2008-12-27 - Decided to chuck up a piece of red oak and turn the replacement leg for a Shaker-style, broken three-slat ladderback chair that I had purchased really cheap at the local barn sale. The leg was turned, sanded, then stained using Minwax PolyShade Stain & Polyurethane Classic Oak Satin 370, all on the lathe. Six coats of Minwax were friction-applied at a medium-speed on the lathe, essentially burnished into the wood using a paper towel. Earlier this fall, most of the rungs of the chair were stripped of their paint using the large skew chisel on the lathe; the resulting smoothness was worth the effort of carefully disassembling most of the chair. They were stained/polyurethaned using the same procedure as the replacement leg. The remaining three legs were sanded down while still semi-assembled; some of their tenons were still well-joined. The disassembled rungs will be reattached by bandsawing slots in their tenons, then inserting thin oak wedges and band-clamping the entire chair back together, rather than pinning or gluing. It will be reseated with 1/2 inch-wide flat reed purchased from the eBay Store, MRT Crafts. This chair was originally built by turning green wood for the legs, and dried wood for the rungs; when assembled, the legs would shrink, locking the tenons of the rungs in place. The elongated mortises give this construction technique away. This winter, I will be making a matching low foot stool, but with pinned rungs of a contrasting hardwood, for variety.
Summer of 2008 - I uncovered an old Victorian-era chair in the basement of my grandparent's home. It was in dire need of some TLC, but it was intact, with the exception of the woven cane seat had been "repaired" by removing the cane and tacking a leather seat in it's place.
Later in the summer, I found a couple of old chairs at the barn sale of the Riverbend Farm, in Goffstown, New Hampshire. Both of them use 1/2 inch-wide flat reed. My source for this reed is http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/mrtcrafts (MRT Crafts) on eBay. The pricing is excellent and delivery time is very quick for this well-packaged item. MRT Crafts carries Blue Ribbon reed, from P. L. Butte, Inc.
Riverbend Farm is found by following the signs like above, on Rte 114 in New Boston, just west of Goffstown. They will send you down Parker Station Road, back into Goffstown. Be sure to let them know that I sent you.
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