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Discussion Starter #1
i'm making a chair. more pictures to come. it's an attempted copy of a few chairs we already have. i've never tried something more refined from the tree but here it goes. reminder that i'm a real novice.

the tree was felled some time in the summer. probably 6 months ago or so. i should take close ups later. It's some beautiful elm.
i quickly split and made rough stock out of the thinner pieces that are tennoned (most not pictured). i left the legs in the log so that they tighten as they dry around the tenons. the stock remained in an un heated space and so thinner pieces of about 1/2 and 3/4 i assume are fairly dry. the front legs are 1 3/4 inch thick so i'm hoping i've timed it right.

i have used offset pegging so that the joints stay very tight. No glue and no power tools have touched this work, besides a lathe and the chainsaw the crew of men were using to fell. When i see guys taking down a tree I ask if i can get some. They always let me.

I accidentally turned one of the beads in the wrong place, and it's by no means perfect. I'm saying it so i don't have to hear it from anyone else.

Oof though. Elm is a wild species. I know it was used for hubs in wagon wheels back in the day because of its cross grain. It switches direction all over the place. Planing my stock was time consuming.

I'm sorry i don't take more picture of the process.



 

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Looks pretty good so far.

One problem with using wood that hasn't fully dried is once you have it all finished, it may just tie itself into a knot while you're asleep! :laughing:
 

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^Agree^
Also all of the joints could loosen up. You need to get a moisture meter and check all of the pieces being used. In this kind of work, your moisture content should be around 6%.

One old trick I use, taught to me by my dad to test firewood is to put the end grain of the wood to your lips. If you feel moisture the wood won't readily burn. It also is a very rough check of your furniture stock. If you feel moisture on your lips, the wood isn't ready for use.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
working with green wood is a thing though. if i think that stock at 1/2 inch should be near dry after 6 months (the front you see), and stock 1 3/4 has a little more time (front legs you see). the hope is because of the stock and because of the direction of grain, the leg will shrink to only make it tighter. it will have to shrink with the peg pulling the tenon also. perhaps i could re-peg if anything does happen. this is a typical 17th century idea.

oh, also i rived everything. when i needed a long slightly curved piece, i found a long slightly curved log. i rived everything with wood splits and sledge or a maul and froe. i hope i keep away from much twisting because of the choice of grain from looking at the bark, and then i used the direction to create the stock. so if the grain went a little this way or that even slightly, the stock goes with it.

i am leaving the seat for last for sure. that is one thing i'm slightly worried about. it is the widest part of the whole thing (ie the most shrinkage). i have a design that will use sliding dovetails through the left and right sides of the skirt that have another dovetail on top of the sliding ones. these slides into 2 different flayed mortises on the seat. the seat will be 3 pieces. two side pieces with the flayed mortise that recieve the dovetails, and one tongue and grooved piece joining them. the two sided tongued piece will then be dovetail inlayed to keep it together. the flayed mortise will let the seat expand and contract for the drying and changing seasons.

as far as my knowledge goes, i've never seen a design like this, and i'm really excited to make it.

i should also mention that i'm from chicago, and we have had a very cold and dry winter. -17, -44 with wind chill. multiple times. i'm hoping that things dry according to their different thicknesses, yet rehydrate according to humidity at a similar rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
side pieces cut for sliding dovetail for the seat.



other stock. the back legs were in another room. you get the jist. i have to tenon those back pieces and carve them a bit still.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
i fitted the tapered sliding dovetails. i've never done this before. it was tricky. next time it'll be more aesthetically pleasing. these are perfect in function though. i made them stick out so that i would have a bigger dovetail on top. stock was 1/2 in

 

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Discussion Starter #7
i screwed up a piece so i had to go to the tree i had and find something.

i did a test. the piece was a little too thick and i questioned its moisture.

i planed it down to 2 1/2" wide and painted the end grain. I then put it in the oven at 150 degrees or so for half an hour. (i googled doing this and a guy said it does wonders). I took it out of the oven and measured it again. 2.5 exactly. either it didn't dry much because of a poor method, or it was fairly dry to begin with.

i put my lips as was suggested and it definitely feels fairly dry.

well, here's the picture of that piece (left) and the two back legs. I'll do close up pictures at the end perhaps.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
just fitting things together so that i can measure the back portions and some pieces that hold the bottom together.

i've just been mortising and tenoning and then putting the offset holes for the pegs in. and adjusting some of the sloppiness i have. it takes such a long time. before work this morning i worked on it for 3 hours almost. i do have to get my tools and project out, clean up, and put it all away because it's a shared shop, but it's still a lot of work being done. it's at least rewarding-ly tedious. next chair i make i'll have a lot more experience under me.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
i got almost all of my planes out. i tongue and grooved the pieces then cut them to the seat size. there's a ton of shaping to do. i need to get the back of the seat and the back of the frame to be flush, then shape the front, and then carve a butt into it. mortising for the tapered sliding dovetail's dovetails is last.











 

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thanks. i am currently carving the seat. i'm thinking about using my thumb planes after I get done with my gouge. It might look neat with the rougher look though.

i didn't sleep well a few nights ago and i've had family over on the weekends, so i've been less productive.
 

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I'd love to see some pictures of your seat carving process. I'm exploring ideas for some chairs and stools that I'd like to build in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
so I've been doing tile work at a coffee shop in my mornings. It's been a while since my update. I did a little this weekend. I ended up using my thumb planes. I now have blisters on my thumbs. I have a little carving to do with the seat and some decorative work, and it's about done. I think i'll stain it. I don't really like it. I may just burn it or sit in it where no one looks at it. It was a good first chair. The sliding dovetail with the other dovetail worked really well, though i have ideas on what not to do.





 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'd love to see some pictures of your seat carving process. I'm exploring ideas for some chairs and stools that I'd like to build in the future.
I just used a mallet and gouge, thumb plane, then a scraper. My scraper was a utility blade that i ground and sharpened into a moon shape so i could get the curves. If you really want to make it perfect, you could get a sort of caliper that has a pencil on it like this:



you can make pencil lines outlining different depths and see the imperfections of your curve. then you just thumb plane it down at the wavy parts.

i can't find a picture of a violin with this technique done to it, but here's a drawing that sort of gives you an idea:



Of course, there's always the human caliper. Just sit in it. You'll know.
 

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Great chair!

I like the fact you used green wood, I think the only areas you might have an issue with is the seat and the center back brace. when this wood dries it may split due to the grain direction being held by the tenons. The seat most likely will not split due to the sliding DT's, however, it may cup and twist more then the rest of the chair due to the fact it is the widest wood used. But since you did rive all the pieces, I dont think it will be much.

The fact you draw bored all the joints, I dont think you will have any issues with them coming loose.

Great job!:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
i used some golden oak danish oil for 2 coats. then i used some kind of dark something that i found.

it's night time. the 4th coat isn't dry yet. i'm going to do some more sanding tomorrow. i thought the pictures will be the same dry or not.

i'm not showing my bad mistakes.





 
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