After the glue has dried, drill and pin the lap joints with square pegs. (See Fig. 1.) Then complete the final shaping around the lap joint with files, scrapcrs and sandpaper.
Next, shape the curve and the transitional thumbnail in the end of the crest rail as shown in Fig. 2. I make the curved cut with a coping saw and pare the thumbnail to shape with a sharp chisel. (See bottom center photo, opposite page.) Finally, carve the shallow cove into the arms with a small gouge. I use a 3mm veiner with a #11 sweep for this cut. (See bottom right photo, opposite page.)
Seat, Spindles and Legs
Now is a good time to prepare the scat blank. 1 make the scat from one piece of !6'/2-in.-widc stock. If you don't have the required width, you can glue up the blank from two boards. I bandsaw the stock to shape (see Fig. 3), then I clamp the scat in my bench vise and cut the heavy chamfer on the underside, as well as smooth and fair the sawn edges. 1 use a drawknife for most of the heavy stock removal, then I switch to a small smoothing plane, spokeshave and rasps to even out the rough surfaces left by the drawknife. At this point, lay out the cove, or "rain gutter," on the top of the seat. (See Fig. 3.)
Putting aside the completed arm and the scat blank, I work on the turned parts for the chair. I begin by turning the legs, arm supports and back spindles.
(Sec Fig. 4.) Leave the side and center stretchers for now until you can glean an empirical measurement for these parts from the partially assembled chair.
When turning matched parts such as legs and spindles, I first use a parting tool to establish the critical diameters; then I use a !/2-in. or 4U-in. gouge for most of the shaping work. I cut the beads on the legs and arm supports with a narrow skew. When turning the legs and, later, the side stretchers, use the tip of the skew to score centerline marks on these parts. The marks will aid you later when drilling holes. (See Fig. 4.)
I turn a straight tenon at the top of each leg to fit into the hole bored through the scat. (Sec Figs. 3 and 4.) This runs contrary to the tapered leg joints used by early Windsor chairmak-ers. Nor do I use green wood for the legs. These departures from tradition haven't caused my chairs to fall apart prematurely, but they do make the construction process go more easily.
Another feature commonly found on Windsor furniture is the whittled back spindle. Spindles were typically shaped with drawknives and spokeshaves, and by scraping the surface with small pieces of glass. On this low-back chair, however, the short spindles can easily be turned on the lathe.
With all the spindles turned, I bore the holes for them in the seat blank and the arm. I use a brace and auger bit for all the drilling in the chair. An auger bit makes exceptionally clean holes, and the slow cutting action makes it easy to control the cut.
Here are some general guidelines for you to keep in mind when drilling: To prevent tearout when drilling through holes, stop drilling when the bit's lead screw penetrates the stock; then complete the hole from the opposite side. When drilling the angled holes (see Fig. 5), I adjust a bevel gauge to the correct angle and place it adjacent to the hole, where I can use it as a visual guide. (See photo, page 52.)_
I use a drill-and-fit strategy to bore the holes in the seat and arm assembly. With all the spindle holes in the scat laid out (sec Fig. 3), I drill the arm-support holes and the angled hole for the center back spindle. (See Fig. 5.) Then I insert the arm supports and center spindle into the scat, set the arm assembly over the spindles, and mark the hole locations on the underside of the arm assembly. Remove the arm assembly and drill these three holes.
Now, drill the holes on both sides of the center back spindle in the seat. Insert the spindles in the scat, set the arm assembly on the arm supports and center back spindle, and lay out the holes in the arm for the remaining spindles. Balance the spacing between these angled spindles by eye.
Once you're satisfied with the hole locations, remove the arm and bore the holes on both sides of the center back
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