stevenbunn Sun, 04/19/2015 - 13:26

A quick note to anyone interested, I am now offering a set of plans for an Ebeneezer Tracy Sack-back Windsor chair, circa 1780-82. The ten page set of plans sells for $55.00. Postage and handling charges are included in the list price. Drawings on the front, side and back views of the chair are shown at one-third scale to achieve the best clarity I can show. Turning profiles for legs, stretchers and arm-posts are full-sized. Patterns for the arm and back bows are shown at half scale. I intend to offer plans for a number of other Windsor chairs in the future. I will be adding a Plans Available link on the main website shortly. In the meantime I wanted to get the word out. The plans are available in hard copy and mailed to your address. The plans won't teach you to make a Windsor chair. If you have already made a Windsor chair, and have basic turning skills on the lathe, this is a project you can handle. Tracy's Windsors are some of the most iconic chairs ever made, Once you are familiar with his turning patterns and distinctive seat profiles you can flip through a book on Windsor chairs and pick his work out immediately.

I made my first Tracy Sack-back in 2002 when a gentleman from Falmouth brought me his grandmother's chair and asked me to make four chairs to match. He had four daughters who were graduating from high school and college, and he wanted to present each daughter with one of these beautiful chairs. The project expanded when on seeing the first four chairs, his wife wanted four chairs for their home. Then both his brother and sister ordered four chairs each. The whole project was a lot of fun. Tracy's Sack-back is one of my favorite designs. A picture of one of these chairs is posted a little further down this page. It does a good job of showing the distinctive seat and the major turnings. The sharply back bent top bow and the under cut seat front don't show in the picture. You can't have everything. But you can have a set of plans for an exchange of filthy lucre and build one for yourself. Anyone interested?

stevenbunn Fri, 04/17/2015 - 13:03
The three octagonal sections of the font glued up
A photo to show the progress in the construction of the baptismal font. The three major sections base, center pedistal, and top have either been glued together, or are clamped up waiting for the glue to dry. Note the slines glued into slots cut into the beveled edges of each board. The font will sit in a church built on the banks of one of Maine's largest rivers which is tidal and salty at Phippsburg. The splines reinforce each joint and help keep seasonal wood movement from tearing the font apart.
stevenbunn Tue, 04/14/2015 - 07:26
An Ebeneezer Tracy Sack-back Windsor chair
I mentioned in an earlier post that I am going to start posting parts of my book about building an Ebeneezer Tracy Sack-back Windsor chair on this blog. Getting ready to do so forced me to draw up a set of plans that serve as the foundation for what follows. So far I've created ten pages of drawings and will probably have to do several more pages before I am done. The photo above shows most of the construction details which make Tracy Sack-backs so interesting, I love the turning profiles and the large knuckles of the hand-rests. Obviously, a project like this one isn't suitable for a first time effort. However, if you have made one or more Windsor chairs and have basic turning skills on a lathe this is a chair you can make. As a start to the book publication, I am going to offer the complete set of plans as a package for sale through my website.
I spent the past weekend working on the baptismal font, which I am building for a local church. I ran out of time and didn't get any pictures. Watching the Masters golf tournement got in the way. I will post a few in-process pictures in the next couple of days. Have a good day.
stevenbunn Sat, 04/04/2015 - 12:48
The assembled communion table
The bulk of the work is done. Some sanding still needs to be done, the top and the outer faces of the lower square sections of the legs, hence the darker tone of the wood. Other-wise a blustery day in Maine. Happy Easter to everyone.
stevenbunn Sun, 03/29/2015 - 14:44
Installing astragal molding on the communion table's shirts
A surfit of posts today, highlighting the carving skill of Mark Donovan, done for the communion table and baptismal font.
This picture is almost ho-hum in comparision to the two photos of Mark's carvings posted in the following two posts. The molding does a nice job of dressing up the table.
stevenbunn Sun, 03/29/2015 - 14:32
Mark Donovan's carving of a peapod and fisherman/lobsterman for the font
Look at this! An incredible amount of detail packed in a small image. I am starting to sweat just thinking about cross-cutting the panals to size. What if I screw this up? Ahhhhhhhh! I can't get over the planking on the boat. This carving is only a little over four inches in width. Boy, oh boy, oh boy.
stevenbunn Sun, 03/29/2015 - 14:21
Carving of the tree for a font panal
At the time the UCC church in Phippsburg was founded a linden tree was planted on the site of the church in celebration. Two-hundred and fifty years later the linden tree is still living and has become an enduring symbol of the church. The tree's signature shape has been captured in a number of paintings of the church. The commissioning committee of the church was particularly interested in some how incorporating the linden tree on both the table and baptismal font. Mark Donovan's carving of the linden tree on one of the four carved panels he created for the font is superb.
stevenbunn Sat, 03/28/2015 - 20:35
Top bow on miniature mounted on spindles, ready for wedging
A very busy couple days just flew past. The communion table's base is glued up. I will try and get some good photos tomorrow. Sunday I need to sand the astragal molding then start gluing it on to the shirts. In addition to everything else, one of my nieghbors came over and spent the last two days cutting down and cutting up two dead elm trees that were waiting to fall in a stiff breeze. I've been lucky on that at least. Now my wife is in a hurry to get the new wood stacked. One more job on the family "to do' list. In other news, Mark brought over the four carved upper panels of the baptismal font. His work is amazing. I will try to get detail shots of these as I know some of you will like them. One panel features a carved linden tree who minute detailing is beyond words. Another, the chuch is part of a historical fishing and boat building community, shows a man rowing a dory with a pine tree covered rocky shore in the background. I'm still trying to figure out how Mark carved the planking in the dory. Consider that each of the panals that make up the fonts octogonal top section are no more than six inches wide and ten inches high. This makes each of the carving no more than 3-1/2 to four inches wide. The finished font is going to be stunning in no small part due to Mark's craftsmanship.
stevenbunn Thu, 03/26/2015 - 13:27
Assembly of the communion table's base
After sanding the parts, I started gluing together the legs, skirts and stretchers of the table's longer two sides. I will let these sub-assemblies stay clamped up until sometime tomorrow, when I will finish gluing up the base. Not rocket science, but gluing up sub-assemblies rather than trying to assemble all four sides at the same time reduces the struggle involved in trying to fit everything together.
stevenbunn Sun, 03/22/2015 - 19:30
Skirt and bracket carving on communion table
Another view of the foliage pattern that extends from the table legs and wraps the table skirts. Carving done by Mark Donovan, Bowdoinham, Maine.