Armchair Complete

I'm once again using the oil finish I first learned about at Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking. It's made up from a 1:1:1 blending of Tung oil, Waterlox and mineral spirits. Two coats went on the chair and then I was ready to wrap the crest rail and seat. I first attached the cord with a copper tack in a notch at the bottom of the crest rail.

Then, I carefully wrapped the entire width of the recess on the crest rail and tacked the tail end with another copper tack in a similar notch. It takes a lot of hammer taps to keep the wraps nice and tight and in alignment.

For the seat, the warp strands are wrapped first, using "L"-shaped nails in the Danish Modern tradition.

Here's a view of how the cord advances from one pair to the next on the front seat rail.

On the back seat rail, each looping pair hooks on an "L"-nail.

This wrapping process requires the use of a lot of nails, but the advantage is that the wrapping is done with only four lengths of Danish cord. One for the warp pairs that run front to back...

One for the back seat rail wraps between the warp pairs...

One for the front seat rail wraps between the warp pairs...

And the last for the side-to-side "weavers", or, since I have a real weaver in the house, as we say around here, the weft strands.

Wrapping the weft is very enjoyable. A single strand is used coming directly off of the spool and the cord is simply hooked on the "L"-shaped nails at the left and right side seat rails. I discovered the toughest part of wrapping a seat like this is anticipating the correct number of wraps that will be needed. This must be done in advance of the actual wrapping, since the nails are more easily located with accuracy before the chair is assembled.

The last warp pair finally weaves its way through the warp strands at the front of the chair.

Since completing the chair, I've presented them along with slide images of the process to a monthly meeting of the Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, as well as to over 500 visitors at the Wood Expo in Saint Cloud, MN. The response I got from my fellow woodworkers as they saw the chairs and listened to me recount the process was phenomenal. I had a great time sharing my experiences at both events. I made a lot of new woodworking friends and I look forward to doing something like this again some day soon.

Now, it's time for the chairs to be on display at Xylos Gallery in Minneapolis, MN. Tomorrow night, Xylos will be holding an Artist Reception for its "New Work Exhibition" that focuses on seating. Here are my chairs, ready for you to stop by to see the results of my Chair Making Journey for yourself.

Also, please check out the new photos in the website gallery for both Vidar's Chair and Armchair 2. Please let me know what you think!

The Xylos Artist Reception will be tomorrow, Friday, April 5th from 7-9 pm. I hope to see you there!

Hej då and happy shavings!



Craig Johnson is a fiscal year 2012 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

●   ●   ●