Milling Black Walnut

I've decided to make a fairly large number of templates for this chair. This will make it easier to establish the subtle curves, particularly in the seat rails and stretchers. It might not look like it from the photo above, but there are only a few straight lines in the bunch. With the templates made, it's on to locating the parts in the planks of black walnut. That curve in the plank below is a perfect spot for the back legs.

With these four planks to choose from, I was able to get all the parts out of three of them.

I used a jig saw for cross-cutting,

and a band saw for ripping. Finally, the parts are found.

Decisions made by the sawyer, including the plank thickness, limit opportunities for getting the angle of the end grain just right. So I take the time needed to satisfy the needs of the chair design while still trying to optimize my use of the plank. For the front legs and the arms I was able to improve the grain angle by rotating the part in the plank. First, the right leg,

and then the left.

I'm looking forward to seeing the arms in their final sculpted form. For added interest, I've included a bit of sapwood on the outermost edge of both arms.

So, here they are, fifteen parts, all accounted for. If you've missed my earlier posts on Vidar's Chair, I invite you to check out the archive for this chair making journey.

Tomorrow it's time for final milling of the legs, layout of the joinery, and if time allows, the cutting of a few mortises. I love it when a plan comes together!

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.

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