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Thread: The Great Morris Chair project

  1. #661
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Rochester, NY
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    681
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Christopher View Post
    My experience with steam bending. your box might be sealed too well. the steam will generate a lot of pressure-if there is no escape it will either blow out the steam hose or blow out the sides. I'd get rid of the gasket and not latch the door closed to allow the pressure to escape for safety.
    Oops, forgot to mention there are two holes in the bottom of the box - one in the rear for condensation and one near the front for steam. The box is used tilted up at the front, so I guess the idea is that water will run downhill and out the hole in back, and steam will fill the box and then exit the bottom holes. I used it today and this is what happened anyway! The Earlex steam generator also has a pressure relief valve for safety.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Christopher View Post
    I found it much easier to bend the stock if it was overlength. its difficult to get the last 8" or so inches of the bend to take if it is cut to length already. I would be worried about heating and bending the wood after you laminate as it would possibly compromise your glue joint?
    Yeah, I did make my form a little long. Glad it wasn't for nothing

    What I meant regarding the lamination was I will steam bend the two halves first, let them totally cool and dry, then glue them together on the form. I agree that heating after gluing would be a bad idea!

    Here is a test piece in the form after steaming. No pictures of the operation as I was focused on not screwing it up, maybe I'll get some next time. The piece is about 1/2" thick and I steamed it for a little over 30 minutes. It seemed to take to the form easily enough, although I'm glad there were two of us.

    IMAG0186.40.jpg

    There is a plywood "strap" on top of the work piece, both to help prevent splintering and to provide a buffer for the clamps. I'm thinking I'll wait the better part of a week before taking it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Christopher View Post
    good luck.
    Thanks, I'm gonna need it!

    Mike
    Last edited by Michael Peet; 11-29-2015 at 7:11 PM.

  2. #662
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
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    22
    Finally back at the Chair!
    20151125_110010.jpg
    Quietly the wrapped parts have been sitting for two years in a corner waiting for me to work my way through a move, new shop (and tools!) and assorted "more important" projects. I completed the 2 ottomans in 2013 but today was the day for a restart on the chairs.
    20151125_110348.jpg20151125_112829.jpg
    It took more than a little time to figure out where I was and what was next. Everything went together again and I spent a couple hours fitting arms to the top rails of one chair (the 1st chair was already fitted) and the spindles into the mortises.
    20151125_112902.jpg20151130_104544.jpg
    I started to break out material for the backs. I'm going to go with the flat rails for the back as per the plans.

    I have a fair bit of concern about how to do the seat. I'm not too keen on the floating cushion of the plans so I've been re-reading the complete thread again (on page 18 of 45) to determine how others have dealt with the seat question.

    More later,
    Last edited by Dennis Pickerl; 12-01-2015 at 2:38 PM.
    Its all good when its done. If its not good, its not done.

  3. #663
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    681

    Steam Bent Armrest Prototype

    Happy New Year everyone

    This unusually warm winter has been better for my geocaching stats than my progress on this project. However over the last few weeks I did find the time to steam bend the two halves of my prototype armrest, laminate them together, cut the curved board to its final shape, and give it a good sanding.

    I see now why most people are not steam bending. While the second half bent more than the first, it was still not as much as I had hoped - even with spending 50% longer in the steam box than the 1-hour-per-inch rule of thumb. The lamination step took up most of the slack, but I still have about 1/2" of spring back on the finished piece. On the plus side the seam is virtually invisible.

    P1020928.20.jpg

    At least now I know it *can* be done this way. I am not going to build a new form with a tighter bend to compensate, so my choice seems to be between under-bent or under-thickness armrests. I will consider this while I work on the legs.

    Mike

  4. #664
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    Looking good, Dennis. Looks like you achieved a nice fit with the tenons poking through the top of the armrests.

    Everyone seems to be doing a slightly different version of these chairs. I love it!

