Fashioning A Curved Chair


One of the units of a curved chair is trimmed to within about 'A inch of the cutting line on the band saw. Once all the pieces are cut, they are pared to final shape with a router fitted with a flush-trimming bit, guided by a template.


1 Making the template

Mark out a template of the chair units on a piece of plywood or hardboard, referring to the anatomy illustration on page 34 for the profile and dimensions of the pieces. Start by drawing the legs and seating unit with straight lines, then use a thin strip of springy wood to help you outline the natural curves along the edges of the pieces. Using a handscrew and a bar clamp, secure the strip on edge on the template so that one face is flush with the top of one of your cutting lines. Then gently bend the strip toward the other end of the line. Keeping the strip firmly in place, run a pencil along it to define the curve (above). Cut the template to shape on your band saw, then sand the edges smooth. Set the template aside for now; before using it to outline (page 38) and trim (page 39) the units, you need to cut the half-laps in your stock and assemble the pieces.

Stop block

3 Sawing the dadoes in the rear legs

Outline the dadoes in the rear leg blanks to accommodate the half-laps in the seating units. The same setup used to cut the half-laps can be employed to saw the dadoes—except that you will need to clamp a second stop block to the miter gauge extension to set the overall width of the joint. Feeding the work-piece face down and butted against a stop block, start by cutting the two sides of the dado. Then make a series of passes to clear the waste in between (above).

2 Cutting the half-laps in the front legs and seating units

Mark the shoulders of the half-laps on your blanks for the front legs and seating units, using the template as a guide. Then install a dado head on your table saw, adjust it to maximum width and set the cutting height at one-half the stock thickness. Attach an extension board to the miter gauge, align the shoulder line on the first leg with the blade and clamp a stop block to the extension against the end of the workpiece. Starting at the end of the board, feed it face down along with the miter gauge to saw away the waste. Make a series of passes to remove the remaining waste wood until you define the shoulder with the work-piece butted against the stop block and miter gauge extension (left). Repeat with the remaining front legs, then cut half-laps at both ends of the seating units the same way, repositioning the stop block as necessary.

Stop block

Front leg

Seating unit

4 Assembling the units

Test-fit the legs and seating units, and use a chisel to trim any ill-fitting joints. Then drill two clearance holes into the stock at each joint and spread waterproof glue on the half-laps of the seating units; make sure to locate the screws so they will not interfere with the placement of the threaded rod (page 41). Clamp the rear leg face up to a work surface, position the seating unit on it, and screw the pieces together (left). (Note that the back end of the seating unit is offset from the back edge of the leg; as shown below, about one-half the width of the legs will be cut away at the point where they meet the seat.) Finally, attach the front leg to the seating unit.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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