Jefferson Swivel and Secretary

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rabbeted glass door with an offset mortise and tenon

     video
I thought I would show how I go about making a glass door for my cabinets pieces. Instead of using a cope and stick router bit set, I opt for a better (in my opinion) offset mortise and tenon joint. It takes a bit of time to figure out at first but it really isn't difficult and makes a super strong door. When working with glass I want all the strength I can get. I have done it with the router version before and it works fine but I have also broken the the joint by accidentally dropping it on the floor. Granted the profile on those bits give a nice look, but to me they also look like kitchen cabinet doors made in a factory. With a mortised joint it is pretty much going to look like furniture. If you put a square peg through it, I don't ever see it coming apart and it will set the door in a more furniture realm than kitchen cabinets. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Windsor DVD

Here is a promo to my DVD on making a Bow Back Windsor. I use a few new techniques now but this is basically how it's done. There are a few things I left out on the DVD because it was intended to be given to students taking my chair class as a warm up for what to expect and what they need to kind of familiarize themselves with before coming to the class. The DVD is about 30 minutes long and is available on my web site for purchase.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Beaten to death

There are times when you know you have to get a new tool. When one is broken, worn out, or not doing the job needed. Well this is one of those times. Here you can see my old beaten froe club, it's only a little over a year old but it has just about reached the end of the road. I made a new one out of maple thinking it will hold up a little better but that is yet to be seen. The "beaten" one is red oak and could probably last another few months but I had time and a piece of maple to make the new so I thought what the hell. It's a bit taller and a bit fatter and the weight is considerably more ,it's fresh from a log, I put the date I "retired" the old one to see how long the maple one will last. If I can get a piece of dogwood I would make one out of it, as dogwood doesn't split. I hear it will out last just about anything you can make a club with.  

You can see it's almost all the way to the middle on one side. I guess I naturally used it the same way every time. It may have dug in on the one side and just by force turned as I used it, I'm not sure,  but what I am sure about is even being red oak it made a bunch of split out pieces over the course of a year for me.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Curtis Buchanan YouTube videos

If you haven't seen them yet you are really missing out. Tennessee Chair maker Curtis Buchanan has been putting together a video on YouTube on how to make a Comb Back Windsor. In my opinion Curtis is probably on the top of the list as far as Windsor Chair makers. His style and quality are superb and he has just done it so long he is really amazing. I have never met him, but, believe me I look at his chairs constantly as inspiration for mine own. I try and strive for the perfection he just automatically has.
  If you are interested in Windsor Chair Making and don't have time or money to take a class these videos will greatly help you and they are free. I find myself looking at them over and over to see little tips and tricks that Curtis is so kind enough to put out there for the rest of us. In his Videos he goes from getting the right logs to splitting to turning. As of this post, there are 8 videos total but from what I understand he is going to do the entire chair start to finish. Click on this link to go to the beginning of the videos. Very valuable info for anyone wanting to learn, advance themselves, or just see how much work goes into a Windsor.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tool Chest finished

 After a long process of finishing and glazing, rubbing and more rubbing I got the tool chest finished tonight. I am really pleased with it. I think it has a place for everything I needed it to. I plan on using the cabinet space under the drawers to hold my hand planes. I have over a hundred molding and metal body planes and this space will be perfect for them once I make the adjustable shelves.  The tools hanging in the doors are most of my Chair Making tools and the ones I use most often. The cabinet has a bit of a shaker influence which for making Windsor chairs is a bit ironic.
 The Book stand on top of the cabinet was made with a few left over scraps from the cabinet. I got plans out of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Its a pretty quick and simple thing to make but has a great look and
I plan using it for plans and books for easier viewing and keeps books clean and off the bench.

Much needed storage

 After last weeks chair class, I realized I needed a better place to keep my tools for both myself and for the classes. I have always loved to look at those standing tool chests that house all those great hand tools both in drawers and in the deep doors. It was a perfect time to jump on it and get one for my chair making tools.
 I made it out of curly maple (I have a obsession with that wood) plus I had enough wood to make what you see here. I would have liked to make it a bit bigger but with what wood I had on hand I thought I'd see what I could do. I looked through several books on tool chests, a few blogs and web sites, I got several ideas on what looked great but you have to make it to fit you and your tools so with a general idea in my head I just went to it. I wanted something that would give me some drawer storage but not so many I would be months making it. I hand cut the dovetails on front and back of each drawer which is time consuming but if you ask me looks SO much better than any routed dovetail. I made the doors deep to fit tools I use the most and the drawers will have the french fit tools areas (cut outs the house each individual tool). Here I have just gotten it stained and a coat of oil on it. I love my stuff to have an aged appearance so I'll do a few more steps with glaze and shellac to finish it up.
This is a side view that shows the hand cut dovetails on the doors. This adds a ton of strength to the already heavy doors and once the tools are place inside I won't have to worry about it ever coming apart and tools crashing on the concrete. Instead of staining the interior of the doors and lower cabinet, I decided to hide a few flaws with a coat of Cream Milk Paint. I thought the tools would show up better plus the stain I used was an aniline dye I mixed and didn't have enough to make another batch, I hope I don't regret doing that.
                                                                Now on to finish her up.