Gluing Up The Legs And Rails

Mortise outline for bottom drawer rail 1 Outlining the rail mortises in the legs Use one of the rail tenons you cut (page 33Jto outline the length and width of the mortises. Start by holding the cheek of the tenon flush against the inside face of one of the legs make sure that the top edge of the rail is aligned with the top end of the leg. Mark the length of the mortise. To outline the mortise width, hold the edge of the tenon flush against the inside face of the leg and mark the cheeks of the...

Drilling the middle stretcher mortises in the side stretchers

To determine the angle of the mortises to be drilled in the side stretchers for the middle stretcher, you have to measure the angle formed by the legs at one corner of the chair. Once the middle stretcher is ready, place a straightedge on the work surface along one front and rear leg of the chair, and another along the front legs. Adjust a sliding bevel to the angle formed by the two boards (left). Secure the side stretchers in a vise and bore each hole with the hand brace and spoon bit (photo,...

Appeal Of Federal Style

As a graduate student at the Winterthur Museum Program in Early American Culture, I was privileged to work with the country's premiere collection of American furniture, including the best examples of the styles most popular with cabinetmakers today Queen Anne and Chippendale. Even in this setting, though, I was always drawn to the neoclassical pieces of the later Federal and Empire eras. As curator of the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore 17 years later, I am still studying and writing...

Windsor Furniture

A deceptively well-engineered furniture style whose parts are assembled mainly from wooden sticks, Windsor represents one of history's most innovative and recognizable furniture designs. The Windsor family of furniture consists of stools, chairs, cradles, stands, and tables. Chairs are the largest category with eight different basic forms, such as comb-backs, step-downs, and the sack-back version, which is featured beginning on page 70. Chairs also spawned nine derivatives that include stools,...

Glossary

Adze An ax-like tool with a curved blade used to carve out concave surfaces, such as chair seats. Auxiliary fence A wooden attachment screwed to the rip fence of a table saw or other machine, to prevent damage to the metal fence. Base molding A decorative frame made from molded stock that supports the bottom of a desk. Bead A rounded, convex shape cut in wood, usually for decoration see cove. Bending form A jig used to bend steamed wood. Bookmatching In veneering, a decorative pattern in which...

Setting up the router table

To cut dadoes in the legs for inlay banding on a router table, install a -inch straight bit in a router and mount the tool in a table. Adjust the cutter for a -inch-deep cut. Next, attach an extension board to the miter gauge. To ensure that the dadoes are parallel to the ends of the leg, the miter gauge must be set to the appropriate angle. Hold the tapered part of the leg flush against the miter gauge extension while butting the handle of a try square against the leg's square portion. Adjust...

Making a taper jig

Planning Weatherboard Jig

Cut your leg blanks to size, referring to the anatomy illustration on page 24. Mark a line all around each blank 5 inches from the top end to define the square section to which the rails will be joined. Then outline a -inch square on the bottom end of the blank to define the taper. To make the cut on your table saw, use a shopmade jig. Cut the base from -inch plywood, making it longer and wider than the blanks. Set a blank on the base, aligning corresponding taper lines at the top and bottom...

Anatomy Of A Queen Anne Secretary

Anatomy Secretary Furniture

Joined to sides with half-blind dovetails Fits into grooves in front, back, and sides Fits into rabbets cut along back edges of carcase panels Assembled and fixed to dust frame below with plate joints Joined to top and bottom with halfblind dovetails Supports fall-front when in down position. Dowel glued Into inside face slides In slot in loper housing piece joined to front end with sliding dovetail conceals end grain Features slot that guides loper top edge fits into groove in underside of...

Tapping in the tenon wedges

Tenon Wedge

Cut hardwood wedges to fit into the kerfs make them the same width as tenons, but a few inches longer, and no thicker than inch at the broad end. Coat the wedges with glue and drive them into the slots as far as they will go with a hammer below . Let the glue set, then trim the wedges even with the end of the tenons using a flush-cutting saw. Next, use a wide, shallow carving gouge to slice the tenons flush with the surface of the seat strike the gouge with a wooden mallet inset . Finally, trim...

Windsor Style Four Poster

Page references in italics indicate an illustration of subject matter. Page references in bold indicate a Build It Yourself project. Adzes, back endpaper American country colonial styles, 16-19 See also Four-poster beds Shaker style Windsor chairs Armoires, 19 Arts and crafts tables, 21 Beds. See Four-poster beds Bending jigs, 82 Biscuit joints, 109 Blanket chests, 20 Block-front chests, 13 Board feet, front endpaper Bookcases. See Secretaries Build It Yourself Pipe steamers, 83 Pocket-hole...

Cutting the dovetail sockets in the legs

Socket Mortise And Dovetail

Secure a front leg upright in a bench vise and use one of the dovetailed half-laps you cut in step 1 to outline the mating socket on the leg's top end. Make sure the top end of the leg is flush with the benchtop this will support the router base plate as you cut the socket. Also ensure that the dovetail shoulder is butted against the inside edge of the leg and the rail's back edge is flush with the back face of the leg as you mark the lines. Install a Vs-inch upcut-spiral straight bit into a...

