I’ve been working on some blog-housekeeping lately, with more to come. I re-did some of the drop-down menus at the top of the blog. A couple new pages just show examples of things like carved boxes, wainscot chairs, chests, etc. On the side menu there’s a link to the page at Lie-Nielsen for the videos they produced of my work. I think there’s 8 of them now, including the new one about making a shaving horse. I have some of the shaving horse one for sale still, or you can get them from LN.
Meanwhile, I’ve just started another version of the chair above. The wainscot chair isn’t in the book Joiner’s Work, but I did shoot a DVD with Lie-Nielsen about building one. Making the rear posts is as “un-green-woodworking” as you can get. The wood is fresh, wet, all that. BUT – it’s non-supportable in an ecological sense. The back posts are hewn and planed out of a large piece of oak. Most of which ends up as chips. Here’s a side view, showing what I’m after.
Here’s how I shaped them this week. The bolt I shape them from is about 4′ long, and initially maybe 6″x 6″. There’s one on the sawbuck in the right of this photo. I’m using a hatchet to remove the bark first.
This is a case where I work the tangential, or growth ring plane first. Now using a joiner’s hatchet to get a relatively clean surface to lay out the shape on.
I lay the chair stick on there, and shift it this way & that to get the orientation the best I can. There’s compromises happening with grain direction. I’d like the upper part to follow the fibers, but then I’d need an even bigger bolt to start with. So shift it some more.
Using a froe to knock some excess stock out of the way.
In the shop now, having planed the surface some, re-do the layout of the shape. But there’s one problem down at the foot. The riven shape falls away, so I had to shift the stick over some more.
The detail showing how the stock is tapered under that surface.
There’s a lot of back & forth between the planes, the hatchet and layout with the chair stick.
A chalk line to mark out the width of the stile – then hewing it to nearly that line.
I almost gave up this indoor chopping block. It’s in a tight space & I don’t often use it. But I’ve had this particular one since 2001 so I figure I’ve kept it this long…
checking the front face above the seat, I want it flat along its length. There’s going to be joinery in two planes there, and carving too.
The front face both above & below the seat level are mostly defined now, and I’ve laid out the back line to this post.
The easiest way to hew that rear section is to cut reliefs in the wood along the layout lines. These saw cuts go down to a depth, then I hew to them.
I’ve switched to a smaller hatchet, this one by Julia Kalthoff https://www.instagram.com/kalthoffaxes/?hl=en. I’m using it to knock out the blocks between the saw kerfs. Several saw kerfs takes most of risk out of this step. You can do it with one, right at the junction between up & down. But more kerfs helps.
I set it on the bench now on its face to work the back surface.
A holdfast grips it down to the bench, and I shimmed under the foot at the other end. Then went at it with the scrub plane. Flipped it end for end to do the same to the top end.
The first one took forever, because I was photographing it. The second one went more quickly. About halfway through the 2nd one, I switched from using the chair stick as reference to using the first post. More important that they match each other than getting them to agree to the stick. I timed the 2nd one and it was 1 hour & 5 minutes from the split-out section to the finished post. All the steps above included. Now these (and the other parts for this chair) will sit for a month to six weeks to begin drying at the surface. Then I’ll work them along, planning to work on this chair at Fine Woodworking Live in April. http://www.finewoodworkinglive.com/