Multiple Crest Rails

Finding good white oak material for the crest rail on Vidar's Chair has been a real challenge (see my most recent 3 posts). Following two unfullfilling attempts, I've now set out to make four replacement candidates from a variety of material sources in hopes of increasing the odds of finding one that works well.

I obtained #1, below, from Forest Products Supply. They graciously refused to sell me any that they had in stock last winter, since the owner didn't think the material was suitable for Vidar's Chair, but on this return trip we found a newer arrival that just might do the trick. Perfectly straight grain. Large diameter annual growth rings. Great color. I've got my fingers crossed on this one.

#2 is from Logs to Lumber. Great color. Possible randomness in the grain lines. We'll see.

#3 and #4 are from Youngblood Lumber. Some evidence of honeycomb checking; may or may not affect the parts.

Below are the four crest rail blanks, shown stacked atop their respective offcuts.

After boring the rear leg dowel pin holes and tracing the templates onto the blanks, I then cut them out on the bandsaw. Below are the results; #1 is in the foreground, followed by #2 and #3, with #4 in the background.

#1 is looking excellent. The grain lines follow the curve of the part beautifully. Color is awesome. Just one slight color blemish that had been concealed within the blank. As you look at the photo below, it is just left of center on the front face. It doesn't look to me to be related to honeycomb, so this one is still looking very, very good.

#2 has good color and overall looks good, however previous speculation about the waviness in the grain lines was confirmed following bandsawing.

#3 and #4 don't have any signs of honeycomb checking that can be observed on the rough bandsawn surfaces. Right now I can see that the rays have a very strong color which are more distracting than on either #1 or #2.

I don't shoot many videos in the studio, in fact, I haven't shot a good video yet, but the short 32 sec. video below shows in its own clumsy way how the crest rail finds its way out of the blank via the bandsawing.

I feel like there is potential in these four crest rail candidates, but we'll have to wait and see how things turn out. I'm going to let them all settle in the studio for at least three weeks before I get to any shaping with the spokeshave. Bandsawing the parts out of the blanks will certainly releave much of the stress that may have been pent-up in the blanks. I'm hoping that the three weeks will be enough time for any impending checks to express themselves at the surface.

Well, in a few days I plan to accept delivery of a new bandsaw. I've been waiting a long time for this one to arrive, so I'm very excited to get it up and running. It's a larger saw than I have now, but if all my measurements and calculations are correct, it should be safely in my small basement shop in due course. I can't wait!

Hej då and happy shavings!

Craig