Bending the legs

Rout the crest rail mortises in the rear legs (page 28), turn them on your lathe (page 29), then steam the legs (page 30) for bending. To bend them to the proper arc, use a shop-made jig, like the one shown at left. For the jig base, cut a piece of plywood longer than the legs, then make the bending form from a piece of solid stock slightly thicker than the leg diameter. On your band saw, cut the desired curve—about 10°—on both edges of the form, starting the cut about halfway up the board. Then screw the form to the base and fasten a stop block on each side of the straight portion of the form; the gap between the blocks and the form should equal the leg diameter. As soon as you take the legs from the steamer, set them on the jig between the form and the blocks, aligning the point on the legs that will be joined to the seat rails with the start of the curved cut on the form. Then, protecting the stock with wood pads, install a bar clamp just below the slat mortises to bend the legs snugly against the form. Secure the top of the legs against the form using a handscrew (left).

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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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