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h3nry last won the day on May 19

h3nry had the most liked content!

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    furniture, hand-tools

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  1. I've upholstered a couple of simple square foam seats before, but this was my first shot at something substantial, with curves and springs and welted cushions and all the rest. As for learning ... youtube all the way ... there's loads of people making vids of reupholstering chairs and cushions. It's not quite as complicated as it looks once you get going ... and sewing has similarities with woodwork: at it's most basic it's just cutting raw stock down to shape, and then a bit of joinery to attach the pieces together. The hardest part was actually the design of the skeleton, knowing where it needs gaps in the woodwork that the fabric can go through and be pulled tight, and where it is important to have a piece of wood for the staples to go into, and where wood is needed to hold the shape, and where it is better to stretch webbing or use foam for a softer shape etc. Nobody seems to talk about that, so I had to mentally picture myself doing the upholstery on my couch before I had even built the frame in order to know how to build the frame that I had to mentally picture to understand the upholstery, it was a bit of a vicious circle ... but I seem to have got there in the end.
  2. I really like the simple elegance of this table.
  3. Thanks guys ... yes it is very comfortable ... but now winter is over, I don't have excuses for staying indoors and using it. For sure. You may have noticed in some of the photos I also made a matching footstool, so I could practise any unfamiliar techniques before making expensive mistakes on the couch. I ended up making six legs for the footstool out of 8/4 cherry before I got four the same, and the technique reliable enough to try on the couch legs ... there are still the scars from a few catches that I didn't try to completely remove because it would reduce the bead too much, just have to keep them facing away from the front and nobody will know.
  4. Finally, after some danish oil on the trim ... it's ready. I've found before with cherry, that different boards can have a different colour when the finish is furst applied, hopefully as it ages, the colours will even out. Now I have to find out if it will fit through the door into the house ... maybe I should have measured that first!
  5. And finally I wanted some showy wood trim on the face. Originally I was thinking that running the trim all the way round the bottom edge would be nice ... but then I remembered I had made the upholstery go round a compound curve on the sides. I was having enough trouble getting trim to fit on the front which although flat had varying amounts of fabric and padding to cover up at the corners. I decided to continue with the knot theme on the legs ... Since the trim would be attached with screws, I made applied carvings that I could attach to cover over the screw holes.
  6. Now it's time to get back to some woodwork ... starting with a lovely block of 16/4 cherry, it was time to rough out some leg blanks. Once I had all eight blanks turned, I got a bit carried away and though I could go a bit further, and carve a design on them too ... two legs would be hidden at the back and never seen, so if this idea turned out to be a disaster I could hide the butchered leg there. However, after carving a knot pattern on two of them, kit seemed to be alright, so I finished off the other six ...
  7. The cushions were sewn, then stuffed with foam and batting. I had originally thought to add buttons to both the seat and back, but decided that it looked better with buttons only on the back, and a plain seat. With the correct dies the buttons were very easy to make ... I didn't invest in the expensive forming tool ... a pipe-clamp did the job just as well. The back cushion was then stapled to the frame, with the seat cushion left loose.
  8. The upholstery goes on starting with the deck. Then the foam goes on the inside arms, followed by some polyester batting, and fabric. Then the outside arms are covered. Most of the upholstery is just staples onto the frame, but the cover for the small wings had to be sewn to fit first, and then attached.
  9. First of two trips to the fabric store to get all the foam and padding needed ...
  10. First webbing is stretched across the bottom to form a base for the springs to rest on. Then the springs go in ... coiled springs for the seat, sewn into the webbing and tied 8 ways on top, and sinuous springs for the back. then the springs get covered with a layer of felt and burlap ... and I have something that resembles and functions as a couch ... although not too comfy yet.
  11. The wood for the frame is poplar ... a nice but cheap hardwood, and it doesn't matter if it isn't too pretty. Joinery was quite simple, a few dovetails, and a bunch of M&Ts to make the frame assemblies. The back was bolted on the seat to make it as rigid as possible. One of the big troubles I had was learning what a couch frame should look like, since they are always covered in upholstery I couldm't just look at completed examples. And online upholstery videos all concentrate on the upholstery, not the woodwork. And from what I could tell so much modern upholstered furniture is made with such poor quality wood and joinery that I didn't want to emulate it anyway. But once the frame was ready it was time to think about making it comfortable.
  12. It's been a while since I posted anything here ... but I'm not dead yet. A friend of a friend was giving away his lathe, so I thought I could learn to turn during the lockdown last year. Of course a free mini lathe meant a very expensive acquisition of tools chucks etc ... then lumber ... nothing so expensive as "free". So after a few practise bowls, I decided that since I needed a new couch I could build it with turned feet ... Turning a few bowls may be an unusual way to start a couch build, but that was my jumping off point. Although I have already finished the project, I thought I'd give you some build photos too, since not much of the woodwork is on display. Of course any project starts with a trip to the lumberyard, and some ripping and milling.
  13. Yup ... I have a whole one-car garage to play with (apart from a few bicycles). it's a bit colder in the shop though ... it took all the heaters I could find to keep it above freezing for that -35 cold snap.
  14. Thanks guys ... it's good to see some familiar names still here. Now I need to find something else to clutter the bench up with ...
  15. Well ... I thought I ought to post an update on this thread ... It's not all good news ... on the move back to Canada this piece didn't fare too well for a number of reasons. First ... at some point in the move the package containing this got dropped, and three of the legs broke off, and the rest of the carcass got badly damaged. Second ... the move from a humid tropical environment with no seasons, to the bone-dry climate of Alberta (also the wood was probably just air dried) caused some serious shrinkage ... I knew there would be some, but it was seriously more than I anticipated ... my poor pegged tenons didn't manage to move enough, and so it started pulling itself apart ... revealing all kinds of design flaws. Thirdly ... the wood movement was not even, and any sapwood cupped violently (although the heartwood wasn't too bad). Fortunately there wasn't much sapwood in the project, but I had prepared a whole bunch as secondary wood to be used in the drawer construction ... seriously just firewood now. Fourthly ... the top I had fortunately built out of quartersawn boards, so it remained relatively stable, and ended up surprisingly flat ... However the shrinkage was so significant, that it just wasn't big enough any more ... so I had to rip it in half and splice in about a 3/4" strip. With all the other changes in my life ... even once I got it back into my garage ... I just kept looking at it and thinking "firewood" ... I had a real motivation problem to get enthusiastic about repairing all the damage, and getting back to finishing it all off. Well, eventually I thought I had to do something with it ... either have at it again, or chop it up and burn it ... one way or the other it had to get off my bench and stop cluttering up the garage. So I glued the legs back on, and started to think about what had to be done next. Because of my motivational issues, and all the damage (most of which I just covered up, rather than fixing properly), I was just trying to get it done not necessarily done well. So I'm afraid I wasn't documenting the rest of the build ... but slowly it began to get back into a condition that I thought could be saved ... The wood is a South American wood called "Sapan". It's quite a common wood for domestic use in Colombia, it's hard and dense, with straight grain, and very pretty when finished ... but it is a brute to work with ... it's hard on tools, it has interlocking grain making it awful to plane without tearout, and it's horribly splintery. What's more I seem to be allergic to the splinters. I covered the drawer fronts with a bubinga veneer that I had. There's two small hidden drawers inside, into one of which a printout of this thread is going. Although it is certainly not my finest work (no close up pics since I'm trying to hide damage and poor fitting joinery from excessive wood movement etc.). I knew I was pushing my limits with this one from the start, and the whole process was certainly a learning experience and has made me a better woodworker. So here it is ...