Teak Westport Chair

We’re expecting quite a few photo submissions of our latest cover project, but this reader’s write-up of the project’s progression provides some useful tips for future builders of this great piece.

A few days after getting my August 2011 issue, out of nowhere, my wife asks me if I can make a couple of Adirondack chairs. Hmmmmmm … is she reading my magazine? Also, she would like it made out of the left over Teak flooring we had installed. Sure, I can do it.

Now, I work 95% in old barn wood, I’m not a big fan of exacting dimensions and plans, but I figure “what the heck” I can do it. So I glued up a bunch of the different length boards that are tongue and grooved, so it’s pretty easy, then, that’s where the “easy” part ends!

After about a week of re-sharpening blades, drill bits, and replacing broken countersinks, it’s done!

Not as beautiful as I would have liked, I hate any fasteners that show, and I don’t think plugs ever “disappear” so I asked my wife to pick out some screws she wouldn’t mind looking at in the finished project.

I didn’t realize how brittle the teak was, so a few “braces” had to be put on. Even with correct sized pilot holes, screw lube and gentle persuasion, I still snapped off many screws. Oh, well; it was a frustrating learning curve!

My beloved 20 something year old Skil jigsaw, started smoking after a few of the long cuts in the Teak, I had to go buy a new one, (picture enclosed) the old one still works, it’s just time for it to retire. It was the first woodworking tool I purchased in the 1980′s after I started my 20 year’s in the U.S. Air Force. Now I’m retired, so I figured the jigsaw deserved the same.

No kidding about the 1 degree off here and there the author mentioned in the building article! My old rigid portable table saw must be more than a few degrees off! Teak does NOT bend!

My wife LOVES the chair, she was in a motorcycle accident 10 years ago, and her knees are painful all the time, and the angle of the seat makes it easy on her knees, and easy for her to get up after watching the ducks in our pond.

Thanks for a great magazine, and challenging projects!!

Michael Mulvey

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

teak westport 1

teak westport 2

teak westport 3

teak westport 4

Teak Porthole End Table

This reader-submitted project incorporates details from other sources to put a unique spin on a standard piece of furniture.

My name is Adam Rung from Adam Rung Woodworks. This is my Teak Porthole End Table. The name is pretty self-explanatory. I made the table out of Teak wood and a porthole that was recovered from a ship in Nova Scotia. I generally work with regionally grown hardwoods and reclaimed materials, but I chose Teak for this project because it has traditionally been used in the ship-building community.

- Adam Rung; Philadelphia, PA

Do you have a project you’d like to share?  Click here to send it in!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

Porthole Table

Kamba Carving from the Heart of Kenya

Last month, my family and I had the unique opportunity to travel to Kenya, Africa, for two weeks. My wife had professional reasons for being there, but I’ll admit that I went with the typical intentions of a Westerner—to see a world of new wildlife and experience Kenyan culture. I was richly rewarded on both of those accounts. Exotic wildlife is plentiful in the country’s many national parks. And, the Kenyans we met, both in cities and small villages, were warm, welcoming and very willing to share their lives with us.

Still, the curiosities of a woodworker don’t take a back seat, just because a guy spends a couple weeks out of the shop.

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Yellowstone Hotel Shares Marquetry on Grand Scale

1930s cartography, with woodworking panache!

1930s cartography, with woodworking panache!

If Yellowstone National Park is on your short list of future vacation destinations, be sure to stop and see Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel on the park’s northwest corner. It’s a wonderful vintage building in its own right, but the hotel also contains a remarkable example of marquetry you won’t want to miss! I stumbled on it almost by accident while staying there for a night last summer.

On the wall of the hotel’s lounge, just off the main lobby, there’s a huge map of the United States made almost entirely of wood. Designed and assembled in 1937 by Robert C. Reamer and W. H. Fay, the map measures 17 ft. 10 in. wide by 10 ft. 4 in. tall. It contains 15 types of wood from nine countries: zebrawood (Africa), lacewood and Oriental (sic) wood (Australia), Brazilian rosewood, satinwood (Central America), East Indian rosewood, gray and white harewood (England), English oak, Honduras mahogany, teak (India), as well as slash and straight-grained walnut, maple and burl redwood from the United States.

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