The other morning I was waiting with Erinn for the bus. We were at the end of the driveway, see below, and she said I think that's a moose over there. And sure enough, a big bull was standing in a mowed field across the road, about a 200 ft. away. He was close enough that we could see his breath in the cool morning. We watched him for about 5 min., until the bus showed up. He watched the bus and was still there after it left, all the kids' faces pressed to the windows, the younger kids waving to him. We used to have a small moose that would come around quite a bit, so much so he was named Manny. I wonder if this is Manny all grown up.
The other day I had one of those duh moments. Not that I have a hard time turning stretchers, but I always end up thinking there has got to be a better, or at least a more consistent way. They sometimes come out lopsided. I use a pattern from Drew Langsner's book a rough guide and just kind of eyeball it. And I'm not sure why I didn't think of this, I don't know, years ago, but I cut the pattern to create a pattern that I could place directly on the turning. This way I could see lumps and imbalances and correct them. Such a simple fix. Stretchers are harder, no, trickier to turn than they appear, especially the center one as it is very visible and also it tends to vibrate as it gets thinned out. Sometimes the muse takes her time.
In response to several inquiries regarding legs and rivings, I am going to start selling turned legs and posts as well as rivings for spindles and such. Around here, there is plenty of maple, as you can see below. I usually get my hard ( a.k.a. sugar and rock ) maple from a local firewood dealer who will pick out the better logs for me. For turnings you really don't need to be as picky as you do with the ash that is used for rivings. I do split the pieces out by hand and rough them out to rounds. I then let them dry for a week or two and then turn them out. I find that the details hold better, and the legs and arm stumps have a lot less warping. This makes them a little easier to ream and place properly.
Below are more legs....from left to right are double bobbin, baluster, vase and a back post for a side chair. The patterns are for a Fan Back Arm Chair that can seen on my site. I can also custom turnings. In the second picture down you can see another baluster, a Philly front and back leg, a vase and at the bottom a bamboo leg for a rodback. I also do stretchers, both bulge type and box stretcher.
Here you can see the rivings out of white ash. There isn't any oak up here, but I actually prefer ash. It finishes better and shaves just as well.
Below is the brake I use to split out ash into the rough pieces needed for spindles and such. I carefully follow the grain so it can be shaved or steam bent.
As to the prices, here goes...
- Legs- double bobbin, bamboo-$14
- baluster- $18
- Fan Back Posts-$25
- Fan Back arm chair posts-$30
- Stretchers- side $9, center $10
- Arm stumps-$12
- Spindle stock 24" $3.50, 30" $4.00
- Bow, arm 48" $15, 60" $25.