Saturday, July 13, 2013

Juggling Turnings and Tenons

Soon I will travel the road to Kelly Mehler's shop in Berea Kentucky to spend a week teaching with Curtis Buchanan. I  am in the middle of completing the turnings for the class which will be a fan back side chair. I'm turning enough for 15 chairs and I must admit I am getting a little stir crazy. These fan back post are fun to turn but they like to chatter a little. Keeping the tools sharp is a must.
 The legs are complete and I have almost depleted my maple supply. So I guess it's back to the log yard.
 To keep from going mad while turning I take breaks and work on the timber shed frame. I got set up today to finally start cutting the tenons on the posts. Cutting the timbers to length is fast accurate work with the 16'' beam saw.
 The first of the tenons have begun. I saw the kerfs and pair to the line with the slick. This red oak works so much easier than the white oak. These trees were so straight in the forest when I cut them and they have remained that way ever since. Good stuff.
 Here is my set up with the tent to keep the sun off the timbers and myself. Later this week it will be in the mid 90's and shade is a must.
 Looks like the shave horse will be lonely for a few weeks. I leave for Berea in a week. Curtis and I will have 11 students. It should be a good class. I'll post pictures when I return.


  1. Robert - Stow OhJuly 16, 2013 at 6:45 AM

    Greg- from a humor side. I watched the below turning video, did you "catch" the turning at 5:06. Also you mentioned "stir crazy" and "keep from going mad" then I noticed the label on the box where you placed the turnings and wondered how long it took you to empty that box of Smirnoffs in order to place the turnings into. :)) Have a great day today

  2. Hey Robert,
    Yes, I left the catch in there for everyone's entertainment. For the record, that was the only catch I had in the sixty legs I turned. Maybe I was nervous with the camera rolling. Oh yea, the box was from a student who left it here. You should never drink and drive a lathe.

  3. I can understand why you do the turnings ahead of time and every Windsor class I have taken (ok only 2 total) the legs have already been complete. Have you ever not turned them and had the students do it? Is it just a disaster? It is a big part of building a Windsor shouldn't that be part of the learning experience? I guess more of a rhetorical question than anything else since time is always tight in classes, but it does make me wonder. If legs we split and turned on day 1 would they be dry enough for assembly by day 4 or 5?

  4. Shannon,
    Great question! The first chair class I ever took we turned our own legs (Bobbin style). We did ok but several students struggled and lost confidence. I guess you could say it stressed out most people and left them little time to focus on the chair process. The chair process takes six days alone. The skills to learn the turnings can take weeks to learn. The legs green will dry enough if turned the first day and we always give the option for students to turn their own parts before class. We also go over turning in the class.
    Last year Pete Galbert and I taught a week long turning class for chair making and it went very well. I wonder if people are in need of more classes like that? What do you think?