Monday, March 06, 2006

A leg to stand on - potentially

Ladies and gentlemen, we have woodworking!

Yes, you thought this Blog was relegated to nothing but dubious Workmate worship and theoretical stuff, but 'tis not so. The workshop is reclaimed, the floor crunchy underfoot. This can mean only one thing -

My thumbs hurt.

But apart from that, progress has, er, progressed. For a start we have legs! Okay so I bandsawed off the worst of the waste for the taper, but the rest was strictly scrub and jack plane - promise. Hence the crunchiness underfoot. I've really, really got to stop using that Veritas Scrub - it's getting to the point where I shall be sorry to see it go. Talk about it growing on me... Anyway, the legs, were planed up in all their octagonal loveliness. Couldn't be called perfect octagons, it has to be said, but they look right, which is a relief.

I've also taken the Fatal Step, the thing I've been dreading for the last month - boring the holes for the legs in the seat. Once I'd done all the marking up and such, the actual brace work took me an hour for all four mortises. I had to keep stopping frequently to check angles of course, but mainly it took time because the bit wasn't ideal and, frankly, I could have done with a large sweep of brace that the very lovely Stanley #901 10" sweep I used. Okay, yeah, so I'm a whimp. Wanna make something of it? What did come up trumps was the little wooden homemade bevel I picked up a year or so ago at the car boot. Dunno why I bought it really, except I just liked it and it was only 10 or 20 pence IIRC. But the shortness of the blade, the lack of metal edges to damage the seat if it fell over, and the wider footprint all made it idea for this job. Thank you, V Bennetto, who presumably made it as well as stamping his name on it.

I've marked up the centres on the legs so I can use my, ah, erm, "rounder" to do the tenons. Okay, so it'll be on the lathe and I was going to make this a lathe-less chair, but it makes the most sense, doesn't it? Only when the legs are in the mortises will I know if I've made a hash of the angles. I'm rather dreading that too, but all I can tell myself is I did my best - and hope for the best too... Now where've I put that PWW with the chair-making dodges? There was a tip for cutting wedges IIRC...

For all the pics of progress, I've finally got a project album going with the latest piccies here, if you're desperate for entertainment...


  1. Alf,

    Pleeeeeeze tell us you were boring for the legs from the top of the seat. Its not clear from the 'photo.

    Glad to see you're back on the chair. Looking forward to seeing the final result.

  2. Coming along right nice! The photo album really adds to the story of the stick chair--and even clearly shows which side you were boring holes from...

    Take care, Mike

  3. Mike,

    You're absolutely right. Apologies all round.

  4. Hi Nick--no worries! I was just being what we call here a, well, I shouldn't say [g]. Apologies from this end.

    btw, I visited your web site. Quite nice looking work. I especially like the "Hall Seat in Oak" because of the basket weave ends and dividers.

    Take care, Mike

  5. Ah now you making me very proud,

    A Welsh stick chair made in the John Brown tradition.
    I am very lucky that I inherited a John Brown original from my taid (Welsh for grandfather) and it sits proudly in my study, where it is used every day.

    Dia Iawn bach (well done little one (little one being a welsh term of endearment)) I'll watch this space with interest

  6. Nick, chuckle :~) I must have checked I was angling the auger the right way out a dozen times in mortal dread of giving the thing pigeon toes! Naturally I stopped when the lead screw just broke through and then flipped over to complete the hole from the bottom, which just added to my paranoia...

    Andy, that's an outrageous gloat and you're a very lucky taffy. Any chance of a piccy...?

  7. Alf, Sorry I should have had more faith in you, but I had visions of an inverted pyramid of a chair, either that or you burning midnight oil sculpting the other side of the seat!

    Mike, the basket weave was fun, but I was particularly proud of the long mitre on the front edge of the top, which was tight both before and after I radiused the corner, not that you can see it in the photo though. :-(

  8. octagons you say?


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