Thursday, March 31, 2011

Queen Anne Chair: Crest rail

Yesterday I spend a big part of the day working on the shaping of the legs, because it is the horseshoe shape chair, there is a lot of wood to remove from the square post. Inbetween I started making the jigs for the crest rail and cut that out last night and glued it into place.

This morning I worked on shaping the crest rail, the middle part needs to flow smoothly from the front bottom edge to the top back edge, so the sharp edges needed rounding.

View from the back, well I am going to try and finish as much as possible today, except fot the staining and polishing.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Natalia's Commission

I am happy to say that my first commission is finished and has arrived at it's destination safely and within 15 days. Natalia, I am glad to say is happy with the end results, it was rather stressful since this was the first time that I accepted a commission and I am very much still in a learning phase with all of these new (to me in any case) techniques. These pictures were taken in the dining room of my Victorian Dollhouse. The fire screen works similar to a tilt-top table.

Of course, now I have to wait to see what petit point she is going to stitch for the diiferent furniture pieces.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Queen Anne Chair: Cabriole legs and knee brackets

One thing is sure, dressmaker's pins are quite handy for miniatures too.

I used some in gluing the side rails to the front to keep everything in place. I used the pattern as a guide in gluing everything together.

Well, it is starting to look like a chair!!!! The right leg still needs its knee brackets and a lot more shaping. The back isn't glued on yet, that will only happen when all the stretcher bars are finished, I had a mental block for woodturning today, so hopefully that will happen tomorrow.

I still need to refine the rebate where the upholstered seat will fit in. In this picture you can see how flat the top part of the right leg still is, a lot of carving and sanding still to be done.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Queen Anne Chair: Shaping the Cabriole Legs

Oh well, you can see I had fun today, I have done quite a bit on the shaping of the left leg. It still needs a bit of work but I am going to glue it to the front rail now, it will be easier to do the final shaping with the seat rail in place.


Queen Anne Chair: Cabriole legs the feet

Right now I am one very happy lady, I chucked the leg back into the lathe ( I am very green at turning) to see if I could curve the bottom of the feet with my new favorite tool (nail filing pads). the leg on the left is done while the other one will be done soon, but I wanted to show you the difference, all I need to do now is to cut off the "handles" and finish the shaping of the legs by hand.


Queen Anne Chair: Side Rails

Well, I know it doesn't look like much but trust me this are two days work. I managed to turn the one back stretcher on Friday, at one stage when I was almost finished it threatened to break but fortunately didn't. Yesterday was spent on the side rails, first making the jigs and then cutting them out. I cut the rebate with my Excel knife on the one seat rail, that is slow and careful work. Off to some more work, I am making the chair for the PetitPointers chair challenge and the due date are Thursday, 31 March, so I hope to have it finished by then.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Queen Anne Chair: The Cabriole Legs, Starting Assembly

Yesterday was spent on making jigs for the front rail, it is curved in the front and hollowed out a bit in the bottom. I cut the tenons first as you can see on the bottom piece between the two legs, it is the second chair's rail that I will cut later today. I also cut all the mortises in the legs, I know the bottom mortise on the leg looks funny but that is how the antique was made. On the jigs I cut only one side of the curves and when I have done one half, I just flipped it over, that way you are assured of matching sides. I cut the bottom hollow out first, you won't be able to cut that after you cut the front curve, because it rocks in the jig.

Starting to look good I think. I am going to chuck the legs back in the lathe and see if I can curve the feet, I found some nail file pads that is easily cut into little strips that worked wonderfully on the back stretcher. I still need to figure out how I am going to cut the curved rabbet for where the chair seat needs to fit in. Today I plan on turning some more of the stretchers.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Queen Anne Chair: The Rear Legs, Assembly Finished, Well Almost

I spent yesterday making chamfers on the chair legs, I was so scared that I will ruin the leg that I almost abandoned the idea, but when a Google search revealed that they all looked liked this, I knew I would never be happy if I didn't make it authentically. I just used a small needle file and emory board to make the chamfers. Just click on the pictures if you want to see them bigger.

Once I got the hang of it, it went rather quickly. Next I glued it all together, the backsplat, shoe and crest rail will be done last, so I will spent the next few days on the front legs and the rest of the seat rails and stretcher bars. I have gained a new respect for the artisans out there, it is a whole lot of hard work and very time consuming to make miniatures with this level of detail.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Queen Anne Chair: The Rear Legs, Starting Assembly

Well, I had a bit of trouble figuring out how I am going to cut the tenons on the the very thin top of the rear legs, I had a light bulb moment this morning and taped all four legs together, fortunately I still haven't cut off my little handles so I could still use them in squaring everything. I love my girls Lego blocks from when they were small, you can so easily use them to build any jig that you need. Here I am busy cutting my tenons on the top where the top rail will fit in.

Time for the handles to go, using the same Lego jig to keep everything tightly together and my fingers out of harms way, unfortunately, when making such small cuts you can't use the blade guard, it jams.

The handles are gone and I have four perfect chair legs.

I spent a lot of time yesterday turning the bottom stretcher bar and I also cut the rear seat rail. I found the USA 1915 one cent between my late Mom-in-laws treasures yesterday, her brother has been in California for about 30 years and she must have brought it back from one of her visits.

