Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dining Chair - Part 1

This is the fourth Sellers dining chair I'm making.  The first was in November and I'm now on the last of three-in-a-row that started in January.  No chance of doing a production style build as the shop is too small to move in if there were three partially completed chairs.

I had pre-prepared the stock for all three chairs before beginning the build.  The 2" x 6" and 1" x 6" Douglas fir boards were quite furry to begin with.
Stock started very rough
After planing to near final dimensions, I let the wood sit for a while.
Back legs, backrest rails, front legs
Yesterday, I started on the last chair.  After bringing the front and back legs to final dimensions with square sides and ends, I laid out the mortises on the front legs.
Inside faces of front legs
Then laid out the shaping on the back legs.
Leg shape laid out
Cutting this out without a bandsaw is not too tough, but there are challenges.  I used a PAX 26" rip saw to remove the two triangle sections and smoothed the cut with a #4 1/2 and #4.  Then used the same saw to saw down the angled cut on back of the legs.  It's tough getting the saw started without having an end to rest the saw on.  Alternating sides, I sawed to the back of the "knee", where the cut angles.  I used a Knew Concepts coping saw to start the straight part of the cut and once there was enough room to fit a saw in there, I finished up with a Japanese style pull saw.

I'm sure I could have made relief cuts (cross-cuts in the wast down to the layout line, and used a chisel and hammer to remove the bulk of the waste.  But I wanted the waste piece whole in case I needed it as a clamping caul.

The angled cuts were smoothed with a #4 1/2 and #4 and then the transitions were smoothed with a Marples (#151 style) spokeshave and card scraper, checking for square as I went.
Leg with cutoff sections
Tomorrow I'll get moving on laying out the back leg joinery.  To be continued ...


  1. You are light years ahead of me Matt. I still haven't made a chair and you're doing them in doug fir.

  2. Just found your blog, great start!