Archive for the ‘Construction Process and Photos’ Category

Carving a Masterpiece

June 30, 2018

Creating a Masterpiece such as this can be a challenge. However, some pieces turn out so beautifully you forget about all the challenges that occur during the creation process. This sculpture started out as a very large Box Elder Burl from the Ruidoso area. We dragged several of these beasts with us when we moved here to Candy Kitchen back in 2009. At the time we asked ourselves why are we lugging these all that way and what are we going to do with them. Well they sat and sat for years out in our wood pile area, till finally one day Scott decided to tackle one. It was no small feat and during the whole process we asked ourselves why we were even working with this wood. It’s very hard, has tons and tons of holes, cracks, voids and narly pointy things and the beautiful white doesn’t stay that way once the finish was applied. But as we continued to work with it and found a finish that makes the burl and grain really pop out better, we began to appreciate it more. Of course that was after it was all finished and we saw the final product that the appreciation happened. Our customers that add one of these to their art collection really appreciate them and everyone raves about how beautiful they are. They are definitely big attractions at the shows. So now that we are down to are last remaining burls of this, we are going to really miss it and wishing we could get more. Below are photos of the process of one of the biggest sculptures we have carved out of this Box Elder Burl. We hope you enjoy seeing it morph into the Masterpiece that it truly is and perhaps even want to add it to your art collection.


The start of the carving with the chainsaw

Now it’s up to the grinders to do their hard work. Or should I say Scott do the hard work.

Lastly it’s my turn to take over the sanding and finishing. Talk about going through sand paper. Between how hard it is and how all the holes and voids tear up the sand paper it takes quite some time.

And now for the grand finale. Introducing “KINGS CROWN”.
Look at this beauty all finished up.


Close up of the grain showing how incredible it is.

 

 

If you appreciate seeing the carving process of this piece, watch our video where we take “Fantasy Flight” through the whole process.  Click on YouTube link below

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Fall Happenings and the Bending Process of the Bentwood Rocker

November 16, 2013

It’s been a busy fall here for us here in the land of Shangrila. Our two new little boys, Apollo and Perseus (pictured below checking out the shop) are growing like weeds (up to about 80 & 90lbs at just over 5 months old). They are keeping us very busy and entertained. But we’ve also been busy with customer orders, making a delivery to Mystique Gallery in Scottsdale and now getting ready for another 10 week adventure in AZ at Celebration of Fine Art. We just finished up a desk chair for a NM customer and are underway on a large bedroom order going to a new home in Breckenridge CO.  This large order not only has a king size bed with night stands, but a desk and low back chair and two bent wood rockers. The bending involved in making one of these unique rockers is quite a task. In this blog I will show some of the steps in the creative process.

boys in shop

Apollo and Perseus at 4 months old, checking out the shop. They love to see what’s going on and pick up pieces of wood to chew on.

Shangraw_21079-ZAPP

Here is a completed Bent wood rocker made from Cherry and Ash

The first process is prepping for all the gluing of the legs. This process has to take place before it gets to cold. So we were in a crunch to get all the major gluing done before winter hits. Luckily our weather has been gorgeous and not to cold, which is unusual for this time of year. Scott also changed how the glue up goes on the legs, making each leg of the rocker, three separate glue ups. This may take more time, but makes it a little easier and a much stronger bend.

Once the three bends are complete, the arm gets glued up on a separate form that lies on the leg. Normally we use contrasting woods, to really show off the whole process.

The seat and headrest (normally the same wood as the arms) are glued up, carved and shaped and then the process of putting the rocker together and shaping it, takes place. Even though the bending process of this rocker is very time-consuming and hard, the unique design makes this rocker like no other out there. It’s not the typical classic look, but has a more modern design.

bennett runner strips

This is a set of 9ft long strips ready for the first glue up.

bennett 1st runner glueup

Laminated strips glued up on the form. A lot of clamps go into this glue up. It takes both of us almost hour to do the glue up.

bennett 1st runner

This is what the first glue up looks like when taken out of the form.

bennett 2nd runner glueup

Here is the second glue up. This glue up is a little shorter than the first, building up the middle section of the leg, to make it stronger.

