They fit in. But really, who’s looking at the spindles with that hand painted wallpaper (from the 20s) all around?
I woke up Monday morning to a mild heart attack, realizing next week is thanksgiving and I have two little “in-between” projects I told people I’d have done by then. (I never thought November would actually get here.) Anyway, I’ve been speed-building this funny little desk (with mini drawer) and found myself with a stuck stretcher (admittedly a little too tight). Then I remembered this parallel block I made a while ago. It’s not as handy as I thought it would be, but it saved the day today.
Rescue chairs. I have a soft spot for these sorts. (They also make great plant stands.)
I feel like I’ve been working on these chairs for a month, but somehow I’m only laying out the parts now. I suppose that’s what happens when you go and buy a house (with my wonderful @meredithhartfurniture, of course). So with all the projects, at the shop and in the home, I’m guessing something will be done by 2021.
I don’t know why I love this simple little trick so much, but it’s a helpful one: when you need a bunch of parallel lines to some line that isn’t parallel (or a neat angle off of parallel) to your square, line an edge of a drafting square up to that line, then put a straight edge on an adjacent side of the square, firmly hold the straight edge, and slide the square along. It’s magic. And no mathematician can explain it.
Sometimes you want your work to stand out, sometimes you need it to blend in. Replacement spindles for an amazing staircase, now I just need to get the color right - and figure out a good recipe for that crusty varnish look.
Regal trio. Chairs to Philadelphia. Betty stays with us.
Inverted; as with chair, so goes life. The last couple of weeks have been pretty wild, but starting to level out. And the chairs have even managed to near the finish line. Best of luck to the lot of us.
There was a period of time when I was a kid that I thought I wanted to design cars. Then I learned that it wasn't just making models out of clay. And also you had to know math and stuff.
The drawknife: not just for green woodworking. I find it a super handy tool for wasting material - it's basically just a really wide chisel, after all. I'm chamfering the insides of the front legs on the chairs here, and I'll smooth it out with a spokeshave. Easy peasy and done before I could have changed bits in a router.
Final piece of the puzzle about done. Lots of shaping on deck -- unless everyone thinks the arms look good like this, then I'll just call it good.
@meredithhartfurniture is claiming it looks like there is a herd of chairs strutting around making inappropriate hand gestures. But I think that is just reflective of some sort of condition or something. 😘
Ah, I love the taste of veneer tape in the morning.
Soap box: I find veneering gets a bad rap sometimes. Probably in part because the word "veneer" has sort of become a euphemism for cheap or fake, something pretty that's only skin deep. But there are times when it is really the better option for fine work; you can do things with veneer you shouldn't with solid lumber. And it certainly isn't necessarily easier. It is still wood after all, so there is material prep/flattening, layout, joining, etc. And skimping on any of it will result in shoddy looking work. (That said, the piece in this video is just for finish samples, so I actually didn't spend the 4 days flattening it that I did for the real piece. Whoopsy.) You don't have to love the way it looks, but let's not assume it's inherently of lesser quality just because it isn't "solid wood."
These are the checks I run through when fitting this important little piece of the puzzle. (And for those concerned about the strength of this joint there are a few more elements that will cinch it up before all is said and done - it really becomes a rigid little chair.)
Two in Mahogany, two in Walnut, one painted and an old one to help remember.
Here's my highly professional, draft filing system. I suppose I should consider and upgrade. But for now I'm looking at you "tub chair 8/15."
Form and shadow lines. It's amazing how a little paint can distill a piece.
Two more... I promise dining tables aren't the only things I build. But on the subject of tables, I'd like to say something (and be forewarned, this may skew a little cornball): they probably aren't the most expressive pieces of furniture from a design point of view, nor the most complicated form of construction, but I do believe they are likely the most important piece in a home. Think of all the people you've sat with at your table, the conversations, the laughs, tears, the lessons you were taught. It's the place that keeps bringing us together. And one made well will absorb the scratches and dents of life, it will hold on to those stories for years, even generations, to come. I guess this metaphor is maybe a little too easy, but I feel it every time I send one into the world. It is worth being aware of, and I believe they are worth getting right. I know it's not "save the world" stuff, but a good table wouldn't be a bad place to try to figure that out.
I honestly think it was easier to make this detail than to take a picture that sort of shows what's going on.