The Side Frames

Once all of the pieces were cut to width and length, I started to work on the two side frames. Both of these frames consist of two legs (A), one arm (B), and one middle stretcher (C).

joinery. The first step is to cut a half lap on both ends of the arms and stretchers, and on the top end of each leg. Then another half lap (which in this case is called a cross lap), is cut near the bottom of each leg. The only thing that sets this joint apart from all the others is that it's cut 3V2" from the bottom of each leg, rather than flush with the ends, see Fig. 1.

shop note: Although I started construction with the two side frames, in actual practice it's best to cut all of the half laps for all four frames at the same time. This ensures consistency for all of the joints.

counterbore for lag screws. After cutting the half laps for the side frames, I dry-clamped the frame members together with pipe clamps (clamping across the legs to hold them against the shoulders of the arm and stretcher). Check all the joints to make sure they fit properly.

Then I used a drill mounted in a Port-align attachment to counterbore a YS hole, deep in the center of three joints: both joints on the stretcher and the front joint on the arm, see Fig. 1. After the counter-

bores are drilled, drill W-diameter pilot holes for the lag screws, see Detail B.

Note: The fourth joint (where the arm meets the back leg) has a hole for a pivot dowel that's used to attach the chair's back, see Detail A. This hole is drilled later on (after the frame is assembled).

gll'e it. After the three counterbores and pilot holes are drilled, remove the bar clamps and round-over the bottom end of each leg with a comer-round bit (on a router table), see Fig. 2.

Now, glue is applied to all four joints of both frames. (I used resorcinol glue for this project. It's waterproof and suitable for outdoor applications.) Then drive 1" lag screws in three of the joints. The fourth joint (for the pivot dowel) is held together with a C-clamp until the glue dries.

round over. To soften the edges of the chair, cut a 1%" radius on the top corners of the frames (where the legs and arms meet). Then round-over all of the edges on the outside of the frame, see Fig. 3. (The inside edges, between the arm and the stretcher, remain square-edged.)

pivot dowel. Finally, a hole, 1W deep is drilled in the center of the fourth joint (where the arm meets the back leg.) Then glue a 2"-long pivot dowel into this hole, see Fig. 2.

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