Saturday, September 8, 2012

Gothic Stool: Part III

Just like everything else in woodworking, shaping your piece can be done with a number of different tools.

Generally, I rough-cut pieces on a bandsaw and then finalize the shape with chisels, gouges, spokeshaves, rasps, files, sandpaper wrapped around dowels, and a lot of time.

I haven't found a quick way to shape pieces.  An oscillating spindle sander can come in handy, but you wouldn't be able to reach tight corners and you'd still need to do final sanding. 

However, just like sanding, you can speed up the process by starting with your most aggressive tools—coarse rasps and files, deep cuts with chisels and gouges—to remove the bulk of the waste. 

Working under a raking light reveals parts that need more attention, and using a square to check that your edges are perpendicular to the faces ensures that both sides of your piece will be identical.

After I shaped the legs, I trimmed the tenons that pass through the seat. At this point you have a workable stool.

Ah, but what good is a stool without a little carving? 


Jonathan P. Szczepanski said...

Looking good Kari.

Eric said...

You are rounding third base, and heading for home on this one.

Thank you for the tips on your process.
It obviously is quite effective...:)

Hans said...

Beautiful stool Kari. Really looking forward to seeing the carving.


Kari Hultman said...

Thanks, guys! This is a really fun project.

John Walkowiak said...

Kari, great looking stool. For all the curved work you like to do, I can recommend using a graduated set of 1/2 round Swiss Pattern files. The #4 is so fine you don't need to follow it up with sandpaper. They are kind of expensive, but they cut fast and will last a very long time. Here is a link to a supplier.

Dyami Plotke said...

Looks beautiful, Kari. I'm always impressed by your work.

Kari Hultman said...

John, thank you for the recommendation! I'm always on the hunt for good files. I have a Gramercy one that I like very well, and pick up others here and there.

Thanks, Dyami. :o)

Cyrus said...

The stool and the bench in that last picture are both beautiful! Nice work! thanks for sharing.


Tim Bray said...

Really nice work.

Smoothing the profile is by far the most tedious aspect of these Gothic benches. I do use a profile sander and a 1" vertical belt sander to take down the saw marks, before final smoothing and shaping with files.

Looking at original pieces from this era, I am always struck by the obvious tool marks and rough surfaces - we have a very different idea of what the finished surface should look like! You should see the original stool in the V&A - the stretcher tenons are "straight from the saw" and there are big saw-marks on the legs as well.

Kari Hultman said...

Thank you, Cyrus. :o)

Tim, that's good to know about the tool marks. I usually leave a few due to laziness, but I actually like to see them—it shows that something was made (at least in part) by hand. That would be awesome to see the original stool in person. I envy you!

Daris said...

Really nice work. It's a simple project, but you made it so elegant, and the craftsmanship really shows.