For anyone who had been following the prototyping of the craftsman chair on
ABPW, here is the end result of that semi-popular practice poplar prototype
General Finishes' "Java" Gel Stain followed by four coats of sprayed shellac
... I mean, what the hell else are you gonna do with poplar besides paint
For the "rest of the story":
It looked positively naked without the finish once you put that seat on it.
Now it looks right. The missus should be happy to have it in her room now.
Since you are color challenged, I will let you know. You got the colors
Looks like a real substantial chair - nice work. Reminds me of the chairs in
the old public library. Very sturdy but with butt carved hard seats. I'm
sure the final version of your's will have a softer land pad.
Say, how do you like the Multi-router? Is it worth the money?
It depends upon the type of work you do. If you make furniture, and
particularly if you tend toward multiple, identical pieces, I would have to
say you are really missing a good thing if you don't make a similar
Alright... not THAT was a cool project. Really nice work. I think a
lot of folks underestimate what it takes to build a chair that will
"staind the ages". I wonder how many hundreds of tons your pattern
chair has held over the years.
For anyone that hasn't looked at "the rest of the story", that is
actually the fascinating part.
Thanks for taking the time to post the project - that is time consuming
Swing - I love you a whole bunch.
I am sure that the execution of this piece is immaculate.
I'd be willing to bet that the joinery is absolutely to the titts.
But, I am bored by the piece.
It looks like something out of the Ikea catalogue.
I want new designs.
There was a Russian playwright who, after he wrote about the, " Three
"Sisters", said, "We need new Forms" - I'm with that dude. (even
though he punked out)
I understand that you are trying to create something that can be
easily replicated - but - this ain't it!
I would buy something from Karl that was an expression of Karl, even
if the obvious intent was to multiply.
but i would want karl to sign it.
There is that dude in New England who sells variants of old designs
and does them up right.
I'm glad that he has a market - but it ain't custom furniture.
You and I are too old to fuck around with this.
You are smart enough to create furniture and sell it.
You are also smart enought to design furniture and have it
manufactured for resale.
You need to deside which of these markets you want to address.
In any event, I'll give you $500.00 for the piece that you showed - if
you sign it.
Contact me in the usual way.
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
LOL. I love you too, Tom ...
Tom, this is not a new design ... it is an attempt to make a lay down _copy_
of an existing chair, and for my own use. Read the story behind it.
If you could but see this 100+ year old, handmade chair (the original) and
be able to touch it, heft it, examine how it is put together, see the
obvious craftsmanship and knowledge that went into making it, consider its
age, see the marks of the maker's tools, and imagine how many, and who, have
sat on it, you would, despite its being as ugly as a mud fence, feel a bit
of the same inspiration and appreciation from it that I have.
They say the devil is in the details ... sometimes, so is the beauty.
Just consider this paltry _duplication_ effort as a tribute to an unknown,
but obviously skilled woodworker, who probably didn't have much but the wood
in the chair, and whose love for what he has wrought is so damn obvious upon
examination to those in the know ... and Tom Watson would know at once, I
BTW, SWMBO said the prototype is _her_ chair ... you ain't got enough money!
But I'll make seven, instead of six, and you can have one.
I wasn't going to say anything....
But since you mentioned it, just how much would you have to charge to make
it worth your while to actually make these chairs for the unwashed public?
Not that I am suggesting that you actually do such a thing.
It really depends upon how hungry you are.
The "unwashed public" wouldn't buy at all ... but the coddled and pampered
will, and sometimes surprise you by ordering two sets at a time. But you
must know where to reach them, and, even then, you could starve waiting for
the next nibble.
As in all woodworking projects, and once jigged up, this particular style of
chair is not all that time consuming to fabricate, and a multi-router is a
big factor in the TIME it wouldn't take.
With the multi-router, and depending upon type of finish, (and whether I had
anything else better to do, and how hungry I was), I'd estimate the bottom
end of "worthwhile" (and not being too hungry) to be in the range of the
usual 3 - 4 times material cost, plus a round, 25% markup for overhead.
So, with an estimated cost of QSWO at between $7 and $8 b/f for a set of six
just shy of $1K, you're looking at a ballpark of $4.8K on the bottom,
starting _negotiating price_ for just the chairs, and I'd probably pad that
a bit if it was only chairs, depending upon how hungry I was at the time.
Now, not many folks would pay that, and not many of the ones who could would
buy just chairs (it is not all that unusual for folks around here to pay
well over $10K for a dining room set) ... but they don't do it very often,
so have something to eat on while waiting for your cork to go under.
I can make more money doing other things than waiting on cabinets/furniture
orders, but if you have the time, the know how, and the equipment, and the
opportunity presents itself, the above is probably just as good a place to
start as any.
And ... it really depends upon how hungry you are.
Hmmm.... don't know about all that conversation.
As I have gotten older and been doing this longer, I have gone from
loving the old Federalist/Duncan Phyfe/NE traditionalist furniture with
all its idiosyncrasies, doodad hardware, carved details and exotic
joinery to liking the more simple, functional stuff that echoes times
I don't remotely see that as that as ugly as a mud fence, but truly
appreciate the simplicity of form that belies its sturdy construction.
I guess have seen so much outlandish joinery, bizarre designs, strange
woods, and all manner of strange things that are possible now with
today's machinery I am sick of most of it. I fondly think back to the
guy (OK, the guy that I invented!) that made a chair like that with
simple tools and ... are you ready.... skill. In some strange way I
think that connects some of us that do this to some of them.
I personally like something like a chairs or tables that will be
around and develop a history of their own, but I don't make things like
that to sell, either. And the payoff for me on the chair would be
this: is it comfortable? If so, shoots - scores - nothing but net.
And that easily looks to be a design that could be passed down to
someone that would appreciate the time and effort.
Just my 0.02.
On 2 Sep 2006 16:35:48 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
FWIW, I recently _bought_ (8) genuine Stickley "Limestone Oak" QSWO
chairs, of a design very close to this one, to go with a dining table
and sideboard (along with a _room_) that I built. Two of the chairs
I totally understand what you're saying style-wise... I don't see it
as "boring", I see it as "clean".
Sorry for the late reply. I've been off Usenet for a bit, due to
traveling and a POS laptop that I was carrying for the trip.
I did not express myself well in my previous post.
I'm trying to design some furniture now that hearkens back to an era
that I am comfortable with but does not replicate it.
It is really freaking hard.
I admire what you are doing with your piece - and I still want to buy
I did not mean to denigrate the investigation or reproduction of the
piece - I am just trying to get my head into what the next generation
of "keepable" furniture will be.
What will be the next "Classic".
I am not making good progress on this at all.
I meant no disrespect, Swing, although I know that it looks like I
I'll tell you what - if you are serious about making the extra piece -
I'll fly out to pick it up, listen to the band, take you and your gal
out to dinner - and go home both poorer and richer.
(watson - who is having a hard time with this design thing...)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
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