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Chairmaking at the Appalachian Center for Craft: Day 2

July 12, 2010


Today started off a bit slow. We began by choosing our lumber. We had the option between walnut and cherry so I chose a nice piece of cherry since it seems like I always work in walnut. Next, we traced the template for the back legs onto one half of our stock and rough cut and jointed an edge to create the plane for the back leg to side rail joint.

We got to use the 16″ Powermatic jointer after some adjustment to get the in-feed and out-feed table parallel. This was a bit disappointing.

Then we re-sawed about 1/2 inch of stock off and planed it smooth to get to our finished thickness of about 1-1/4″

After, I finished rough cutting my legs at the bandsaw and cleaned up the front of the leg on the huge horizontal sander.

The back of the legs have almost a full round over at the bottom and tapering to about a 3/8″ radius at the top. We accomplished this with spokeshaves and then some hand sanding. This was truly the highlight of my day. I’ve never really used one before and I can definitely say that this tool will be moving up a few spots on my wish list. I started by drawing a centerline down the length of the leg and just worked each edge to the line until the radius looked about right.

Next we moved to the side rails and this is where the brain cells really needed to kick in. The back got a 27 deg miter and the front got a 12 deg miter and a 6 deg bevel and each side needed to mirror the other. I spent some considerable time laying out my two rails, double checking my angles and choosing the best grain orientation. I also had to be smart about cutting around some defects. I made the all the cuts on one of the two SawStop table saws. You can also see some rough layout lines for the curves in the rails.

Tomorrow I’ll cut the Domino joinery for the side rail to back leg joints.

Stay tuned….

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