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Posts from the ‘Class’ Category

Chair design with Jeff Miller

August 14, 2014



This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a chair design class with Jeff Miller who came to speak at our Cumberland Furniture Guild meeting.

This was a condensed version of Jeff’s normal class, but we had the opportunity to explore design ideas by sketching, small scale modeling, and full scale mock ups. I worked on a variation of my bent lounge chair.

Most of the concepts Jeff discussed were really not all that revolutionary to me, but perhaps the biggest takeaway was that design is a skill that can be cultivated like any other with practice. It’s tough to form new habits, but putting more effort into refining my designs before construction begins is something I hope to achieve.

Chairmaking at the Appalachian Center for Craft: Day 3

July 13, 2010


This morning we started by gluing up a bent lamination that will become our chair backs. What a mess! It’s funny how well yellow glue acts as a lubricant until it dries. All those layers really wanted to squirt loose until the clamping pressure was equal.

After that it was more work on roughing out the front legs and front rail and cutting all the mortises using the Festool Domino.

The remainder of the day I spent cutting the decorative curves out of all the rail pieces that were previously rough cut in 8/4 stock. After laying out the curves on the top edge of the rail pieces they were cut out on the band saw and then cleaned up with the horizontal belt sander and oscillating spindle sander. These two machines were key in this process. They made it so fast and easy to clean up the rough band sawn surfaces.

At the end of the day, I had two sides mocked up and ready for some final sanding and glue up tomorrow.

Oh, one more thing. I was looking around a little at lunch and found a couple of these great Krenov style planes that I guess some of the students made. I think I may have to find some time to take these for a test drive tomorrow.

Chairmaking at the Appalachian Center for Craft: Day 2

July 12, 2010


Today started off a bit slow. We began by choosing our lumber. We had the option between walnut and cherry so I chose a nice piece of cherry since it seems like I always work in walnut. Next, we traced the template for the back legs onto one half of our stock and rough cut and jointed an edge to create the plane for the back leg to side rail joint.

We got to use the 16″ Powermatic jointer after some adjustment to get the in-feed and out-feed table parallel. This was a bit disappointing.

Then we re-sawed about 1/2 inch of stock off and planed it smooth to get to our finished thickness of about 1-1/4″

After, I finished rough cutting my legs at the bandsaw and cleaned up the front of the leg on the huge horizontal sander.

The back of the legs have almost a full round over at the bottom and tapering to about a 3/8″ radius at the top. We accomplished this with spokeshaves and then some hand sanding. This was truly the highlight of my day. I’ve never really used one before and I can definitely say that this tool will be moving up a few spots on my wish list. I started by drawing a centerline down the length of the leg and just worked each edge to the line until the radius looked about right.

Next we moved to the side rails and this is where the brain cells really needed to kick in. The back got a 27 deg miter and the front got a 12 deg miter and a 6 deg bevel and each side needed to mirror the other. I spent some considerable time laying out my two rails, double checking my angles and choosing the best grain orientation. I also had to be smart about cutting around some defects. I made the all the cuts on one of the two SawStop table saws. You can also see some rough layout lines for the curves in the rails.

Tomorrow I’ll cut the Domino joinery for the side rail to back leg joints.

Stay tuned….