Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Curved Stretchers

One of the more interesting challenges of the recent settee was the curved undercarraige. I thought that it might be good to detail the process a bit.

As you can see in the photo above, I made two forms, based on the centerline of the curve and then cut them to accomodate the shape of the already turned stretchers. I developed the curve by setting a string from one outer stretcher (already assembled) to the other and noting the distance to the middle of the center stretcher, which fell a few inches behind the string due to the curve of the seat.

With this information, I had the 3 critical points needed and proceed to draw what I felt was a pleasing curve. I was careful after steaming the stretchers to clamp so that the clamps wouldn't compress the softened fibers, remembering that there isn't the usual extra material to shave away.

The fact that I nailed it on my first try tells me that the process must be somewhat forgiving, which is good, because I didn't have time for a second shot before the photos were due.

This process is a great example of why I enjoy making chairs this way. If you can imagine it, the means of getting the job done are usually quick and direct. If freedom and immediacy are the goals, Windsor and green wood technology have a lifetime of options to offer.

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