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Location: lake placid, florida

Monday, March 31, 2008

almost heaven

west virginia

this year's nantucket windsor chair class started off in terri's workshop-

charles was kind enough to drop off the maple turning stock for our legs.

this allowed us to have a lot more time to turn the legs, no chunking out this year!

aren't my legs purty?

much better than last year. i really took my time with the turning, plus i got a new curved skew chisel that me helped tremendously.

first step in class was marking and carving the ears on the crest.

the crest is red oak.

we carved volutes on the front, and rounded over the backs.

the crests went into the steamer, then we bent and clamped them over a jig.

spindle splitting- charles is a trusting fellow, isn't he? the oak spindles are split with an axe and a mallet.

nine spindles for this nantucket windsor chair.

first the spindles are shaped with a drawknife, then my favorite job not shaping the spindles with a forkstaff.

what i do best, sweep up the shavings.

now we plane our seat blanks, i enjoyed this much more this year then last, i finally got the feel of the plane.

the nantucket windsor has a much larger seat than the bowback i made last year.

on the nantucket, the wood grain runs side to side on the seat, so the coffin, or tail, must be made as a separate piece, or it might crack off from the pressure.

the bowback's seat has the wood grain running front to back on the seat. the tail and seat are one piece.

we carefully measure, then cut the mortise into the back of the seat. first we used a brace and bit to drill 2 holes, then we squared up the hole with chisels.

the tail gets a matching tenon cut with a saw and finished off with a chisel.

glue the tail into the seat and clamp.
the seat and tail shape are cut on the bandsaw.

the seat is marked with pencil lines to show you where to cut off the underside.

finish the back of the seat shaping with a spokeshave.

next we mark off the part of the seat that will be chopped out.

and we get to use the gutter adze, fun!

we clean up the seat with a scorp (my friend), the compass plane, and the travisher (not my friends).

shaping the pommel.

the underside of the seat front.

our seats get marked for the legs and spindles. we drill the leg holes, and stile and stump holes.

drilling the holes in the hard maple legs was much easier this year.

we begged charles to let us use auger bits instead of spoon bits. it's the little things in life that make us happy.

the stretcher holes are drilled after we make sure all the leg angles are correct.

every hole is a compound angle, the legs have a rake (front to back) and splay (side to side). the stiles and stumps have a slope (front to back) and flare (side to side). 2 bevel gauges are used for each hole drilled.

once the legs and stretchers are assembled, they are jammed into the seat, and the legs are wedged.

dryfitting the spindles and stumps. starting to look like a chair!

the arms are made of poplar, an extra block of wood is glued to the bottom for carving the knuckles.

we carved the paws-

then marked the volutes-

and carved them with carving chisels.

the volutes on the arms were much harder to carve than the ears. especially ones on the inner curve.

but i think they are beautiful!

measure the distance of the arm to the stump.

then we assembled the whole arm, drilling the holes for the stumps and short spindles, and fitting the arm into the stiles (the turned uprights that run from the seat to the crest).

almost finished!

we steam the 2 spindles that run from the tail i like to call it the coffin, that's what it looks like to me to the crest.

and bend them into place.

very last job is drilling a small hole into the stiles, coffin spindles and the center spindle, and driving a small wedge into each hole.

charles and sherry treated us to a lovely dinner- starting with charles' world famous margarita.

the mantle glowed with candlelight.

as did the credenza. sherry really knows how to set the mood :-)

seafood stew with fennel and orange peel- fabulous!!!

our chairs are finished- terri and i each made a nantucket rocker, and charles made a nantucket armchair.

what can i say? the picture says it all!

charles, thanks from the bottom of my heart for all your patience.

terri, you are the very best and equally obsessed friend!