Society of American Period Furniture Makers
Ohio River Valley Chapter
2008 Fall Meeting in Chillicothe, OH
We had another wonderful chapter meeting in Chillicothe, OH. Everyone enjoyed the presentations and camaraderie. We had approximately 35 people attend from IN, MI, WV, VA, KY, PA and OH.
A very special thanks to David and Annette Smith for being such wonderful hosts and opening up their home and shop to us!! They took care of all the logistics including lunch, dinner, hotel and the field trip to the historical home, Adena.
As always, I would like to thank each presenter for stepping up and doing a great job!! In addition, we had a lot of lively discussions during the presentations with other methods and tips being discussed. Again, a BIG THANK YOU to all of the presenters and to all those who added to the discussions.
We started our meeting with Show & Tell, we had some very nice and unique pieces including a Spice Box by Dick Reese, Windsor Chair by Bob Compton, Inlaid Tea Caddy by Tom Ford, Black Walnut & Maple Chest of Drawers by Brooke Smith, Star Burst Inlaid Table by John Herrel. Dick Kammerer gave us some veneering tip that he discovered while making multi-ply veneer.
The demonstrations started out with Mark Arnold showing how he uses a vacuum bag to do veneering. More specifically, he talked about the various bags and bag materials, vacuum equipment (he used a venturi with an air compressor), and he talked about the various glues. Mark regularly uses http://www.veneersupplies.com
for his veneering supplies. After the discussion, Mark proceeded to demonstrate how he does a curved surface glue, in this case, a curved surface door panel. The demonstrations started with the development of the veneer for the outside of the door. Mark cut and taped together four sheet of veneer together to converge at 90 deg in the center of the panel. Mark then talked about the different types of bendable plywood and how to order it (barrel/column). Before the gluing started, Mark placed the door panel mold into the vacuum bag. Then on a flat surface, Mark poured and evenly spread out the glue on both sides of the panels as he stacked them up, one by one including the outside veneer. Then the glued-up stack was covered with a piece of plastic, and a protective piece of bendable plywood on top. The plastic helps to confine the glue. The protective plywood helps to protects the fragile edges of the door panel from the pressure of the vacuum. The whole stack is then slid it into the vacuum bag and centered on the curved door panel mold. The final step was to ensure even pressure is applied over the entire piece. For this Mark slid in a piece of cardboard on top of the glued up stack. The bag was then sealed, and the vacuum was applied. We then moved on to the other demonstrations. At the end of the day, we came back to this demonstration and too the panel out of the bag and discussed what we would do next to true up the edges.
The second demonstration was on Tinting & Shading by Brooke Smith. Brooke started out by talking about which dyes were and were not light fast. He talked about the dyed areas will actually look darker than the wood before the finish applied. So you need to make a test sample to zero in on the appropriate amount of staining before applying it to you piece. Brook than mixed up some cherry sapwood dye and applied it to a piece of cherry. After the stain dried, he wetted the board to check the results. At this point, you would start to adjust the color and/or intensity of the dye to zero in on the results you are looking for. Most often, Brooks uses Dark Wine Cherry and Russet Amber Maple both from J. E. Moser, as well as Black, Red, Yellow, and Blue. To round out the basic starting colors he also uses Dark Walnut, and Dark or Medium Oak. The Cherry, Maple, Walnut, and Oak colors all have different basic hues. This allows you to start with a color that is close, then by using the primary colors and black you can fine tune the color. He doesn't buy the Light wood colors because the Darker colors can easily achieve a similar color by using less of the dye powder. As usual, Brooke did an excellent job showing the effects of various dyes while making it look so easy.
The third demonstration was Managing Cross Grain Construction … An Engineering Solution by David Heyer. This one was interesting because it flew in the face of most wood construction details. Instead of allowing for wood movement, David calculated the forces in the wood generated by seasonal movement and then back calculated the joint sizes using the strengths of the wood and glue. Another important point that he stressed was that wood cracks in tension and not in compression. It is also stronger in compression than tension. Therefore, David designed his constrained joint to also be in compression and never in tension. One way to ensure the moisture content is at it lowest level before assembling the panels. This can be done by using boards that have just come out of a kiln (commercial/Solar/…) or assembling the project during the middle of winter. David had a panel that he had built several years ago. Both ends were constrained, but the middle was allowed to move. He also stated that during the summer, you could see a slight bow in the middle of his panel. David then showed us the joint he used to construct this panel. The only real difference that I could see was that he had use a little larger tenon to increase the surface gluing area so that he would have enough strength in the joints to constrain the cross grain movement. His handout included many tables and equations. So if you are unable to allow for wood movement, you can design a joint to constrain the movement.
The final demonstration was Period Furniture Chair - Original to plans to patterns to proto type with jigs and fixtures by John Goyer. Originally this demonstration was supposed to be during the first Spring meeting. John did an excellent job, as usual. He talked about the chair that his daughter had found and wanted him to make a set of 8 chairs for her. John started off by describing how he increased the height of the chair, and fixed some structural defects in the design of the chair. He also redesigned the chair from dowel tenon to mortise and tenon joints. John then showed us a jig for his mortising machine to allow him to cut a curved mortise for the back splat to fit into the back seat rail. Next he demonstrated how he shaped a thin, highly figured piece of walnut for the front seat rail. He started off by developing the molding using hollows & rounds. Later in the presentation he steam bent this molding and then applied it to the curved surface of the front seat rail. The next jig he demonstrated was used to flush cut the shoulder of the tenon that go into the crest rail. The next jig held the crest rail as he cut the mortise into it. Next, he demonstrated how he steam bent the back splat with a mold that he clamped it into. This was a very informative presentations and added to our knowledge of chairs.
On Sunday afternoon, we had an optional tour of the Adena Museum. Adena was the 2000-acre estate of Thomas Worthington (1773-1827), sixth governor of Ohio and one of Ohio’s first United States Senators. The mansion house, completed in 1806-1807, has been restored to look much as it did when the Worthington family lived there, including many original Worthington family furnishings.
As with all of the Chapter meetings, I am continually impressed with the accumulated knowledge and talent we have in our group. The quality and educational value of these demonstrations are on par with the best conferences out there. Our size allows us to get up close and personal with the presenters. It was truly another wonderful experience sharing knowledge and fellowship.
The next meeting (Spring 2009) will be at the Woodcraft store in Columbus, OH at its new location on the April 4 and 5th, 2009.