    Mike

  5. #665
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
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    Mike: That looks good to me. As long as both are pretty much the same you are golden. I traced the curve of the arm on to the top of the sides and fitted to the under side of the arm. That arm looks great and the glue line is invisible.
    Its all good when its done. If its not good, its not done.

  6. #666
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY
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    681
    Well I've been beset by equipment problems over the last couple weeks.

    Last weekend the key that holds the pulley on the lower wheel of my bandsaw popped out, and I couldn't figure out why it was cutting so slowly and making weird noises until the belt came off too . After that it was obvious and I found the missing key right on the ground inside the saw. It's cutting fine again now. I'll have to remember to check it once a year or so to tighten those pesky set screws..

    This past weekend my water heater developed a leak and dumped (at least) 40 gallons of water into the basement over the course of a day or two, which conveniently is where my shop is located. Fortunately all I lost were a few cardboard boxes, and the water magically avoided all of my major equipment. I got the heater replaced and cranked up my big old dehumidifier, and as of this morning the humidity was back down at a safe level.

    In spite of these setbacks I was able to get all 40 pieces rough cut for the chair legs. I am doing a 5 piece leg construction: two large inner core sandwiched between two 1/2" layers, with thin veneers on the other two sides. I want to have the leg tenons poking up through the armrests without a visible seam in them, hence the thick inner piece.

    Mike

  7. #667
    Join Date
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    The humidity is back down to a good level and I've been in thicknessing mode this weekend. I know, it would take but a couple hours to run these all through a planer. There's something relaxing about planing by hand though, and no machine to struggle down into the basement and maintain. I've gotten through the thick cores and about half the thicker veneers so far.

    My main workhorse - the #7 - and my #3-turned-scrub, a chunk of wax for the soles every now and then, and a garbage can for the shavings.
    P1020932.20.jpg

    A handful of the thicker veneers now at a hair over final thickness. I'll bring it all down to final dimensions after the leg is assembled.
    P1020933.20.jpg

    Mike

  8. #668
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    Feb 2007
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    Pittsburgh
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    12
    I just saw that there are 666 replies so I thought I'd change that

  9. #669
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    Sep 2008
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    Rochester, NY
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    My leg construction is done. After laminating the cores and thick veneers I noticed that some of the cores had small cracks in them. I don't know whether they developed after I started building the legs or if they were there all along. Envisioning a grim future in which the legs of my chairs slowly tore themselves apart, I made two new cores (and 4 more thick veneers) out of some sound pieces. I hope they stay that way.

    The last pieces I needed to make were the thinner veneers. I sawed a bunch of them a little over 1/8" thick on the bandsaw and planed them down to an even 1/8". Since planing thin material can be tricky and I had so many to do, I made yet another crutch to help me. The idea is that the runners along the inside of the channel are 1/8" thick, so when the plane stops cutting the work piece is 1/8" thick. A small, thinner block glued in at the end acts as a stop.
    P1020938.20.jpg

    The blade on my #7 is just wide enough (2-3/8") for this. Even so, it was cutting it close as I only had 1/16" to spare on each side when doing the glue-ups, but this was sufficient. Ordinarily I put a small amount of camber on this blade, but for this operation I sharpened a straight edge so I could get perfectly flat pieces.

    P1020939.20.jpg P1020943.20.jpg

    After the glue dried I planed down the legs to the final dimensions. I designed them for a final veneer thickness of 3/32", so here I am taking off 1/32" (the one on the right is done, the left side is still the original 1/8" thickness.) I actually used two marking gauges for this - one set to 1/32" and one set to the final 2-1/4" used after planing the opposite side.
    P1020946.20.jpg

    The last step was some simple cross cutting and now I have 8 legs, comprising 40 individual pieces and who knows how many hours of my life:
    P1020948.20.jpg

    Mike
    Last edited by Michael Peet; 03-20-2016 at 9:32 PM. Reason: Fixed dimension

  10. #670
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
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    22
    Wow! beautiful work.
    Its all good when its done. If its not good, its not done.

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