Thursday, November 10, 2011


Though I have made some progress on the chair itself, I wanted to take this time to share some trials.
Here is a test run with the set-up and milling for the main knock-down hardware I will be using.
It took me a while to find a good quality hardware system that satisfied my construction desires.
What I found is an Australian manufacturer of mechanical fasteners by the name of Zipbolt. The model I have here is the Zipbolt UT mini 12.720 - KD6.
It consists of a threaded insert, for the leg side in my case, a double threaded rod, and a "nut" mechanism for the stretcher side.
Oh yes, the only supplier I found to sell these units retail was

In use your joint can be tightened up with a simple hex-key. Pretty frickin slick!
You will note the gap as I did not counter-sink the threaded insert on this test.

I imagine for the rear stretcher I will fashion a "plug" a bit like this. I imagine some edge softening and a hole in the middle or a bit cut out on the side to easily be able to pry it off when needed. This plug is obviously too small for the hole but you get the idea. A plug that is not trying to be invisible, they never are, so give it some tasteful intention ;).
And yes, the joint feels strong when assembled!

I ordered a sample of WOCA's "Master Oil - White" via their direct US seller in Georgia - WOCA Direct, after the post and comments about it on Mr. Godfrey's blog.

Here are a number of finish samples including the WOCA White Oil at the bottom-right.
The WOCA product produces a nice minimal build up with a durable feel to it. It is light in color and pretty matte in sheen which is what I'm looking for.

There IS a problem though. About the only woods I would imagine using this on are Oak and Ash. Both are open grained woods As such the oil "pools" in the pores and more white pigment is deposited. Much like when staining these kinds of woods you get a pronounced color in the pores, in this case white. My immediate thought when seeing this is that it looks like there is dust in the pores, which I do not find very attractive.
WOCA is on the bottom. Just Clapham's wax above.
The just wax finish seems to be yellowing ever so slightly with time. The extra blonde shellac with wax starts out very slightly blonde but has seemed to stay put.
After doing some research and talking to a friend who works at a Danish Modern refurbishing shop I gather that a Soap finish is simply not durable. Although it is aesthetically what I want, practically it doesn't quite hold up.
Thus far I think my best bet is to go for a very thin extra blonde shellac with a thin coat or two of Clapham's wax.

In further sampling, here are some upholstery fabric options I've been looking at. I'm sure the photo/monitors don't do the colors justice but it's a "jist".
Hmmm tough decision.

Lastly, as I expected, staples are just not going to be a good option in securing seat webbing in an Oak frame. What I have seen before is a routed out section replaced with something like Poplar or perhaps Soft Maple to be able to staple the webbing in.
Also I have an idea to use recessed brass bars and screws to do the job. It could be pretty nice but pretty time consuming...
Any thoughts?


David said...

Just a thought on the stapling thing, mabe regular staple wont work, but what about 18gauge 1/2"x1/4" staples that you would use with a air stapler?
I'm prety sure, that it would work just fine for the application. If you don't have one, I'm sure you have a friend that have one...

Nicholas Nelson said...

Hmm these are the typical 1/2"x3/8" industrial staples but in a mechanical machine vs pneumatic.
I do know a place or two that I can try out a pneumatic machine though.

Nick Brygidyr said...

hey you got the hardware! where'd you end up ordering it from?

Matt Petersen said...

nifty hardware

Nicholas Nelson said...

Got the hardware from I had called them, they said that they normally sell their products at larger quantities but some items are available for retail by the single unit including these Zipbolt fasteners.
I'm happy I found a supplier.

mckenzie said...

Thanks for sharing, the hardware looks pretty slick.

Jason Herrick said...

Very very cool hardware. Clearly I need to step it up a notch. Nice stuff man.