Monday, June 1, 2020

Child's Sunday School Chair - Part 5: Spindles and Crest Rail

Last post ended with a test fit of the seat and undercarriage.  Next up was the spindles and crest rail.  The spindles started out as squared blanks and a template was used to draw the shape.  The three middle spindles were 1/2" diameter at top and bottom, bulging to 11/16" about 4-5" up from the bottom.  The two outer spindles (or "posts") had a slightly larger bulge and I intended to have them be a larger diameter at the bottom, but I forgot and narrowed them to the same 1/2" as the middle spindles.  All were shaped with drawknife and spokeshave.

The middle three spindles fit into 1/2" diameter, 1/2" deep mortises in the seat.  The two outer posts were fitted to 1/2" diameter through mortises in the seat.  The mortises in the seat had been laid out with sightlines and resultant angles, and those holes were bored before fitting the spindles.
Sightlines for the spindles laid out
Spindles fitted in their seat mortises
I made a prototype crest rail because I didn't know if I was going to like the version in my head.  It's behind and to the left of the chair in the pic above.  I had shaped the prototype before boring the holes that house the tops of the spindles.  This went OK, but it was a much better idea to shape the final crest rail after boring the holes.  Having the piece in squared-up form makes laying out and boring the holes easier.
Prototype crest rail fitted
The bottom of the crest rail is flat and is in a plane that is parallel to the top of the seat.  With the spindles placed in their seat mortises, this allowed me to mark and cut the spindles to final length.  I cut them off about 13 1/2 vertical inches from the top of the seat.
The prototype crest rail was 2" tall, 1" thick at bottom, thinning to about 1/2" thick at top,
with 25" (if memory serves) radius of curvature on the front surface
A detail that I liked was to angle the sides of the crest rail the same as the angle of the outside spindles
Here's the final crest rail fitted to the spindles ...
... with all layout done on the blank
The shaping of the crest rail was next.
Concave side started with relief cuts ...
... then removing most of the waste with a chisel ...
... and refined with a spokeshave
The convex side was shaped with a saw, jack plane and smoothing plane
Next time: seat shaping and glue-up.

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