stevenbunn Mon, 03/21/2016 - 08:55

 Snowing heavily this morning, so the mole isn't poking his nose out of the burrow. I'll wander out to the shop later this morning and get a fire going in the wood stove. I spent much of Sunday fitting spindles into the mortises in both the chair seat and the comb. Even though I turned spindles on the lathe, I find that all the various parts need to be

Fan-back side chairs with spindles and combs dry fitted to the under carriage of the chair
test fitted to insure that nothing binds and hangs up once glue is applied. I spent a long time with a spoke-shave tapering the top of each spindle until it was able to fit easily in it's mortise to full depth. A tedious but important task. I carved the volutes on the lobes of the combs Saturday. I left the back sides of the combs uncarved and full width so that I could drive the combs on and off the back posts and spindles without taking a chance on crumbling the thin top edge of the fully shaped combs. Now that I am satisfied with the fit of each comb, I will go ahead and finish shaping the comb's back faces. Then on to final glue-up.
A quick note on technique. In the photo if you look closely you will see that the combs haven't been driven on completely. I have glued the lower spindle tenons into the mortises drilled in the spindle deck. Tapping the comb on partially helps to insure that each spindle is set at the proper angles to side and rear as the glue dries. I have found that if I were to attempt a glue up with wet glue in both the seat and comb at the same time, the act of pounding on the top of the comb to set it in place can suck a spindle partially up out of it's mortise in the seat. When this happens it is difficult to work the spindle loose from the comb and force it back to depth in the lower mortise. To get around this, I glue the spindles into the seat and let them dry before mounting the comb. Two steps instead of one, but worth it.