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Oak settle: minor alterations (finished).

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Goodness knows how many years ago, maybe 15 or 20, I made a couple of oak settles. I even posted about it on a forum somewhere, and one or two of you have been around long enough to perhaps have seen them back then. One of them has had a really tough life, having been parked in front of the underfloor heating manifold at my last house for all of its life until we moved house. Being in the kitchen, it has also been mopped at the bottom repeatedly:







As you can see, it has really suffered. Time to give it a bit of TLC, I thought, so I popped it out to the workshop. No mean feat as it is solid oak throughout and weighs a ton. I needed a sack barrow for the task.

It's quite nice inside, and features an absolute rarity....some turning of mine:



I popped the bottom out:





Then made some minor adjustments to the sides:





This was rather unfortunate. A loose panel that wasn't as loose as it should have been:



I've discovered that I used PU adhesive in building this, so maybe it foamed up and went somewhere it shouldn't have done. No problem. A bit of filler and polish will soon hide the problem. The settle is going to a new home in the porch, so I want it looking spick and span for its new location.
 

Comments

MikeG.":10cpnik1 said:
Goodness knows how many years ago, maybe 15 or 20, I made a couple of oak settles. I even posted about it on a forum somewhere, and one or two of you have been around long enough to perhaps have seen them back then.
I remember it well Mike & your voyage to the dark side doing the wood turning :lol: if memory serves it was 2007-2008
 
Doug, don't suppose you can remember what I finished this thing with, can you? It looks like linseed oil, but I don't think I've ever used linseed on oak other than some doors I did once. It's thick, dirty, and a horrible colour. It could be Danish oil, I suppose, with maybe some wax. I scraped about a quarter of an inch of the stuff off much of the settle to see if I could find the hidden wood.

-

I decided I didn't need the lower panels in the front, so I made a minor intervention with a jig saw:



Removing the remnants from the edge grooves wasn't entirely without collateral damage:



Here's one of the tenons cut off flush:



A few minutes work with some chisels restored the mortise to its former glory, and revealed that I used to use machinery rather more than I do today:



Here is the arm rest mortise after removing the tenon:



My wife made me stop at this point. I was going to cut out the cracks in the back panels and put in 2 Dutchmen, then carve a Tudor rose in the middle of each panel. She thought I was joking:



I had really hoped to avoid this next problem. Raising a panel in situ is just such a silly idea:











Moving on to the tenons, I marked and cut the shoulders (knife then saw):





Workholding was something of a trial. Not your classic set up, and it made an awkward job even more awkward:



I didn't get long at this today, so that's all I managed I'm afraid. I did however buy a whole load of wood, so more exciting woodworking adventures will ensue.
 
MikeG.":3nuzupjp said:
Doug, don't suppose you can remember what I finished this thing with, can you? It looks like linseed oil, but I don't think I've ever used linseed on oak other than some doors I did once. It's thick, dirty, and a horrible colour. It could be Danish oil, I suppose, with maybe some wax. I scraped about a quarter of an inch of the stuff off much of the settle to see if I could find the hidden wood.
In your own words Mike from 22/02/2008.

Oak settle
-trim the excess glue off the seat, final sanding

-glue & pin trim around seat opening

-fit hinges and shoot edges of seat in

-re-saw some oak boards to make the floor of the storage box, plane, prepare half-lap joints, chamfer, cut to length, sand and fit

-shape arms, smooth and fit

-fill and final sand,

-2 coats of linseed, thinned

-2 or 3 coats wax
 
The next phase of the works involved putting the two halves of the settle back together again. This was quite awkward, and after a bit of thought I made a quick template of the back legs to ease proceedings:



When offered up to the side panels I could now mark out the shoulder lines:



However, because the arm rest was in a different plane from the side panel, the mark I made for that was a best guess, and not to be relied upon:



What I did was cut the bottom two tenons accurately as per the template, but make the shoulder of the armrest 3 or 4mm on the safe side of the marked line. Then, it was a case of continual offering-up-and-adjusting. Sometimes those seekers of perfection miss out on the pragmatic solution, and this was a good example of guessing and adjusting. Poor old Steve Maskery has just fallen over in the corner in a heap, covered in a cold sweat . :) Anyway, sneaking up on the final shoulder line, and adjusting the panels etc in the process, took maybe 3 hours:











But finally, everything lined up properly, the joints fitted well, the panels slid into their grooves, and all was well with the world:





Whilst the glue on that was drying I adjusted and put back the little overhang, the fixed part of the top:



This photo, showing the seat offered up in its position, shows you how much width I had removed (and also how much colour I had stripped out of the thing by scraping off the oil and wax mess:



So I hacked a piece off the front of the seat to make it fit its new circumstances:



All the grooves around the front frame which had previously taken panels needed infilling:



Those bored of dovetails might want to look away now.

