Ladderback rocking chair

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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby gavin » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:25 pm

Donald Todd wrote:
gavin wrote:I am delighted the frame furniture making process is jaw-slackening simple……… I think you do not need the sash clamp either - a lump hammer works fine. Since I have a strong interest in running 30 minute have-a-go stool assembly with Jo(e) Public on a showfield, I really want the process as simple as possible.

Sounds like you are dumming down too far. It still requires a degree of care and attention. This sort of brute force approach doesn't do our image any good. Anyway a lump hammer is not part of the green woodworkers toolkit; a mallet would be more appropriate.


Donald,
I note your comment that I am Dumbing down too far. Could you tell me why you think this?

I also note your comment ...a lump hammer is not part of the green woodworkers toolkit
I have tried both mallet and lump hammer. Have you? IMO the lump hammer works far better to drive a tenon into mortice. Should lump hammer not therefore be included? Mike Abbott suggests and illustrates lump hammer in Going with the Grain.

I'll grant you Mike's methods may not suit everyone, but neither do I think there is one right way of achieving any outcome.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby emjay » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:06 pm

Gavin, a lump hammer might be ok for a 30 minute stool, but when youve gone to the trouble of making all the parts for a rocker then I think a sash cramp is better. You need the control that it gives to wiggle the parts around and locate the tennon squarely in the hole especialy when locating the 5 back slats. For a quick stool tho' a lump hammer would be ideal.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby gavin » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:33 am

emjay wrote:Gavin, a lump hammer might be ok for a 30 minute stool, but when youve gone to the trouble of making all the parts for a rocker then I think a sash cramp is better. You need the control that it gives to wiggle the parts around and locate the tennon squarely in the hole especialy when locating the 5 back slats. For a quick stool tho' a lump hammer would be ideal.
Mick

As I have yet to make such a 5-slat chair, I'll heed your remark and make the first one with sash cramp. And from what you write, probably all succeeding ones!
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby Donald Todd » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:55 pm

Gavin, I haven't read "Going with the Grain", but I am concerned with the trend to making chairmaking appear to be childishly simple. Yes, you can bash together a stool in a short time, but although it teaches you what you can get away with, it is not how to make something that will last and you can take pride in. You understand (I think) what the wood will put up with, but your 30 minute stool doesn't help the beginner much in that respect.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby steve tomlin » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:59 pm

It's interesting how this thread has developed into various avenues from just a rocking chair.

I don't personally see why upholstering the seat will be against the nature of a post-and-rung chair. The rush seat on this rocker is pulled very tight, as tight as any upholstery would be so I can't see why it would make a difference to the flexibility of the chair.

Donald Todd wrote:has tenoned the legs into the rockers, as the opposite way round could result in a broken leg. It also results in a wider rocker which spreads the weight more
Actually I've cut a bridle joint into the legs to attach them to the rockers which I prefer the look of to tenoning. This results in having narrower rockers. Tenoned legs look like this:
Image

Donald Todd wrote:I am concerned with the trend to making chairmaking appear to be childishly simple

I agree that there is a danger in dumbing-down craft. if a customer can make a stool in 30mins on a showground what will they think of a chairmaker in the stall next door who is trying to make a living selling chairs and stools and charging prices which reflect that? What have you taught the customer about craft and stoolmaking in those 30mins? Chairs, like spoons, are deceptive things to make. They both look so simple but require a lot of thought if they're to function well, look good and feel comfortable. Gavin however is far from the only one who seems determined to make chairmaking simpler and simpler so anyone can do it with increasingly little skill. I'm glad I learned in 2003.

re: lump hammer. i'd never say it shouldn't be in a chairmaker's kit but i'd always choose the sash cramp and i think it's better suited to the showfield too - not everyone has the arm strength to knock home tenons (a child can turn the handle on a sash cramp) and there's less danger of breakages.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby emjay » Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:21 pm

The creaks and groans of a tight joint being slowly squeezed into place with a sash cramp on a 30 minute stool would surely be a great crowd puller.
My leg tenons into the rocker are rectangular section and the shoulder fits flush against the rocker so there is no sudden reduction in leg diameter.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby gavin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:14 am

steve tomlin wrote:if a customer can make a stool in 30mins on a showground what will they think of a chairmaker in the stall next door who is trying to make a living selling chairs and stools and charging prices which reflect that?

