In the Zone

          After splitting on Monday, Kevin and I worked a half day Tuesday cutting oak blanks. Our priority was to get out the material for the upcoming Writing arm class. Each chair will require a crest and a long arm. Crest blanks are 32 inches and long arms (c-arm, NYC bows, and settee parts) are six feet. Since we were in that mode, we cut enough crests for the rest of the year and for catalog sales. The Philly high back in August and the rocking chair in September both require crests. So, we are ready for them.

          We spent the rest of the morning cutting a large pile of standard spindle blanks; 24 inches long. By the time we were done cutting we had large piles of blanks all around our machine room. When we went back to the stacks of splits we had put upon Monday, I was amazed that we had barely made a dent. Obviously, we will be doing a lot of cutting in the next two months. 

          Yesterday, we received another load of seat pine. I hope to buck it into length today. I should be able to get the job done, as that work goes fairly quickly. Kevin, Patrick, Don, and I are getting together again on Monday next. We should wrap up that day with many of the seat blanks glued. Once again, our focus will be on the upcoming class. Don’s first order of business will be the writing arm seat blanks, which with a side tail piece, are a unique shape.  He will also glue up the writing tablets. Meanwhile, Kevin and I will be cutting more oak. 

          I have a treat waiting for me on the shop floor, and I am anxious to get to it after bucking the pine. I recently received an email from a student who had taken the NYC bow back side chair class. He had also bought the class chair made by the staff and me as part of the instruction. He wanted to round out the pair into a set of four and inquired if I had any more NYCs on hand. I didn’t, but not having a class during June, I will have time to make a couple of chairs. So, I agreed to make him another pair. 

          I have already made the bows and am now working on the spindles for the chairs. It has been so long since I made some chairs for sale, I had forgotten how satisfying it is. I work at my vise and go into the zone. I feel the stress drain out of me as I get into the rhythm of chairmaking. My reverie is only occasionally broken by a phone call. Even still, I quickly slip back into a state of complete peace.   It is very nice.

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