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Found 64 results

  1. I love chairs. And I like building them too. I built several sculpted rockers in the past and while they are absolutely beautiful, the time it takes to build in the sculpted style is great, unless you are producing those chairs for a living, it can take quite awhile to produce one sculpted rocker. Not too mention there is much waste in those chairs, so I decided to simplify and take the edge off of building chairs by moving on to a more traditional chair and after looking at different styles of chairs and rockers I decided I wanted to build in the Shaker style. Building in the Shaker style can mean delving more into hand tools, or not, your decision. I made the decision to lean heavy on hand tools as I wanted to quiet down my shop, and try to limit dust as well, thus my discovery of building these chairs was a perfect fit. The book "Chairmaking Simplified" was my first leap into Shaker chair making. The book is wonderful, every page is full of images to help you along your Shaker chairmaking process. The beginning of the book launches you into the history of Shaker chairs, the joinery, etc, and then Kerry walks you through the building process. From recommended tooling, to setting up those tools, to using those tools, then on to the actual chair making process. If you are in the first steps of your woodworking adventure, you can build a chair using this book, and I might add for my Shopsmith friends, especially @Artie, you can produce at least two of these chairs on your Shopsmith, I say two because the rear legs that have to be turned on many of the chairs are too long for the turning capacity of the Shopsmith, but there are two chairs, and all the stools can be turned on the Shopsmith completely. During my construction process I had a few questions that needed clarification because I just wasn't sure about the diagrams on some of the chairs, I shot Kerry Pierce an email or two and he was very accessible with his information, and he communicated with me and cleared things up. If you want to study Shaker chairs, if you want to build a Shaker chair, I highly recommend this book. See my gallery of my very first Shaker rocker and stool I made using this book.
  2. Related Topics Shaker Transitional Rocker Part 1 (Curly Maple) Shaker Transitional Rocker Part 2 (Curly Maple) Shaker Transitional Rocker Part 3 (Curly Maple) The Finish Well folks, as were the others this subject was getting a little long in the tooth so I split this topic off from the 3rd entry. We'll show the finish and the seat weave in this topic. Today I was able to get out in the shop and get some finish on our rocker. I don't have really any images of the finish prep, there wasn't much to it, unless you like viewing a man holding sand paper. But mainly what occurred today was much hand sanding. I was able to leave the back slats and rockers alone, since I scraped them before installation, the figure really popped after the scraping and I was satisfied with that. And, the spindles came off the lathe sanded to 600 and then burnished with wood shavings, so the level of prep on those items were satisfactory enough to just go over once again with some 600 grit. Really I could have left all the spindle work as was, accept there was some grain raising around the joints as I cleaned up the glue with water during assembly. Also, over the course of time that I started this project, two years ago, the spindles all had a darker patina from just sitting around, than the flat work pieces of this chair. So in order to even out the patina I knocked it down by hand with 600 grit. A thing about hand sanding, this is just my opinion, when you are doing solid work like this, furnishings with parts that are many shapes, sizes, and point in various directions, I feel you must hand sand. You could hit the work with a detail sander, sure, but you are missing one very important item, the details. When you work a piece like this with power sanding, you are visually (or at least for me) kind of viewing the overall project as a whole surface, whereas if you hand sand, as you are sanding in any specific area, your eyes are drawn to that narrowed view, and you are focused, and you are going to catch many more unsightly surface features than if you powered through it all with an electric sander. Also by hand sanding, for me anyway, it's very peaceful. I had my chair out in my back patio area, it's late Spring, the trees are rustling in the wind, and the birds were chirping, and all you could hear from me was the shhhshhhhshhhhshhhh of my sand paper with the natural sounds in the background, it was really nice. I have learned to slow down my work considerably, and just to enjoy each process of the work, and not to rush anything through. This type of work lends well to that philosophy, because I really can't rush this anyway, because of the various components of a chair, my body mechanics must slow down, along with my mind, and consequently, my thoughts, and a peace builds up and the project is just fun, and relaxing. Sure you could do everything I have done on this chair with power, but why? Just so you can say you got it done faster? And with a bunch of noise? And therefore missing much of the happiness that surrounds these projects. So, I set my chair on the bench and shaped some tin foil into a bowl and poured about half a cup of Boiled Linseed Oil in the tin. I like using my home made tins, I can just use up the oil, and throw it away, there is no need to clean the bowl or container. With a white cotton rag nearby to apply the oil with we are ready. My dog Woody is nearby as usual now, as you may know by now by my other topics, he is deaf now, and he loves the shop! I