Saturday, June 6, 2009

Building Chairs

Hi, and welcome to my little mini workshop! I will attempt to show the process I go through to create a set of chairs out of walnut. Pardon my blogging skills! I'm acting like I know what I'm doing, and realize I'm probobly not doing this the correct way, but bear with me. I'll get it right eventually! This is my first time, so these can only get easier with time and practice. Enjoy!

My home away from home. I know its a mess, but it's my little world, and I love it!

Getting ready to make some chairs in the mess I call my workshop!

Here I start cutting strips of stock for all the chair pieces. Each chair has 19 different pieces. Most are 1/16". The legs are cut out of 1/8" material.

Here I have all the raw pieces which need shaped layed out. I have circle and ellipse templates I use to make the curves, and I lightly draw out the portion which needs sanding with pencil.

I use my dremel tool on a stand so I can shape and sand all the pieces. It's nice to be able to have both hands free, and a LOT safer too!

All the pieces are shaped and sanded, and separated into groups for easy identification.

I use a pair of hemostats to dip each piece in the stain, and use an old shirt as a rag, and wipe off the excess before I set them out to dry.

I set out the stained pieces in the sunshine to make them dry faster.

Once the stain is dry, I separate the individual chair pieces into piles.

Getting all the seat pieces together for construction.

Putting the seats together, I usually make one complete first, and then do the rest one piece at a time.

All the seats are together, but each corner needs to be trimmed out for the legs to fit.

Although you cannot see the teeth on this blade, it comes in handy when I have to trim out the corners of the seat for the legs.

I make a jig to glue the rear legs to the seat. I use the top and lower pieces as spacers, and once the glue is dry, I permanently add the top piece.

This is a poor picture, but making the back splat, I put a piece of acetate on my cutting board, so it's easier to glue together and manipulate. It comes right off when the glue dries, and if there is any shiny residue left, I sand it off.

After making sure the back legs are perfectly dry, I add the splat and rear lower support.

Once I put on the front two legs, I have to hurry to make sure they are square before the glue sets up too firmly.

Once I have all the leg supports and the back splat in place, I put the chair on top of my light to aid in drying the glue faster.

The first side chair is complete.

Just checking to make sure the cushions fit well before I spray the chairs.

I added arms to two of the chairs, for each side of the table.

I sprayed the chairs outside in the sunshine with Deft semi gloss.

Here, all six chairs are complete, and five are waiting for their cushion.