Monday, 19 August 2013

Silky stuff

A few posts ago I mentioned that I had used some very green Silky Oak for a Continuous Arm crest rail. It was lovely stuff to work with, almost reminiscent of the White Oak I used with Curtis Buchanan to make my first Windsor Chair. Just as it's name suggests though, it has a distinct 'waxiness' to it, which I'm sure will be interesting when it comes time to apply the finish to it. Here's a few pic's of it coming apart from the log and in the chair. Nice ray fleck, don't know about the pink colour yet! Perhaps another opportunity to seal it with shellac first....

Whilst on the Continuous Arm subject I've just spent a very enjoyable week with Peter and Kathy who came up to make a pair of chairs with me. In a new twist to the Continuous Arm Course, I'm trialling offering a choice of making either the rocker or chair version during the course. As both are exactly the same from the seat upwards, there's really not much divergence in the process. So this week Peter made a chair and Kathy and I made the rocker. It was a great week in good company. Thanks guys.

Happy to say it worked out just fine making both rocker and chair at the same time. Given the good company, I even used a piece of my coveted Treasury Gardens English Oak for Kathy's rocker blades. The new jig I made for routing the rocker legs worked a treat too. I'm crediting a small part of it's ease of use to a new router bit I tried for the first time.

This little beauty is a 1/2"  tri-fluted spiral up-cut bit. The fine notches in the edges of the flutes ensure that shavings are severed into minor shavings, rather than long continuous, thick ones. This in turn lessens the drag on the bit. It was very noticeable just how smoothly this new bit cut compared with others I've used. Lets face it, when your routing the ends of Hard Maple, any advantage is a bonus.

It's been rainy few weeks of late, so I'm looking forward to Spring being just around the corner. With it will come a new chapter for us and a good deal of hard work also. I can't wait.


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