Jig For Trimming The Back Posts To Size And Shape

This jig is sized to handle two tegs at a time After cutting the profile for tne front of the leg. the author moves the leg to the back of the jig and finishes the profile.

1. Mount the first back post, cut sltghtty oversized on the handsaw, into the jig The top of the jig a held down with screws and T nuts.

2. Tnm the front edge by making several passes with the router, adjusting the deptn of cut for each pass. A template guide rubs against the adgB of the ptywood jig.

O. Move the first bach post to the back side of the jig. and insert the second back post in ■ts place. Reassemble the jig

Make a pass on each •teg, front and back, at machined surfaces

Lloyd Wright chandelier thev had already bought l-»r th dining mom.

! learned that Gvistav Sticklev. in designing his No. 384 chair, was influenced bv Wrights work. I knew I had found the inspiration to mv design problems. It was this chair lirst built in N05 . with it- rush scat and vertical slats on both the sides and the back, that I di w upon to arrive at the final design for these chairs. The chairs are shown in the photo «mi p. 36.

Solve Problems by Building a Prototype

I developed .» scale drawing of tin chair to help determine a materials list see the drawing on p. 3" . For several reasons, I also decided to build a prototype: the joinery is complicated, I had to Inn tooling and make jigs, and 1 wanted to be sure mv clients were satisfied with the comfort of" this chair. Also. I could use the prototype to venf\ the proportions ind to resolve some of the derails ol the frame and the tit of the inset rush seat.

Building six chairs is a small production run. A prototype helped me to organize each step and avoid many construction problems. I made the prot itvpe with poplai scraps accumulated from other jobs and assembled it without glue so it could be taken apart. A mistake with poplar at this stage would not be too costly.

Oik 1 was happv with thi protonp». I took n ap i;t ind measured each piece lor a final materials list. Each chair was made from Irnnt and b ick p<>sts, st at rails, side sir* telu i s, a horizontal stretcher, curved upper and lower back slats and vertical slats. There were 35 parts in all, including four oak dowels ro pin the stretchers to the front and back posts.

Machining thi Parts

All the parts started out as 8 4 quartersawn white oak. I could resaw the 2-in.-thick material into -in. seat rails, stretchers, and slats and still have plenty of material for the I -in.-si], front and back posts. l:ot i table, six side chairs and two arm chairs. I ordered 400 bd, ft. I wanted heavily raved pieces for the sides of the front ,ind back posts, the bottom side stretchers and the curved upper and lower back slats. I chose lightly figured white oak for the seat rails.

Except for the back posts. I rough-cut all the chair parts on a tablesaw and then cleaned them up with a jointer and a planer. Later, after making tenons. 1 cut out the curved upper and lower back slat«, on the handsaw see the top photo on the right . marked with a «-in. plywood template made to a 36 in. radius. I cleaned up the handsaw marks with a spokeshave and a compass plane.

I made a special jig to dean up the back posts after they had been rough-cut to size on the bandsau photo and drawing at left "1 he jig is based on ot in /. Frt.i Tfdthts Wtodwcrltm^ Fumturrmaktng The raunron Ptvs^. 1985

Two legs are sandwiched between two pieces of birch ph wood. One side of the jig is shaped tor the outside cut and the other lor rhi inside cut. Support blocks on each end and one in the middle ot the jig register the pieces to he cut. Machine screws through one side thread intoT-nuts in the other sid( and hold the legs firmh in place. ! ipplu J strips ,-t si If-adhesive sandp if1 r to the inside of each piece of the plywood jig to keep the legs from slipping.

I trimmed the legs to size with a 3-hp router equipped with a —in. template guide and a 4-in. solid carbide up-cut spiral bit. I cut the front of each leg first and then moved it to tin other side of the jig against the registration blocks. You can avoid too much stress on the bit and prevent tearout bv making several passes with the router, adjusting the depth of cut a little at a time.

Cutting the Mortises

All the chair parts except tor the vertical slats are connected with mortise-and-tenon joints. Years ago. I developed a simple jig to cut the mortises tor a batch of screen doors, and I was able to use it again for this project see photos 1-4 on p. 40 .This jig is made of -in. ph-wood with sides that act as a carriage ti r the router. A '-in. slot runs down the mivldli ot tl jig. stopping 2 in. from

Cutting curved back slats

Curved back slat. % in. thick

CUTTING THE CURVED BACK SLATS. Convex and concave cuts from 8/4 lumber yielded Wn.-thick slats, after the surfaces were scraped clean. These slats are the only curved pieces of the chair.

