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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three Hitchcock Style Chairs (Ca. 1850)

I received three painted chairs from a customer in need of a variety of repairs. All three chairs resemble the classic Hitchcock chair with black paint, okra pin striping and gold stenciling. With all of this said, none of them are stamped with the Hitchcock signature on the back of the chair, so they are most likely 19th century chairs made in the style of Hitchcock. The older two have rush seats while the newer has a cane seat. I believe all three date to the later half of the 19th century.

All three were loose and needed new seats. The paint was in various stages of decay, however the customer liked that look so we agreed to seal the existing paint with shellac to prevent future paint loss and to help bring out the stenciling a bit. this first post deals with the gluing of the chairs.

This first series of chairs details the work done to one of the chairs. The same process was done to all three, but I failed to get photos of the whole process.

This is a photo of the chair as it came to me.
This photo shows the same chair with the seat removed.
In this photo the chair has been dismantled to clean the joinery.
This photo shows the same chair being glued up. I used Hide Glue, which was the glue originally used to glue these chairs.
Here is a photo of the second of the two older chairs dismantled followed by a photo of the chair glued up

This photo shows the third chair with the cane seat being glued up. The last photo shows the three chairs with the clamps on set aside to dry. The hide glue used to glue these chairs takes about 24 hours to fully set up, so The clamps were left on for that time period.

The next post will show the chairs completed as well as a few photos of the caning process.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walnut Victorian Spool Bed (ca.1865) Part 4 : The Completed Bed

This is the fourth and last installment of the posts concerning the Victorian spool bed I modified to accommodate a queen size mattress. I used Google's Sketchup to design the bed and thought it fitting to go back and match up the perspectives with the actual completed piece. This bed is usable as a 3/4 size bed (measuring 48 inches in width) or with the new bed extenders as a queen size bed. I took photos of it set up both ways. The first three photos below show the bed as a 3/4 bed. The first photo is my drawing from Sketchup.

The next three photos show the bed with the bed extenders. Again, the first photo is from Sketchup.

One quick note, when I delivered the bed the owner informed me that it had been either made or bought by her great grandfather as a marriage present for his wife in 1865. I changed the date in the heading above to reflect this!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Walnut Victorian Spool Bed (ca.1850) Part 3 : Assembling The Bed

This is the third post concerning the bed I have been restoring and modifying to accommodate a queen size mattress. In this post, I will detail the fabrication of the rails that connect the posts for the head and foot board, the construction of the side rails, and the assembling and staining of the bed.

The first part of the post concerns the construction of the rails which connect the head and the foot board. By this I do not mean the side rails, but the fixed rails on either end of the bed. Here are these rails squared and milled to the proper dimensions:
To transition from the fixed rail to the posts, I used a cove on either end that curved down to meet the posts. This was done with a router and a cove cutting bit. I cut two coves with one pass, one on each end of the boards. To do this, I clamped the two rails together and sandwiched them between two pieces of pine which prevented the ends from tearing out with the force of the cutter. Here is a photo of the boards clamped and ready for the router:

With one pass, the router cut the cove on both boards:
Here is a photo of the boards with the clamps removed:
After cutting the coves, I created the mortise and tenon joinery to assemble the rails and the posts. Here is a photo of all of the pieces prior to glue up:
To make the side rails, I milled two Walnut boards to the proper thickness and fixed two Poplar boards to them running along the length of the boards. These Poplar boards will act as a support to the mattress. Here are two photos of the side rails after the Poplar was fixed to the Walnut boards.

Back to the head and foot board extenders, the last step was to glue up the components. Here are two photos showing the head and foot board extenders being glued up.

After the extenders were glued, They were fit to the old head and foot board to ensure a proper fit. Here are two photos of the head and foot boards with their extenders.
This photo shows all of the pieces sanded and ready for staining. The old head and foot board are the same Walnut as the new, but as Walnut oxidizes, it turns lighter in color and has a orange color. With the use of stain, I can match the two different colors.
The photo below shows the bed after all of the components were stained.
After staining, I attached the new bed hardware to the bed and assembled everything. I also cut two pieces of 3/4 inch plywood to support the mattress instead of a box spring. Details of the head and foot board assembled with the plywood support installed can be seen below.

This photo shows one slat that I made that mortises into the center between the two side rails. This acts as a support for the two sheets of plywood where the ends butt against each other. The plywood is also supported by the legs described earlier.
Here is a photo of the 3/4 Size bed set up with the new side rails.
This side view shows the bed with the extenders set up to accommodate a queen size mattress.
The next post will show the completed bed!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Video: Turning a spool for a bed post

Below is a video I shot during the process of turning the bed posts. What I am doing is turning a spool section using a skew chisel. The e on the right has already been shaped, and you can watch while the spool to the left takes shape. Enjoy!

Walnut Victorian Spool Bed (ca.1850) Part 2 : Turning the posts

This is the second post in a recent series concerning the restoration and conversion of a Walnut Victorian Spool bed. The first post details the history of this style of bed and the basic idea of converting this bed into a queen with the use of additional posts,etc.This post concerns the fabrication of the bed posts. This is done by turning the posts on a Lathe between centers. This is also referred to as spindle turning because it is the same process used to turn chair spindles, the only difference is that in this case the turnings are 50 inches long and 2 3/4 inches in diameter!

The first step in the process is to prepare four boards so that they are square blanks. These are commonly referred to as Billets. I also prepared two additional billets that were shorter in length that will end up being the supports for under the mattress. Below is a photo of the six billets ready for turning.
To start of with, I turned the shorter sections to get the feel of the project. The design for these legs was taken from the original posts below the lowest square section. These will be attached to sheets of ply wood which will support the mattress instead of a box spring.

Below is a photo of the billet mounted between centers on the lathe.
This photo shows the same piece after the turning was completed.
After the two short legs were fabricated, I moved on to the larger posts. The design for these was taken from the original bed posts with the exception that some of the spools were removed to accommodate a shorter height. below is a photo of one of the billets mounted on the lathe.
Here is the same piece after the turning was completed.
This close up shows one of the spools turned next to an unfinished spool.
Here is another view of the completed turning.
This last photo shows the completed turnings next to an original post.
The next few posts will show the fabrication of the rails and the the construction of the bed.