The rear legs still have a lot of fine details that needs to be done before I can glue it together, but I just had to see how it is going to look :-) The stretcher bar that you see on the drawing of the chair is the front one that is lower than the back one.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Queen Anne Chair: The Rear Legs

I started with the rear legs and once again I made a jig, I am first going to cut the inside profile, make sure that your wood blank fits tightly in the jig. This time I got clever and first cut away most of the waste with a fretsaw before I cut it in the drill press, it will also prolong the life of my cutter. I am using cherry wood for my chair, it will be stained walnut to represent the original. Once again I added 3/8" on each side, that will keep everything square for now.

Next I made a jig for the outside profile of the leg, the little handles on each side is very important to keep it square since the one side is mostly curved now. Remember to mark your top so that you don't get confused.

I am making my chairs with full joinery like real ones, so now I put all four the legs in my Lego jig and marked off where I am going to cut mortises for the side seat rail and the stretcher bars, doing it this way ensures that the chairs will all have their mortises in exactly the same place. Mine is cut already because I forgot to take photos before the time :-)

Next the legs are put back in the first jig and clamped in a vice, and now the mortises are drilled with a 3/64" cutter (1mm) to the depth that you need, your pattern will tell you.

After all that you need to turn the legs 90 degrees to cut the mortises for the back seat rail and stretcher bar. Remember that you need mirror images now for each chair, once again I used my Lego jig to make sure everything are marked on the same level.

Once again the leg is put back into the first jig for cutting the mortise for the seat rail and drilling a hole for the stetcher bar. To be continued................


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Queen Anne Chair: Cutting the cabriole legs

Here the first cut is done on the chair leg, I marked the profile edge with a black marker, if you cut into it you will have to start over again with a jig, so be careful. It is a good idea to also mark on your leg post which side is the top of the leg, it is easy to get confused when you take it out and put it back for the next cut.

Here you can see the second cut, the leg was turned 90 degrees for this cut, move the jig from the left to the right while you are cutting, it takes quite a few passes before it is done. I am using a 1/8" thick cutter and the pin is the same diameter, there is a tiny space between the cutter and the pin, they are not touching and shouldn't. You basically cut until the pin glides smoothly against your jig profile. Of course a normal drill press moves up and down so you have to find a way to keep it locked on the height that you want.

Here you can see the leg after the first two cuts.

Now we need to move the leg to the other side of the jig for the last two cuts, to cut the back profile of the knee. you can see one of the flat sides are facing you.

The cut finished.

Turn the leg again 90 degrees for the last cut, your last flat side on the wood will face you.

Next I put the leg in a lathe to turn the feet, you can do this by hand too, I only turned it flat, the curve from the bottom will be done by hand.

The cutting on all four legs are finished, now there still is a lot of hand finishing left to do, at the moment they are square, but we want them nice and round.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Queen Anne Chair: Cabriole legs Jig making

I bought this book last year after I saw it in my mini club's library, the patterns are for making full size furniture, but I just fell in love with the Queen Anne chair and I have finally started to make two of them. As I work on them I will describe the process.

The first step was to scan the pattern and reduce it to 1/12 scale, I then printed a few copies because they are going to be cut up to use as patterns in making jigs. I am going to use Tom Waldon's pin routing instructions to make jigs so that all my parts will be symmetrical, it is a lot of work BUT you will have perfectly matching chair legs and if you ever want to make some more chairs in the future your jigs will be all ready. In his list of articles look for those that mentions pin routing, it looks complicated but I often find that step 2 makes more sense after I have done step 1, etc.

First I cut the leg pattern out from my pattern, add about 3/8" on both sides lenghtwise, these handles will help to keep everything square. Cut a piece of 1/16" thick plywood to this length, the width is up to you, but needs to be big enough to hold comfortably. Glue your two chair leg profiles on each side making sure that the top of your legs are lying the same direction, mine are already cut out in the photo. Next you need to cut out your profiles either with a jigsaw or handsaw (I didn't cut out the foot part as it is very small and I am going to turn that part on the lathe afterwards). Next you need to make sure that the edges of your leg profiles are smooth and to your satisfaction.

Next turn your piece of wood upside down and glue two ends on, the same length as the width of your jig, mine is from 1/16" thick wood, the height is 1/4" and is determined by the size of the leg measured over its widest point. Next you need to add two stop blocks that are 1/4" in from the side because you need your leg post to stop against something solid. Don't glue anything in the middle, you are going to need the space to push your leg post out after each cut from the opposite side, with a brush handle or something similar.

Here you can see that I have put two of my leg posts in to check that everything is flush.

Now I have added a top that is about 1/32" smaller on each side so as not to interfere with the cutting process on the drill press. You can see my first leg post is in the jig and ready to be cut. Next installment to follow soon...........


Friday, March 11, 2011

French Knot Rug

Although I haven't posted much in the last two months that doesn't mean that I have been idle, in fact, I have been very busy.
I have progressed a lot on my french knot rug, 3/4 of it is done. The rug is stitched on 40 count silk gauze using one strand of DMC.

My commission pieces for Natalia are all done, but I will wait until she has received it before I post any pictures of the last piece that I made for her.

I am starting a new project and will post a kind of a tutorial for it over the next few weeks, it will involve furniture making.