Thursday, January 28, 2016

Chair modification pt. 2

With the legs cut out and surfaces prepped, it was time to undertake the only real joinery of this project: cutting the mortises for the seat rails' tenons. These were nine millimeter wide, and would have to be located on the same location as the original chair's legs.

On site, I marked the height of the two tenons using a knife and a square.

I then marked the dimensions of the mortise from the original legs. I don't have a mortise gauge, so I just used my homemade cutting gauge, taking multiple passes after marking both legs.

With the mortises marked, I took the legs to my workshop and marked the cut more heavily with a knife.

I chiseled out a recess to guide my cutting, and then drilled pilot holes with an 8mm bit, hogging out as much waste as I could.

Clearly I don't have a 9mm mortise chisel, or any mortise chisel for that matter. I don't even have and 8mm or 9mm bench chisel, but the 1/4" chisel did admirably for the ends and the width, while the broad sides were pared down with a 3/4" chisel.

The front rail fits just fine!

I took the front subassembly upstairs to mate it to the rest of the chair. The side rails needed to be cleaned a bit of excess glue, and the mortises lightly shaped, but the final fit is nice and tight.

In situ. Next: shaping the legs, gluing it up, making a seat, finishing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Chair modification pt. 1

The first step in modifying this chair for our space was removing the front legs to see what sort of shape the tenons were in. Getting the legs off in good shape would also provide me with a model of what the replacement legs should look like.

This step had to take place up in the apartment, as I couldn't put a kettle on down in the storage area. A little hot water poured on the joint softened the glue right up.

The chair knocked apart without any trouble.

Here's the shape of the upper part of the leg I will have to reproduce.

I started by smoothing up the stock I got for the front legs. The pair I'd hoped to retrieve from a dumpster were buried under a ton of junk by the time I got back there, but I found a nice piece at a hardwood reseller right in the center of Stockholm. Working at a proper bench for once is a pleasure! This planing stop mortised into the benchtop was a revelation.

Being too wide, I needed to make it squarish, and started the long rip with my plow plane and a 1/8" iron to make a pair of grooves to lead the saw.

I sawed at the bench rather than pull the sawbench out from under the tool chest. I need to make a smaller sawbench to keep up front. The sawing took 15 minutes, and while it is hard birch I probably need to sharpen the saw. This is my converted crosscut to rip saw, and I haven't sharpened it since reshaping the teeth. I then got out the crosscut saw and cut it in half. Two legs to square up and get ready for mortising.

While I was sawing I clamped down the remaining part of the chair to remove the back legs. Here I needed to use a little toolbox saw as I was working at the bench and didn't have any space behind me.

As suspected, cutting off the back legs went right through a couple of tenons. 

These joints don't look too healthy, either. I'll have to take them apart, clean them up, and clamp everything together again. Then I'll cover the exposed mortises with a piece of felt or something for it to ride on when resting on the windowsill.

And here it is! This is what the chair will end up doing when completed. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Vise installed

After the holidays I've finally gotten around to making headway on some projects. I'm gathering parts for an exciting project for later this winter, after the chair for the loggia. But everything depends upon getting the workbench finished.

I cut up a bit of ash countertop I had to make a new chop for the vise. Drilled 20mm holes for the threaded rods, and laminated the two pieces together up in the apartment.

The holes in the chop were made with a forstner, but to get the holes in the workbench face line up I chucked in this cheap 20mm spiral wood bit. That thing plus my 50m extension cord maxes this drill out, but it got the job done.

In situ. While I had power running down to the basement, I drilled a first holdfast hole. Sadly, the 1" hole was too small. I thought I'd checked this out with my calipers first! Anyhow, will need to plug that one with a bit of dowel in order to redrill it. Again, using forstners as that's what I have. My next size up is a 28.6mm, what is that, 1 1/8"? Will have to do.