Making The Spindles

Windsor chair making starts with a freshly cut log. Because green wood is swollen and lubricated with moisture, it is easy to cleave and bend. It is also less work to shape. Splitting wood from a log offers other advantages. First, it is stronger, because the break follows the wood fibers rather than shearing them, as a sawmill does. And second, wood seasons better if it is shaped while still green. A chair spindle, for example, will season more quickly and be less prone to cracking than a...

American Countrycolonial

Secret Compartments Furniture Plans

Using local wood species and unsophisticated construction methods, colonial America's pioneers adapted traditional country designs from England to produce simple, practical furniture known as American Country. Although more sophisticated styles supplanted these designs in prosperous colonial towns, rustic furniture prevailed on the ever-advancing frontier. With its simplicity, durability, and economy, traditional American Country furniture continues to appeal to 20th-century furniture makers,...

Drilling the mortises

Outline The Mortises

You can cut the mortises in the posts by hand with a chisel and mallet, or use a router fitted with a mortising bit. But considering the depth of the mortises 1 inches a hollow chisel mortiser, like the one shown at right or a drill press with a mortising attachment, will do the job most quickly and accurately. Set up the machine following the manufacturer's directions. For the mortiser shown, install a 3 8-inch bit and place one of the posts on the table, centering a mortise outline under the...

Cutting mortises in the stiles

Outline The Mortises

Use one of the tenons you cut in step 1 as a guide to outlining the mortises on the edges of the stiles. To make the job easier, clamp all the stiles together face to face with their ends aligned. Install a mortising attachment on your drill press and clamp one stile to the fence, centering the mortise outline under the chisel and bit. Make the drilling depth Me inch more than the tenon length make a cut at each end of the mortise before boring out the waste in between left . Repeat the...

Classic American Furniture

TIME-LIFE BOOKS ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA THE ART OF WOODWORKING was produced by ST. REMY PRESS President Chief Executive Officer President Chief Operating Officer Series Editor Series Art Director Senior Editor Editor Art Directors Designers Administrator Production Manager Coordinator System Coordinator Photographer Indexer Kenneth Winchester Fernand Lecoq Pierre L veill Pierre Home-Douglas Francine Lemieux Marc Cassini Andrew Jones Jean-Pierre Bourgeois, Michel Gigu re Time-Life Books is a...

Pembroke Table

The legs of the Pembroke table feature strips of dark banding, framed by thin string inlay of a lighter wood. The Pembroke table is thought to have originated in the mid-18th Century, when Lady Pembroke commissioned the great Georgian cabinetmaker and master carver Thomas Chippendale to fashion a small casual table for her. The example featured in this chapter, however, has more in common with the neoclassical designs of Sheraton and American Federal furniture, which flourished in the following...

Notching the stiles

Leave the table saw blade angled at 45 , measure the width of each rail, and mark a line on the molded edge of its mating stile a corresponding distance from the end. Cut into the molded edge at the line, making certain that the cut will not mar the face of the stile. Slice off most of the strip of molding between the 45 cut and each end of the stile with a band saw above, left . Smooth the cut edge using the table saw. Leaving the rip fence in place, hold the stile flush against the miter...

Turning The Bedposts

See the anatomy illustrations on page 51 for details of the posts' diameters and the locations of the various elements. Each 6-foot-long post is turned in four individual sections, allowing for the 36-inch limit of most lathes. Since the sections are joined by tang joints, remember to allow for the 2-inch-long tenons when cutting your blanks to length. Although the bottom sections of the footboard and headboard posts are different, the four posts are otherwise identical. To help...

Fitting the lopers in place

Make loper blanks as you did the housings page 113 , gluing a long-grain piece to the front end with a sliding dovetail. Then slide your blanks into their slots between the housings and the side panels, and mark them flush with the front edge of the top panel of the drawer unit also mark the location of the housing slots on the lopers. Cut the lopers to length and drill a dowel hole into each one in line with the slot outline locate the hole so the front edge of the fall-front will project...

Checking the splay and rake of the legs

Test-fit the front legs in their mortises and check whether their splay and rake angles are uniform. To help you gauge the rake angle, place a straightedge across the legs the board should be perfectly level left . Repeat for the rear legs. If any of the angles are off slightly, you can compensate for minor inaccuracies when the time comes to turn and install the stretchers page 92 .

Milk Paint Finish

Dark Green Milk Paint

A milk paint finish is being brushed onto a sack-back Windsor chair. The transparency of milk paint, compared to other paints, along with its tendency to vary slightly in hue across a surface, complements the hand-sculpted contours of the Windsor chair. The dark green shown at right is a traditional color for Windsors. The traditional finish for Windsor chairs is milk paint, which is thin enough to allow wood grain to show through. You can buy the paint in powdered form and mix it with water or...

Anatomy Of A Pembroke Table

Wooden Knuckle Joint

The Pembroke table consists of three main sections a top, the leg-and-rail assembly, and a drawer. The top is attached to a leaf on each side with a hinged rule joint. The edges of the top are rounded over and the mat ing edges of the leaves are shaped with a matching cove, forming a seamless joint when the leaves are in the up position. The leaves are supported by fly rails that swing out from the side rails on knuckle joints. As shown opposite, these joints feature interlocking fingers fixed...

