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Customizing and Custom Work
 

The Seats

The figure, color, and character displayed in the rocking chair seats are prominent in the final composition of the chairs.  We laminate each seat from seven pieces selected, cut, and organized from the same larger board or tree.  The laminating makes the seats stronger and more stable.  The selecting and organizing make the figure, color, and character of the seats more interesting and lively.

We study the growth rings to predict what figure will be later revealed by the scoop.

selecting chair seat pieces for best use

We flatten and true the seat boards and bore holes in their edges for the dowels that align them when gluing them together.

we flatten and true the seat boardswe bore holes in their edges for the dowels

Before jointing and gluing we cut some wood out of individual seat boards at the band saw to define the scoop.

we cut some wood out of individual seat boardschair seat pieces

We carefully prepare the mating surfaces of the seats  (jointing) for a continuous and uniform glue bond and for a seamless fit.  We spread a uniform, continuous layer of glue on the edges of the seat boards, clamp them flat, and leave them overnight.

clamping up chair seat pieces

After the seat is glued up, it is dimensioned on the wide belt sander, cut square, notched to interlock with the legs  (photo below), mortised for the splats, cut to shape, edged, and sanded to fit the notches of the leg . . . among many other things.

machining the assembled seat

With the disc grinder and coarse abrasive, we "true up" the scoop.  This work is not for the inexperienced or the unskilled.  Less than impeccable workmanship will leave ripples and waves in the contours of the chair scoop.  You could see and feel these anomalies in the finished chair seats . . . if they were there.

shaping the scoop of the chair seatinspecting the scoop of the chair seat

Related Blog Posts
Gluing Chair Seats   Mortising Seats for Splats
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