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Thread: A Real High-wire Act

  1. #1
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    A Real High-wire Act

    I'm starting the build of the acrobatic high wire chairs.
    I went to my wood wholesaler today.
    This is what 21,000 of Beech looks like.




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    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    So how many board feet for almost $175 USD?
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  3. #3
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    I don't know off hand, I'll have to look at the bill, which is with the wood, in the Dungeon.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    OK it is just a little over 35 board feet, so that is $5 a board foot for Beech.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    hey stu, beat me to it i was guessing it at 28 ft from the picture.. but way over there 5 dollars for beech probally isnt bad.. its around 3.0 here in my area for select and better grade.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    hey stu, beat me to it i was guessing it at 28 ft from the picture.. but way over there 5 dollars for beech probally isnt bad.. its around 3.0 here in my area for select and better grade.
    Pretty good guesstimation there Larry

    I picked through the pile and got the best stuff, but there was no "Better" grade I could get, only a selection of thickness. I think this should be enough to do two chairs, but I can always buy more.

    BTW here is the chair-like-object in question....


    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Thinking of the joints for these chairs....

    For the tops of the front legs where they join the skirts they are mortise and tenon, but I think a sliding dovetail would be stronger, like this....





    or even this.....





    (without the square protuberance on top of the leg)


    the stretchers lower down would be simple M&T joints, as well as the back legs too.


    These chair take a lot of abuse, at the end of the act they are dropped onto the safety net which is a good 8' above the stage, and at intermission when the lights go out, the safety net is dropped very quickly to the stage, and the chair essentially falls 8' to the hard stage, it hits in whatever orientation it hits, so it takes a beating.


    Using the M&T joints relies on the glue to hold the joint together, I'm thinking that a sliding dovetail on the front legs would be a better combo of glue and mechanical holding the joint together.


    The regular M&T joints I'm thinking of using a wooden peg to pin each joint, this would also create a mechanical joint that even if the glue fails the joint should hold.


    What do you think?


    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Could you drawbore the top and bottom stretcher? If the tenon is wide enough you could even double drawbore it. That might help with racking. The drawbore would give you a mechanical joint that would hold even if the glue fails. Might be a little quicker than the dovetails too.

  9. #9
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    I'm thinking your dovetails are too close together and that inside corner of the leg could splinter out when suffering the abuse you mentioned. The corner cross piece is a belt and suspenders approach. If you were to extend those ends nearer to the outer edge of he seat rails in a quasi half lap and then double pin it with glued in dowels, I think the leg would have to break before the joint would fail.
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  10. #10
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    I tried a sliding dovetail in a corner like that once. I could feel it cracking as the aprons (or whatever you call the male part) wiggled. I did lots of glue, and survived, but have avoided dovetails in corners like that... think of the grain of the leg, and how easy it will be to split the sides of the pins.

    I suggest a pinned mortise as a better choice, by my intuition.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

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