Monday, June 12, 2006

Sticking with it

It must be said, if I had to make such a silly New Year's Resolution as "I will not be buying tools unless I need them", choosing to make a chair was the ideal project to give me the excuse to claim plenty of "need". Yeah, I did a Bad Thing and put the plastic where my tool-making should have been and bought a rounder by Ray Iles courtesy of Classic Hand Tools. As we've come to expect, order placed on Thursday, delivered on Friday morning, put to work on Saturday. Bellissimo. And for any of the nay sayers who claim you can't buy a new tool ready to work straight out of the box, I say get one of these then. Except it came in a bag and not a box, but you know what I mean... Worked a treat and gave me the 5/8" thickness in the middle of the long sticks that I was worrying about without having to break sweat.

So stick shaping and sanding went on apace over the weekend. Took me about 30 minutes a long stick by the end just for the shaping with a spokeshave, which is slooooowwwww, but not as slow as when I started... This is an irritating stage of proceedings because a lot of effort's being expended but it doesn't look like anything much has happened. Just trust me, eh? And yes, I know my attempt at a less cluttered back drop is pants. Let's not talk about it.

Anyway we're back to endless wiped on coats of shellac (sound familiar?), which at least has the virtue of drying nice and fast in this heat. Plus the nature of chair construction provides me with a ready-made drying rack. Excellent. Still got to cut the short sticks to near final length, kerfs for the wedges and then I suppose it's a case of glue, brute force and prayer...

Then there's the crest rail to do. Ack.


  1. Lookin' good, Alf! Sounds like a very steep learning curve but I'm sure the other 5 will be a breeze now. :)

    who does not have the courage to attempt a chair.

  2. So the Devil's gone to the Devil?

  3. Nick, ooo no, the devil has done sterling work on shaping the sticks but it's not really accurate enough for sizing the tenons. At least not without practice and I don't have time for practice! ;~)

    Other five... Ho, ho, Roger... :~P

  4. I've been wondering for a while noe what's the ring of blue masking tape on the seat for?

    Looking a nice example of a Welsh stick chair

  5. Andy, the blue tape was there initially to take the gauge line for the stick positions, then to take the numbers that correspond with the matching holes in the arm - not being straight up and down it seemed to be an easy mistake to put one end of a stick in the wrong place if I didn't label them.

  6. Great I can now sleep easilly


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