Just in time for the half-term break, I got my arm chair all glued up at college. It’s quite a relief to finally reach this stage of this build in particular! Even though, I still have a bit of sanding and tidying up to do. To be honest, I’m not sure I would have had enough cramps, had I decided to do this one in my own workshop…
Don’t worry; there’s nothing wrong with your monitor or your screen resolution – you really are seeing eight sash cramps and four 12in G-cramps!!!
Assembly was fairly smooth, considering all that had to go together at the same time. That’s essentially everything apart from the back rail and slats, which were only fitted dry – the seat, four curved legs, one stretcher rail assembly and two arms. If I’d really to strain myself then, yes, I could probably have glued the back components in at the same time…! 😕 Thanks to some double-sided tape (used to hold all the cramping blocks in position), I was just about able to manage this one on my own and I don’t think it took any longer than ten-minutes – by which time (rather disappointingly), I could see that Titebond’s “Extend” wood glue was already starting to go off… Then again, they say that standard PVA has an open time of five-minutes in the college workshops so, I guess it’s still some improvement… Cascamite (urea formaldehyde) would’ve given me an advantage here but, at the same time, I’ve always been led to believe it’s quite ‘brittle‘ once dry and shouldn’t be used in chair assemblies as it can quite easily ‘crack‘ and fail under stress.
That was Thursday…
On Friday morning, I began by reinforcing the front corner seat joints (notches, basically) with one walnut Miller Dowel in each:
In my opinion, it’s a shame we don’t see Miller Dowels being used by woodworkers more often… Perhaps the recognition isn’t there? They’re much easier to use than standard dowels and, assuming you can live with or make a contrasting feature of the exposed end-grain, they’re a much cheaper alternative to buying a Festool Domino jointer for one-off jobs!! 😉
After lunch (and much sanding and final shaping around the arms, while I still had good accessibility), it was time to glue the back rest in place:
Again, I used the Titebond Extend and, yet again, it was already beginning to to “rubbery” as I tightened up the final cramp. Only four sash cramps, this time! 😉 The two smaller F-cramps are only they to hold the bridle joint together – I’m not sure but, the timber may have moved where I’ve removed material for these mortises, which could’ve released inherent stresses within the wood… Or, my sawing and chiselling just wasn’t as accurate as I thought! 🙂 After half-term (and, also, the practical exam), I’ll reinforce these joints with a pair of (probably 8mm) walnut dowels. I could’ve risked this late last night but, as most glues need a good twenty-four hours to fully cure, I thought I would err on the side of caution – plus, I needed some time to get all my spare wood in the back of my car…
Yep, this is all for the side table I intend to exhibit alongside this chair at the Inspire exhibition in July. I’ll be documenting the progress as it happens (no rush!) over on the UKworkshop forum. But, of course, I’ll also be keeping you up to date with information, right here, as well. The design remains pretty similar to how it was before. Except, I’ve chopped 100mm off the legs and the top will now be walnut-veneered MDF with ash lippings (curved on two opposing sides). I still need to re-arrange the proportions on the rails and slats but, otherwise, I’m very happy with the design:
Thanks for reading.