The two pieces you see here are the featured, and rightfully so, projects that Lupe discussed with us at our meeting last Wednesday. Before we got into this beautiful rocking chair and table we had our business end of the meeting. As is customary, our round robin introduction of the 17 people who attended revealed that there were 4, brand new first timers! This is really great, Jamie and I had considered the possibility of not having a meeting at all since it fell on the day before Thanksgiving. Glad to see that interest keeps growing for the Sin City Woodworker group.
Our next meeting is the end of the year, Christmas edition. This is a time to bring a guest/spouse/significant other but probably not your pet canary. What we do is cover the tables with some festive Christmas paper and then bring in a small project you're working on or want to show off and share. It's a great way to start conversations and get to know one and other better as we mingle around the room, asking questions, getting tips, etc. about our work. There will be drawings for gift cards and also for various items brought in for raffles. Feel free to bring in any goodies that you'd like as well. That meeting will be on Wednesday, December 19 so mark your calendars.
Before Lupe's presentation a few of the members brought in some show and tell items. First off was Jonathan with his bench hook:
|Jonathan and his Bench Hook|
No, that's not our version of Thor and his mighty hammer. It's Dave showing off the mallet he made out of basically scrap materials he had in his shop.
|Dave aka Thor|
|Hard Maple, Walnut, & Brass Accents|
|Woodworkers Sobriety Test??|
On the bench besides him is a 3" wide Crown Molding Plane. He's promised to bring it and possibly some others to the Christmas meeting for us to try out. Molding planes like these have been replaced by routers and shapers but they still have a place in small scale work. Using them requires some muscle and straight grained materials. From what I understand, when a crew came to build a house "back in the day", the finish guys would immediately pick out the straightest grained lumber to form all of the baseboard, crown, wainscot, etc. needed for the job.
On to the evening's feature presentation by Lupe. When Lupe began her talk, Jamie gave her a great introduction. For those of you that are fairly new, her husband Norm, is a well known magician and the two of them collect magic posters and create magic tricks for others. Here's a LINK to their website, it's well worth checking out. Also, go to YouTube and put Norm Nielsen in the search bar to see quite a number of video's featuring his work.
Something Lupe said struck a chord with me, she said that her goal was to learn a new skill on every class or project she does. That's a great way to keep ourselves motivated and not become complacent in our craft. These projects were an off shoot from classes at Jamie's school. Another thing she mentioned is that she has learned that wood is an imperfect material and every project becomes a process -- boy, isn't that the truth!
|Warming up the Crowd|
The material for both of these is Cherry that she bought at a fantastic price of $2.25 per board foot from Toys for Smiles. Here's a view of the table with the top removed. It features mortise and tenon construction. Lupe's impetus for this project is that she wanted to use the Hollow Chisel Mortiser in Jamie's shop so a table making class fit the bill! Another new Do-Hickie she learned to use was a tapering jig needed to taper all of the legs. If you check out her rocking chair you'll see she really likes that Do-Hickie because nearly every surface has been tapered. This table will serve as a computer/printer stand in their office and mounted on casters so it can be moved as needed. Adding the drawer to keep needed supplies is a great touch. This was her first attempt at flush fitting drawers and that's a good technique to use. By cutting the drawer front out of the apron board and then gluing it all back together you achieve a continuous grain pattern that's much nicer than the random one found in most mass produced furniture.
|Computer/Printer Table with Drawers|
Let's get into the rocking chair. It began life as a child sized rocker and the plans needed to be re-sized to suit adults. She employed the design process of making cardboard patterns to visual and measure the angles required when you make a chair. I think you'll agree that the seat was a really nice feature, it's made in a tambour style which you most commonly find in a roll top desk. I like the process so much I may just have to steal it! It began with making a pattern and adjusting it so that it was the perfect match for an adult sized, human butt!
|Ah yes -- the Butt Rest|
Once the cardboard was perfected a Baltic Birch template was made. Here's where she learned the new technique of pattern routing. Pieces were selected for the left and right side of the seat, cut out on the bandsaw and then the template was attached so a router with a pattern bit could cut them both exact. The pattern bit was swapped out for a grooving one, the pattern was unscrewed, and then re-attached lower so a groove could be made to slid the tambour pieces into. To make the tambours a router bit formed the edge first and they were then cut to the required size on the tablesaw. Many of the members tested the chair and all agreed it was a real comfortable one to sit in.
Another aspect of the chair design is figuring out the exact arc of the rockers. Lupe found a chart on line that helped with this dilemma. Needless to say, both rockers need to be exact and located under the center of gravity to work properly.
|Rocker Arc Chart|
|Real Life Testing -- It Passed|
Notice the grain pattern on the crest rail? This is where custom work really shines, being able to select the wood to enhance the piece. Tapering the slats and adding a Walnut inlay is another very nice touch.
|Seat Close-Up & Arm Detail|
So, that brings us to the close of another great meeting. Mark your calendar for our Christmas Meeting and end of the year party. That's the 19th. of December --- see you then!