Monday, July 29, 2013

Benches for Shelburne Museum Center for Art and Education all Finished

The benches are all done and a bit ahead of schedule.  This job seems pretty straight forward but there is a lot going on that meant there were many unknowns to deal with.  The difficulty lies in meeting a deadline when there are unknowns.  So many unknowns, so little time.  The heavy stock of the seats was hard to find and very difficult to work with. I was lucky to find the stock locally and also lucky that I was able to mill out and glue up the seat blanks without help.  I knew what I wanted for the steel back supports but I was not sure how they would come out.  How precise would the bends and drilled holes be, etc.   Time is what makes almost anything possible.  A lack of time when it is needed can cause much stress.  Well, it all worked out. 
Much thanks to the many sitters who watched my daughter, Claire. They took morning and afternoon shifts and made this project possible.  They gave me the time that I needed.  See the picture of Claire at the bottom of the page.
5' bench

7' bench

9' bench

the three bears

Claire. You can dress her up but...

My next post should have picture of the benches in place.
Stay tuned,

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Shelburne Museum Benches Final Assembly

This job is a great illustration of keeping your money local.
The steel tabs below were made for me by Robert Grant of  Rand B Tooling in Orwell, Vermont and delivered in a nice wooden box. These will hold the bench seats down to the base.  The stainless steel back supports were made for me by Nop Metal Works in Middlebury, Vermont.  I purchased all of the lumber at The A Johnson Lumber Company and Lathrop's Maple Supply, both of Bristol, Vermont.  I purchased all of the the stainless steel fastenings from a Fastenal franchise in Middlebury. Vermont.
That's around $4,000. spent locally in 2 months.  

Once the back supports are bolted in place and the base is fastened to the seat, the bench then needs to be turned over and lowered to the floor.  The 9' bench pictured below weighs 260 lbs. Too heavy for me to safely turn over on my own, so I used my chain fall to lift and lower the bench.  The chain fall made this job possible.  

The 9' bench flipped and ready for it's back rail.

The 7' and 9' benches all ready to go.

The nylon feet are adjustable just in case the surface where the bench will live is not level. They also will keep the wood up off of a possibly wet porch deck.
Stella was not happy to have a friend's dog stop by for a visit.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Benches for the Center for Art and Education at Shelburne Museum Coming Together

Below is the 7 foot bench of the 5'. 7' and 9' benches that I am making for the Center for Art and Education at Shelburne Museum.
The bases are not finished yet and I think they will have to be assembled on site as the benches are so heavy when assembled that moving them will be very difficult.

Above is the seat for the 9' bench that I move around using a chain fall that hangs from a steel beam in my shop.  This seat weighs around 140 lbs.

Center for Art and Education at Shelburne Museum. benches

Below is a short walk around video of the 5 foot bench.  Two can lift this bench but it is not easy. My brother and I opted to carry this out in two parts, base and seat.    The seat and back are ready for varnish but the base is not yet cleaned up.  The beauty of the cherry will come out with the varnish.

Mogli (daughter, Claire) doing quality control.

Mogli  keeping  watch on her kingdom.

Enjoy the nice weather while we have it.
I'll be in the shop sanding.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Shelburne Bench Progress plus spindle shaving by the lake

I finally got the stainless steel back supports for the benches that I am making (above).  I had a local metal worker Nop Metal Works cut, bend and drill the steel to my specifications.  I then spent a day sanding and wire brushing the steel to make it presentable for display.  It is grimy work, so I set up outside for this part.

 Below is a shot of the 5' bench set up with a piece of scrap used as the back rest.  I have not made the back rest yet.

This shot shows the steel clamped to the seat.

In the shop below, the steel is now bolted with a stainless steel flat head cap screw.  It was very scary to drill through that seat.

Last weekend , my wife was away so, realizing that I was not going to get any work done, I tookmy kids to my parents camp in the Adirondacks and managed to get some work done on spindles for a 5' Waltham Bench.  It also was a needed rest.
This video is about the time is takes to do the hand work part of making these spindles. This bench has 32 spindles.
By the way, the camp is for sale and is a great place.

Enjoy the rain. What else can we do?