Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Carving the Arms
Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Here is a great shot of the arm on my newest chair. This is the trickiest part, by far. The trick, or skill, is to get the arris, the edge where the flat falls off, the same on both arms. I like it to form a gentle curve, just like this one. Below you can see how I leave the tool marks on the end and also on the underneath.
People are amazed to find out that I use a drawknife and spokeshave to shape the arms, that's it. I draw reference lines on both arms, just guessing on what will look good. I do both arms at the same time, so hopefully they will be the same.
Then, holding the arm in my shavehorse, I carve to the lines, and then blend the high points to get it smooth. I want the top part flat, so I finish up with a spokeshave and a bit of sandpaper.
Here is the tenon that goes thru the back post. It is a stepped tenon, 7/8" for about 1/4" and then 3/8" all the way thru. This tenon is turned on the lathe, which is pretty exciting as it is an offset turning.
Below you can see the tools I use. The big thing is to keep the arms the same, constantly checking one against the other. They really are hard to do but they add so much visual impact to the chairs that they are well worth it.