bennett runner glueup closeup

Close up of the second glue up

rocker legs 2nd glueups

Now four rocker legs are glued up and ready for the 3rd and final glue up to beef up the curve area.

final glue up on rocker leg

This is the last of the glue ups on the legs. A small section of laminations is glued on to the curve to make it stronger.

rocker laminated back slat

While some of the legs are being glued up, the laminations for the backrest are cut. Here we have walnut with ash in the middle. The contrasting woods blend in with the rest of the rocker and the ash in the middle of each backrest make them even stronger. These will be flexible backrests, that will flex as you rock.

glue up of rocker spindles

Here is two backrests being glued up on the form. This form was especially made to fit the curve of the back.

cutting rocker leg

Here is Scott trimming up the sides of the rocker leg. It is quite a cut on the bandsaw.

runner sanded

This is what the rocker leg looks like with all the bends glued on and sanded flat. Now it’s ready to attach the arm.

arm form

This is the arm form clamped on to the runner. This form is specially made to get a nice comfortable sweep while rocking.

arm glued up

The arm is now glued on to one of the legs. It’s a tricky glue up due to the curve and takes about an hour from start to finish.

rocker arms

Here you can really see the contrast in the woods, with the walnut arms glued on for one rocker. Next the seat gets attached, then the headrest and back spindles. And finally all the sanding and finishing. Stay tuned for the next blog, showing the completed rockers made from walnut and ash, along with the other bedroom furniture.

Shangri-La Woodworks, Scott and Stephanie Shangraw, HC 61 Box 40

This was our first bent wood rocker made from walnut and mesquite.

Mesquite Rocker-New Design Construction photos

May 3, 2010

This new rocker design has been a long time coming.  Scott has wanted to make this for over a year. And finally the timing was right to get it started. We wanted to break away from all the Maloof inspired rockers that are out there and we’ve had a few designs in mind, and this is the first of three that we plan on doing over a period  of time (sorry the other two rocker designs will be a secret, till we create them and show them off).  These rockers will be limited editions (only 10 total), so as to not have to many out there and therefore they will be more unique and valuable.

Some of the new features are the flared out legs that go down to the runners. The legs also bend and bow out more, with even more handshaping involved. We still have the very comfortable carved seat, but since the lumbar support was completely different, thicker pieces of wood were used to be able to shape the seat into the lumbar support. The back lumbar is all bentwood, to still give that wonderful support in the back while rocking, and they splay out towards and shape into the upper legs and headrest. The headrest was made with the grain going the same direction as the rest of the rocker, so that it all flows very nicely. This meant cutting up pieces of wood that worked well together, cutting them to give them the curve effect that cups the head and gluing them up together. The glue up phase proved to be a challenge. But the affect is wonderful. The arms are shaped a little different and they have a twisting motion where they meet the front legs. There was a lot more handshaping involved, but that is Scotts’ favorite part (and most woodworkers least favorite because it’s so labor intensive).

            

                                       

                                       

To see the finished photos, please go to the Shangrila Rocker on this blog or visit our webpage.

www.shangrilawoodworks.com

Mesquite Desk Chair

May 3, 2010

This mesquite desk chair was created for a customer from Texas. He wanted it to be all mesquite with the flat rocker style arms and small dog ears. A new five wheel chair base mechanism was used. Since this base was solid steel and suppported the chair,  the wood that layed over it was for asthetic purposes and there will be no worries about it cracking or having other problems in the future. The grain in this mesquite was incredible. We incorporated some of the yellow sap wood into parts of the chair, making a beautiful contrast.  This mesquite office chair was beautiful and we are very satisfied with how it turned out.

Construction Process and Photos

Due to the inperfections in mesquite, we had to make some design changes to accomodate this. We did bentwood lamination for the back lumbar spindles. We have found that mesquite can have hairline cracks that may not be seen during the construction process or the completion of a piece. And since the spindles go to a small diameter where they meet the seat and headrest, these can be problem areas. By doing bentwood lamination we could ensure that they would not be a problem in the future. The process takes a little longer and is more work, but will be well worth it.