Across the Bench from Charles #4: Campechy revival

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Blog entry by Monte Pittman posted 07-01-2018 01:46 AM 1574 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Devil's in the details - Part 2 Part 4 of Across the Bench from Charles series no next part

If any of you follow Charles’s videos, the current group is worth paying attention to.

Background, a gentleman came to the shop with a bunch of parts for 3 chairs. The wood was from a tree on the family property that had been milled and air dried. So these chairs carry sentimental value. But after cutting the pieces he realized that he had made “some” mistakes. So in hopes of salvaging them, he brought them to Charles to finish. The style of the chairs is a Campeache (Thomas Jefferson chair).

The only thing that was consistent in the parts was that they were all done pathetically poor. So this series of videos are on how to fix every mistake that you could possibly make. None of the “matching” pieces actually match. The mortise and tenons are terribly cut and don’t match size wise. The joints were not even close to fitting properly together.

So my job today was to try to fill gaps. This was not the worst ones, but an example.

Using a handsaw, I evened the gaps.

Then sand shims to fit the slots.

Then sand off the excess, and it almost looks decent.

You’d have to watch the videos to see how to repair several other problems.

Just thought I would share.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

7 comments so far

View oldrivers's profile


2725 posts in 2808 days

#1 posted 07-01-2018 02:02 AM

I don’t see the link to the video but those are horrible gaps hard to imagine.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30646 posts in 3579 days

#2 posted 07-01-2018 02:07 AM

That’s my mistake. No link posted. The videos he does on his YouTube channel. They are filming and editing these now.

I have told Charles a couple times, I am surprised that he brought these parts out in public. Most of us would have burned them to conceal the evidence.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View a1Jim's profile


118253 posts in 4818 days

#3 posted 07-01-2018 02:17 AM

Hi Monte
I saw these chair parts on Charle’s mastering woodworking show and thought to myself I hope Charles gets paid very well given all the things that were done wrong with these Chairs. It looks like you did a fine job given what you had to start with.


View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30646 posts in 3579 days

#4 posted 07-01-2018 02:30 AM

It’s hard to describe how poorly cut these parts are. However, it’s also complicated by the fact that it wasn’t great wood. Lumber was improperly dried and contained numerous bark inclusions, warps and other flaws. I realize the sentimental value of the wood, but making chairs from it probably wasn’t the best choice.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DocSavage45's profile


9069 posts in 4084 days

#5 posted 07-01-2018 04:53 AM


Had a similar problem. client brought me a sewing table that had been in her family. She had checked these out on line and thought it had value. In order to do justice and give it value, I told her she would have to do some of the basic labor like sanding off the finish, and I asked her “how much of a restoration do you want?” I have studied antique and the finish would be different than the crappy job that was done to it when she brought it. Someone used round head nails driven straight through the carcass.

Another person wanted to know if I would build an Amish style table out of their freshly cut tree from their property. People just don’t know what the details are.

You have to be a salesman , therapist, and craftsman. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Grumpymike's profile


2497 posts in 3556 days

#6 posted 07-01-2018 03:34 PM

Hi Monty,
I’m not locating the videos on U-Tube … I will keep searching, I’m just not a computer moxie guy, but the grand kids will help me.
The gap fill went very well, and I agree that most of it would have gone into the scrap bin, but if it’s sentimental, that makes it have a new value … The guy making these chairs needs to be a bit more educated, but what a valiant try.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30646 posts in 3579 days

#7 posted 07-01-2018 03:43 PM

I will see if Charles can add a link here.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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