love this part of the chair-making process, especially when using curly figured wood, all the efforts that were made to ensure the joints are tight and clean, the hand planing and scraping, the carefully placed wedged tenons, and chair leg pins, the pillow rail, the curly figured arm rests, it all comes alive in a crescendo of color and natural figure when the first swoop of the towel soaked in oil hits the chair, it's like Christmas all over again. I love this part. With my Appalachia music on in the background, and my dogs nearby, and my warm bench I am working off of, the chair comes alive. Something we have not discussed in prior chair topics, is the use of Ash for the top rungs that the seat is weaved around. You'll notice the Ash rungs, Ash is used because of its incredible strength, the Ash will hold a lot of weight without breaking or cracking. After I wipe on the first and only coat of oil, I'll revisit the chair several times today to wipe down the leaching areas as the oil resurfaces and beads. Typically I find about three to four times I have to revisit the chair, and wipe off the access leaching. This was a perfect day to start finishing my chair. I learned a trick a few years ago that I use often still, I can't remember where I saw it, or where I heard it from. With my chair projects, and virtually any project that you may want a darker patina built into the project before the finish goes on, you can set the project (chair) out in the sun, and let the sun do it's job for half a day or all day if you can work it out that way. I set my chair out in the sunlight for a tan, that's right, I let nature have her way with the chair in the sunlight, the sun will darken the chair a couple shades, and even bring out the curly figure a little more. Back in the day, I used to do this trick with with the project in its bare wood phase, pre-finish. But then one day I got the idea to use this technique after the first coat of oil is applied, I figured if it works on humans at the beach who want to oil up and get that sun tan, that it will probably work on my chairs, and other projects. So since then, I oil up my project, set it out in the sun for a few hours, and wipe it down as the oil will leach even more significantly when heated. A darker patina is created, and it's beautiful. Image below is the chair set in the sun immediately after the oil has been applied. A couple hours later, I don't know if you can see but the curl is actually darkening a shade. This is 5 hours later, in real life I can visually see the difference, the picture does it no justice, but perhaps you can see a change in color? So folks, the chair now has it's first and only coat of oil, and the wood has darkened a bit and the curly figure is popping, and I have wiped the chair down a few more times, and now it is back in my shop, awaiting for me to have a little more time for the final finish. I will apply one coat of General Finishes Gel Topcoat, then I'll wax the chair. Then, the seat will be placed. Thank you again for following along!
  3. Came home from work Thursday and found a wonderful box full of goodies for making Shaker Oval Boxes. I ordered this starter set to learn how to make the boxes, from John Wilson box maker. The Home Shop | Shaker Oval Boxes | John Wilson | Shaker Craftsman | Charlotte Michigan | 48813 WWW.SHAKEROVALBOX.COM It includes everything to get started from the water pan to bend the bands, to the forms to make box sizes from #0 through #4 and the copper tacks, the finger templates and a few more items to get started. I have Mr. Wilson's books that I purchased previously and enjoyed them so much, and I completely enjoy the man as well, I decided to go one further and acquire the set to get started. My goal is to learn these sizes, then as I progress I'll make my own forms and finger patterns for the larger size boxes. Any competent woodworker can create this kit on their own, but the reality is, I do like supporting a craftsman when I can, when funds permit it, and since I have came to know John Wilson through his books and videos, I like the idea of giving him my business anyway I can. Thanks Mr. Wilson! I'll build oval boxes along with my chairs and stools and other Shaker crafts and other items as well, and someday I'll get good enough to hopefully supplement our retirement when the time comes. I'll keep ya'll abreast of my box making progress.
  4. Shaker Rocker in Cherry Related Topics Shaker Transitional Rocker Part 1 (Curly Maple) Shaker Transitional Rocker Part 2 (Curly Maple) Current Project So folks, I decided to break this topic up in parts as the last one was getting a little long in the tooth. So you can see the links above to the first two parts of my chair build. April of 2017 is when I started this maple chair, and as you know by now I decided to pick it back up and get back out in the shop and try to focus for once on woodworking as I did in Part 2. Thanks for following me! The back support rack is assembled as can be seen in Part 2. And now it's time to bore the mortises for the side rungs of the chair. The side rungs connect the back legs to the front leg assembly rack. I use a story stick for the entire chair layout, 99 percent of this chair is cut, turned, laid out, and assembled with story sticks. In the image below I am marking out the side rungs. Once the side rungs are laid out, I am using a slant support to bore the mortises at the proper angle, so the side rungs will splay out, thus creating a trapezoidal seat. So the front of the seat will be wider than the rear. You can see my first Shaker Rocker at this Link to get an idea of what I am talking about. Also, @Gene Howe, I know what you must be thinking, why use the slant table on a drill press that is fully