Monday, July 21, 2008

(S)he slats seats by the sea shore

Yeah, say that five times fast!

On vay-cay this week, so mornings are mine. A trip to Lowes, so much more sedate on a Monday morning than it is on weekends, brought home 10 1x2s. Typical of my luck, in a nearly completely empty store I end up being in the way of a wheelchair bound fella that just happened to need access to the exact same pile of wood. It's just like when I turn around in someone's driveway: the homeowner invariably comes down the road and wants to pull into his driveway, and there I am. I swear, it's nearly every single time! Well, I was 8 boards through my 10 board selection process and not keen on giving way, so I rushed through the last two and paid for my haste later, as we'll see.

The slats are cut from those same 1x2s, and any kind of bend (lengthwise horizontally, lengthwise vertically, or both) is going to translate into a shoddy looking seat. So does my innate ability to cut the same intended length to an ultra-imprecise 1/4" tolerance, but that's different somehow. You know how it is: I screw up, fine. I paid for the privilege. The wood is bent from the get-go? Well, that's an alternatively hued equine, is it not? I was out of luck right out of the gate. Never had a chance. Well, that's the true cost of buying cheap wood, a practice I will continue until such time as I gain sufficient competence and confidence to use the pricier stuff.

With the slats cut, it's glue & screw time. Having learned the lesson of pre-drilling the holes, it went much more smoothly than before. The gallon jug (the vinegar today, as suited my mood) made a reappearance, this time holding the bottom edge of the first slat in place while I aligned and drilled the first hole. The plans call for a 1/2" space between each slat, and conveniently enough I had cut out a couple of 1/2" spaces to hold the front edge of the seat frame flush while I coerced it into permanently holding shape:

As I proceeded to add more slats, it became more obvious that a lot of the wood was inconveniently bent. Sometimes I could reduce the gap between slats with the simple expedient of reorienting the newest board, but that would only work now and then. One board was so bent that I just tossed it to the scrap pile. You might be able to see the gap between the slats in this picture, or it might be that I'm just too sensitive to it:

With all of the slats in place except the ninth, which goes in after the back piece is mounted, I gave it a test sit:

A little bendy, isn't it? Maybe that comes from using cheap pine too.

1 comment:

  1. Put another support in the middle. That should take out the bounce. That would be if you still have the ban saw, but since it will not be seen, you can try the jigsaw again.

    Brian Harrison