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Old 02-03-2018, 11:38 PM
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Default Staked Stool

My boat building career seems to be on hold for the time being. I don't have any money to build another one, and it looks like nobody is writing checks at the moment. I've been interested in chair building for a while, and I recall that Peter Galbert said he had gotten into chairs because it was something that could be done in a small space (he was in NYC at the time). I happen to have a new small workspace upstairs in my Brooklyn home, and the time seems right to follow up on my interest in chairs.

I picked a project that I thought would be suitable for an entry level task, and decided on a staked bench as my first project. This will seem juvenile after Sta2it's rocker, but it's turned out to be just right to get my feet wet.

There was a mystery plank hanging out in the boat shop scrap pile. Looked like walnut at first glance, but I picked it up and it weighed a ton. Brought it home and put it on the bench...



I thought it might be padauk, but it turns out to be bubinga. That's nice, because it will match the veneer I have for my eventual below bench tool cabinet. Seemed like a good omen, so that became the new stool top.

Chris Schwarz's book on staked furniture is what got me thinking about this in the first place, and I used his ideas to design the stool. I know all about buttocks and diagonals, waterlines and rabbets from boat building, but now I was learning about rake and splay, sightlines, and resultant angles. Nice bit of complexity, not unlike boats. I made a 1/2 scale model first, with pine and coathanger wire.


Legs are set in straight, then bent to the rake and splay angles.





Sightlines are established from the model, and the resultant angle is found. That angle is used to set up the drill press for boring the leg mortises in the top.



The resultant angle is set up with a bevel parallel to the sight line.



Next time, I'll lay out the sightlines on the stool top, and set up the drill press. Thanks for looking!
Cricket
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Staked Stool

Nothing like drilling compound angles.... Watching.
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Old 02-04-2018, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: Staked Stool

Cool project! Looking forward to seeing this develop.

neil
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Old 02-04-2018, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Staked Stool

I'm glad to see you leading the way on this. I have an interest as well in staked furniture, but cold feet. Perhaps this will be just the nudge I need. Thanks for doing this.
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Old 02-04-2018, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Staked Stool

Thanks guys. I have found Chris Schwarz's book to be very useful for this stuff, with clear explanations. He's an accomplished chair builder too, with a clean eye. I quite like his take on the Welsh stick chair.

Anyway, on to boring those compound angles. A lot of bodgers do this with brace and bit, using simple angle blocks to help sight the bore. I'm happy using a drill press, and made a jig to standardize the bores. If you set up a bevel on the model's sight line, and record the pitch of the clothes hanger leg, this is the resultant angle, a combination of rake and splay along the sight line. So the drill press table is set to this angle, 15 deg. in this case. Rather than fool with tilting the table, I made a hinged jig as suggested.


Piano hinge goes on the inside of the fold.


Open the jig and wedge a block in there so the platform is at the correct angle. Once everything was set, I screwed the platform to the block so nothing would move, and clamped the jig to the drill press table.


The piece is skewed on the table, such that the sight lines are in line with the centerline of drill bit and column. I marked lines on the table so I could easily come back to the same position.





This is my setup block, and I checked the bore by inserting a dowel in the hole. The tenons on this stool are tapered, with 5/8" being the diameter at the small end. Then I went for the real thing. Holes are bored at 5/8" and tapered later on the same jig.




Came out pretty good.

I used a fairly inexpensive tool from Veritas to bore the tapers. This goes in the drill press, and the stool top goes right back in the same position.







And there we are. In actuality, as I shaped the legs I found I needed to go a little deeper with the bore, so I had to reset the bit and bore a little further. Also, the throw of the press is not enough to get the whole bore and still clear the end of the bit. So I had to chuck the bit, lower the table, then put the top on and crank the table up into the stool top. Fussy, but it works, and it was pretty easy to get the top reoriented each time.

Stay tuned....
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Staked Stool

Very interesting, some good ideas to put in the back of my head. What a reamer!
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Staked Stool

I also thank you for showing this method so well Great!!

Regards,

Rob
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Staked Stool

With the tapered mortises done, I moved on to the legs. I did not design, or draw this bench to scale, just climbed up on the ladder and pulled down some scraps and off-cuts to see what I had that was straight grained enough to get the legs and stretchers out of. I had some funny rips left over from a canoe paddle workshop I did at the boatshop a while back. One of the paddles was cherry, and the leftovers from that were pretty nice, so that became the legs and stretchers.


The offcuts between the grip and the blade of these paddles is what I found to make the legs from.

The thickness of the ripped offcuts determined the scale of the legs, and hence the stretchers. I got out 6 leg blanks assuming I could get 4 to finish nicely and planed them to 1-3/8" square. Then I laid out a curve onto one of the blanks with the max thickness somewhere close to where the spindles would join the leg pairs.



I don't have a bandsaw up here yet, so I went back out to the boat shop to cut them out and do some shaping.





I roughed out the tenon on the leg, and then used a spar gauge to lay out the 8 siding. There's a formula for the spacing of the gauge which I forget right now, but I have a couple laying around so just grabbed one. I think the pics are self explanatory, but the gauge is able to follow a tapering curve, always marking out the correct spacing for an octagon at any section along the length.





Then it's onto the shave horse with draw knife and spoke shave to rough out the 8 siding.



Chris Bickford built this pony, and I am borrowing it for a while. I'll make my own soon, if this chair things takes. It's cold in the boatshop, and kind of empty with no big boat in there, so I took it home to my little shop where I can work in my sock feet.



Next time, we'll start fitting the tenons to the seat. Thanks for looking!
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Staked Stool

What in the world are the little whale shaped devices with the wire snouts?
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Staked Stool

Those whales are called ducks which are really spline weights, and the prong goes down in a little groove in the top of a plastic spline. The weights are used to hold the spline in a curve, mostly used for boat building, but equally useful in furniture layout. The ducks are solid lead, so very heavy.




Last edited by Cricket; 02-10-2018 at 03:34 PM. Reason: added image
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