Starting Construction

The first step is to rip all the pieces to width and approximate length. Then the fun begins. There are 18 mortise and tenon joints in this chair, including three different variations on this joint.

The detail photo shows the beauty of this joint. But good looks aren't eventhing. A wedged mortise tenon joint is one of the strongest joints in woodworking.

Construction begins by cutting the front and back legs to length.

the legs. The front legs are 18" long on the chair shown. However, if you want to alter the seat height (which is 16716") you must adjust the length of the front leg. If you change the front legs, the back legs must be changed by the same amount. Also, when cutting the back legs to length, miter the tops at 6°. as shown in Fig. 3.

mortises in legs. First cut a notch in both the front and back legs to accept the side rail, see Fig. 1. Then, inside this notch, through mortises are laid out, drilled and chopped square. Finally, stopped mortises cut near the bottom of the leg for the stretchers. Fig. 2.

note: Step-by-step instructions for chopping out these mortises are given on page 12.

angled mortises. back leg. Laving out the angled mortises for the back rest (Fig 3) is easier than it looks. Since the top of the back leg has been mitered at 6°, it's simply a matter of placing a try square on the top of this leg and marking a line down the side of the leg. Then the through mortises are laid out and cut as shown.

side rail. There are actually two joints that hold the side rail to the front and back legs. Refer to Fig. 4. First, a notch is cut in the side rail to match the notch on the front and back legs. This, in effect, creates a half-lap joint. However, before this notch is cut, it's best to rout the edges to their half-round shape (which we did on a router table with a Vz quarter-round bit.)

After the notch is cut, the front leg is placed in the notch and the through mortise (which has already been cut in the le^) is used as a guide to mark out the stopped mortise in the side rail. Fig. 4.

stretcher. The final step (at least at this point) is to cut the tenons at the end of the side stretchers to fit their respective mortises. Also, a through mortise must be cut for the cross stretcher.

FIGURE 1

19

THROUGH MORTISE

THROUGH MORTISE

FIGURE 4

MARK WITH CHISEL

' 7 CORNER ROUND

FIGURE 4

MARK WITH CHISEL

MORTISE CENTERED

MORTISE CENTERED

Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

Have you ever wanted to begin woodworking at home? Woodworking can be a fun, yet dangerous experience if not performed properly. In The Art of Woodworking Beginners Guide, we will show you how to choose everything from saws to hand tools and how to use them properly to avoid ending up in the ER.

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