Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chairs Old and New

The Rogan house settee going to the Mueseum of Ireland is coming along nicely. Below you see the one piece poplar seat being scraped. Although this piece looks very simple the complex drilling angles to match the original has been a challenge. I would love to know how they did this back in the 1830's. Using Peter Galbert's method of drawing sight lines and getting the resultant angles has really helped. Also scribing the line to the leg and drilling with one angle has become habit now and really keeps things accurate both sides of center. No more wind swept looking chairs. Thanks Pete, the results of your wonderful techniques will follow this settee all the way to Ireland.

I'll post the finished settee soon.

Last week I spent a lot of time at my parents house cutting down the big red oak. When searching around Dad's garage looking for splitting wedges and mauls I came across some family history. The chair pictured below was my grandfather's first chair when he was a child. The chair had been forgotten and left under the crawl space for the last 30 years or so. If I had to guess it probably is about a 100 years old. The arms are 2 different sizes and the arm posts are not an exact match. The original color seen underneath the seat was turqoise. I can't decide whether to restore this chair or reproduce it. It was cool to find it. My grandfather taught me many things when I was young. How to swim, how to draw and use oil and acrylic paints, how to play guitar, golf, and many other things but never chair making. He passed away back in 1986 when I was just 16. Now all these years later I will learn from him again by the study of this chair.

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