stevenbunn Sun, 05/08/2016 - 15:04


Make a Tracy Hand-Rest (Cont'd)


The arm bow and completed hand-rest set back on the arm-post.

This is a perfectly acceptable hand-rest as a one-off effort. But, as I said earlier, checking a photograph of an original Tracy rest against what I created here, revealed that the webs between the knuckles need to be deeper. Deepening the webs also reduces the center knuckle's apparent width, another thing that the photo showed. I will post another 'final' shot after I sand the re-worked rests.

The eighteen photographs published in this series of blog posts are a trial run for a chapter in a book describing the construction of an Ebenezer Tracy Sack-back Windsor chair. The problem with these images is that first, they are all static. After all, I couldn't use a camera at the same time that I was carving. This means that some information, visible in a picture but not easily explained verbally was lost. Second, the pictures show the hand-rest fitted to a different chair than the Tracy Sack-back. A Tracy arm-post is different than the one seen in these pictures. Which means I can't use several of these pictures, even though they are OK in other respects. The Staples box in the back ground of the last picture would drive Tim to distraction. The book I am working on will have over 500 pictures. I have been working on a Photo List of all the pictures I need. And, if my experience with publishing an article for a magazine is any guide, I will add many more to the list as I work through the steps of building a Tracy Sack-back.

As usual your comments are always welcome. STB

Thanks for stopping by. STB

stevenbunn Sun, 05/08/2016 - 14:28


Make a Tracy Hand-Rest (Cont'd


Round the edges on the flat section of the hand-rest
With the knuckles and volutes carved, clamp the hand-rest in the bench vise and round over the corners of the rest where it dies back into the arm bow.
The Staples box in the back ground needs to disappear when I get around to reshooting this image.
stevenbunn Sat, 05/07/2016 - 09:29


Make a Tracy Hand-rest (Cont'd)


Use the small gouge to carve back to the stop. Cut deeper as you cut toward the stop. Make a second, or even a third pass with the chisel, cutting deeper each time.
A quick note. I said in an earlier post that sanding the hand-rests never stops. Boy was I right. The Sack-back is done and ready to be painted. This week I was looking again through Nancy Evans book on Windsor chairs. A close up photo of a Tracy Carved-Knuckle hand-rest caught my eye. The depth of the webs between the knuckles appeared deeper in that picture than the ones on the Sack-back. So Friday morning I found myself back in the shop, working madly with a rasp to deepen the webs. Of course this means more sanding today.
Thanks for dropping by. STB
stevenbunn Fri, 05/06/2016 - 07:34

Make a Tracy Hand-Rest


Start by sketching in the volutes on the sides of each hand-rest. The long grain at top and bottom are very prone to chipping out. To prevent this I start my stopping cut, which outlines the center field of the volute, in the stronger cross grain on the sides of the volute. Then gently work my way around the outline. The final depth of the stop cut should be 1/8 inch to 3/16 inch.
stevenbunn Sat, 04/30/2016 - 13:14

Goings on in the shop


We interrupt our regularly scheduled program (the Tracy hand-rest series) to show you one of my large Sack-backs.

One of my New York pattern Sack-back Windsor chairs.


This is the chair for which I made the Tracy carved-knuckle hand rests. The legs are a Gottshall pattern. The arm-posts pattern was taken from Wallace Nutting's book on Windsor chairs. The seat profile is the same pattern as my version of the Nantucket Fan-back arm-chair. As I said in my last post, assembled, but now the sanding.... And yes, I do sweep the floor once in a blue moon. Thanks for stopping by. STB
stevenbunn Sat, 04/30/2016 - 09:48

Tracy Carved Knuckle Hand Rest (Cont'd)


Continue to shape the knuckles using a rasp and finish smoothing the knuckles with sand paper.
Sanding and shaping the knuckle hand-rests is a never quite done kind of thing. This is the first of a number of sanding sessions that I find myself doing. After I carve the volutes on the sides of the knuckles, I sand. Sanding the volutes, and then gently rounding over the outer knuckles and blending these fearures with the volutes...well more sanding. Even after assembling the chair, I find myself sitting in the chair with a pad of sand paper in each hand sanding, deepening the webs to high light the the knuckles, and smooth any remaining chisel marks.
stevenbunn Tue, 04/26/2016 - 20:24

Tracy Carved Knuckle Hand Rest (Cont'd)


For better access to the end grain on the carving blank, I clamp the arm bow in a Jorgensen hand-screw clamp, then mount the Jorgensen in the bench vise with the hand-rest pointing up. I hold a bench chisel bevel down and pare the end grain. Cut in a sweeping motion cutting down into the web from the outside flat. This deepens the web and shapes the center knuckle at the same time.
stevenbunn Tue, 04/26/2016 - 07:10

Tracy Carved Knuckle Hand-Rest (Cont'd)


Turn the arm over and start defining the web between the knuckles on the top of the hand-rest The gouge will only chop down so far into the end grain of the handle. To clean up and shape the webbing in the end grain, I find it most convenient to clamp the arm bow and rest vertically in my bench vise. See next image.
stevenbunn Sun, 04/24/2016 - 09:12

Tracy Carved Knuckle Hand-Rest (Cont'd)


Use a wide gouge to start creating the web between the knuckles.
stevenbunn Sat, 04/23/2016 - 09:08

Tracy Carved Knuckle Hand-Rest (Cont'd)


The roughed out hand-rest mounted on the arm-post.
While the rest was still clamped upside down on the bench, I used a japanese style trim saw to under cut the block up to the lines marking out the volute. The I pared away the waste, smoothing the back of the block at the same time using my bench chisel.