Chairmaking at the Appalachian Center for Craft

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Blog series by doorslammer updated 07-17-2010 02:32 AM 6 parts 9601 reads 12 comments total

Part 1: Day 1

07-12-2010 05:18 AM by doorslammer | 1 comment »

This week I’m on vacation and taking a chair making class at the Appalachian Center for Craft which is a satellite campus of Tennessee Tech University where I got my undergraduate degree in engineering and am currently working on a masters of engineering. Every summer, the craft center offers several, week long workshops in all of their offered mediums. So this year I decided to commit to attending a class and not letting life get in the way. The class is based on a modern dining ch...

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Part 2: Day 2

07-13-2010 04:10 AM by doorslammer | 2 comments »

Today started off a bit slow. We began by choosing our lumber. We had the option between walnut and cherry so I chose a nice piece of cherry since it seems like I always work in walnut. Next, we traced the template for the back legs onto one half of our stock and rough cut and jointed an edge to create the plane for the back leg to side rail joint. We got to use the 16” Powermatic jointer after some adjustment to get the in-feed and out-feed table parallel. This was a bit dis...

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Part 3: Day 3

07-14-2010 03:52 AM by doorslammer | 1 comment »

This morning we started by gluing up a bent lamination that will become our chair backs. What a mess! It’s funny how well yellow glue acts as a lubricant until it dries. All those layers really wanted to squirt loose until the clamping pressure was equal. After that it was more work on roughing out the front legs and front rail and cutting all the mortises using the Festool Domino. The remainder of the day I spent cutting the decorative curves out of all the rail pi...

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Part 4: Day 4

07-15-2010 04:17 AM by doorslammer | 2 comments »

Not a whole lot of visual activity today. It was mostly a day of sanding and a couple glue ups. Just one of those days where you put the iPod on and let your mind wander as you go through the monotony of hand sanding all the parts before the glue up. Except I forgot mine today so I just had to sit there and listen to the swish swish swish. Once sanded, I glued up both sides of the chair as sub-assemblies. While these were drying I finished shaping and sanding my front rail. I’m par...

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Part 5: Day 5

07-16-2010 04:07 AM by doorslammer | 1 comment »

The first order of business for today was cutting and fitting the back rail. After getting the other three sides clamped together in a reasonably sturdy assembly, I took a rough measurement and cut the piece long and began sneaking up on the fit until I thought it was reasonably close then I cut the mortises in the ends with the Domino. Then came the always stressful glue up. Everything went together pretty well and I was reasonably pleased with all the joints. Next I unclampe...

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Part 6: Day 6 The final day

07-17-2010 02:32 AM by doorslammer | 5 comments »

Today was the last day of class in the morning. My priority was to get my bent lamination out of the jig and begin to fit and shape it. Due to the layout of my T nuts I wasn’t able to get as dramatic curves as I was hoping for but I think it turned out well none the less. After some final sanding I attached the back to the chair. I plan on plugging the screw holes with some walnut plugs but I think I’m going to finish both surfaces where they mate with at least one coat ...

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