Jefferson Swivel and Secretary

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hold Fasts that hold fast

I have always been fascinated with a pair of hold fasts, the little bent metal tools you see everyone using in hand tool work. Seemed so cool to be able to set a work piece in place, anywhere you have a hole. I had never owed a pair till about a month or two ago. First I bought a cheap pair from Rockler, they were cast iron pot metal, about 8 or 9 good whacks and, BAM, broken in two. I thought great just my luck, but what I realized, and what most of you probably already know, is that even though those were "cheapies", I still found a tool that is a must in the shop. I don't know how I ever got by without a pair for so long now. Now I needed a real pair that will hold up indefinitely and not snap once I wrap on it with a bit of force. That's when I started looking around online for a new pair. I ran across a pair of Gramercy's from WOW these things are great. For $32 you get 2 that are solid steel and not going to break. I built me a little bench that I use for carving chair seats out,  drilled a dozen or so holes in it and I use that bench for so much more now.  These are the best tools for holding work in place, plus you get to get some fustration out if you need a little vent time. I don't know why it took me so long to get a pair of these, guess it takes some people a little longer to catch on.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New C-arm rocker Chair Class

 I've had several inquires about doing a C-arm chair class. So here it is! Now available The Continuous Arm Rocker class. Price $825.

I teach a one on one class only. The only exceptions are for 2 friends that want to take a class together, then and only then, will I do a 2 person class. This is a fairly advanced class for those who have some turning experience, however it's open to anyone wanting to make a C-arm style chair. If you have never turned before, legs will be in the bamboo style. Baluster style for those with some experience. Either way, legs and arm stumps will be turned prior to your arrival but you get to turn a leg or two and all the stretchers yourself. This is a 5 day long chair class with use of tools and materials needed included in price. Lodging and meals are not included, but I can recommend either that are within a couple miles of the shop. You can opt out of the Rocker version if desired, price remains the same. Call or Email for more info (417) 766-4506  / or to schedule a class.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Another fantastic Furniture maker

 If you are in the market for incredible handmade furniture, including Windsors and Shaker style furniture, check out Terry Kelly in Maine at . This guy is soooooo good. He sells Windsor Chair parts on top of the awesome furniture. I have chatted with him a few times and he really knows what he's doing. I am blown away by the quality he does. If you get a chance check out his stuff, I know you'll feel the same as I do.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crating/Shipping Furniture


When I complete orders for clients, usually the furniture has to be shipped across the country. It's difficult, at least in my opinion, to put chairs or what have you in a cardboard box and expect it to get to it's destination safely. I always build a crate to fit the pieces being sent. It costs a bit more but I have never had anything get damaged in transit. I start with a trip to the big box store for 2x4's and if needed a sheet of hardboard/masonite. I set the furniture in a position I feel will travel safely and start taking measurements. As the picture shows above, these 2 chairs are setting in a kind of army march configuration. This gave me the most compact footing and with bubble wrap put at the places where touching may occur, these should have no issue with damage from rubbing. After I figure how large to make the base, making sure to find the widest and longest distance on the overall piece(s), I start by cutting 2x4's to the shorter width, ripping them to sqaure for the feet of the crate. Then the resawing takes over. I resaw 2x4's on the bandsaw to help cut down the weight and that way I can get the upright corners out of one section of 2x4. Then just screw it all together. This crate is very sturdy and should withstand just about anything a trucking company can throw at it. The crate did add 25 lbs to the weight of the 35 lbs chairs, but if damage occurs in shipping, a customer would not be happy, even if it's out of my hands, it still comes back to me as my problem, not a problem I want to have.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fan Back Windsor Bar Stools

The order I am currently finishing up included 9 chairs overall with 3 of them being fan back bar stools. I have made several bow back bar stools before but never a fan back. I was thrilled to see how one of the fan backs would turn out and to my surprise they look incredible. The height at the pommel is 27" on these and to make it comfortable to sit at with your feet on the foot rest, the foot rest needed to be between 17-18" below pommel. I had to play with the legs a little to see what would work the best and came up with what you see in this picture. It sets perfectly, very comfortable and the foot rest is at just the right height. The seat height on my regular fan backs, or any chair for that matter, is typically 18" at the pommel. If it worked out to that every time I would be totally happy with every chair. I like most chairs that are just for sitting to have about a 1" drop from front to back but on sets that are for a table I think 3/4" works better and helps keep the sitter more involved in what is going on at the dinner table.