Tuesday, April 5, 2011

more cockatoo chairs

these two left for boston yesterday ...
ok, here's the challenge ... make a windsor chair out of metal ... the backs legs and bow are made on a home made form of angle iron and plywood, loosely based on one of my chair back bending forms. the back legs and top rail are one continous piece of 3/8ths solid steel rod, bent slowly, by heating a section at time with a handheld acetylene torch. the rounded seat frame is bent the same way and welded on its own form. ditto for the front legs .
sam made these four chairs back in 2009 but we never documented the tricky part, drilling the holes in the back rails. so, sam when asked me for a refresher course, i decided to document it for him this time ... i started out as a windsor chair maker back in 1980 and i have made my share of them. i won't say how many as i know you probably won't believe me ...
we kept the original prototype luckily, and sam used it to make comparisons as he went along. there are no drawings of this chair so it was also helpful for laying out the spindle and 'cage and perch' spacings on the new chairs ...
the first step is to mark out and drill the holes in the midrail, but only halfway through ... it is really important to buy yourself some brand new cobalt drill bits for this task as the bow steel is hardened a bit by the heating and bending/shaping process. in the photo two photos above, the spindles are inserted in the mid rail and used to 'sight' the hole angles as you are drilling the top rail. for sure an old windsor drilling trick. when drilling these holes, you want to start small, like an 1/8th", and ALWAYS start perpendicular to the bow curve ... once you get started, gradually change your angle until it 'points' where you want it to go .. a little dab of 3 in 1 oil about halfway through the 18th" hole never hurts. after the 1/8th", then follow with a 3/16ths", which, in this case, was the final spindle size ... see the video below of enlarging an 1/8th" hole to a 3/16ths ... sometimes the start is a little tricky ..
video
i'm testing loading a video directly to my blog rather than putting it on you tube with a link ... let me know what you think ... better? worse? don't watch videos? don't care? thanks ...
sam fabricated and welded on the little metal feet and painted the waterjetted cockatoos with glossy enamel house paint. trevor did the seats in the client's outdoor worthy fabric ...
all for now ...

1 comment:

Jason Herrick said...

I swear... You can do it all. Such funky chairs. Drilling that metal after heating really must be a pain. Good call on new bits.

I love moving pictures(movies), and have tried several times to embed them in my blog but haven't had any good luck. Video IS the way images will get out in the very near future. Just ask any pro photographer who has had to learn how to video tape too.

Keep up the great work!!!!! :)