capable of slanting its own table? I know I know Gene. For this Rocker I don't want to deviate from my norm, but next chair I make Gene, I promise I'll utilize the tilt table of my Shopsmith. Just a side view of my slant jig, also, the Shopsmith has a wonderful table that moves on two axis, first off the tilt, and the slide, in and out for fine adjustments in accuracy, this way I could clamp the jig to the table, and with the hand wheel I can slide it in and out till the bit sits directly over the line I need to bore, I really like my SS. Another view of what I am referring too for the sliding table, it's pretty awesome. First set of mortises are bored, I am using a Freud Diablo 5/8" Forstner with center spur or pin I guess you could say, it's a very clean cut. Some of the rungs are too tight to fit in the 5/8" mortises so I like to secure them in my vise and take some rolled 80 grit and work the tenon down till it fits snuggly in the mortise. After I made sure all the rungs will fit nicely, I did a dry run to see how they all line up, and they lined up beautifully. Now it's time to bore the mortises in the front assembly, you'll see these mortises are angled inward, to catch the side rungs that are angled outward from the rear legs. I used a story stick to lay these mortises out as well. Again, the Diablo by Freud really does a nice clean cut in this seemingly brittle Maple. In my desire to turn more and more towards hand tools, this may be an operation best suited for the drill press, as the angles in these frames are very important. I will practice with a brace and bit, there are tricks that Windsor makers use to bore accurate angles by hand, but for this chair I'll continue on the beaten path I know, just to get this one wrapped up successfully, this chair will be sold, so I can't afford big errors at this point. Now that the front and rear legs are bored out, I performed another dry run before glue up. You may notice at the left, it appears the side rungs were bored at an incorrect angle, they were not, well they were, but the error was on purpose. The books I am studying for building these chairs are written by Kerry Pierce. Mr. Pierce built-in a deliberate error in this these chairs, once those rungs are inserted into the mortises, the stress of those tenons are actually locking the chair together, if there is ever glue failure, the chair will hold together mechanically. There is a wonderful story in Mr. Pierce's books, he talks about repairing an original Shaker chair, the joints were loose, the glue was void, but one thing he noticed was the chair was virtually impossible to beat apart, and he surmised it must of been because the Shaker's introduced this deliberate error in the rung angles, in order to serve as a backup in case of glue failure. Now you can really see the trapezoidal shape of the seat. I only took the below picture to show the folks what my shop looks like now. Where the Shopsmith is sitting is where my wife's car parks. When I am done for the day I'll roll the Smith to the left side of the shop against my saw bench. So what you see here is what I am down too now, I have my Smith, my lathe as you can see on the back wall, my work bench at the rear left, and a miter saw cutoff bench at the left of which you cannot see the saw, but you can see the bench area. I have downsized considerably, for folks who may not no or have ever seen my shop before, there was a huge Grizz 12" table saw with an aircraft carrier bench right where the Shopsmith is sitting now. I had a 15" Delta Drill Press at the back wall where my cabinet makers bench is now, along with a 15" Grizz band saw, a Performax sander, and and a router cabinet, and at the right side of the shop out of picture, I had a 6" Grizz jointer, a planer, and a dust collection system. I sold them all, and to be honest, I do not miss them. But that's me, it was just time, I actually feel liberated being a relative minimalist. What started my downsizing was my desire to turn my shop into a more quiet experience and to start focusing on building with hand tools and in order to force myself to use more hand tools I knew I had to rid myself of luxuries. What quickened the downsize was my wife and I purchased her brand new car last Spring, it's the very first brand new car we have ever had, and it's a nice one, a 2018 Honda Pilot Touring, that is her daily driver, and I decided I wanted to give her, and her car a proper space to park, instead of in our driveway. Also the security of her being able to just pull in and close the garage door behind her, is really comforting for me. By the way, the garage door in this image actually leads out to our backyard, it's a pull through door. The two car door is behind the photographer. It's funny how life works out, we adapt, and often times, it works out really well. I'll end this tonight with my preparation for glue up. Once again, everything I need is on my bench, and within hands reach, all the rungs have been fitted, and the next post in this topic we'll see a chair assembled. Thank you all once again for following along! I'll install the rest of the images for this day in the shop tomorrow night.
  5. Shaker Cherry Rocker Related Topics Shaker Transitional Rocker Part 1 (Curly Maple) Shaker Transitional Rocker Part 3 (Curly Maple) Current Project I hope to revive this project this weekend. All the components have been cut, steamed, bent, shaped, and now I need to chop the mortises in the rear legs for the back slats. The last time I touched this, was the last time I've done any real meaningful work in my shop, about two years ago. So far the stars are lining up for Dad and the shop the next couple days. Wish me luck! And plenty of this.
  6. From the album: Shaker Furniture

