wainscot chair terminus/termes

a lot of photographs today. I got some nice quartersawn oak (thanks Rick D) – and have been using it for box lids and now the seat to my wainscot chair that’s been hanging around waiting to get finished.

I didn’t shoot the whole sequence of test-fitting the seat over those front stiles. A lot of wriggling around to get it just right…then you peg it to the side and front rails.

Then the arms can go back on, and get pegged to the rear & front stiles. Above you can see why the arms go on after the seat, you couldn’t peg the seat down if the arms were in place.

After the arms are pinned, it’s time to carve & install these figures that adorn the edges of the rear stiles. All I know about the two originals these are based on is that there are two or three large nails fixing these things in place. Whether there’s anything more than that is conjecture. But I’ll show you what I did.

This is one case where I use a template to outline the pattern.

Then I use a V-tool to cut just outside this outline, I find this helps when sawing the shape out.

A turning saw, used carefully, does a good job of roughing out the scrolls and other bits.

Then I clean up with a large #5 carving gouge. Often with the bevel up.

Carving some of the details.

Installing it – I add some belt-and-suspenders action. I use pegs between the stile and this appliled ornament. To locate them, I drove two small wire brads into the applied bit, then snipped off their heads.

Then blammed it in place and the brads made prick marks where I then want to bore holes. I pulled the brads and bored 3/8″ holes in the applied bit and the stiles.

then shaved a couple of small pins, and glued the whole thing & knocked it in place. Then clamped it and came in for lunch. Later I’ll add a couple of toe-nailed wrought nails.

I’ve heard many names for these figures. We often refer to them as “Easter Island” figures, which is of course nonsense. I learned of Atlantes/Atlas, carytids, and probably other names too. Jennie Alexander gave me a copy of Cyril Harris’ Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture many years ago. Told me to keep it in the bathroom. I did for a while. But now it’s in the shop. There, I looked up “termes” – what I knew as another name for these figures. Harris has “terminus” – “the upper part of a human body springing out of a plain block…pilaster, console, bracket OR THE LIKE”!

 

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