Sculpturing a Windsor Seat with Plug-in

comments (0) May 26th, 2010 in blogs

Killenwood Tim Killen, contributor
thumbs up no recommendations


For years I've struggled with shaping the seat in SketchUp for a Windsor, or for that matter a Maloof, chair. I continue to look for easier ways than my brute force method using shaped "cutters" built in SketchUp along with Intersect. Recently I heard that a plug-in, ExtrudeTools may help so I downloaded the plug-in at this location: http://forums.sketchucation.com/viewtopic.php?f=323&t=25362&sid=8faee44ab1caca1b72306dd8ab5e5472
Dave Richards just recently used this same plug-in in the Barley Twist blog entry.

I'll tell you at the outset, that I need to keep looking for a solution, as this plug-in does not solve the problem efficiently. I can see where this tool is very effective in making organic-shaped objects. But for shaping a Windsor seat, I found it to be difficult without providing an improvement in results.

I'll show you how I used the tool in the following steps using a Continuous Bow Arm Chair that I'm building in the shop now and is shown below. (This model has a seat shaped with my crude "cutters" method.)

Step 1: Start with the half-seat blank (unshaped).

Step 2: Make a copy of the top surface of the seat shape as shown below. I've removed all the "sight lines" used for drilling the sockets. Although still shown in the illustration, I also remove the back flat area including the gutter and spindle sockets.

Step 3: I prepare seat profiles from both directions and line them up with the top surface.

Step 4: There are several options for using the ExtrudeTools plug-in. I will use the option "Extrude Edges by Rails", which uses a Front Profile, First and Second Rails, and a Melding Profile. I've prepared these profiles and rails from the seat edge shapes taken from Step 3. I've shown these four edges in different colors for illustration purposes only.  The profiles and edges must be "welded", not a sequence of individual arcs. I used the popular Weld plug-in to assemble my pieced arc segments.

Step 5: Pick the Extrude Tool, using the option stated above. The tool steps you through the process, first clicking on the front profile, then 1st rail, 2nd rail, and finally melding profile. This is a complicated surface, so my computer took several minutes to create the shaped surface.


Step 6: The tool steps you through several options to which you answer yes or no. My only yes is this last question on whether I want the tool to Smooth Edges.


Step 7: Here is the resulting sculptured seat top surface. But now this needs to be turned into a complete seat with thickness.


Step 8: I attach this sculptured surface to the lower section of the seat as shown below.


Step 9: Unfortunately, the seat is also aggressively shaped and rounded on the bottom edges. I do this using Follow Me and Intersect, providing the final shaped seat.


As I mentioned above; this process is not easy and is just not worth the effort. I will continue to use my shortcut method until I find a better way. Although the SkechUp model is critical to the reproduction effort, I really don't need  a sculptured seat to be included in that model.

Here's a couple pictures of the shop construction in ash, pecan, and Monterey Pine. The seat uses the Monterey Pine,  heavy, strong, and unforturnately full of pitch.

Tim
http://killenwood.com



posted in: blogs, chair, steam bending, windsor


Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Advertise here for as little as $50. Learn how

Save up to 52% on Fine Woodworking

 

Become a Better Woodworker

About Design. Click. Build.

Learn the art and science of designing furniture in SketchUp with Fine Woodworking's official blog. Moderated by a devoted community of woodworkers, we feature step-by-step SketchUp tutorials on designing components, downloads of pre-built 3D models of furniture parts, and news and information about the evolving world of digital furniture design.

Buy the Video
Don't miss Dave Richard's brand-new DVD/video download, The Basics.

Buy the Book
Get Tim Killen's popular eBook, the Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers.

Basic SketchUp Tutorials 
Learn the basics of building furniture in SketchUp with these classic posts from the Design. Click. Build. blog.

Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp
How I Draw in SketchUp
Axes in SketchUp
The SketchUp Move Tool
The SketchUp Rotate Tool
The SketchUp Scale Tool

Materials, Colors, and Textures
Applying Wood Grain Skins in SketchUp

Easy Dovetail Joints in SketchUp

Digital Project Plans


Download and modify SketchUp files for select projects from Fine Woodworking. View all.

Top Sellers:
Matt's Monster Workbench
New England Pine Cupboard
Garden Bench

Meet the Authors

DaveRichards

DaveRichards

I am a Biomedical Equipment Technician. I maintain anesthesia and respiratory equipment for the largest medical facility in southeast Minnesota. I...
view profile
Killenwood

Tim Killen

I am retired from Bechtel Corporation after 36 years in Engineering and IT management. I grew up among woodworking machinery in...
view profile
FineWoodworkingEditors

FineWoodworkingEditors

...
view profile