Saturday, October 27, 2012

Taking Care of a Baby Doll

One of the Christmas requests I received this year was to make a cradle, high chair and rocking chair.  Here are the three.  Here is the cradle.  I have made a couple of these before to use up some lumber I had laying around.  It is a birch plywood with a walnut stand.  You can read about the original project here.
The high chair came from this blog.  Interesting blog.  Since I built one of her projects I am supose to release her from liability.  What I find interesting is that she is from Alaska and she posts all her plans for anyone to use.  There are some good plans that she has done.  This one is pretty basic.  I changed the joinery a little bit.  I used dowels and biscuits and she used screws and caps.
The chair is made from maple and walnut.  I doweled all the horizontal pieces together and biscuit joined the sides together.  I wanted to dowel the sides together but I used the fixture incorrectly and screwed up a side.  Learned a lesson on that one.  Doweling is not that easy to do.  The neat thing about the chair is the picture below.  This is the seat.  Not very often I get excited about a board that I see and have to have it.  Let me rephrase that.  A board that I see and can afford.  I saw this in the lumber yard and the grain was pronounced and looked great.  I try to make the entire project out of the same or similar board so it matches.  Fortunatly for me all the other parts were cut and I just needed  the seat.  I don't know what I am going to do with the rest of this walnut.
The rocking chair was patterned after the one my grandfather or great-grandfather made for for my mother. I did make some changes but the original construction is all the same  This is another maple and walnut piece.  The center is glued up and all the pieces were cut from that glue up so the grain seams to continue.  I did cut the bottom rail last so the mineral streak does not continue on to that piece.

 Just for your enjoyment, my son in the rocking chair. He is 18 months to give you an idea of the size.
Here is the cool thing about this board.  I lucked into this one.  I was not really looking for this character but after it was finished the tiger stripping came out, pictured below.  Yes I also tried to make this look like it was book end pieces of material between the walnut. 
The only change I did to my grandfathers construction was the rockers.  He put a steeper radius on the the rockers which allows it to rock more.  His rockers were also cut out on a band saw.  I chose to laminate mine with thin strips of wood. This allowed me to make a pattern and it is also stronger.  If I remember I will take a picture of the fixture and my mother's child rocking chair and post them.  Mine do not rock as much for safety reasons and the reason for the larger radius.  It is very easy to have a child rock themselves backwards.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I wish I would have known

A few weeks ago I lost my lass grandparent.  It was kind of expected, but he always had a funny remark or did something to brighten your day.  He was a good father and grandfather and friend.  He was also the jack of many trades. 
Among his personal belongings was a box that he made while he was a Trail Builder.  Now I didn't know what that was or what they did.  Apparently before the 11year old scouts, (Which I am the scout master for now) and before the Blazer Scouts, (which was the program I was in) was the Trail builders.  In my Grandfather's box was his log of things he had to do to receive the various patches.  Some of them were quite funny like, bushing teeth and hanging up his hat.  I was fun to see his writing and his mothers writing.

Here is the instructions on how to build the box
My grandfather penciled in "Trail Builder" on the top.  You can actually see the pencil marks because of the flaking paint

Here is one of the trees he stenciled in.

Part of making the box was understanding the wood used and how it was manufactured.  He also signed his name under the lid.  Unfortunately the box has been weathered and the paint is chipping off. I hope that I can put a clear coat and save what remains of the paint job.  There will have to be some minor repairs also.  A lot of the glue bonds have deteriorated.  It is amazing how much time and care he put into this box and it is one of the few things he saved through his entire life.  I don't know if I can say that I have something from when I was 10 years old that I have made.  I take that back, my mother has several ornaments that I made much to the dislike of my siblings. As they fall apart we get rid of them.