Making The Legandrail Assembly

The legs of a Pembroke table have a delicate look that belies their stur-diness. They are tapered, with a simple banded inlay around each leg about 3 inches from the bottom. The banding includes a -inch-wide dark strip in this case, walnut which contrasts with the mahogany. A thin strip of maple frames the walnut. On some Pembroke tables, the inlay was used to mark the transition to a second, steeper taper at the bottom of the leg. Traditionally, legs with a double taper were tapered on the two...

Windsor Chair

Inshave Tools

The top of a Windsor chair seat is traditionally sculpted by hand. With shaping tools like the spokeshave, inshave, and drawknife, it is possible to customize the seat for its user. The Windsor chair is a study in contrasts. Originally designed as an artless furnishing, it is now considered to be a sophisticated example of modern chair making. The simple elements of a Windsor the sculpted seat and the hand-shaped legs, stretchers, arm posts, and spindles belie the precise engineering required...

Federal Period

Federal Period Window Seat

After the Revolution, American furniture makers began to distance themselves from British influence. Endeavoring to create a new style, they turned to the classical designs of ancient Greece and Rome. For this reason, Federal furniture is often called Neoclassical. More austere than Chippendale, Federal pieces typically mimicked the lines and features of antiquity, such as columns, animal claws, reeding, fluting, and the lyre. Despite efforts to achieve independence, however, American...

Riving a quarter bolt into blanks

Once you have split a bolt into quarters, rive each piece into spindle blanks. Outline the blanks on the end of the bolt and split it above, left , then rive the blanks with a froe and a froe club made from an 18-inch length of dense hardwood, such as maple, hickory, dogwood or elm. Holding the froe in one hand with the blade offset from the outline, strike the blade with the club above, right . Twist the froe back and forth, and drive it in deeper. Once the waste breaks off, repeat to make the...

Anatomy Of A Sackback Windsor Chair

Anatomy Windsor Chair

Many of the round mortise-and-tenon joints that hold a Windsor chair together are reinforced by wedges. As the illustration at right shows, the top end of the legs, arm posts, and spindles are all kerfed prior to assembly the wedges that fill the kerfs expand the tenons, ensuring that they fit snugly in their mortises. But a Windsor chair is more than the sum of its parts. For strength and comfort, it also relies on the interaction of its various assemblies. The legs and stretchers, for...

Squaring the bow and arm

Drawknife the bow and arm roughly to size page 74 , then use a bench plane to square the pieces and flatten their sides. Secure the blank between bench dogs on your workbench. Starting at one end of the stock, guide the plane across the surface to the other end keep the sole of the tool flat on the workpiece and apply moderate downward pressure right . Plane the arm until it is by inches for the bow, refer to the anatomy illustration opposite.

Honing the blade of a metal spokeshave

To remove the blade from the spokeshave, loosen the screw in the middle of the handle Set up a bench stone on a work surface a water-lubricated diamond stone is shown above. Install the blade in a commercial honing guide. Lubricate the stone with water and then, holding the honing guide, slide the blade back and forth from end to end along the sharpening surface. Apply moderate pressure with the bevel touching the stone. Then raise the angle of the blade a few degrees and continue until you...

Honing an inshave

Clamp the inshave to a work surface so the cutting edge Is facing up, as shown above. Use a slipstone to hone the edge. Start with a rough-grit stone and progress to a finer one. Work with a circular motion until a uniform shine develops on the blade. Give the flat side of the blade a few strokes to remove any burr. Once the blade is sharp, polish the bevel with a leather strop and polishing compound, finishing with a few passes on the flat side of the blade to remove the burr. If the inshave...

Queen Annes Line Of Beauty

Norm Vandal

In material objects such as furniture, I believe beauty is born from pleasing proportion and the harmonious relationship between curved and straight lines. Straight lines impart structure, mass, and solidity. Curved lines lend movement, elegance, and grace. To me, Queen Anne-style furniture presents the perfect union of straight and curved components. Simple lines, graceful curves, unpretentious decoration, and delicate proportion all contribute to some of the most beautiful expressions in...

Routing the through dovetail joints

Drawer Template

Size the drawer parts to fit their openings in the desk unit, then join the boards with dovetails, cutting the pins in the front and back of the drawer, and the tails in the sides. To cut the dovetails with a router and the jig shown above, screw the pin-and tail-board templates to backup boards, then secure one of the tail boards drawer sides end up in a bench vise. Protecting the stock with a wood pad, clamp the tail template to the work-piece so the underside of the template Is butted...

Smoothing the spindles

How Draw Knives

Use a hand scraper to give the spindles a smooth finish. Grasping the thick end of the spindle in one hand and, bracing the thin end on a work surface, use your other hand to draw the scraper along the surface above . Work in the direction of the grain and rotate the spindle frequently to keep it uniform. A shop-made sizing gauge allows you to measure the diameters of chair spindles as you shape them. 3ore holes into a wood scrap, sizing them according to the spindles key diameters. Drill a...