Adjust a set of calipers to the distance between the center spindle and the adjacent ones (page 73) and mark their locations on the arm (below). Repeat for the remaining long spindles. Mark the short spindles so the gap between them and the arm posts is equal.
3 Boring the spindle mortises in the arm
Clamp the arm to a work surface, centering a backup board under the hole you will be drilling. Also install a spoon bit in a hand brace and a small clamp on the edges of the stock in line with the hole mark to prevent the wood from splitting as you drill. Adjust a sliding bevel to the backward slant of the spindles, place it on the table, and align the bit with the bevel blade to bore the holes (right).
Slip the spindles into their mortises in the arm. The bottom ends of the spindles should be aligned so 9 to 10 inches of each long spindle extends above the arm; shave the spindles to improve the fit, if necessary. Next, glue the arm posts to the seat. Spread some adhesive on the spindle tenons and in their seat mortises, and on the top ends of the arm posts and in their mortises in the arm, then fit the spindle assembly onto the seat (left). Use a dead-blow hammer to tap the arm between each of the spindles to seat the spindle and arm post tenons fully in their mortises.
Was this article helpful?