Monday, November 2, 2009
Come to Life
It's always fun to see a project from drawing to completion, and this week with Alan Gensamer, we did just that. The drawing above is scaled so that 3/16" equals 1". Below is the finished piece.
Other than a mishap with drilling the arm (I foolishly veered from the drawing and paid the price of bending another arm!), the piece went very smoothly. Here's Alan getting it all together.
I haven't forgotten the curved stretchers, their drying in their forms. Below is a new (to me) bending method. I was getting some trouble with separation where the turnings narrow and expose endgrain, so I thought that I'd finally found a place to use a strap.
Not only did the strap work nicely controlling the separation (just a little in the center), but it pulled the piece to the form very evenly. My handy Irwin clamp (spreader) put so much force on the piece that the texture of the strap is embedded in the surface of the stretcher!
I've been asked about a million times about using straps in bending, and honestly, I've never found the need. I know that some very tight radii or thick bends could call for a strap, but the "normal" bends in my chairs have always bent just fine. I attribute this mostly to using straight grain white oak and hickory and shaving carefully along the fibers. I'll be knocking this piece together this week (hopefully), but today will be slow, Alan and I put in 7 days and I'm whipped!