Monday, May 24, 2010

Maloof Inspired Rocker, Charles Brock Plans 6

This weekend I got some good shop time since it was raining both days. I was able to get quite a bit done and I have to say that I'm really happy with the way this chair is looking.
I started by using the spindle pattern and marking out 7 spindles for the back of the chair. The good thing is that they are designed so that you can cut them out like nesting spoons, thus saving alot of wood. After bandsawing four from one board and three from another I cleaned up the cut marks on the spindle sander, how appropriate.

Next I took a posterboard cutout of the front profile of the spindles and transfered the marks to both sides of the spindles. I then took the stock back to the bandsaw and again to the spindle sander. Once everything was cleaned up and shaped correctly I marked a centerline on the front and back to aid in shaping and lines on the side to help me maintain the right shape. With a spindle resting on the table I used a roundover bit in my small router to shape the long top taper of the spindle. I then mounted the spindle in the vice and shaped a slight round on the front and a steep round on the back with the microplane, I also shaped a round on the short bottom taper.

After sanding each spindle with 60 grit on my random orbit sander I marked each to length and shaped the bottom with a 1/2 inch tapered dowel cutter and the top with a 3/8th inch tapered dowel cutter both of which Mr. Brock recommends in the DVD. With each spindle shaped and tapered I proceeded to sand them 80, 120, 180, and 220 grits.

With the spindles completed I sanded to headrest up to 220 grit and I sanded the inside of the back legs through 220 grit. After placing the spindles in place I attempted to fit the headrest but had to take it off a couple of times and trim and adjust a few of the spindles. Once everything was adjusted and fitted correctly I was able to screw the headrest in place. At this point I noticed that a couple of the spindles that had cut outs that did not exactly line up, so I marked the cut outs that needed to be adjusted and called it a weekend. Next weekend I plan on cutting the stock for the rockers and laminating them. At this point I cannot wait to start oiling this chair up and seeing the grain come to life.
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."
- Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Maloof Inspired Rocker, Charles Brock Plans 5

I didn't put up a post last weekend, so today's post will cover two weekends. Last weekend I did complete shaping the arms, fortunately they did end up both being the same shape. That was one of my biggest worries about this build because every time someone sits in the chair they would notice that. I'm sure that there will be many imperfections that no one but me will notice, but if the arms weren't right I feel like everyone would notice.
I had roughed out the shape of the left arm and glued it in place, I used this one as a visual guide to rough out the right arm, once I was happy with the shape I attached the arm in place again with glue and a 3 inch #10 spax screw.
The next day I refined the shape of both arms with the microplane shaping tool, some files and rasps, followed by powersanding. I've found that using the microplanes with the rough blades shapes very quickly, using the fine blades and cutting with the grain smooths the shape by removing some wood, but mostly by removing the cut marks from the rough blades. I then refine some of the transitions and tighter curves with round rasps and 60 grit sandpaper wrapped around a dowel. After this I started with 60 grit discs on the random orbit sander, then 80, 120, 180, 220. If you don't like sanding, do NOT attempt this project, I've turned more wood into dust and shavings that any other project.
The seat is now complete, even the pommel detail with a nice upsweep. With the arms attached and the seat finished I moved on to the headrest for this weekend. Following Mr. Brock's instructions for the headrest I cut it to size and then came up with a shape I liked for the bottom of the headrest. Leaving the top square I marked the positions for the holes I needed to drill for the top of the spindles to go in to.
With the holes drilled and the bottom shaped I then cut a curve into the top of the headrest and drilled into the sides of the backlegs to attach the headrest. After removing the headrest I started shaping the headrest first with the angle grinder and the cutzall blade, then a sanding disc, some touch up with microplane and on to the 60 grit random orbit sander. Once I was happy with the shape I attached the headrest and started shaping the horns on the backlegs and the top of the legs blend in with the headrest. The blending was mostly done with the microplanes, I got it mostly roughed in today, but I have to tell you that all this shaping is manual labor, I sweated through a couple of shirts today. Here it is, next weekend I'm cleaning up the headrest and the horns, finishing sanding on the back legs and hopefully starting on the spindles.

It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.
J. K. Rowling

Monday, May 3, 2010

Maloof Inspired Rocker, Charles Brock Plans 4

This weekend I got to some of the really fun parts of the Maloof inspired rocker, shaping some of the parts. To start with I refined some of the cuts on the back legs and smoothed the edges on my oscillating spindle sander. I then chocked up a round over bit in my small hand held router and rounded over the edges I could get to on the back legs. I stayed away from the area of the seat, the arm joint and the headrest. Mr. Brock doesn't talk about routing the edges but what I wanted was to ease the edges and leave myself with a guide for shaping the other areas.
Next I screwed the legs in place and using my micro planes rasps I fit the curves in the legs to the seat, careful not to damage the seat, I cut the legs until it was flush with the seat. I also used the New Wave sanding system
to refine the shape.
I laid out the holes for the back spindles in the back of the seat and after removing the legs I drilled the 1/2 inch holes and rounded over the underside and top of the seat. After a little more sanding on the seat I glued the legs in place and screwed the 3 inch screws in place, one of the back screws ended up going right through on of the spindle holes so those with have to be removed after the glue dries and replaced after the spindles are installed.
I started shaping the arms after aligning them and drilling the dowel holes in the arms to attach them to the front legs. I rough cut the shape of one arm on the bandsaw and then started shaping it with the microplanes which are quickly becoming my favorite way to carve things. Now I have to rough cut the mate to match and see if I can carve them both to equal, pleasing, comfortable shapes.

"Of course the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you--if you don't play, you can't win."
- Robert Heinlein