    The seat is weaved, and I placed the accompanying stool with it. I am pretty happy how this one turned out. I'll create plenty more, this was just too much fun.
  7. Shaker Transitional Rocker Part 2 (Curly Maple) Shaker Transitional Rocker Part 3 (Curly Maple) Well here we are. Getting ready to cut into a nice 8/4 board of heavy Curly Maple to begin another rocker journey. Tonight I'm laying out parts and cutting. With any luck I'll have some slats in the steamer tonight. This photo does no justice to the figure in this board. I'll keep this topic going with this chair build. Thanks for following along! Legs are cut and squared.
  8. From the album: Shaker Furniture

    A wonderful project, I highly recommend anyone to build these chairs, suitable for most skill levels. The weaving in this seat was considerably more challenging than the square stools I weaved. The trapezoidal shape of the seat created some interesting challenges, but I got through them.
  9. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Bowling Green State University (and later a master’s from Ohio University, Kerry Pierce began a thirty-year career as a furniture maker specializing in Shaker and Shaker-inspired work.)
  10. The Boss wants a new end table.....brought home 12' of 1 x 6 Ash...and 10' of 2 x 4 Ash....might just be enough? 1 x 6 s went to the shop, this afternoon...needed three planks at 30" long....was able to get 4.... Here is 3 out of the 4....the 4th? Has "issues"..... Has enough waves, to make you seasick....set this aside, before the others get any ideas... Straight edge showed I had a bit of work to do... Marked a line, bandsaw the worst off....set up the fence on the saw...ripped a new straight edge on both edges...laid out to see what kind of panel I had.. Close...we can do better..Clamped one into the leg vise....after I had marked a big "V" across to keep things lined up Joint an edge, then check it...both the #62 and this big guy... No. 7c worked on each edge...I also checked for gaps.. Worked until I had three planks I could glue together into a table top...spread a bead, moosh a bead, repeat... Just glue holding this together....time to apply a few clamps... First clamp was in the middle. Then the ends, then the cauls. Will let this sit overnight....Trying for a 4/4 x 16 x 30" table top.... Boss does want a shelf....might be tricky to do...with tapered legs...we'll see. Just a simple table, tapered square legs (no lathe) 3" aprons...rather plain, actually.. Has a hint of grain to it...will see if it shows up later.... It's a start....stay tuned
  11. Well I did it again. I perused Amazon books this past weekend and found some wonderful book about Shaker Furniture. I know our admin John Moody loves Shaker too! I am hooked on Amazon Used Books, you can purchase virtually any book used on Amazon at a fraction of the cost of a new book, great for us, not so great for the original author and publishers. But hey, your keeping small independent used book stores across the nation busy and cash flowing! So there is an upside to the supply side of this. Here is another book I purchased through Amazon at this link: The following books arrived over the last two days in my mail box, and I love them! This first book caught my eye completely because I really want to build a shaker Mt. Lebanon style chair, and rocker. I love the style and the weaved seating. I paid $3.99 plus $3.99 shipping on this one. How to Build Shaker Furniture by Thos. Moser, the Moser's are one of my favorite woodworking families in the entire world. I get their catalog of furniture every year and I drool and I also get inspiration for design ideas. This book arrived in excellent condition as well. I paid $1.99 plus $3.99 shipping on this one. Here is another Kerry Pierce book for Shaker furniture and storage. I can't wait to dig and read this from front to back. I paid $4.99 with free shipping on this one. All three of these book were listed on the Used Book Scorecard as "Good Condition". Folks, these books look brand spanking new! These are the actual scans of the books I received, if you look at the first book above, you'll see a little turned up corner at the lower right of the cover, that is the only visible wear out of all three of these books. Each book ranges in prices from 24 to 30 bucks retail based on the tag on the rear covers. I paid a total of $18.95. You can't beat these deals, I would like to encourage anyone who wants a book, to avoid purchasing new, and re-purpose these used books at a fraction of the cost. Thanks for reading! Interesting Links Kerry Pierce Kerry Pierce Furniture Album Thomas Moser
