Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Two chairs completed

The heavens are open and angels sing for on this day (a week or so ago, actually) two chairs were finished. AaAaAaAhhhhhhhh. I'm not going to go in to just how long it took to complete them, but let me say this, it feels good to be done-ish.


The chairs are finished, and done too.




Ish? So yes, I have two boys and two chairs for their two butts. My wife reminded me that the original plan called for four chairs, so four chairs it will be. Eventually. In the new house.

I think the chairs came out OK and the wife loves them. So do the boys. But they certainly aren't without their flaws and fixes. Like the time I dropped one of the seats on the concrete floor and banged up three corners. Thankfully two corners still needed to be rounded so the damage was cleaned up. The other repair for the corner though took a little thought. I ended up cutting the corner off at a 45 degree angle, glued a patch with similar grain and shaped it back in to a 90 degree corner.

The joinery is mostly done with dowels. I'm not sure I'd do that again. We'll have to see how well they hold up. They feel pretty solid now. Check with me again in a couple of years. In future chair designs I'll try mortise and tenon joints, though probably not in the two remaining chairs.

The biggest problem I had with the dowels was drilling stopped holes in relatively thin pieces. I mistakenly drilled through a couple on a leg or three because I had to hang the leg clamped in the dowel jig over the edge of my bench since the jig is that much bigger than the legs. This set up made it too easy to drill right through. In hind sight a stop collar should have been used.

I patched the holes with plugs cut using the drill press and a plug cutter. They look just meh, but far from horrible. I considered plugging with walnut for the contrast, but that would have required drilling matching mistakes in all the legs.

I did however very much enjoy chiseling out half blind full lap joints for the stretchers. They add significant resistance to racking and keep the legs from bending under stress. The stretchers weren't part of the original design, but after taking a look at my drawing, +Chris Wong recommended adding them. I'm pretty happy that I followed his advice.


I'd post some better pics of the chairs with the table, but the house is in shambles as we pack up to move on Monday. When the other two chairs are complete, I'll put some glamor shots up.

By this time next week I'll be in woodworking Siberia for six or more weeks at my mom's house. The tools will all be packed and residing in my grandmother's garage until our new house is ready. That will give me plenty of time to look in to shop design. +Shawn Nichols commented on my last post and suggested that the shop will never really be done, which is probably true, but I think what can be learned from that statement is that there is no point in waiting to fully complete the shop before starting on projects. Good advice.

Thanks for reading!
Jim