Slow eyes

Sometimes I have to remind myself to have slow eyes. Instead of throwing a cursory glance over the parts of my projects to determine “good enough” I try to be vigilant about going back and seeing the details. Surface tear-out or a facet out of plane can make all the difference in the final stages of a project, but I have a tendency to rush those moments.

Part of the reason I take pictures of things is that photography helps me see differently. It helps me to pay attention and see things I would miss if I were not behind the lens. It’s like raking light, exposing the places that need more refinement.


Yesterday I turned my eye to making the comb back for Quinn’s Windsor chair. Trying to be frugal with material, I revisited a back that I had bent a while ago that had suffered some surface failure due to grain run-out and was unsuitable for the dining chairs. As it turned out, with a little creativity the cut-down version was perfect for this project so I set out to drill the holes and shape the back with drawknife and spokeshave. I’m pretty happy with the final version, but in almost all of the pictures below you can see something that still needs refinement.

The form is good but the back is still too thick
better, but notice the ragged cove on the back of the wing
The shape is well matched to the seat but the facets around the top still need work.
Careful work with the drawknife to even out the cove and a spokeshave to chamfer the edges.

I still have spindles and stretchers to turn, but this thing is starting to grow on me.


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