Process and Romance

I think there's a lot of romance associated with making something like a chair from something like a pile of lumber. But I find it is more process than romance. In the simplest terms, you get a tree, cut it into pieces, dry them out, cut them into smaller pieces, cut them into smaller pieces yet, cut a bunch of joinery or shapes (or both) into those pieces, then assemble them together into something new like a chair or a cabinet or a boat or a house. Most of that lumber from the previous post got cut up into the piles of parts stacked in the photo below.


Here are the tabletops cut, planed and glued back together. There are technical and practical reasons why you go through this, rather than just getting one board as wide as you need. I'll save you the long explanation, but it's part of the process.


Onto the chairs now. It takes a bit of cutting and shaping to get a pile of rectangular lumber into a chair. Here is the aftermath of trimming a chair leg to a pattern. The process is sort of like using a stencil to get the letters on your yard sale sign or ransom note to be identical, except you aren't masking off paint, you're cutting off wood. And it throws a pretty amazing amount of wood chips and dust around. Right here it looks a bit romanticized. In the shop it's primarily a mess. A loud, dusty, sometimes hazardous mess. But it's part of the process, and if you're lucky enough to enjoy it, it's a rather nice way to pass time.


After shaping the legs, the back legs still need some more sculpting so that they twist just so into the curve of the backrest. That's what I'm doing here on the bandsaw. (#selfie alert!)


Stacked chair parts. Seat blanks are piled in back, and from left to right are: backrests, front legs, rear legs.


And here are the parts for one chair. It won't be long now...