One blonde and six brunettes

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Project by Div posted 02-13-2011 10:50 PM 3243 views 8 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It has been a while since I posted a project so I thought I’d show my LJ buddies some of what I do to pay the bills. Most of my “commercial” work goes out the door without being photographed but for once I remembered to take a photo!

The “brunette” kitchen stools were done in Kiaat (Pterocarpus angolensis), also known as Muninga, Mukwa, Brown African Padauk and a few other names. I love this timber. It is a pleasure to work with and reminds me a lot of Burmese Teak. It also has high decay resistance and dimensional stability. Kiaat can have very attractive figure.

The lonely blonde was made with Maple. Why only one? Well, my client ordered 4 of these Maple chairs at the end of last year. They liked them so much that they wanted to add another one. Then they decided to order 6 more for the other kitchen while we were at it. Yes, this house has 2 kitchens and it is only a vacation home that gets used maybe 3 or 4 times a year!

The different woods have to do with the decorating scheme devised by the interior designer. She has her ideas and I suggest appropriate timbers. The chair design is collaboration between us. She decides on the style and I will come up with drawings and structural design. The Kiaat chairs will match a huge wall unit I have to build somewhere in the near future.

Let me tell you what happens when I have to do the same thing over and over. Gremlins pay me a visit, that’s what! I ended up having to make 7 Kiaat chairs and am now the proud owner of one somewhat crooked version. I dunno, there must have been a sudden change in humidity or something. I think it affected my tape measure! I must have cut one mortise slightly wrong. Maybe Mr. Gremlin moved my pencil line? Only after the glue up did realize that one chair was out of tune. $%#@!!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

23 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


18067 posts in 4431 days

#1 posted 02-14-2011 12:22 AM

Nice job, I’m trying to think of a blonde joke but cant seem to do it…. great job on the chairs. I have 2 kitchens, however one is owened by Outback Steak House LOL

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5489 days

#2 posted 02-14-2011 12:31 AM

Great looking chairs, beautiful wood, maple’s my favorite, but that dark wood is gorgeous.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Verna's profile


202 posts in 4016 days

#3 posted 02-14-2011 12:42 AM

Here I was expecting to have to defend my hair color, and I get to see 7 gorgeous chairs instead!!! Great job.

I’m sure glad those gremlims sneak up on you professional woodworkers, too, because I know they hit me frequently with “design characteristics”.

-- Verna -- Indianapolis, IN

View chrisstef's profile


18135 posts in 4249 days

#4 posted 02-14-2011 01:00 AM

Watch out i hear gremlins like pencils too, and my square, and my glue chisel, and the last bolt on any assembly project.

Nice work on the chairs too clean simple lines

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 3931 days

#5 posted 02-14-2011 01:35 AM

Hmm witch one to choose now, the blond or the brunettes? lol
nice work

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View shipwright's profile


8751 posts in 4041 days

#6 posted 02-14-2011 02:33 AM

Nice chairs Div. Clean lines, good fits, they’ve got it all …..but boat builders were never meant to make more than one exact copy. They all seem to have to fit a little differently. Therefore I commend you for only owning one crooked one. I’d probably have as many crooked ones as straight ones.

You do nice work

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View mafe's profile


13341 posts in 4332 days

#7 posted 02-14-2011 03:17 AM

Sweet work dear Div,
So you have to go hunting for the little grimling, hope he will not run away to Denmark and end up here, he has come here once in a while. But lately I freehand more, and that seems to be a effective way to hold him away.
It sound like a good and solid client.
Miss you here, but yes when work is there it’s time to hang in!
That dark wood looks just wonderful.
Best thoughts brother,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Nollie's profile


146 posts in 4029 days

#8 posted 02-14-2011 05:32 AM

Nice work . Kiaat is a nice wood to work with. Lately we not getting good quality wood-don’t know what is going on . Geniet dit Wat het geword van die kabinet wat jy nog moes finaal afwerk

-- Leon . [email protected]

View toolchap's profile


150 posts in 4163 days

#9 posted 02-14-2011 07:49 AM

I can imagine worse ways to pay the bills. Keep it going…....but…big but….don’t stop on that project at the bottom of the garden. Please.

View Cher's profile


965 posts in 4336 days

#10 posted 02-14-2011 09:26 AM

Hi Div,

When I read the title I thought you were opening a ‘boarding house’.
Your work is perfect, I cant imagine you having gremlins in your shop, I thought they lived here … lol

Thanks for sharing another excellent project Div.

-- When you know better you do better.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4577 days

#11 posted 02-14-2011 12:44 PM

Very nice chairs Div. The dark ones look a lot like walnut in the grain and the color. They seem to be higher than ordinary chairs. It makes me think your customers are either old like me or they’re for a raised table or bar type serving area.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View swirt's profile


6631 posts in 4215 days

#12 posted 02-14-2011 05:11 PM

Those look nice Div. Wonderful woods. Do you make the padded seats too or does the designer take care of those?

Gremlins…. my gremlins don’t even bother waiting for multiples of anything. They strike on the very first. Active little buggers.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4183 days

#13 posted 02-14-2011 10:31 PM

Thank you for all the comments and compliments!

Ken90712: I’m sure you must at least have some shares with Outback by know!
Jockmike: Thanks, once you work with Kiaat you might have a new favorite!
Verna: Believe me them gremlins are everywhere. The pros just don’t talk about them. The only difference between a pro and an amateur is that the pro don’t point out his mistake!
Chrisstef: I hear you!
Steliart: Decisions, decisions!
Shipwright: Thanks. Off course! I can blame it on the boatbuilding….
Mafe; Thank you brother. You don’t have to worry about my gremlins coming there, too cold for them. Besides, why would they want to leave a very comfortable home.
Nollie: It is because all the good trees have been taken and no one gives a shit about sustainable harvesting. Daai cabinet staan steeds en wag om klaar te kom, kry nie tyd nie!
Toolchap: The project in the bush is slowly ticking along, need moola to give it a boost!
Cher: Nice to hear you voice! Not a bad idea, it will make better money! You get southern gremlins and northern ones…
Stefang: Thanks. Yes, they are kitchen stools for a 900mm high counter.
Swirt: The interior decorator takes care of the seats. They love playing with fabric. I just provide the bases and screw them down when the upholstery has been done.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4358 days

#14 posted 02-17-2011 12:18 AM

this is beautyfull work to pay the bills with compare to the cheedgoodsbuild last year …LOL
and I gess its better paid too ,ceep on posting we love your project´s and stories behind them
I´ll take the brunett anytime :-)

take care

View Brit's profile


8443 posts in 4085 days

#15 posted 02-17-2011 01:25 AM

Nice chairs Div. I don’t thnk I could make two of anything look the same, unless I displayed them 6 feet apart!

Since Ken couldn’t think of a blonde joke, I guess I’d better supply one.

An old man was walking home with his shopping when he got a bit out of breath and sat down on a nearby bench for a rest. Just then a council van pulled up and two blondes got out. (Notice I didn’t specify what sex they were). They each had a shovel and the old man watched in amazement as one blonde dug a hole in the ground and the other blonde proceeded to fill it in again. His interest peaked, he continued watching them as they moved on down the road, one digging holes and the other filling them in again. Finally he could take it no longer. He walked up to one of the blondes and asked what they were doing. “Well”, they said “I know it must look a bit odd, normally we work as a gang of three, but the blonde who plants the trees phoned in sick today. :-)

My apololgies to all blondes everywhere.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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