Long Leg Layout

Finish sand the frame parts. Sand all the surfaces of all the parts you've made for the frame, smoothing the wood and removing any irregularities.

If you plan to paint or stain the chaise, now would be a g<x>d time to apply the first coat.


Assemble the chaise frame. Nail the short stretchers to the long stretchers, making .1 rectangular frame. Attach the sides to the end with V long wood screws. Then clamp the legs and the brace in place, joining the stretcher frame and the side-end assembly. When you're satisfied that all the parts are properly positioned and square to each other, secure the legs and the brace with screws. Use 2"-long wood screws wherever you're joining long grain to long grain, such as the leg-to-side joints, and 3" long screws wherever you're joining long grain to end grain, such as the leg-to-brace and Icg-to-stretcher joints.

1 Assemble the back frame. Join the K/ back supports to the back stretcher with 3"-long wood screws. Put the back adjusting rod through the 1 " diameter holes in die back braces and carefully position the braces along the rod. The braces should be 2'/i" from the ends of the rod. Keep the braces in place by driving a finishing nail through the end of each brace and into the rod.

Bolt the back frame to the chaise frame, and secure the bolts with stop nuts. The special nuts will keep the bolts from coming loose when you adjust the position of the back. Tighten the nuts so that the joints just begin to bind.

WARNING! The nuts and bolts that hold the back to the chaise must be tight enough so that if you adjust the position of the backrest and let go before you have the back brace in place, the backrest will not fall down. They shouldn't be so tight that they prevent you from moving the backrest, but they should Ik- tight enough so that the parts bind slightly. This will prevent you from accidentally mashing your fingers. The tightness of these nuts and bolts may have to be readjusted periodically.

Bolt the brace-rod assembly to the back frame in the same manner that you attached the back frame to the chaise frame. Check the action of the back, and make-sure that the adjusting rod fits easily into all the stop notches. If it binds at any position, remove some stoek from the sides of the appropriate notches with a rasp or a chisel.





A ttach the slats to the frame. Measure the distance between the sides and across the back supports, all along the length of the frame. Don't be alarmed il"the distance varies as much as ■/«" in spots. This is a common problem when you build with dimension lumber, no matter how carefully you pick your stock. Construction grade lumber is often very wet (as much as 30% moisture content), and the wood constantly changes shape as the water evaporates in your shop.

Cut the slats to fit the frame, and tack them in place with finishing nails. Nail the back slats to the back supports. but be careful not to nail them to the sides. Don't drive the nails home just yet. First, check the action of the back to Ik* sure the slats don't interfere. Also, check that the spacing of the slats is even and adjust their positions, if needed. When you're satisfied that everything fits and works as it should, drive the nails home and set them slightly Ixrlow the surface.

Attach the wheels to the chaise.

■ I Cut out the wheels with a band saw or sabre saw, and drill 1 "-diameter holes through the middle. Insert the axle through the axle holes in the short legs. Place 1 "-diameter washers on either end of the axle, then the wheels, then another set of washers. (These washers prevent the wooden wheels from nibbing against the pegs and legs.)

Mark the outside edge of the outside washers, on either end of the axle. Measure 1" out from these marks to mark the trimmed length of the axle. Disassemble the washers, wheels, and axle from the chaise, and trim the axle to length. Drill the ends for ^"-diameter pegs. (These peg holes should be l/\t" beyond the marks for the outside edge of the washers. 'ITiis will give the wheels a little play on the axles, but not too much.)

Apply a little paste wax to the inside of the holes in the wheels to help them turn smoothly. Then reassemble the axle, wheels, and washers. Glue the pegs in their holes with waterproof glue to keep the wheels on the axle.

Sand and finish the chaise. Sand (Incompleted chaise lounge, rounding any hard edges. Pay particular attention to the slats — you want these to be as smooth as possible when you rest on them.

Once the chaise is as smooth as you want it, apply another coat of finish, if you've decided to do so. Avoid finishes that build up on the surface of the wood, such as spar varnish. These will interfere with the action of the back.

Avoiding Splinters linters are the bane of outdoor furniture projects. (Hitdoor furniture is more likely to throw splinters than any other type of woodworking project because it's left out in the weather where new checks and splits — the defects in wood that throw splinters — develop constantly. You cannot absolutely "splinter-proof " your outdoor furniture I lowcvcr. you can decrease the risk of splinters by following a few simple guidelines:

Use a good grade of lumber. Choose stock t hat is relatively free from defects — cracks, case hardening, loose knots, any irregularity where water can soak into the interior ol the wood.

  • Sand Ok end grain smooth. Next to defects, a board is most likely to throw splinters from a cut end. Sand the end grain that will be exposed on the finished project perfectly smooth. Water will run off sanded end grain, since it cannot cling in the saw marks. There is less swelling at the cut ends, and fewer checks and splits develop.
  • quot;Break " or round ot <er all Ixird corners and edges. After you've completed the project, round the corners with a rasp, block plane, or sandpaper. Rounding the corners helps the water to run off and helps absorb impacts so that the wood is less likely to chip or split.

Store your outdoor furniture in an otddoor environment. Store outdoor furniture on a covered patio, in your garage, or in a storage barn. If you bring it inside your home, the extreme change in temperature and humidity will distort the wood and cause it to check and split.



Knock-Down Planter

■he wedged mortise and tenon was a favorite device of many country cabinetmakers. There was little chance that furniture made with these joints would fall apart. If the piece seemed a little wobbly, you just knocked the wedges in a little tighter to "snug up" the parts.

The wedges in this country-style planter serve a dual purpose. They keep the planter strong and sturdy, even though the wood will constantly shrink and swell out in the summer weather. They also allow you to take the planter apart for easy storage during the winter months. Just remove the wedges and pull the mortises and tenons apart! O

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