The customer would tend to think however we led their thoughts - e.g. if there was rancour between me and that chairmaker, the public would pick that up and tend to keep on walking. There'd be not enough fun about. But if there was fun and a buzz about our respective pitches, they would be a magnet of activity and sales.

If I had such a chairmaker next to me, I'd work hand-in-glove with him or her. I'd boost the public perception of my colleague - I'd point out to public the amount of work that had gone into shaping and selecting components, and readily admit to them that my operation would be IKEA-like. Commercially, I'd make a plan that worked for both me and the adjoining stall-holder. I'd gladly share revenue on any basis my colleague thought fair, for this is a small world. I suspect a team approach would generate more revenue on the day, and certainly more happiness in the long run for us both.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby gavin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:25 am

steve tomlin wrote:re: lump hammer. i'd never say it shouldn't be in a chairmaker's kit but i'd always choose the sash cramp and i think it's better suited to the showfield too - not everyone has the arm strength to knock home tenons (a child can turn the handle on a sash cramp) and there's less danger of breakages.


I take your point re child turning sash cramp but not swinging lump hammer.
I prefer the lump hammer as I find it more convenient: it is shorter than the sash cramp so it stows more easily for transport. I like to pack everything I can into Tesco grocery crates, so I have very few items bigger than 54 x 22 x 33 cm.

I have yet to work out a convenient way to mount a sash cramp that is portable. Has anyone any suggestions for sash cramp mounting that they take to and from shows?
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby Donald Todd » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:23 pm

Gavin:
gavin wrote:If I had such a chairmaker next to me, I'd work hand-in-glove with him or her. I'd boost the public perception of my colleague - I'd point out to public the amount of work that had gone into shaping and selecting components, and readily admit to them that my operation would be IKEA-like.

This would probably take too much time and bore the public, anxious to get on with bashing out a stool.

I don't have a sash cramp, but two sets of Record cramp heads and a length of 2" x 1" timber with holes at the required spacings. This is the set up. Clearly you can't cart the table around to shows, but it is easy enough to fit cross bars to steady the beam.

To answer your question: I have used a mallet, but not a lump hammer. I found that a HIDE hammer was adequate: about the same weight as a standard claw hammer. I can't get at it right now. This is what I use to put windsor chair legs in. It's the concentration of weight that gives it the advantage over a mallet, but a lump hammer is overkill.
Last edited by Donald Todd on Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby Donald Todd » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:49 pm

Steve,
steve tomlin wrote: Actually I've cut a bridle joint into the legs to attach them to the rockers which I prefer the look of to tenoning. This results in having narrower rockers.

As I said the vulnerability of the "bridle" joint is that if there is excessive sideways pressure on the chair, it will be the legs that break. I was going to put rockers on one of my kid's chairs, but the parents didn't want a rocker. I was going to make the rockers wider than you show, so there would be little reduction in the legs to form the tenons. Possibly it would look too clumsy. A good while back I toyed with the idea of making "bridle feet" with mortises in the top from Elm, but these did look rather clumsy.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby emjay » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:12 pm

Just on my 3rd ladderback rocker. Today I steamed and bent the rockers and I've just spent an hour trying to post pictures but to no avail. My grandkids make it look so easy, but they aren't due here for another month.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby emjay » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:56 pm

having another try
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby emjay » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:01 pm

after bending
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby emjay » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:06 pm

After bending. The curved former on this jig can be changed to a different former for the back legs.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby Donald Todd » Sun May 10, 2015 10:42 am

Do you not need a second pair of hands to apply the clamp while holding down the bending arm?
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