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Monday, February 29, 2016

Pair of Walnut Chippendale Chairs - Part 4

In the last post I finished by gluing up the frame.  Now it is time to work on the back splat. There is already a mortise in the underside to the top rail.  I need to make the shoe and the splat.

Below I am band sawing the shape of the shoe. You can see that I have already roughed out the cove on the stock.  This will be refined by later with carving chisels.

Beginning to look pretty smooth.

I used a template with the curve of the splat to locate and then cut 1/4 inch mortise in the top of the shoe.

You can see the pattern on the side of the splat, I also made a jig to help keep the 10 inch piece of walnut at right angles to the saw blade.

With the overall shape cut out I am using a spoke shave to smooth over the band saw marks and bumps.

Using a card scraper here to get things smooth.  You can see the wood template on the top right that I used to set the shape and length of the back splat.  On the left you can see a card board template of half of the splat pattern.  I used it to trace the pattern on to the board.

All marked up here and ready for the band saw and scroll saw.

I have a piece of soft pine underneath to support the curve of the splat as I cut it out.  The splat is 1/2 inch thick.

I use the drill press to drill pilot holes for the scroll saw work on the interior openings.

Using the scroll saw to cut out the interior openings.

Using a Stanley 78 fillister plane to create the 1/4 inch tenon on each end of the splat.

I did check the fit before I cut out the interior of the splat on the second chair.  Since I was making 2 chairs everything you see was done twice as I went along.

Here it is cut out before carving. Since there is a curve to crest rail the splat had to be curved at the top to match the crest rail.  The partial picture of the chair in the background is a maple chair I had made in another project.

Cleaning up all of the saw marks on the inside and outside was a lot of work. Times 2.

Carving the designs on the splat is delicate work.

Just about done with this one.

Now I am working on the arms. This rear of the arm must fit in the shallow mortise on the rear leg.

Looks like a pretty good fit in the back of the arm. Notice also that I have added pine blocks to reinforce the corners of the seat.

Shaping the arm and arm support.

The arm has a long 4 inch screw which is pre-drilled and counter sunk from the back.  Then a plug is inserted.

Small transition piece is glued to the back of the crest rail, not to the splat.

After carving the front of the arms looks like it is ready for finishing.

Maple drop in seat frame for the upholstered seat.

I used a seal brown water based dye and sprayed shellac as the finish.

All done.  Arm chair are a lot of work.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pair of Walnut Chippendale Chairs - Part 3

I am beginning to work on the details. Below I am feathering out the side rails in the rear so they meet the rear leg flush.

Carving the ball and claw feet on the two front legs as well as smoothing and shaping the cabriolet leg.

Using a small router to remove the material at the top of the leg for the seat recess.  The other rabbets on the side rails where completed on a router  table.  The rabbet was 3/4 of an inch deep.

Carving the  rounded edge on the front of the leg to match the round over on the side and front rails.

Using a file here to shape the side of the rear leg to match the ears on the crest rail.

The front and back of the legs have to meet the crest rail perfectly.

Beginning to shape and carve the crest rail.  There is a lot of work here to be done with rasps and files since the shoulders of the crest rail have to be rounded over and feathered so that they look thin at the top. I think you can see that the shell is rounded over to the back before carving begins.

This photo shows a little better just how much must be removed from the crest rail so that it just flows from the bottom to the back edge.  You can see the line below where the round over will stop.

The shell is carved below.

Starting to carve the ears, there are veloutes to be carved on the outsides of the ears. You can see all of the rough marks from the rasps.  This will be cleaned up later.

Adding the veloutes to the outside of the ears on the crest rail.

Crest rail and feet shaped and carved. The arms have only been put up temporary, these will be shaped and carved later.

Time to glue up the frame.

In the next installment I will work on the shoe and the back splat.
That's it for today.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pair Of Walnut Chippendale Chairs Continued - Part 2

Now that the major joinery is completed, I start to refine the design.  Here I am bandsawing the shape of the crest rail.  Again I use cardboard templates copied from the full size drawings.

More bandsawing of the crest rail, you can see it beginning to take shape and the lines copied for carving the shell in the center.

Roughed out and somewhat fitted to the rear legs, final fitting will be after carving.

I start to work on the arm supports,  Using a cardboard template, I bandsaw  the rough shape, my goose necks are not as large as the originals because I thought that this would be a weak spot.
The square tenons, I rounded over later which made it easier to fit.

Cutting out the shape of the arms is a real challenge, once you have the rough shape like below you need an inside template and outside template for the sides.

Here you can see the outside template. There is a lot of shaping of the arms. I think these are the most difficult part of the the project to get right. I think I made 5 because I ruined one.

Drilling round mortise holes for the arm support tenons. I did this before the bandsawing while the shape was still flat.

You have to hold the arms at odd angles to get the correct shape, This one is though.

Another odd angle, you could take all of this material off with a rasp but this is quicker.

Checking the rough shape and fitting. There is a lot of work with rasps and files to get everything to shape. I didn't think I was good enough to use a square tenon on the arm supports, by using a round one I was able to swing the arms in place on the legs.

Now for the shaping. Using rasps, files and spokeshaves I rounded over the back of the legs. The front remains flat.

You can see the rounded shape here on most of the leg.  However there are still flat spots for the ams and rear seat rail.

Because of the angle of the leg the side rail needs to be feathered into the leg at the back. Note I did not run the side rail tenon all the way through the leg like many early Philadelphia chairs.  Later ones did not go through.

Need to make a shallow mortise in the leg for the arm about 1/16 inch so it can rest flush.

That is for today. Too be continued with some carving of the details.