Thursday, October 8, 2009

Shaping, scraping, rasping, filing...

Shaping this chair so far has been fun, frustrating, illuminating, educational, and so on.  It's a part time gig, while I look for a new day job, so it's slower going than it normally would be.

I've spent a lot of time working things over with a rasp, which is pretty slow going. I've conceded to myself that this chair is going to take a long damn time. And I'm diligently taking notes as things occur to me, so that next time, I can have a lot more of this work done before any of it gets glued together. There are faster ways to get that work accomplished, but most of the methods I'm familiar with apply to individual parts, not assembled chairs. The moral of the story is that you have to do things the wrong way sometimes to learn how to do them the right way.

On a less fortunate note, as the chair is built right now, it's just not going to be comfortable. The back is set too high to be supportive, and what I noticed when I tried it out is that I end up slumping into the open space underneath the back... which just doesn't make for a good time. So, I'm torn right now. Any fix that I put in place will involve cutting and re-working a partially shaped piece. So, some work is going to have to get edited out... that much is clear. But how much editing, and for what gain, is the real question.

I could saw the back out of the chair, move it down to a more comfortable location, and hope that it'll be a structurally sound modification. After that, I'd have to trim the tops of the legs down some. But I also think the top part of the legs isn't curved back far enough. So even moving the back part downward may not actually solve anything.

Style-wise, I think the legs come up too sharply. If the top section curved back a bit more, I think it would make for a more comfortable chair. But I also think it would help make the arm joint (where the arm meets the back leg) look a little more graceful, if they came together in a way that didn't remind me of someone hunching their shoulders.

I could also work on scabbing in some spindles, to try to add back support underneath the back as it is now, without chopping anything out. I'm not 100% sold on this idea either, though.

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