Saturday, July 13, 2013

Two At The Same Time...

I think this is how I'll do it from now on.  It just made sense that I could trace the boards, make the same cuts one right after another and then assemble the chairs simultaneously.  And what a way to spend my first Furlough Friday.

Just a brief note about the furlough situation.  I am a civil servant so, as you may have seen on the news, I am among the multitudes of folks taking one day per week of unpaid vacation.  For me - I can only speak for myself - I would have preferred the government had simply cut my pay by 20 percent and told me to take it or leave it.  The truth is, thankfully, I am in a position that my pay as a government civil servant isn't my only source of income., and frankly, we can adsorb this hit easier than many of my co-workers.

What is hurting me is the impact and stress I have on doing a 50 hour a week job in only 32 hours.  I am forbidden by federal law from working a minute over 32 hours per week, and honestly, in spite of what you may think about government civil servants, my wife can tell you that I don't do my 8 hours a day - and done.  What it amounts to for me is, on Monday, I'll go in with even more to catch up on and only 32 hours to do it in. 
But, all this free time gives me more time to hone my skills on these chairs.  And after tracing two sets of wood, I commenced to cutting.  That took me most of Friday morning.  If you notice on the picnic table there is a plastic license plate.  I used that as a template for drilling the holes on the chair slats.  That sped things up a bit.
With experience, I have also added a few little tricks to make it all go faster.  You'd be amazed at how much time is saved by having the screws all set in the pieces before assembling.  I've also learned a thing or two about sanding.  On some of the previous chairs, I have sanded every edged and surface.  Understanding what is visible after assembly has helped me to better use my time on the parts that touch the body or can be seen, and spend a lot less time on the parts that won't see the light of day.
On Saturday morning while the sun wasn't blaring down, I started assembling the chairs side by side.

And before long, things were taking shape.   Eva calls this the "shooting the bird" phase.
I have to tell you, these seat backs came out very good.  I've gotten it down to a science I think, and I told my daughter (5 & 6 are for her), that these were easily the most comfortable yet.
Of course, I waited until they were finished to try them out.  This evening, I sanded them one final time to remove the pencil marks and now they are ready for paint.  Instead of stain, she is going to go with a paint scheme that will look rustic.  I'll post a picture when she is done.

I already have the wood for the next set of two (Eva would like at least 8 chairs for Stoney Island), but I think I may have to take a break and try a different project just to shake things up.  Next, I think we are going to try to build the Cornhole boards.  You can see the concept here.


MsBelinda said...

Sorry to hear about your furlough but at least you still have a job.

You are getting pretty good at making these chairs!

Dave said...

...but at least you still have a job.

Amen to that!

Kathleen Scott said...

Many years ago I worked for the Veterans Administration, and can vouch for your statement that there is always more to do than can be done. I hate the political weakness that caused the furlows.

Your chairs are super. Wondering about spray-painting as an easy and low-stress way to cover, maybe use Rustoleum or another long-wear type?

Thanks for your comment at Hill Country Mysteries.

Greg said...

I think you're really starting to get the hang of these chairs!