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I Forge Iron

Forged Rocking Chair WIP


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On the recommendation of JLpservicesinc, I’ve decided to make a work in progress thread as I build a forged rocking chair using primarily  traditional joinery. The reason I’m building this chair is for a blacksmithing contest being held May 5-6, 2018. I was sort of press ganged into this contest by some friends but once entered I plan on making the very best go of it that I can. This is by far the biggest and most complex smithing project I tried and to be honest, it is above my skill level. I’m doing my best to rise to the challenge. I’ve had to learn a new process or technique for nearly every part. For some processes I’ve gotten it just right on the first try. For other, it has been numerous days of extremely aggravating, discouraging failure before I’ve gotten the desired result. Unfortunately for everyone, I haven’t got a sketch or drawing to show the desire result, got an idea in my head and working with that. This project is inspired by a chair built by Brett Moten and Tim Cisneros who were inturn inspired by Sam Maloof  

 

I’ll add pictures as things become post worthy and a brief description on occasion. Since I’m on a time crunch, it should get updated every few days. 

 

Not really knowing where to start on some thing like this I decided to start from the top down. Conveniently, I had just purchased a power hammer and we got to know each other working on the top of the chair back. I don’t remember the starting length of 3”x1/2”  0F1CA726-83B1-4F17-A787-E1A86F5DCC5A.thumb.jpeg.358855a574f07578e9ca687dad61f7fe.jpeg

Next I began working on the sides and slats of the back. The slats gave me an incredible amount of trouble. Failure after failure to get the look I was after. I think I had 8 or 9 rejects, some of which are still around the shop. The others were thrown as far as I could and one was intentionally burnt up in the forge. Part of my problem was inexperience using a power hammer. Chair back sides starting stock was 15” of 3”x1/2”. Starting stock for each slat was 11” of 3/4” square. 

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Next I started working on the back piece of the seat that the slats will attach to. I used a slit and drift punch a friend made from S-7 for me. I had to make a 1” slitting chisel and matching drift for the holes in the ends. Starting stock 18” of 1 1/4”x1/2”89B58F42-18B3-4657-B37D-5280B4286BDB.thumb.jpeg.a2ef9bf034e0cde222bbcac596e69269.jpeg8A00B39F-59DC-449B-BCD1-E22C64101DCE.thumb.jpeg.fe45c6fa48d16115a6bc3862778aa8d9.jpeg2BA8B249-F524-4C1C-9AA5-FF27484E283C.thumb.jpeg.acfd6346643326daeddf88fac56f92f5.jpeg4966792C-795C-4BF5-B9CA-DDC68972FF0E.thumb.jpeg.6faa62dc3791d19711576002cbd77aa7.jpeg

 

Next was the back legs which will attach to the rockers on the bottom and the seat and back on the top end. Starting stock for legs 11” of 3”x1/2”

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Holes have been punched and drifted through both the legs and back stay. Also back stays and back legs have been bent close to final position. No point getting nit picky when I’m so far from being done. 

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That's an amazing project. I'm looking forward to seeing how it comes out.

Nice touch, using the I-shaped section that comes from hammering bar stock on edge. Very creative.

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On 4/26/2018 at 11:46 AM, Jackdawg said:

wow,

It looks like it is going to be magnificent, but I don't think grandpa will be up to dragging it around the front porch to much!

That's what grand kids and the will are for. :rolleyes:

Glad you're feeling better Ben. The pointy part is going to below the level of the seat I hope.

Frosty The Lucky.

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45 minutes ago, Frosty said:

Glad you're feeling better Ben. The pointy part is going to below the level of the seat I hope.

Thanks Frosty, feeling better but is amazing how much be sick for a couple of days take out of you. Got worn out faster than normal. Should do a little better tomorrow. 

The pointy part is going to get angled back and be 1/4” or so below seat level. I’m going for comfort not violation.

Originally the plan was to be a maple seat with the booty contour carved out but due to time constraints I’m going to with a two layers leather. The bottom supporting layer will veg tan and the piece that makes contact will be hair on hide. Hopefully the double layer will resist stretching for a good long while. 

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Oh yeah, Strep is good for a serious butt kicking and just because you're over the bug doesn't mean you're recovered. We aren't 20 anymore you  know.

Leather can be contoured and hardened like wood. I don't know how it's done new but we used to boil it to make hard armor pieces. I believe 200 f. in the oven does it too. Bees wax and the oven did for a leather shoulder strap I just wanted water proofed. 

I can't recommend mu memories of results above, it's been a long time and I don't recall so well now.

I know it IS possible to form leather and stiffen-harden it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I was thinking along the lines of the old folding tripod hunting/camp stools with the leather seats. It took a very long time for the double layered leather of those the stretch to a point of needing replacing. Hopefully this chair won’t see the neglect, abuse and elements that those stools were subjected to and the leather will last even longer. 

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55 minutes ago, jlpservicesinc said:

 

21 minutes ago, Ric Furrer said:

Thank Y’all!  I know it’s a little bit tough to envision since it’s just pictures of random parts as they get finished but I’m down to the wire so hopefully things will start coming together both literally and figuratively. 

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I did measure a cheap rocking chair we’ve got in Pinecone’s room. I’ve always thought it was comfortable. 

The seat is going to be a very heavy layer of veg tan leather, stretched tight, with another layer of hair on hide over that. It’s not ideal and will eventually have to be restretched or replaced but it’s what I’ll be able to do on Wednesday. 

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Ben, that is looking awesome! Great work!

I’m going to second Jennifer’s recommendation for a sheet metal seat, but as a support for the veg leather et al. If you make the metal seat removable, then some future owner can replace the leather when (inevitably) it’s needed.

For example, here’s the drop-in seat of a Greene & Greene-style chair I made some thirty years ago. The seat has been re-covered twice (and the leather is going to last a whole lot longer than the basic fabric that was there before).

8B0B3080-384A-4CD0-A321-40580A051CE5.jpeg

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