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Thread: Ideas for project

  1. #1

    Ideas for project

    I have been doing very basic woodworking for a few years but never had the confidence to get serious. I am ready to take on a project that will allow me to use mortise and tenon joints, spokeshave and plane, ect. I was thinking about a rocking chair after seeing the one that Jerry Palmer made. I assume that a chair like that is not made from plans that you buy. The joinery required for a chair is new to me, so I am hoping I could get some advice on how to begin such a project. I have probably 8000 bd ft of Western Red Cedar and actually that is the only lumber that I have worked with. It is soft and splinters easily. Is this type of wood ok to use for "fine" woodworking projects?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX
    Posts
    320
    Curtis,
    My chair is actually from plans available on the internet from HalTaylor.com. The plans are quite expensive, over $300 if you get the template for routing the holes in the seat for the uprights, but it includes full size paper templates for three different sizes of chairs. It also contains over 100 pages of instructions as well as the opportunity to contact Hal and get additional advice and instructions from him.

    Until recently, I would say that a rocking chair like mine was not a project for a beginner, but then I saw a post from a fella elsewhere who had, in fact, made a Hal Taylor chair as his very first woodworking project, and he did it without a lot of the power woodworking tools that are considered "necessary". That green smiley is green for my envy of his grit to take on such a project so early in his woodworking hobby.

    That being said, the cedars that grow on the North American continent, including the Eastern and Western Red Cedars especially, are not amenable to making the parts of a rocking chair due to their softness.

    The soft cedars will do alright for things like chests and I've seen some case type pieces done in cedar. Again, the softness of the wood makes them easy to dent, and you might have issues with regular yellow woodworking glues adhering to it due to some natural oils they contain.
    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,323
    Hi Curtis ,
    Glad to have you joining in the fun and going forward, especially since you have some wood laying around to work with, 8000 ft! Nice.
    I agree with Jerry on the cedar being too soft for chair parts. He mentioned some of the qualities of the cedar and those properties need be considered when doing a project.
    I have used cedar on several projects just recently for a customer who really loves it.
    Good luck and have fun with whatever you do.
    Shaz
    I am a registered voter and you can be too. We ( registered voters ) select the moderators for this forum by voting every six months for the people we want to watch over this family forum.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    4,268
    Chairs are not forgiving projects. Every mistake and joint you make shows. You might be capable of building one, but it is not what I would recommend as a first project.

    If I had that much WRC I would be building boats!! Perfect strip canoe wood.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  5. #5
    Thanks! I really like that chair Jerry and sooner or later I will build it. I checked out haltaylor.com. My wife likes it a lot too but money is short right now (isn't it always!). Jeff I found some good links to building strip canoes but to me they look more difficult than the chair! Anyway thanks to you all!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,323
    Hi Curtis ,
    These photos are several projects made from cedar, hope they stimulate your creative side.
    Shaz
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    Last edited by Robert Schaubhut; 06-11-2008 at 02:27 AM.
    I am a registered voter and you can be too. We ( registered voters ) select the moderators for this forum by voting every six months for the people we want to watch over this family forum.
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