For a couple months now I have mentioned all the work Bob and another Woodworker Guild member have been doing on furniture for OLLI’s new building. The last remaining item has been the 12 chairs they need to make. Bob is doing some parts and Dan is doing some parts and neither of them has ever made a chair so they both have quite a learning curve. It has taken much longer than expected to get even the first chair frame done. Here it is:
Neither of us will ever look at a chair quite the same way. Getting these 16pieces to fit together is not easy. What you can’t see are all the mortice and tendon pieces that hold it together. The legs still need to be tapered a little. Dan, the project leader, is looking for some more people to help because the pieces need to be cut, shaped, sanded, stained, glued together and a finish applied. There will be an upholstered seat also. Bob is hoping he just has to do the five pieces for the back of the chairs. Surprisingly he is still in a good mood about doing the chairs. He said he has learned so much about using his equipment and also about how to make a chair. This is by far the most complex and difficult piece of woodworking he has done. We both agree doing the small projects like pens, boxes and candles is more our style.
Bob and Dan also made 4 square oak tables, 8 craft tables with laminated tops and 8 book cases. I will get photos of those later on. There were some other people who stepped forward to do painting and staining so those were not nearly as much work.
This weekend Bob and I finished 6 boxes and started 6 more. Hope you enjoy seeing them. We sure are having fun. All of them are band saw boxes. As you can see there is a lot of flexibility in how they look.
These are called nesting boxes. The smaller box is made from the inside of the larger box. These are sample boxes we made with inexpensive poplar. The one on the left is natural and the one on the right we tried to stain cherry. This wood is infamous for being blotchy, even though I sealed it. The larger box is about 6 inches long and 3 inches high. Bob and I both worked on these.
This little pod box is 4″ by 4 inches and is made out of mahogany. I made this one.
This beautiful little maple box is 6″ by 3″. I like this one quite a bit. It is harder to make than I thought it would be. This has Watco oil on it but then we buffed it on the Beal buffing system. The maple acts very different than the mahogany.
This is a larger mahogany box and is about 8″ by 3 1/2 inches. It has a maple handle.
This is another mahogany and maple box and it is about 7″ by 3 1/2 “. This is our favorite.
I think we have the finish figured out now for mahogany. Mahogany is an open pore wood and is not easy to work with. We like this finish better than the one we used on the earlier boxes plus it is easier to do. These are all done with Watco Danish oil and a light coat of spray lacquer on the top which really makes the color pop but not shiny. The wood has a beautiful golden red tone which doesn’t really show up in the photograph. Who knew there were so many different ways to finish wood?
We think we have come a long way with this style of box in only a few months. We continue to learn little tricks on making them from other woodworkers. The next 6 are four little ones, like the pod, that I am working on and Bob is doing two larger two drawer ones. We also have ideas for a couple other “unconventional” natural boxes.
We figure each box from laminating the wood, cutting it out, sanding, gluing them back together, applying the finish and flocking the inside of the box takes 8-10 hours per box. The larger two drawer ones definitely take more time. The sanding is really time consuming but the joy we feel when the creation is done makes it all worth while.