After another early Friday finish at work, I’ve spent the afternoon lazing around at home, feeling the after effects of an unexpected, hard-hitting cold. My nose may have stopped and my throat is beginning to clear at last but, I’m still feeling quite dizzy in my head and a little weak elsewhere. Almost flu-like symptoms.
I’m also moving home on Monday and heading back to live in mum’s house, which is also very close to my workshop… I’ve already shifted a load of boxes to save a bit of time and, with all the floor space now available (at home, not in the workshop!!), I’ve found my attention drawn towards the arm chair I made at college, two-years ago now…
Long-term readers may recall that this piece was on display at two furniture exhibitions in Bristol, around this time in 2010. I received a lot of praise for all of my work in generally but, perhaps most notably, for what I’d achieved in creating a comfortable wooden seat (I sit in it now, as I write this and as I check my e-mails and browse the internet each and every night). If not for a few ‘imperfections’ around the back of the seat, one curator even exclaimed that I could well have sold this chair, perhaps also the side table I made to go with it…
That’s why I’m here, writing this post now!
It’s those ‘tenon’ joints, where the back corners of the seat slot in to ‘housings’ cut deep in to the section of each of the rear legs. It was very ‘experimental’ at the time and my tutor wasn’t too satisfied once he understood my intentions (after cutting the wood!) and seeing just how much ash I was prepared to remove from each leg! If I was to go back again, I’d just use a shallow housing, as I did with the front legs (see photo at top of this post).
If I can, I’d still like to go back to this and look at ‘tidying it up’ a bit… If I’m as diligent as I seem to remember then, somewhere in my workshop, I still have the two tapered offcuts from cutting the seat blank to its diminishing width. I could cut and fit them in to at least try and conceal the gaps; maybe even mask over it with a ‘fake’ joint… Using those offcuts, I might be able to get a reasonable grain match with the walnut.
My main thought so far is to try and splice in a thin, carefully selected strip of walnut with a large ‘dovetail’ on the end; that might allow me to hide the gap-laden tenon joint you see above, if I can finish the walnut flush with the ash, this time.
I think it would be far more challenging to try to find an identical piece of ash to scribe in to the legs. Plus, it would give the impression that the seat is simply ‘butted’ to the edge of each leg. If the ‘repair’ was good enough then, one might even assume that the joint was simply dowelled together, like cheap, ‘disposable’ furniture. I can’t have that!! 😛
Any other thoughts or suggestions? Should I leave it as it is?
I don’t intend to sell this piece and I’m now quite glad that I still have it. It’s just one of those little things that really bothers me. I can live with the imperfections beneath the shoulders of the back slats but, for a chair I’m otherwise greatly satisfied with in what I’ve achieved, I feel it lets it down a little.
I must also remember to empty my back pockets before sitting in it, as I’ve already created two large scratches in the walnut!
It’s been two years and I’m of the opinion that the lighter ash used for the back slats has already darkened quite considerably. Maybe it’s the lighting but, I’m sure that three of them were very pale when I first made this, even after oiling. I wonder how long it will be before they blend in with the two darker slats? I really should take a photo of the coffee table I made for mum in 2008 – the white legs almost perfectly match the rest of the table (…Which also reminds me that I should wear shorts more often, now that the sun is with us again! :-D).
Thanks for reading.