The whole idea of this alteration to the settle was to convert it from being a box to being a shoe rack, with a couple of big drawers. So, time to make some drawers:



But what's this, Mike? Why would you suddenly swap from dovetails to box joints?



Patience, grasshopper.......First, I need to cut a couple of short grooves in here:



The chisels fitted, but the mallet didn't. The router fitted, but the dust extraction didn't. Oh well, who needs functioning lungs anyway?



Having previously made the drawer sides and back, time to fit the fronts:





I put a little cut across the middle of each one, and chamfered it, to give the appearance of having 4 drawers rather than two:





Now, the answer to the box joint question. I really wanted to have the deepest possible drawers (front-to-back) that I could. These drawers are going to run on proprietry runners, so the face of the drawer has to overhang the sides by the thickness of the runner. Normally this is achieved by making a drawer box and planting on a drawer front, but, as I said, I needed the maximum possible front-to-back measurement. Thus the sides needed to join directly into the back of the drawer front, and for a novel problem I devised a novel variation of a joint:







The floor of each drawer is long (about a metre) and although narrow I felt there was a good chance of them starting to sag over time. I therefore decided to strengthen the floor with some muntins:





All glued up:



Whilst the drawers were drying, I did a little experiment with some dye to see if I could match the new into the old:



After cleaning up the drawers:





....I messed about for quite a while making them fit properly:



The final construction task was to re-build the floor, but above the drawers rather than below them. This involved a new piece on the back of the box, and these grooved end-pieces:





The front of those cross-pieces sits in the groove I struggled to rout out way back up there ^^^ somewhere. Here's a trial fit of the flooring. Note the half lap joint:





There is no possible means of clamping, so I found some heavy stuff for the glue up:



I abandoned the idea of dying the new to match the old. The previous finish was oil, so I was pretty much stuck with re-oiling (unless I stripped right back to bare wood), so I tossed a coin between Osmo and Danish, and went with the latter. This was going to yellow fairly rapidly anyway, and the settle is going in quite a light space, so will also darken again fairly soon. Therefore, I reasoned, even if the match isn't great now in 6 months time no-one will be able to tell new from old:







The area under the seat is a throw-in space for dog leads, gloves, balls, whistles etc (you know......dog-walking necessities).

After finally (yeah, yeah, I know it's been 3 or 4 years. I've been busy) sealing the porch floor, I wheeled the settle around and plonked it in position:









Here, for comparison, is what it looked like before I started work:



It all fits rather well. I'm rather pleased with the settle 2.0. unfortunately, we had originally planned that it would be on the other side of the porch, and so I had installed these coat pegs accordingly. Since we changed our minds on the settle location, they're now on the wrong side of the room. How on earth am I going to get them out, whole, for re-location to the other side? They're friction fitted......but there's lots of friction:

 
How on earth am I going to get them out, whole, for re-location to the other side? They're friction fitted......but there's lots of friction:
If you could pull them out whole, you'd need to fill the holes, so I suggest cutting them off flush and making some new ones for the other side.
 
No, I want to get them out. DaveL turned them for me as I don't turn myself. I'll make up some little buttons or plugs to make a feature of the holes.
 
In that case, maybe some sort of two part wooden clamshell to clamp over the peg, with wedges to shift it away from the wall.
 
I was just wondering if you or Andy had updated your threads.
It looks very nice Mike.

+1 on the clamshell clamp, but a slide hammer should get them out.

Pete
 
I made a crude clamp, and added the power of wedges:





Six out of the seven co-operated:



The seventh suffered a structural failure:

 
MikeG.":18ny1fli said:
I made a crude clamp, and added the power of wedges:

Six out of the seven co-operated:

The seventh suffered a structural failure:

In the interests of architectural transparency (I know you architects are big on that concept), surely you should leave it like that?

Oh, and good job on the settle. I'm not sure I could ever nerve myself to cut apart something I had made.
 
Phlebas":18hf5f6r said:
..........In the interests of architectural transparency (I know you architects are big on that concept), surely you should leave it like that?
:lol: :lol: Today I'm working with my site carpenter's hat on, and hoping the architect doesn't spring a surprise visit. :lol:

Oh, and good job on the settle. I'm not sure I could ever nerve myself to cut apart something I had made.
Thanks. I did hesitate for a second before I put the handsaw into the armrest, I'll admit that.
 
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