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Thread: Greene & Greene Gamble House Dining Chairs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Bucks County, PA
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    174

    Greene & Greene Gamble House Dining Chairs

    A set of 15 dining side chairs in Sapele and ebony. These chairs are based on a Greene & Greene design for the Gamble House in Pasadena, CA, as adapted by Darrell Peart and Bob Lang. The leather slip seats were covered by a local upholsterer, Jet Upholstery, In Bedminster, PA, who did an excellent job capturing the original Greene & Greene look. This set of chairs took me a little over a year to build and were made to go with my interpretation of the Greene & Greene Thorsen House Table.

    The chair was first designed in CAD, then CNC pattern routing templates were created from the CAD drawings for each curved part or detail (which was pretty much every part). Most parts were pattern routed to final shape. A few were too tall to pattern route and were roughed out with the bandsaw and either pattern sanded using a spindle sander or cleaned up by hand using spoke shaves. Most of the corner rounding was done by hand with a combination of floats, rasps and files before final sanding. All joinery is loose tenon construction, with the mortises cut mostly using the excellent Leigh FMT.

    The crest rail and back splats were the most challenging parts of this chair. These parts have curved faces on all sides except the flat mortised ends. Each part required a significant amount of hand shaping using spoke shaves, floats, rasps, files and scrapers.

    The ebony details are classic Greene & Greene. There are square plugs at most of the joints and ebony bars with nickel-silver pins inset into the center back splats.

    The finish is General Finishes water borne dye stain topped with Target Coatings EM-6000 water borne lacquer.

    Here are some project totals:

    Board feet of Sapele used: 315
    4’ x 8’ sheets of 3/4” baltic birch plywood: 2
    Number of chair parts fabricated: 285
    Number of mortises: 720
    Number of floating tenons: 360
    Number of square ebony plugs: 405
    Number of ebony splines: 120
    Quarts of finish used: 10
    Hours to complete: 596

    thanks for looking!


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SoCal
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    Beautiful. Wishing for some action shots . Great color and finish. Your attention to detail and hand work shows clearly. Very well done.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Colorado
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    422
    Fantastic work! Thanks for sharing.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    That is a handsome look chair. Really like the color
    Thanks for sharing
    Aj

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
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    817
    Delightful! Why 15? You would think an even number would match the table....
    Are the back components steam bent?
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
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    174
    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    Delightful! Why 15? You would think an even number would match the table....
    Are the back components steam bent?
    Thanks everyone.

    why 15? good question. The table seats 12 so I cut enough chair parts for 14, assuming I’d lose two somewhere along the way. Turns out I didn’t lose any, so that’s 14 chairs. The 15th was the prototype I build at MASW.

    No steam bending on this chair, everything was rough cut on the bandsaw from 8/4 stock and pattern routed when possible. The parts were too wide for pattern routing I either pattern sanded them with a spindle sander or worked them by hand with spoke shaves, etc.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
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    6,272
    Show Off

    I am impressed. Good job.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Carrollton, Georgia
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    Beautiful chairs, Robert. The care taken in the final stages is evident .. I see a lot of hand sanding there and gorgeous finish. The back reminds me of a corset.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Bucks County, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    Show Off

    I am impressed. Good job.
    Ha! Lowell, don’t confuse extremely good luck with showing off!

    I did have my share of mess ups, but I was lucky enough to be able to recover from them. Like this one. A back assembly fell over while I was dry fitting the parts, landed on a wood scrap just right to break the top of the center back splat. This, of course happened after the back was glued up. Amazingly the break was perfectly clean and no lost wood so it went back together almost perfectly.

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  10. #10
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    Apr 2017
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    Bucks County, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yonak Hawkins View Post
    Beautiful chairs, Robert. The care taken in the final stages is evident .. I see a lot of hand sanding there and gorgeous finish. The back reminds me of a corset.
    Thanks Yonak. Yes, there was a lot of hand shaping particularly on the crest rails. Many hours working with spoke shaves, rasps, floats and sandpaper. Interestingly, I picked up a 14 grain Auriou Rasp and the finish off that tool was about the equivalent of 120 grit sandpaper, so the final sanding was not as bad as I expected.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NW Indiana
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    432
    Absolutely beautiful Robert. The craftsmanship and attention to detail are top notch - really well done. Especially the crest rails. Must have been interesting just keeping track of the parts. And the broken back splat just confirms my suspicion that things wait to go wrong until the glue has dried. Speaking of which: titebond 3? Hide? Epoxy?

  12. #12
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    Apr 2017
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    Bucks County, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Carey View Post
    Absolutely beautiful Robert. The craftsmanship and attention to detail are top notch - really well done. Especially the crest rails. Must have been interesting just keeping track of the parts. And the broken back splat just confirms my suspicion that things wait to go wrong until the glue has dried. Speaking of which: titebond 3? Hide? Epoxy?
    Thanks Bill. I considered using epoxy for the longer working time but in the end I used TB3 for the glue-up. I did the glue-up in two stages- the front legs and apron as a sub-assembly and the back legs,apron, crest rail and splats as a second assembly. After they were dry I brought them together with the side aprons. The parts were all stacked very carefully on my shop cart, and it was quite full towards the end!

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    3,640
    Awesome project at every step of the process. They will be enjoyed for generations to come. Where did you sign, and date them?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Bucks County, PA
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    Not signed and dated, but I did brand them behind the front apron.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    48,754
    Totally outstanding work, Mr C!!!! Those are going to kick your dining room setup up several notches beyond where it sits at a high, high level already! I guess I'm going to have to make a field trip up to do a "butt test" on them. LOL
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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