Queen Anne Chair

Working on a Queen Anne chair from Fine Woodworking written by Gene Landon.  In finishing he describes using a soft brass bristle brush on the carvings.  Is anyone familiar with this technique?  Is this instead of sandpaper?  Does it work and is there a particular brush recommended?  Thanks,  Mark
 

chobbs66

Well-known member
In general I think he's talking about the troublesome cleanup needed for the last little chips in carvings, when sandpaper might tend to overly hide the tool marks. I'd say experiment, but looks like you have done a great job anyway.

One question.. why did you decide to simplify the legs? I'd venture to say that the back of the chair might be calling for a little detail on the knees and a trifid or b/c foot. Anyway, great work!
 

Tom M

Well-known member
Mark, It is hard to tell from the pictures, but it looks like your crest rail is rather square. I'm attaching some pictures of Gene's in-process chair to show the round-over on the back of the crest rail. You can see this in the Olde Mill drawing in section D-D (FWW article section A-A). Hope this helps.

Awesome chair!

Tom

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In general I think he's talking about the troublesome cleanup needed for the last little chips in carvings, when sandpaper might tend to overly hide the tool marks. I'd say experiment, but looks like you have done a great job anyway.

One question.. why did you decide to simplify the legs? I'd venture to say that the back of the chair might be calling for a little detail on the knees and a trifid or b/c foot. Anyway, great work!
Thanks for the information! I went with Queen Anne cabriole leg for several reasons. I really like the style of the simpler leg and I built a dining room table with cabriole legs with simple pad feet. And although the ball and claw foot is impressive, I have found it at times a bit menacing. Additionally since this was my first adventure into serious carving I grew impatient and wanted a chair to sit in. I do agree that the leg does call for more detail, with carving on the knee and either a trifid or ball and claw foot. I would like to make several chairs so I appreciate your input. Practice makes perfect! Mark
 
Mark, It is hard to tell from the pictures, but it looks like your crest rail is rather square. I'm attaching some pictures of Gene's in-process chair to show the round-over on the back of the crest rail. You can see this in the Olde Mill drawing in section D-D (FWW article section A-A). Hope this helps.

Awesome chair!

Tom

View attachment 5790View attachment 5791View attachment 5789
Thanks for your helpful advice and pictures Tom. I believe your earlier post about the seat rail joinery to the leg was deleted by accident by the site but it helped me greatly. I see what you mean about the round over on the crest rail. Gene's Fine Woodworking article did not have any pictures of the back, so I look at Tony Kubalak's website and he has several pictures of this chair. He is a phenomenal woodworker. His rail is more square than Gene's, and in fact, is much more finished in detail. I tried to reproduce that version. I am not sure which is historically correct, but Gene was usually the final word. Maybe there were different versions of the back of the crest rail. Perhaps this calls for a road trip to Winterthur or the Philadelphia art museum. I believe there are about 4 of these chairs around. Thanks for your positive feedback Tom! Your plans were so helpful. Mark
 

HSteier

Well-known member
Thanks for your helpful advice and pictures Tom. I believe your earlier post about the seat rail joinery to the leg was deleted by accident by the site but it helped me greatly. I see what you mean about the round over on the crest rail. Gene's Fine Woodworking article did not have any pictures of the back, so I look at Tony Kubalak's website and he has several pictures of this chair. He is a phenomenal woodworker. His rail is more square than Gene's, and in fact, is much more finished in detail. I tried to reproduce that version. I am not sure which is historically correct, but Gene was usually the final word. Maybe there were different versions of the back of the crest rail. Perhaps this calls for a road trip to Winterthur or the Philadelphia art museum. I believe there are about 4 of these chairs around. Thanks for your positive feedback Tom! Your plans were so helpful. Mark
I took that chair course with Gene years ago.Tony Kubalak took the course too. What Gene was talking about was how to get a satin finish after the chair was shellacked. He would use 0000 steel wool but that doesn't get into the carving crevices. Therefore he used a soft brass brush on the carvings. He really did get a satin finish with that technigue.
Howard Steier
 
I took that chair course with Gene years ago.Tony Kubalak took the course too. What Gene was talking about was how to get a satin finish after the chair was shellacked. He would use 0000 steel wool but that doesn't get into the carving crevices. Therefore he used a soft brass brush on the carvings. He really did get a satin finish with that technigue.
Howard Steier
Thanks Howard. I did buy a soft brass bristle brush. I am surprised how soft the brush is. I took on class with Gene around 2000 and built a Pennsylvania German bible box. In the Fine Woodworking article there is a picture of him using a power hacksaw blade as a scraper. Have you or anyone else have success with this? I was thinking the Ultimate Scraper with the concave edge may reduce my use of sandpaper. Thanks Mark
 

HSteier

Well-known member
Thanks Howard. I did buy a soft brass bristle brush. I am surprised how soft the brush is. I took on class with Gene around 2000 and built a Pennsylvania German bible box. In the Fine Woodworking article there is a picture of him using a power hacksaw blade as a scraper. Have you or anyone else have success with this? I was thinking the Ultimate Scraper with the concave edge may reduce my use of sandpaper. Thanks Mark
Gene would put an edge on a power hacksaw blade by grinding an edge holding it perpendicular to the grinder wheel. I have done this with some success. It will scrape, best used on curved surfaces like a leg
 
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