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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rietveld Build Beginning

I’ve started working on a project that I’ve wanted to build for some time now.  Gerrit Rietveld’s iconic Red Blue Chair (Roodblauwe Stoel) has been a favorite design of mine for years.

A couple weeks ago I took a trip out to the lumber yard to pick out stock for two of these chairs, plus another Rietveld design, his Steltman Chair.

I picked up 26 board feet of 8/4 Steamed European Beech, enough to build the frames for two of the Red Blue Chairs.
 
I’m planning to build and paint one chair following the original design plans and build a second chair that will receive either a clear finish or a gray-scale paint scheme.

I also purchased 16 board feet of 8/4 White Oak to build the Steltman Chair.
 
There are right and left oriented versions of the Steltman design and I’d eventually like to build both, however, I only have enough lumber for one right now.  My plan is to build the chair with the left armrest first and then build the right sided version later.

That same weekend that I brought the lumber home I rough cut the slabs into smaller, more manageable pieces with my circular saw out in the garage.
 
After breaking the slabs down I stacked and stickered them down in the shop to allow them time to acclimate.  Over the Thanksgiving weekend I ripped the smaller slabs down to sizes that will be workable on my 6” jointer, but would still accommodate all the part sizes needed for the design.

I hadn’t cut much heavy slab stock on my old Ridgid TS2424 previously.  With my Freud rip blade and a nice and steady feed rate though, it handled both the Beech and the Oak just fine.
 
With all of the stock ripped and re-stacked I’ll be ready to start jointing and planing this next weekend.
 
I’ll probably re-stack after those operations and let the wood acclimate again for another week before milling the parts to their final dimensions.   Good thing I have a few smaller projects in the works to keep me busy while I’m waiting!

Pete

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