Cutting angled tenons

Curved back slat. % in. thick

Straight tenons cut before sawn curves

Straight tenons cut before sawn curves


DOUBLE-BLADE TENONING ON THE TABLESAW. With a custom-made jig, the author cut angled tenons for the side stretchers and side seat rails. Sawblades were set at a 4° pitch to the surface of the saw table and separated by a M& spacer.

Back left seat rail, \ in. thick

Angled tenons fit into straight-cut mortises.

bulding a chair arts and crafts sm f. ■


corners bv hind, I devised .1 method that worl 1 ili\ well I cl ucked a I ic-Nielscn corner chisel into m\ drill press make sun it's unplugged . I clamped an adjustable fence to the drill-press table to rest the stock against and squ.ired the chisel to the fence, rin rack-.ind-pinit>n tore* of tin drill press pared a clean, sharp corner in the mortise.

Cut the Tenons on the tablesaw

All the Stickle)' chairs that I've seen arc w ider in front than in back. The side chair in Gusta\ Stickler's Vjiny \nthnitii O.W>r'i.m Furniture narrows tomard the back bv I 4 in. [ built thi se eh 11M that dimension 19 i in. wide at the front and 18 in. wide at the back, w ith a seat depth of 17 in. Because of this design detail, either the mortises or the tenons have to be angled on the seat rails and the stretchers. I decided it was easier to angle the tenons. I used the tenoning |ig shown in the bottom photo on p. 39.

By drawing the seat-plan view to full size on a scrap of plywood, I determined that the front and back of the chair related to the side- : 4° off square, or 86". so I set the sawbladi to that angle Fo cut the cheeks of the tenons on the scat rails and bottom stretchers. I used i\\ > hi ides .»I a dado set with a :>in. spacer between them. You can adjust the height of the blades off the table to account for tenons of different length.

After cutting all the angled tenons, I straightened the blade mechanism back to 90" to cut all the cheeks for the horizontal stretcher, front and back seat rails, and the upper and lower back slats. The tenons for all these pieces are straight—parallel to the pieces themselves.

Next I removed one ol [he dado blades from the table and set the remaining blade at 4 to cut half the shoulders of the angled tenons. I used a miter gauge with a positive stop. I lowered the blade, still set at 4 . and moved the miter gauge to the other slot to make the shoulder cuts on the other side.

Then I stt iightt ncd the bl ide and adjust 1 d the height for cutting the shoulders of the rest of the tenons, except the horizontal stretcher. That piece has straight tenons, but the ends of thi piece are cut to 86 to follow the shape of the chair seat. So the shoulder cuts lor the horizontal stretcher are cut at 86 with the miter gauge.

The tenons for all the Vin.-sq. vertical slats were simple to make. To get *>-in.-sq. tenons. I cut all four sides at each end with a dado blade \ wooden backer board mounted with double-faced tape held each piece firmlv against the miter gauge. I cut each piece slowly to avoid teatout on the corners of the slats. I used a sharp knife to carve the tenons down to a dowel shape to fit -in. holes drilled in the back slats, the side stretchers and the seat rails.

Fine-Ti ne and Dry-Fit the Parts

Before final assembly with glue. I always like to check the joiner)' by dry-fitting the parts see the photo on p. 42 . It helps me avoid surprises win I least afford them. I check the fit of every piece and make adjustments as necessary with a chisel or a shoulder plani

I marked the through-dowel pins for the lower stretchers in. dia. with a homemade gauge at 4 in. up from the bottom of each post. I dulled halfway in from either side w 11!1 a I ■ 1 'ii r bit in the drill yn ss. Scraping and sanding removed all the milling marks and provided a smooth surface for finishing. After a satisfactory dry-fit. I comp disassembled thi chair and stained all the parts.

You have to think through the order in which the pit. . of a chair go together, but it's reallv pretn simple. Vertical slats went in first, glued into both the back slats and the side-stretcher and seat-rail assemblies. I assembled whole sides bv adding the front and back posts and clamped them to drv overnight. I"he next dav. I put two sides together with the honz.ontal stretcher, the front and back seat rails, and the back-slat assembly to make a complete chair frame. I let am glui squeeze-out around the joints cure partialh before removing the glue with a sharp chisel.


Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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