Whenever possible, I try to build projects in pairs. Building two pieces doesn’t take twice as long as building one project – it seems to add only about 25 percent to the hours I log in the shop.
By building two pieces at once, I end up with a second one I can also sell. And if something goes totally south during the construction process, I still end up with one finished piece and a bunch of extra parts or firewood.
The funny thing about working on projects in pairs is there is usually one of the two projects that fights me the whole way.
This week I’m finishing two chairs for a client. But I’m beginning to think I should have made three. One of these chairs, we’ll call him Joey, has resisted my every effort to make him a chair. When I assembled his undercarriage, one of his legs busted out a huge chip on the seat when I drove it home.
His armbow split twice during the bending process, even though the oak for both was all from the same dang tree.
While assembling the spindles and arm bow I had to use a 3 lb. sledgehammer to knock Joey’s armbow into the correct orientation.
And when I began bending his crest rail, it split. Twice.
So right now Joey is in “time out” on the bench while I hack up a new log of fresh pin oak for his crest rail. The other chair – its twin – has been waiting for paint for three days now.
— Christopher Schwarz