Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Gorman Bench

Now where was I ?
oh yeah, Cape Breton Island.
Summer time.
‘The Gorman Commission’

Sounds impressive no?

; )

It’s a bench in cherry I made during my so called summer ‘vacation‘.
Inspired by an authentic Danish made, mid-modern rocking chair.
The two pieces will share a space in my clients living room so they had to be able to sit well together.
The first photograph shows my ‘final’ sketch after 37 previous drawings and design considerations.
( yes, I counted )
Full size drawings are extremely helpful in furniture making.

The parts can now easily be measured and manufactured with confidence working from my diagram.
Leg blanks are laid over the diagram and joinery options and decisions become apparent.
Full scale drawings assist in joinery lay out.
Tenons are first.
'Make mine a double...'
A careful lay-out to mortise.
My weapons of choice to begin.
Two sliding bevel gauges and some carefully placed tape for a depth 'suggestion' ?
The chisel follows. A quick jig out of scrap wood keeps my angle in check.
Tenons in the morning.
A dry fit and then onto the next one.
Once I had the leg joinery complete it was high time to address the arms and more specifically the bends. I’ve steamed a lot of wood through the years of boat building and wanted to attempt bending this 8/4 cherry wood. Not knowing the history of the wood I knew it could turn out bad in a hurry.
I gathered my kettle and steam box and put in a trial piece of cherry.
Steam box, pipe and kettle. The pipe is a snug fit into the kettle spout and then into a mating hole in the box bottom.
While it was ‘cooking’ I made a quick bending form from some 8/4 stock..
Shaping a bending form from 8/4 plank.
So, long story short…the moral of the story is this: if you’re not sure if your stock is air or kiln dried then steaming may not be an option. Kiln dried wood doesn’t bend very well. It’s brittle and tends to crack like my test piece did.
oh well….
Back to the path of bent lamination and not long after, success.
; )
Bent lamination is sometimes the only option.
spokeshave to refine the shape.
TOOL CHEST SPACE SAVING TIP: I only carry one set of arms for my three spokeshave bodies.-; )
A card scraper compliments the curves.
A diamond stone is the perfect medium for card scraper sharpening. This is one of the new Diamond Whetstones from Trend.
With the arms roughly shaped I can move onto the crest rail joinery and 'dowels'.


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