Front Assembly

As the glue was drying on the back assembly, I began work on the chair front. This consists of two legs connected by a seat rail and a stretcher.

leg blanks. The front legs are as solid as the curved back legs. That's because they're also 1'/¿"-thick, see Fig. 10.

After cutting each front leg (F) to finished dimensions, mark the top inside edge of each leg. This will help orient the legs when laying out the mortises on the sides. (Note: You have to make a "mirrored" set of legs.)

rail & stretcher mortises. Each leg has four mortises, see Fig. 10. One mortise on the inside is for a tenon on the front seat rail. A second, shorter mortise below the first is for the front stretcher.

A third mortise is located on the back of each leg (adjacent to the first two mortises). This is for a tenon on the side seat rail.

After these three mortises are laid out on the leg, bore them the same depth W).

Shop Note: I used a W' mortising bit in the

Chair Making Mortise

drill press to bore all three mortises. Then I squared up the ends of each mortise with a chisel. (You could round over the ends of the tenons, instead.)

.arm support mortises. The last mortise on each leg is a long one that's open at the top end, see Fig. 10. This accepts a tenon on the arm bracket 0), refer to Fig. 13a. Note: I used a V2" mortising bit and bored this mortise to a depth of 1" by making a long row of overlapping holes, see detail in Fig. 10.

rail & stretcher. After the mortises are drilled, rip one piece of W-thick stock to finished width for the front seat rail (G). and one for the front stretcher (H). Then cut both pieces to the same length (21W'). see Fig. 11.

cut tenons. Next cut a tenon on both ends of the front seat rail and the front stretcher, see Fig. 1 la. To do this, I used a dado blade in the table saw. Sneak up on the the thickness until it fits the mortise snugly.

assembly. After cutting the tenons, glue the rail and stretcher in the mortises between the front legs. Then set the assembly aside until the side rails are complete.

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