Emyr's chairs and making chair back spindles

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Emyr's chairs and making chair back spindles

Postby Emyr Parry » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:49 pm

Image

Image

Here goes for my first post!

Invited to share some pictures - here are a couple from some chairs that I made. I am a regular follower of the discussions here, so I too would like to see more on chairmaking and disscussions of.

You can see more pictures here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/75358195@N00/

Thanks for looking

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Re: why is there so little chair making discussion?

Postby robin wood » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:15 pm

Very nice chairs. I really like Welsh stick chairs, especially when made in Wales.
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Re: why is there so little chair making discussion?

Postby Donald Todd » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:46 am

Emyr, How do you make the spindles for your chairs?
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Re: why is there so little chair making discussion?

Postby davestovell » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:52 am

Emyr, Nice set of photos, Also enjoyed the set on Flickr but can I ask (as I haven't yet made a chair) what are you doing in Gwaith Coed DSCF0774? Is it set up for the photo? Surely drilling from this angle will made for problems or am I not understanding something?

Enjoyed seeing your work as I am in the middle of making my first Ash four post stool.

And would it be correct if I said "Croeso"?

Regards
Dave
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Re: why is there so little chair making discussion?

Postby Bertie » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:09 pm

Made quite a few flad sided chairs, that is 2 flat sides screwed to a front and a back, the possibilities there are endless. Decided to do a completely turned chair - well apart from the seat, not that comfortable, but it certainly showed off the wood - then of course slat backs - turning the back leg was interesting - how do you turn the bend??
Sea grass seating was interesting, untill i discovered synthetic, which was fine untill i found out the real price - about £1.50 a roll, someone has a monopoly there.
Perhaps one day knock down flat sided chairs held together with pegs.
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Re: why is there so little chair making discussion?

Postby Emyr Parry » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:18 pm

Thank you for your kind replies and your interest.
Robin - I have it on my list of "things to do" to book onto one of your courses sometime to try to make some spoons - thanks for your comment.

Donald - the long sticks for the backs of the chair, and the short sticks for the sides, are riven (from oak or ash) and then worked with a drawknife to a square section aprox 20x 20mm (that's three quarters in old money), before making into octagons and then into cylinders. I then wait for them to dry out, and give them a final working. Short stick usually with drawknife/spokeshave, and long sticks with an Ashley Iles rounder - usually half inch. The long sticks have to go through the arm - so getting them to half inch in pretty critical.
Here are some short sticks in the process of being made
Image
Image
Image

Dave - thanks for the welcome - Diolch!
In the picture you refer to I am actually making the first stick chair I ever made under the supervision of my tutor Hugh Roberts - I am pictured very nervously drilling for the strechers to go in. It did work - the finished chair is in the next picture with both Hugh and myself.

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Re: why is there so little chair making discussion?

Postby Donald Todd » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:06 pm

Emyr,

I've no experience of using rounders; having turned the spindles for my comb back Windsors. I assume that you have to make sure the billets are straight before final rounding. I like my spindles to have a bit of a swell as Mike Abbott describes in "Green Woodwork".
How feasible do you think it would be to make a rounder, adjustable in diameter?

I should scold you for using a Jig Saw to cut out the seat, but I used a Band Saw for my first Windsor. I've since made a Frame Saw which is surprisingly easy to use.
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Re: why is there so little chair making discussion?

Postby SeanHellman » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:17 pm

Hi Emyr, lovely chairs, and I like the bench in your Flickr photos. My juices are certainly now flowing, I want to see more on chairs.

Donald, the rounder for making tapered sticks is called a Stail engine, I have seen old wooden ones and Ashem crafts make and sell them. With the Ashen crafts one you need to use it with something turning the wood, for example a slow speed lathe.
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Re: why is there so little chair making discussion?

Postby Donald Todd » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:42 pm

Sean, I've seen the term before (Jack Hill's Country Chairmaking?), But never seen an illustration, let alone the real thing. I think it's mentioned in "Woodland Crafts in Britain", (Edlin) but as a fully mechanised device. I have an article from a wood turning mag. describing how to make a rounder using a plane blade, on which you grind a curve to the cutting edge at the entry side. I might give that a go if I can decide what size I want. Turning spindles is a real pain, though occasionally I embellish them. Even the thinner rungs on rung & post chairs tend to whip, or start to resonate.

I just googled "stail engine". Ashem Crafts came out top: They do a hand driven version: a mere £89.95!
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Trapping plane

Postby Robin Fawcett » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:25 pm

I used one of these on a Mike Abbott course to refine the shape of long back sticks. It's actually called a Trapping Plane and there are two types - one to use with a lathe and one with a handcrank and a collet - you do have to get someone else to do the twizzling for you !

http://www.ashemcrafts.com/products_trapping_plane.aspx

Cost - £167.50

PS. "Why is there so little chair making discussion?" is a dreadful title for this thread...
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Re: Trapping plane

Postby Nicola Wood » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:50 pm

Robin Fawcett wrote:PS. "Why is there so little chair making discussion?" is a dreadful title for this thread...

Donald suggested a while back that we split this. I'll get my moderator's hat on and see if I can sort it now.
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Re: Emyr's chairs and making chair back spindles

Postby goldsmithexile » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:51 am

Welcome to the forums Emyr, great to see pics of hand made chairs. What I like about the chairmaking is that there is so much variety possible from the simple slab and stick basics....
I do my chair spindles by hand. I dont like a "perfect round" finish, I leave the fine facets from the spokeshave (wooden one with a worn groove) To shape the very ends of the tennons after the spindles are dry, I usually use an old sawn off beading plane (the ones that were used to put a decorative bead on T&G boards) The one I use gives a diameter about 1/2 an inch but you can easily take it down to 3/8 or less if needed.
PS Sean as far as I know a rounder (the ones in 2 halves and with a handle on either half) can be set to do an infinite range of diameters by adjusting the 2 screws on it. I saw a film of Mr Sims using one to make rake handles (stails) and that is what he did.
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Re: Emyr's chairs and making chair back spindles

Postby davestovell » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:03 pm

Dear Mr Goldsmithexile, I am in the middle of making my first stool so I am very interested in all the tips and techniques that are appearing, any chance of some photos of your chairs and tools.

Regards

Dave
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Re: Emyr's chairs and making chair back spindles

Postby goldsmithexile » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:08 pm

I'll do that Dave, not today though.... :D
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Re: Emyr's chairs and making chair back spindles

Postby davestovell » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:25 pm

Thanks, I will look forward to them.

The photos that are being posted are building into a great base for reference so thank you to all who take the time they really are appreciated.

Is there a way of searching for images? or would it be a case of looking through threads?
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