Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Simple Turning Exercise

Here is a basic stool you can make in a couple days. Very simple and all done on the lathe. Face plate and bowl turners should love this.

I start with a 1 3/4 to 1 7/8 inch thick bandsawn blank that is usually around 11-12 inches in diameter. My Oneway 1224 lathe only allows me to turn 12'' in diameter. I find that anything bigger starts to get in the way of the back of my legs while sitting. You can see the profile below. I also find not to dish out the seat too deep. There is not a front or back and dished out too deep is uncomfortable. I think this one is only 5/8'' deep, heavily rounded on the edges and chamfered below to give a delicate appearance.

The layout after turning the seat could not be more simple. Draw a line on the bottom centered and following the grain. Draw the second line centered and perpindicular to the first. These are the sight lines. I usually find 14 degrees to work well on these stools.

After drilling the leg holes with a straight 5/8'' bit I taper them with the 6 degree reamer. Below you can see the bamboo style leg I used for this stool but use your imagination to create any style you want. Remember to add 2'' to the length of your leg blank to whatever seat height you want. After drying the leg tenons and stretchers assemble just like any other windsor chair undercarriage. I love these stools for shop use at the bench or while sitting to fine tune another chair. It helps to have a few at different heights but mostly I use 24'' and 18''. They are also wonderful to play around with paint finishes since they are so fast to make. They make wonderful gifts as well. Have fun!

Lately I have been busy with gardening and Logan's baseball games. I think we are 2 and 3 right now. I also managed to lock up our computer loading pictures and have now been reduced to using this slower lap top so the blog has suffered.

Below you can see the progress of the corn. I hope I can keep the deer away. Last year they totaly mangled my second crop.

Here is a shot of the second garden with potatoes, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and watermelon. The sunflowers popped up from last year. This garden keeps my mind clear from too much time in the shop. Well, time to harvest some cucumbers for some fine sower dill pickles.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Big Boy

Every once in a while I'll get lucky finding great wood. This old walnut tree gave up the battle after a storm several weeks ago. The tree from a distance looked small and so I drove past it without too much notice. One day I decided to actually get out and look at the tree. It was a monster. It was also lying in a creek and very hard to get to.

Owning a sawmill keeps me constantly hunting for trees and allows me to take advantage of fallen trees that nobody else seems to want. It also allows me to meet new people one of which has the big Holland you see below. Johnny Watson was very kind to extract this tree to the bank of the creek so I could pull the mill next to it. In exchange I will saw a white oak for Johnny that he owns which is over 150 years old.

As you can see the sap line in this walnut was very small. The log was about 3 feet in diameter and had a 10' clear section. It also had lots of figured crotches that were some of the longest I have ever cut.
Bob and Pete were there to help unload the 22 inch wide boards as I cut them. I could see them drooling over the stuff even though they were worn out from lifting these things. This tree tested all of us but in the end I think we won. It will be hard to wait a year for these boards to dry. The tree provided well over 1000 bd ft of prime stuff.

Recently I had Anthony Watts here at the shop learning to build a settee. He is coming over several weekends around his work schedule to get it done. You can see below Anthony smiling while legging up the undercarriage. I must be doing something right.
Anthony is doing a fantastic job and seemed to really like the laser drilling method. All of his stretchers measured evenly either side of center and look perfect. He will return soon to finish the settee. I think this will be a birthday present for his wife. Happy birthday Betsy!