  12. $18,000 or best offer, it's yours. Personally if I had 15 to 18 grand of disposable income, I'd pick it up in a heartbeat. I love Nakashima designs and the history that surrounds the name. These don't come around too often. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Early-Free-Edge-Walnut-Bench-by-American-Woodworker-George-Nakashima/172438177859?hash=item28261dc843:g:9OsAAOSwEzxYSdXK
  13. Well, looks like I may be coming up for air soon! Been since the beginning of August since I've done some serious work in my shop. I just finished cleaning up and making my shop look like a workable space, and I set my Curly Maple Shaker Rocker on the bench that I started 5 months ago. I'm feeling pretty good here. I have my shop back! Dogs are enjoying the space too. I will sleep good tonight, the world is right again! Happy dogs!
  14. Well, this has been quite the week for the ol Morris home! I had fully intended on finishing our Walnut Vanity, but we were informed an appraiser was going to come out this Tuesday to value our home for a VA refi. At first I had not thought of it, but it finally struck me, hey, if this guy is coming out to appraise, we should probably have our bathrooms fully functional. While the 1/4 bath downstairs with the Walnut Vanity is fully functional, the kids bathroom upstairs is not, it's still missing a vanity as well. I called the VA appraiser and asked him if the missing vanity would effect the value of our home, he stated maybe not, but the lender would not be too happy to see their investment missing parts of the home. So my wife and spent an hour discussing what she'd like in the kids bathroom, we ho hummed over the HD and Lowes vanity's, too expensive, they ran anywhere from 300 bucks on up, and we are not ready to spend that much right now, school is getting ready to start for our kids in a couple weeks, and we need to get school clothes still. So we talked about what she wanted, she wanted a white cabinet, and she liked the simplicity of shaker that I have been introducing into our home lately. So I told her, we can build a cabinet and paint it white! She loved it. So we got into high gear and I ran out yesterday and grabbed a stack of poplar from the lumber dealer, and came home and drew something up to get approval by my wife. Just a simple shaker cabinet, with the drawer proportions to be worked out still, she is deciding what she is going to put in the drawers. After I drew it up, and got approval from LOML, I started to cutting and joining the poplar boards to make the floor, and sides of the cabinet. I was not too concerned about grain matches etc, the cabinet will be painted on the outside, but I did want some grain symmetry for the floor of the cabinet, as the interior will be natural and varnished. This morning I was able to get the panels glued up and out of the clamps, squared up and cleaned up. They look pretty good. Over this next week, I'll come home from work and put a couple hours a night on the vanity, tomorrow I'll be cutting in the dado's and assembling the floor and sides. I called the appraiser and told him to hold off a week while I get this vanity wrapped up and installed. He agreed. So I have a week to get this wrapped up, painted, and installed, and functioning! Wish me luck!
  15. John Morris

    Shaping the Arm Tenon

    From the album: Shaker Furniture

    After I cut the tenons out, I took them from square to round in just few minutes, testing the fit as I went.
  16. From the album: Shaker Furniture

    This morning I put the final coat of General Finishes Gel Topcoat on our chair, it should be ready to weave the seat tomorrow, I hope!
  17. John Morris

    Shaker Rocking Chair

    From the album: Shaker Furniture

    Once I weave the seat into the chair, it will be striking, I am very happy with this project.
  18. John Morris

    Shaker Rocker

    From the album: Shaker Furniture

    I love the patina this chair gained during the finishing, the cherry just got deeper, richer and thick. I love the tone.
  19. John Morris

    Rocker Slots

    From the album: Shaker Furniture

    I pre-drilled a hole below the bottom of the legs, and between the saw cut lines, so all I had to do was chop out a little at the top and the rest just fell out, leaving a rough bottom, but workable with a file till it became flat for the rocker to fit into.
  20. From the album: Shaker Furniture

    I like the really slather the glue on with these, then I hammered home the walnut wedge to secure the front leg tenon to the arm.
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