A Tale of Two Runners

After drying overnight in the clamps and cauls, I eagerly removed the seat blank from the clamps like a kid tearing into a present on Christmas morning.  Thankfully, the clamping cauls worked perfectly and the seat blank stayed nice and flat while the glue dried.  I'm super happy with how the glue lines turned out; tight and almost invisible.

Each time I look at the seat blank, I'm really glad that I changed out the center seat board. The color match across the three boards is great and the grain pattern looks awesome!

This past weekend, I was able to start working on the first runner glue-up.

After a quick dry run with the clamps, I was ready to add some glue for the real deal.
Here's the runner strips laid out prior to applying the glue with a glue roller. Once the glue started flowing, the clock started ticking, so I didn't get any pictures of that part of the process.
After a few frantic minutes, I had the first runner clamped up and drying.

Once the first runner clamped and drying, I decided to start experimenting with some epoxy.  I'll need to stabilize a knot hole, that's on the bottom side of the seat blank, with epoxy prior to carving it.  The epoxy that I'm using is clear, so I'll need to add some color pigment.  Big thanks to Mike Marian for hooking me up with some black and brown epoxy pigments to play with.  Since I've never used this type of epoxy before, I thought it would be wise to test it out on some test scraps before using it on the actual seat blank.

For my first test run, I decided to try brown. The epoxy set up nicely, but I'm not 100% sold on the brown color. Since I'll be filling a knot hole, using brown just seems like it will look too fake. I think that if I fill it with black epoxy, it will make it look more like a natural knot hole, rather than a knot hole filled with brown putty.
After drying in the clamps for a couple of days, I made a reference mark on the runner at the end of the form and removed the clamps. There's lots of glue squeeze out to clean up, but the first runner turned out pretty good.

After a fun day volunteering at Camp Casey today, I decided to glue up the second runner.

Here is a top view of runner #2 clamped up and drying. Glue-ups are always stressful, but this one went pretty smoothly.

I'll let the second runner dry overnight and then I'll get to see if I end up with two matching runners.  Fingers crossed!

With both runners now made, the only components that I have left to make are the two arms and the headrest.  I'm quickly running out of "easy" parts to make and will be forced to move on to the "artistic" elements to refine each component.  Like I've said since the beginning, I'm about 90% sure that I can pull this off...