I tried a little experiment with furniture design. I made a little side table with trestle legs instead of straight legs. The case for the drawers is also suspended from the table top.
I started building a new rocker for Gail. This one is also to be a Maloof-style rocker. It’ll be made of cherry, with walnut accents. I started it just after Christmas (2012) when I finished the dining chairs. Here’s a gallery of the process.
I’ll update this post and add to the gallery as the chair progresses.
UPDATE 1 January 2013 – I spent much of New Year’s Day shaping the legs (see the third picture in the gallery). Work is great when the radio is good. Summer weekends are always good because there’s baseball on the radio. Today one of our local stations was playing the Beatles A-Z – the entire Beatles catalog in alphabetical order. Spokeshaving to the Beatles is a good thing.
UPDATE 20 January 2013 – Legs and armrests attached to the seat. It’s starting to look like a chair.
UPDATE 11 March 2013 – Spindles finished and inserted into seat and crest rail.
UPDATE 17 March 2013 – Crest rail shaped to resemble the outline of an owl’s head. Gail is an ornithologist, so I thought it was fitting.
UPDATE 24 March 2013 – Glued up first laminated rocker. These are made by milling 3/8″ x 2″ x 53″ strips of cherry. I added one 1/8″ strip of walnut for an accent in the stack. From top to bottom the stack is 2 cherry, 1 walnut, 4 cherry.
UPDATE 12 April 2013 – Shaped rockers are now attached to the chair. It’s now officially a rocking chair. Handmade with one or two imperfections, but that proves it’s handmade. Can you find them?
UPDATE 14 April 2013 – The legs are now carved into the rockers. All that’s left is final sanding and then finishing.
UPDATE 26 April 2013 – IT’S DONE. Gail’s new owl rocker.
I finished a set of six formal dining room chairs for Christmas this year.
They’re made of walnut and finished with a homemade version of Sam Maloof‘s special finish formula (also visit his shop, carried on by coworkers, here). I designed these chairs last winter with the typical Maloof joinery, The low arm rests serve as the stretchers for the legs, instead of stretchers under the legs. I read about Maloof using this technique in his biography. I made a prototype of the design last spring, liked it, and then made five more this summer and fall. The five new ones are a little different in the details of the crest rail and seat. Here’s a gallery of some other pieces.
I like building things. Here is a slideshow of some of my furniture pieces and other things around the house I’ve built over the years.
I love to build things. That probably comes with being a scientist: the challenge of making a bunch of things fit together. I’ve built much of the furniture we have in the house, plus a couple of canoes, clocks, and the like.