Winter is Coming (so back to the shop)

The past few months have been pretty light on shop time for a variety of reasons.  First I was sick, then there was a month long series of interviews for what would have been a major career change and move (didn’t work out), and then September and October were warm and sunny which was more conducive to yard work and family time.  But now the fog is officially back and the nights are getting longer so I am back in the shop.

There has been a lot of milling recently and the eucalyptuses seat blanks in particular have been wearing me out.  Between their weight and hardness combined with the weird way the dried (the middles of the boards collapsed so I lost a lot of thickness), I think it will be a long time before I work with Tasmanian Blue Gum again.

I did get a seat template made that will make layout easier and joinering more consistent.  I have been using this to make a first pass in polar and red oak.

This weekend I manned to rough mill leg and spindle blanks and made some tapering re-saws to straighten the grain for the crest rail blanks.  I’m hoping I end up with at least four good crest tails and seat blanks.

Evening Steam

Well everything got clamped down and I didn’t hear any pops or cracks so maybe this will be the first successful bend of the Tasmanian Bluegum.  Find out on Friday.

While I waited for the steamer to heat up I I stacked the seat blanks that have been drying for the past year.  One of then had a split so I decided to froe it apart.  I can attest that once it drys, the interlocking grain is tough to split.

A bit of chair progress

It’s been pretty light on woodworking recently as time and energy have been in short supply.  That said, last weekend I made a bit of progress on the stick chairs including the first successful crest rail bend.

After looking at the bending form I decided to smooth out the curve a bit and used the band-saw and spindle sander to make the adjustment. After the sander, it was finally time to use the compass plane I purchased years ago (the rear handle broke off first time I tried to use it, unscrupulous dealer hid a JB Weld repair) and it smoothed out the high spots quite well.

While cleaning the garage I found a piece of ash left over from the bench build and decided to use it as a test bend.  It worked perfectly.  Hopfully I can get a successful bend in eucalyptus soon.