Jefferson Swivel and Secretary

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chair Leg Splitting/Turning

Here's a video I made showing how I make a chair leg start to finish (not including the time in the kiln for drying the tenon). I love turning legs and when they come out as slick as this one did its even better.

I have to make about 40 or so of these and by the time I'm close to the end I'll be able to turn one in about 10 minutes. Repetition is what normally drives me in the opposite direction while building furniture, but for chairs, I get so much joy from seeing the next one look better that I am kinda disappointed when I've done the last set of legs.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Back to the process of...FUN

After some time away from chair building, I am finally getting my mojo back. To me there isn't much that is more rewarding than starting with a log to build a chair. The process you have to go through and all the drying time is so worth it in the end, to result in a piece of furniture that will outlast my daughters kids. I'm not sure what is more special to me, the fact that I made something that will be enjoyed way beyond my time or, to have someone in a 100 years at least know I was on this earth as a chair builder.

Starting once again in log form, I began splitting out the maple log for the legs, arm stumps and stretchers for about 10 chairs I'm making. I've got to get in the neighborhood of 40 leg blanks, 30 stretcher blanks and 6 arm stump blanks. This one log should yield all of it for me as long as there are no surprises. I have noticed a few large black streaks inside the log as I split it open. My best guess is it was struck by lighning and it scorched the heartwood.

Out of one 24" section I got around 14-16 usable blanks for legs plus more than enough arm stumps.
Next I'll take them into the shop and turn them to a 2 1/4" diameter round. After I turn them round I let them sit around the shop for a few days to harden up before I'll turn them to shape.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Web site back online

Well,  it's been about 8 months since I shut down the website but I'm proud to say I am now back in bid-ness. I have a much, much cheaper website that will be online for the next two years at least. I've just stuck with windsor chairs which is was my main seller before anyhow. I'm hoping good times will pick up, but at least I haven't thrown in the towel for good and I'm still able to make chairs.

 There's always hope !!!
Benchmade Windsor Chairs

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Time to dust off the ol' pen!

   Wow!! I can't believe its been almost a year since my last post. 2012 wasn't real good for furniture in my shop. I shut down the website and pretty much stopped even going out to the shop for this entire time. Due to business being so slow I had to go back to my old type of work...Construction!

   While I've been working building houses and such, all I have thought about is making chairs again. I've wanted to get back to it so bad and just haven't been able to. The worm is turning though. I am starting up a web site once again and getting back to the shop on a somewhat more regular basis now. It feels good to just create something again in the realm of woodworking.

   I've got a few chairs to make and thought I better get back to writing on the blog, if for nothing more than to get my head back into chair making like it use to be. Man, its sad when you have such a passion for something and the thing that keeps you from that passion is money alone, but I guess that's everyones issue. Who wouldn't love to do something they absolutely love and get paid to do it. I'm one lucky bozo that I at least had the "good life" for a few years.

    I've been working on my new website and I'm going to stick primarily to Windsor Chair Making. The hand tool aspect is what drives me and gets the creative juices flowing for me.

I expect to write about ideas and techniques I use in chair making plus bring anyone who wants to follow, along for the ride. I'm hoping to get some videos and pictures of the process as I do them so you can visulize what I ramble about on here.

Here's to a better 2013!!!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Update on Split Rail Fence

After my better half got home and after a little debating, we decided the spilt rail fence just didn't look quite right around the garden. It just didn't fit the look I was going for. I think making it into a round-ish shape threw it out of proportion and that Civil War era look, so, after taking it all down we decided we'd try it at the front of our drive and that came closer to the overall look we liked. I still need to split out another log or two to have the fence on the other side of the drive and a little more going down the front of our yard. With that said here is how it looks with just one side up. This is one whole log. It seems kinda bare when you think that's an entire log and it only made 4 high and 6 sections. I guess the logs that were used in the 1860's were either huge, or they just split a ton of em. What do you think?