The Windsor Chair continues, but not without diversions.

The lathe work is complete. The three stretchers were easy – only 16″ long, and 5/8″ minimum dimensions. I left the tenons over-sized so I can turn them to their final dimensions once they’re completely dry.

The two posts, on the other hand…whew. 26″ long, and an almost comically-small 7/16″ at the tip. They were whipping around like a disco dancer as I was trying to pare the finished surface with the skew chisel.

Chair Parts
Here’s a handy reference, just so everyone can visualize the parts that I’m talking about. Photo credit: Curtis Buchanan. (No, my turnings are not as nice as his; you don’t have to point that out)

To keep the vibration to a minimum, I kept my left index finger on the back of the spindles as I was turning, opposite the cutting edge. It helped a lot, but there were still some spots where a little chatter was unavoidable. I’ve done this before when turning dry wood, and I had to use a light touch to avoid burning my fingers. I was actually happy to see that on the green live oak, I got a burnished buildup of gunk on my finger that seemed to reduce the heat and friction.

spoon 018
Burnished finger-gunk: One of the many benefits of green spindle-turning.

In any case, after a couple of hours, I had three stretchers and two posts completed. The lathe work is now complete, and the turning are set aside to dry. Next up: the seat.

spoon 020
Completed turnings

My ugly live oak log yielded a lot of waste, and I couldn’t help but try to make something useful out of the rivings that were too scant for spindles. Live oak is a tough wood to carve, but the results were delightful:

Live Oak Spoon

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