Side Assembly

The front assembly is out of the clamps. Time to clean up the glue that squeezed out of the joints. I manage squeeze-out by masking and waxing the area around the outside of the joint prior to applying glue to the inside. This allows me to easily lift off the offending adhesive without damaging the wood surface. For this, I like to use a dental tool that I've honed to a fine point. Then, all that remains is a light coating of wax that is easily removed using a clean rag and solvent. I'll do the final clean-up after the entire chair is assembled.

The shaping of the side seat rails and side stretchers was done in stages. First, tracing the templates, cutting on the band saw, and shaping with the plane and spoke shave. Then, more templates, more shaping, etc. Below, you can see me spokeshaving the curved top surface of one of the side seat rails.

Here, I'm planing the outside face of a side stretcher.

After completing the shaping, edge softening and final surface preparation, I wrapped up the parts for protection and began fine-tuning the fit of the side joinery. Below, you'll notice that this seat rail/leg joint is tight on the right side, but suffers from a bit of gap-osis on the left. To address that, I plane off a very, very thin shaving from the leg on the right side of the joint, check the fit, one more shaving, check again, and so on, one shaving at a time, until the gap on the left disappears.

Like before, I take the time needed to prepare clamping cauls that protect the wood surfaces and, as you can see below, keep the curved parts from bending and distorting the joinery during the glue-up and clamping.

I called upon Carol, my trusted glue-up buddy, to take several breaks from her weaving for a series of three glue-ups over the course of a day. Each glue-up stage for the side assemblies was left in the clamps for about 3 hours before moving on to the next. We completed the final glue-up at around 9:00 pm. It was a good day!

More enjoyable work ahead this week as I tackle the contours of the crest rail.

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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