Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Classic Settee Part 2

 The 6' settee is moving right along. Here are all the spindles roughed out and ready for the light bulb kiln. I think there are a few extras thrown in for good measure.
I am always amazed how much waste (or wood stove starter) one settee can create. This pile is from an 8' arm, 8' back, and 45 spindles. It filled up two 50 gallon bags. I should learn to make white oak baskets.
I forgot to show the back on the bending form the other day. It has a slight curve to help lift the piece and add some grace. 
 I typically carve white pine seats but all my blanks are for chairs. This settee seat blank measures 72'' long by 15 5/8'' wide. I found some one piece poplar blanks at Mimm's Lumber company out of Nashville at a very reasonable price. They were 90% heart wood which is easier to carve. SCORE!

After surfacing both sides I laid out the sight lines which I had to figure with the help of some rake and splay tables. The legs will splay out further as you go out to the ends again adding more grace to the piece. As you can see I have 5/8 drill bits demonstrating all the front leg holes drilled from the top. Those lasers sure keep everyone in line.
After all the drilling and reaming the legs I started the calorie burning task of excavating 10 pounds of shavings out of the seat. It felt like I was trapped inside a big tree and digging my way out.

As straight as the grain appeared in this slab of poplar there always seems to be a grain change in several places. Be patient and you will finally get to the bottom of the 7/8'' depth holes I drilled in about 5 places down the deepest part of the seat.
I finally have a giant dough bowl after scorp, travisher, and scrapers. I finished today by cutting off the ends and finishing the front edge. Later I will start turning all 9 stretchers. Much more to come.
This week I have Larry Clinard here making a sackback. This will be his first chair which is always exciting to see come together. He is having way too much fun with that drawknife.


  1. Greg do you begin your seat carving with an adze or do you go straight to the scorp?

  2. Jamie,
    I have the long handled gutter adze by Gransfor Bruks but instead like the control I get with the scorp so that is where I start. The adze just doesn't save me enough time to justify starting out with it. A really sharp scorp can make fast work hollowing a seat. Thanks, great question.

  3. Greg I would like to congratulate you on the Robin Hood in the back ground of the picture of your bending form. Strange the things our eye catch that could otherwise go unnoticed. If I’m not mistaken the look like GameGetter II arrows. Gave up archery and took up chair making (medical problems). I enjoy your blog and always look forward to new posts.

  4. Hey Chuck, That is funny you noticed that. That arrow is Bill Nelson's who I cut timber with up in Indiana a lot. He has done the Robin Hood many times. For those of you who don't know a Robin Hood is when you shoot an arrow into the back of another arrow during target practice or competition. You may also notice this picture is upside down. I wanted the form to be pictured upright and was too lazy to flip it over for the picture.

  5. Greg,

    Speaking of Mimms lumber, I was over there about a week ago (I live about 2 miles away), and was drooling over his 25" northfield #7 surface planer in the back. He said it was for sale.. I don't have room for it, but I bet you could fit it in your garage! ;-)

    - Matt O'Neill

  6. Matt, I did not see that and it is probably good I didn't. I guess I'll have to stick to my #7 stanley hand plane for now. Randy does have some really sweet lumber. He has the best hard maple for building workbenches.

  7. Ahhh, come on! We need to get you hooked on some OWWM. I think it's one of these:

    Shame for it to sit back there unplugged and unused, it's only 3000 lbs..