NBSS Week 18 – Windsor chair class Part 3, and more toolbox details

Peter Galbert worked us hard this week in our chair class. We started the week by shaping the legs to their final profiles using the spokeshave.

We then inserted the legs into our seat blank in their proper orientation and marked the areas that needed to be drilled for both the top and bottom stretchers.



This marking and drilling process involved the use of many unique jigs shown here:


An important note here is that as all of these joints are being created we were using the kiln to selectively dry certain pieces and parts of each of the joints to use the benefit of heat shrinking those parts.





















This means that when a part that was fresh out of the kiln was inserted into its fitted joint, the part would expand as it dried and cooled, creating a very tight fitting joint. This use of the kiln and selection of where to use dried vs. green (wet) wood in the chair is one of the benefits of “green” chair building and the process creates a very strong and long lasting structure.

After we drilled the bottom stretchers we glued together the two front legs and the two rear legs using liquid hide glue and then inserted them back in the seat to mark the legs for the side stretchers.




















We drilled these holes and glued in the side stretchers to complete the bottom undercarriage. With this completed we sawed some thin kerfs into the top of the tenons and made some red oak wedges in preparation for gluing the undercarriage into the seat. This process involved stretching the legs a bit to seat them into their reamed holes and then driving them home until each leg made a solid dead-sounding thud indicating it was fully seated. We then flipped the whole assembly over and drove wedges into the sawkerfs we created earlier; locking the undercarriage into the seat.

After the glue had dried for 24 hours, we came back and sawed off the proud tenons and put the final shaping details on the seat with the travisher, spokeshave, scraper, and sandpaper. At the end of the week, I took the rear hoop out of its bending form and started the process of shaping it in preparation for fitting it to the seat and drilling and fitting the seat spindles.

Throughout the week I was also working on some more toolbox details. I started by cutting my lid panel to size and beveling it to create a “raised” panel.


I then returned to the bench where I finished the fitting process so that the panel is tight and rattle free in its opening while still having enough clearance to expand and contract during the seasons.

I also installed the drawer stops,

performed the second mill on the lumber for the toolbox back, and started some finish samples to determine what finish I am going to use. Up next week, we finish constructing the Windsor chair, I pre-finish my lid panel, cut the ship-lapped back panels, turn some knobs and much, much more….


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