Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Dining Chair - Part 5

Between a skin doctor appointment to whack a huge thing off my face and getting my car smog certified to meet California's requirements, I got a late start in the shop yesterday.

It was time to get to the side rails.  These are different from the front and back rails in that they are angled.  I have a huge 25" x 30" easel pad to draw on and that is just the ticket when making full scale drawings.  The picture below shows a top view of the left side of the chair.  The front left leg is at the bottom left in the pic and the left rail angles towards the top of the pic from there.  I've drawn the mortise/tenon in the leg and you can see it is angled from the body of the rail.
Birds-eye view of left side of chair
When laying out the rail, I put the workpiece on the drawing and take the shoulder lines directly from it.  Setting a bevel gauge from the drawing ensures a reasonably repeatable angle setting to knife the side shoulders.  The pic below shows the shoulder lines already knifed and the tenon marked out in pencil.  The end grain can be marked with a mortise gauge, but I can't use a mortise gauge to mark the sides of the tenons due to the angles.  I have to set the bevel gauge to the proper angle and the drawing is used again for this.
Rail on drawing for marking shoulder lines and tenon extents on end grain
Note in the first picture I have the three angles that I need on the right side of the photo.  When you only have one bevel gauge and you have three angles to work with, you have to do something to help re-setting the bevel gauge.  I'm assuming that the edge of the easel pad is square and straight - probably not a great assumption.

Anyhoo, the cutting of the tenon shoulders and cheeks is straight-forward.  When I'm sawing the tenon cheeks, I've been using my $5 garage sale gents saw - 14 tpi rip.  It leaves a nice surface, but it's slow.
Gents saw - last sharpened November 3, 2015
I have a Veritas 12 tpi rip carcase saw, but I've never liked it.  Either I'm not using it appropriately or it's just not sharp.  But I didn't think it worked for me when it was new.  It also cuts very slow.  I'll have to try sharpening these saws again.
Veritas carcase saw
Because the tenon is angled, you can't use the router plane to fit them.  I'm not very good at chiseling to the lines, but I'm fortunate to have a Lie-Nielsen #042 medium shoulder plane.  This thing is really nice for trimming the tenon to thickness.  Funny - I don't use it to trim the shoulders.  I'll see if it needs that after assembly.
Sweetening the tenon thickness with the LN #042 shoulder plane
The tenons were trimmed until I get a self-supporting fit.
That's the fit we like!
I ran into a little problem with one of the front leg mortises.  When I was fitting the tenon into the mortise, I saw a crack opening up in the leg.  Fortunately the leg is in the vise so the crack couldn't propagate.
Pencil is pointing to a crack
I ended up having to trim the mortise walls to loosen the fit a little.  Here's the crack after working on the mortise for a while.  It's small enough that I won't worry about it.
Crack almost closed up
I can't seem to find any decent super glue to wick into this crack.  I've never seen the stuff that Paul Sellers uses that has an accelerator.  The crap I can buy just sucks.  Either I use it once and the rest of the container is horrible (hopelessly cemented or just plain bad), or it doesn't work at all.  I'll probably just leave this crack and hope for the best.  It's in the front left leg where the lower rail fits in.

The chair is coming together.  Except for the lower side rails, the joinery is complete.  It's starting to look like something.
It's a bouncing baby chair
I hope to get the lower side rails done today and then it's on to shaping.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Bob. It's Paul Sellers' design and the most complex build I've attampted. Complex angles are challenging, but not too bad if you lay out well and work accurately.