That’s a wrap. The chair is in the books. Last weekend, I burnished the last coat of black milk paint and oiled the chair with walnut oil. I may yet go over it with a few more coats of oil, because the finish is a bit duller than I’d like, but that won’t change the appearance much except to add a bit more shine. Last night, I got out an old white table cloth and my wife’s SLR and tried to take a few decent pictures. Hopefully they prove that I am at least as good at building chairs as I am lousy at taking pictures of them. Thanks to everyone who followed along and offered encouragement and kind words. And thanks especially to Peter Galbert (author of Chairmaker’s Notebook and the Chairnotes blog) and to Curtis Buchanan (creator of tthis awesome YouTube series on Windsor Chairmaking). I defintely couldn’t have done this without their help.
I’ve never tackled a project that required so much patience, research, and preparation before. I am prone to dive headfirst into a project, even a big one, with the assumption that I can just figure things out at I go along. Usually it works out fine. Occasionally it ends in frustration. There have been a few points over the last few years where I’ve walked out of the shop with a half-finished project and refused to go back in for weeks or months. Or at the very least, I’ve put aside a project and continued on with other things, sometimes for years, until my tools or skills caught up to my original vision. I can’t think of many things that breed negative emotion quite like the sight of a half-finished project mocking me every time I walk into what is supposed to be my happy place, my temple, my cozy respite from the rest of the world. I know that feeling too well, and I’m glad that, in this instance, I knew better than to tackle this project until I knew I was prepared. There is nothing quite like the enthusiasm of youth, but I’m hoping this project marks the wisdom of age beginning to take hold.
I’ll leave you with a few picture of my new favorite thing: