Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lots of Updates

Real life has been quite hectic these last few weeks, but I finally have a few things to show you.

First of all I bought this lovely antique chest of drawers and shelves for my workroom, I am really enjoying my new room and working in there. The shelves are typical of antique country furniture from the Cape Province in South Africa and made from indigenous Yellowwood.

This is the table that I taught at our Johannesburg club two weeks ago. It is a Sheraton style tilt-top table.

The original table that I copied is in the Metropolitan museum in New York, the table is made from Mopane wood and to give you an idea of size the top is 47mm by 33mm (1 7/8" by 1 5/16") big.

This table was the first piece of furniture that I made at our club when I joined in January of last year and the first time ever that I made cabriole legs. I never had time in class to do the molding for the table edge and I wasn't too sure how I wanted it to look either, so this week I took out my new cutters that I bought in NY and played a bit, I am quite pleased with the final result.

And then, I am still busy making Chippendale chairs, when I came back from Castine I found a big order from England for a set of six chairs that will grace a dining room in my inbox. With another six chairs still outstanding as well, I had to re-think about how I made the first few, as there was quite a few steps that caused me troubles first time round. The first thing that I did was to build two jigs for hollowing out the back splats, last time round I did it with a homemade attachment to my Dremel, although the results were fine, I just didn't enjoy the process at all.. My cutter isn't deep enough to do it in one cut, here you can see the front face of the splat being shaped only half way down, after this I lower the cutter a bit until I have gone the whole depth, something that I didn't think of doing first time round and the reason that I didn't build a jig then. This time round the brain cells worked a bit better ;-)

And here are six back splats with all the shaping done and all the holes have been sawed out by hand with a jewelers saw, all six the crest rails has also been shaped, when making sets of chairs it is important to do all the steps together while the machines are set up, you just never get the set-ups exactly the same again.

I refined the gluing jig as most of the joints are at an angle making accurate gluing difficult and last time round I had to unglue some joints and do them over as they slightly moved out of square.. I first cut out a raised piece to fit in between the back legs and glued pieces of wood on top of the insert to correctly position the back seat rail and stretcher. While I wait for glue to dry I always do some of the next steps, in this case shaping the back of the legs at the top where it is supposed to be nice and round, the left upper leg on the glued back on the left already has this done.

Showing the jig from the side.

Enjoy what is left of the week and hope you all have a fantastic weekend.


Giac said...

Hello Elga,
You have been busy the past few weeks. I'm so happy you're enjoying your new workroon, and I have to say I am in awe of your skills. The chairbakcs allready look wonderful as is, i can't wait to see the finished chairs. It's wonderful to see how you make things and your explanations are so appreciated.
Have a wodnerful day, Big hug,

Catherine said...

Your work room looks great, I love the antique chest of drawers.

Congratulations on your order for six chairs and to whom ever the lucky person is that ordered them is. It looks like you are making them in Blackwood too. The tables you made are beautiful!

How is the brass bed going? I suppose you haven't had time to do much for yourself.

otterine said...

Your work is always so impressive! :]

Dorien Litjes said...

Dear Elga,

It's amazing what you make out of wood !!One can see that you enjoy doing these things. And I'm a bit jealous of your nice working place. I can not wait till my children leave the nest... ;-)

Lots of greetings Dorien

Pedrete said...

es un trabajo maravilloso. Yo he sido durante muchos años carpintero, y me sorprende que se pueda trabajar la madera de la manera en que usted lo hace, teniendo en cuenta que es una escala muy pequeña. ¡Reciba mi más sincera enhorabuena!

elly in amsterdam said...

Fantastic Elga! I also love your explanations.
Your new workroom looks lovely

miraclechicken said...

Very interesting! I love in progress shots---

Lucy Coles said...

Your furniture is always beautiful. I love the delicate work in the chairs.

Sanschichis said...

J'admire beaucoup le travail de ces chaises. J'ai hâte de les voir terminées!
Quel plaisir ce doit être de travailler dans un si grand atelier avec la vue sur le jardin ... et si bien rangé!