Posts Tagged woodworking

A Gothic Chair: Making Progress On My Camp Chair!

25 June 2011

Have a seat, pull up a chair … my chair! I now have a gothic chair that breaks down for flat transport and goes together with just bits of wood (tenon keys). After deliberating for a while over what to do about the 12 mortice holes and how I was going to make them, I finally came up with a solution … the Dremel TrioTool. I LOVE this tool, It does everything necessary to make these woodworking projects — cuts, routs, and sands. You can even do a nice rounded edge for decoration. If you’re thinking about doing some projects and aren’t sure what tools to get, get the Dremel TrioTool — it only cost me $89 by using a 10% discount coupon from the post office (normally $99).

Anyway, enough about power tools … here’s the chair so far:

My Unfinished Gothic Chair


Side view of the chair

A closer view of the quatrefoil in the chair back

Me sitting in my new chair ... it works!

Things left to do:

  • Cut out quatrefoils in the sides of the chairs.
  • Make armrests
  • Make better tenon keys from oak
  • Sand everything
  • Stain it

But all in all, not bad for a day’s work! I spent a couple of hours yesterday, plus about five hours today.

A Table for Pennsic: St. Jerome’s Trestle Table

9 June 2011

It’s time to make a camp table. I’ve been thinking about it a lot — and researching ideas online — and I would like to make a trestle table so it’s easy to take apart and put together. Specifically, I want to make one that looks like this:

St. Jerome in His Study

The above engraving is by a German artist (Albrecht Dürer) in 1514. It is a great, period table that would fit well with our personas. And it looks pretty easy to build. I’ve found several plans for it online:

The Peacock Table (made from common wood stock)

St. Jerome Trestle Table (made from plywood)

I’m torn between using plywood and non-plywood. I want to use the table on a regular basis as a sewing table, so I’m leaning toward non-plywood. But it’s expensive and I’m finding it hard to find 2″ thick wood that the first plans call for.

I am considering using a door slab (a door without paneling or a hole for a handle) for the tabletop. I used to have a table from IKEA that was essentially built like that and I never had a problem with it. And door slabs are only about $25. So I’d just need to find the wood for the legs and braces.

Tomorrow morning I am going to a place we have here called Reuse Center. They sell reclaimed lumber and old doors. Maybe I can find something interesting and affordable there that I can use in lieu of plywood.

Camp Furniture for Pennsic War

5 June 2011

We’re going to our very first Pennsic War in just 58 days … and I am beyond excited. I’ve wanted to go to Pennsic since the mid ’90s when I first discovered the SCA. My friend Tracy (Duchess AnneMarie de Garmeaulx) raved about it to me, and it’s been on my “bucket list” ever since. And this year I’m going with my son and Gregor. Tracy is lending me her pavilion (thank you, Tracy!), but everything else I need to make or buy. It’s going to be a busy summer!

Beyond needing loads of garb, we need camp furniture. The metal-and-polyester camp chairs and air mattress we use for mundane camping are not going to cut it for us. If we’re doing Pennsic, we’re doing it right. So here’s my list of furniture I need to construct:

  • Table — for eating on, doing crafts on
  • Benches – for sitting on at the table, or wherever
  • Chairs (with backs) for sitting
  • Beds – for sleeping (of course!)
  • Wardrobe – for hanging clothes
  • Chest – for storing food

Yikes, that’s a lot of stuff to make! Two I can cross off the list already — I bought a simple metal-and-canvas wardrobe from Wal-Mart for $15. It will be inside the pavilion and no one will see it, so no worries there. And the benches I’ve already made — they are simple plywood benches that come apart for flat transport. Nothing fancy, but with a coat or two of stain, they’ll look pretty good, I think. Here is the bench pattern I adapted for my own use (many thanks to Charles Fleming), and here’s what the benches look like, unstained:

Simple Camp Benches

So I think the next furniture project I will tackle is a table. I need something that packs flat in the van, is easy to assemble and dissemble, is sturdy, and is large enough for three people to use comfortably — yet is simple to make and not too costly. A tall order, probably. I am searching for table plans — here are my ideas:

A Trestle Table with Tusk Tenon Joints

A Portable Trestle Table

Mock Trestle Table Project <– I really like this one!

My thinking is that I can use this table as a sewing table when it’s not in use at camp, as I really need a nice, big table for all my sewing project.