Every year at this time, I make a trek northward to De Kalb Texas. Its about 4 hours north east of here. I go to a huge sawmill in search for a few good logs to demonstrate chairmaking at our annual Homestead Fair. I’m looking for a good straight log that is about 5 to 6 feet long and that has zero knots. The grain has to be perfect on the end of the log. As you can see I have plenty of logs to search through, it often takes several hours to find the “perfect log” trying to read the bark and the end grain.
I am going to split this log during a couple demonstrations that I will be doing. The first one is going to be at 1:00 each day of the fair. It’s called from “Tree to Chair”. I will start by demonstrating how to split this huge oak log, then move into making a chair part out of the log using wedges, a froe and then working it down with a drawknife and spokeshave. You will see how a chair can be made entirely from a log with a few simple tools. I will even demonstrate how to steam bend the wood, literally taking a perfectly straight board and bending a curve in it! So if you want to see how a tree is transformed into a chair, come by the demonstration pavilion at 1:00 during the fair.
I will be doing another new demonstration using a white log, I am very excited about this demonstration, as its a brand new demo and I think you too will find it quite interesting, so stay tuned, I will be writing about this one in an upcoming blog!
– Our Master Woodworker, Frank Strazza