint. On to glue up. Epoxy was used for working time. I've been using this system Three with good results. Glue ups done; Time to get a cold one and I can't wait to start shaping the chairs this weekend. Backrest blanks have been glued up and I'll work on those also this weekend.
  21. Got at it again today with some slow going. Hopefully with what I tried to do today I can get some input from others as to if this is the best approach. What I did worked in the end but it was slow and I kept thinking there must be an easier way. So I worked on the stretchers for the chairs today. There are 2 stretchers, one you turn on the lathe and that was straight forward. The other stretcher was one I needed to hand shape, the shaping went fine, but then I needed to make a 3/4" round tenon on each end of the stretcher. This was were I struggled. I'll start with the shaping of the front stretcher, used the Festool RAS 115 rotary sander, rasps and then Festool sanders with interface pads. It only took a few minutes to get here using what I stated above. A few minutes later I was done with half the shaping on this stretcher. As I said before I found using this method of shaping goes quickly with minimal dust. Here's were I ran into the problem, my tenon shaper/maker couldn't handle the curve of the stretcher. I then went manual. Used rasps, scraper with a radius cut out of it, sand paper, and a wood block drilled to the size hole I wanted. The block helped compress the wood and show me where I was rubbing. The wood block finally showed me I was were I needed to be. Then I drilled the hole in the stretcher, That was tough since I already had it rounded. So I got smart and drilled the hole before shaping. Last picture shows the stretcher before drilling, but I'm sure you can tell it is easier drilling the square surface. Next it was to the lathe to shape the back stretcher. First attempt to put together and it wouldn't go home. Wasn't sure if the back stretcher was too long so I shortened that, no help, so the front stretcher was the problem. After multiple adjustments I got the top of the leg to go home but the bottom of the joint was still open. More adjustments and finally got a dry assembly. So I plan to use the front stretcher from this chair and use it in my first assembly of the second chair, Then I'll know if how to adjust the second stretcher length wise. The second stretcher is likely too long just like this one was but I want to confirm before cutting. Also I don't know if my holes in the legs on the first chair were alittle off angle, also creating difficulty. Those were not fun holes to drill, esp after all the time spent on those legs. So, any suggestions on doing the front stretcher tenons better? Or was I doing what I could do and I need to expect it to be tedious?
  22. Got back at it today. To start, here's two pictures of the hang up I get with these joints. Right at the roundover. Worked them all today to get them fitting well. Then I spent a lot of time shaping..... Got the legs shaped and one of the stretchers shaped. Worked the seats more also. Hopefully tomorrow I can finish the stretchers and start working the backrests. A lot of sanding after that!
  23. Yes air dried lumber is much more forgiving to bend and I think it retains it's color better. Don't we all need more time. In the winter I cut for firewood and lumber and have access to the trees, so I usually put my woodworking on hold a little to get my lumber milled. Also milling is addicting, very addicting. There is an unique satisfaction and sense of accomplishment when you can say you started with a tree and personally take it to a finished product.
  24. The answer is typically 2 years, but it's more nuanced than that. I try to get 2 drying seasons. When I say drying seasons, I mean March/April to Oct/Nov here in the Mid-Atlantic. So if I mill wood and put it up in Feb, a year and a half later it should be good to go. Other important things to know is that oak tends to dry more slowly and I might leave that out a little longer. But oak is not a species I do much with, walnut and cherry are pretty easy to dry. I've milled enough now that my stock is able to sit longer because I've got a good supply. But sitting longer outside doesn't get it any drier. The lowest I can get my wood outside is that 12-14% and that typically takes 2 drying seasons.
  25. Ok, now this is a topic I love to talk about but have stayed out of the conversation in this forum. I know I've read different thoughts and beliefs on this here. Bottom line is if I have my preference, I much rather would build with air dried lumber. I've milled my own wood for years, air drying and never worrying too much about it. When I bring my wood into my somewhat controlled shop environment my wood is usually sitting at 12-14%. A few months in my shop and I'm usually down to 9-10%. For projects I cut out my pieces and do rough milling and stickering in between. When I build I just know that I need to build with the idea that my wood will move, and shouldn't we all build that way? This chair is a great example of were the wood will move and it really shouldn't affect the build. This chair should allow, for the most part, the freedom for the wood to move. I mill most of my wood at 10/4. This allows my to resaw for book matched panels and gives me good sized boards for chair builds. Also milling thicker minimizes the waste from my chainsaw mill. I'm not really a slabber and live edged slabs don't interest me much. Only live edge slabs when I've got crotch wood. Wouldn't you love access to wood like this for hardly any expense? Just need patience. You can see I've got a straight edge on this log, makes it much easier to break down in the shop. This is mostly walnut, has sat for 2 years.