Friday, March 29, 2013

                Louis XVI chairs to go with the Dining table I made for the Beach's.  See the earlier post for that project. Sure no problem I said. What was I thinking!!
   So where to begin was my first question. How about with the easiest part the leg blanks. The only piece that started as a square, straight blank. Every piece after that had some sort of curve to it.
The legs had numerous steps to get them to completion, lots of jigs etc. Oh yeah! there was the 384 flutes to rout out and clean up. Below is the stack of leg blanks, front rail,side rail, and back rails.

                      You could say this generated quite a bit of fuel for the Chiminea at home!

This is an early mock up to check back angles and seat height for the client to sit in.

       Working on the crest rail here. More curves and angles than one knows what to do with.

 This is how I addressed the back leg detail. The legs where angled at 4 degrees I think, and to be honest I can't remember what the upper part of the back legs was reclined at. The problem was how to make it in two pieces and have strength for the stress of someone leaning back after that great meal was finished.

   Here it is refined with the rail  mortices and lay out lines for the back leg turnings.

          Back to the legs. I had my Mike Chavez turn the legs for me. Once that was complete it was on to the 384 flutes that had to be routed on a tapering leg. I came up with this jig for a laminate trimmer with a 1/4 " core box bit to rough them out. Then they all had to be cleaned up to make it a true radius then finished with a small detail at the bottom termination. That was fun for days!!

This is a shot of the little jig used clean out a recess for the paterae.

The stack of finished front legs.

This shows the completed rails with the tenons cut and the rabbit for upholstery and the square detail that will be done with gold metallic paint.

This is almost every part needed to complete a chair.

Starting to come together here.

A couple of shots on the crest rail and bottom upholstery rail.
What can't be seen is the domino I used to join the rails to the leg. The Festool domino machine is second to none for this type of work. It made it way easier than doing a mortice and tenon and is far superior to a couple of dowels.

First dry run on glueing up the fronts to the back. Once I had them all together there was a lot of carving to get the detail around the crest and upholstery rails finished.

This is the gadrooned cap that sat atop each crest rail.

The line up of twelve completed chairs. But we're not done yet we have to turn two of them into arm chairs.

This is the blank for the arms. 

The arm and support column with all it's little details.

One detail I was fretting about was the reeding at the column base. This is an area about 1 1/8" x 2 1/4"
with a series of 1/8" reeds. Carving them was out, to time consuming. A router with a pt cut round 1/16" Radius. That was all good but how to keep the spacing exact. Bumping the fence on the router table was not going to be exact. Then I remembered my 30 year old Incra jig. Yep!!  That was the ticket. Took about 15 minutes maybe and was perfect.

Sorry the pictures are lacking in some of the later steps. I guess I got more concerned with finally finishing this project than documenting it.
Below is one of the arm chairs in primer.

Here is a completed side chair.

Arm detail before some of the patinating took place.

One of the finished arm chairs awaiting approval at Emily Owens Design. 
Thanks Emily and the Beach's for this wonderful and challenging project.
I don't think there are to many sets of twelve Louis XVI chairs being built by hand in the world today.

Next I just want to build a square box again!!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Here is the inspiration picture a set of twelve dining chairs that will suround  the Louis XVI Dining table in a previous post.
Starting to prime them for the finish today.