Arts & Crafts Dining Room Set #11: Next Step...

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Blog entry by CaptainSkully posted 01-28-2010 07:33 PM 3666 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Make Like a Tree & Leaves Part 11 of Arts & Crafts Dining Room Set series Part 12: Rodel Chair Layout »

So, the new top is in daily use. I put seven or eight coats of Bristol Finish water-based polyurethane on it. It’s a marine varnish for boat interiors, which I used on my old table, and it’s pretty impervious. No coasters required! It’s still sitting on top of the mock-up MDF and the old table, so it’s pretty high.

I was going to start on the Rodel Taliesin base next, but since I made the leaves, I don’t have enough lumber to make the base, or the money right now to get more lumber. My thought was to make the prototype chair next. This will use less wood, and let me make all of my mistakes on the first chair. Then I can make the other five in a batch. Right now, we’re using pakka wood (from the rubber tree) chairs bought online and assembled. They’re pretty crappy, but suffice.

My girlfriend is concerned that I might “forget” about building the base because her Dad is still working on his kitchen cabinets after ten years. I assured her this wouldn’t be the case with me, I just would rather optimize what I have to work with than lay out a few hundred more bucks right now.

So, if I pull the trigger, I’ll be starting the rather popular Rodel chair next. I didn’t bother getting full-size plans because they’re pretty linear. The first step will be to make the templates for the back legs. Once I’m comfortable with how that looks, I’ll be able to start some glue-ups to achieve my required thickness. There are lots of little pieces that can be made in between the bigger, more complicated pieces.

As I’ve said before, I’m going to leave out the filler strips between the back splat spindles. I think this will give them a lighter look and offset the monolithic look of the table.

I’m pretty darn excited about starting this phase of the project. The old chairs look horrible next to the new table top. I’ve never made chairs before, so this will be a quantum leap in my woodworking. I can only envision the rickety, crooked monstrosity that I’m going to pour hours of blood, sweat, and tears into. The good news is that I think I’m being smart about making the single prototype first and making all my mistakes on that one. I’ll try to post the process, good and bad, as I go. Wish me luck!

pashley's Rodel chairs

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

6 comments so far

View schroeder's profile


702 posts in 4089 days

#1 posted 01-29-2010 12:47 AM

Looking Great Scully! – I really like the extra leaf design. Looking forward to seeing your chairs!


-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3289 days

#2 posted 01-29-2010 04:30 AM

Chairs…. I think I better follow your blog! One of those dreams of mine currently unfulfilled – to build a chair.

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4041 days

#3 posted 01-29-2010 05:24 AM

the table looks fantastic…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 3954 days

#4 posted 01-30-2010 08:57 AM

Hi Captain,

I just read through your blog on the table so far and it was wonderful. I’m sure you’ll do fine on the chairs and maybe you’ll get to use your Delta mortiser too.


-- Jim

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3541 days

#5 posted 01-30-2010 08:59 AM

Good work, next up chairs?

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View CaptainSkully's profile


1590 posts in 3522 days

#6 posted 02-06-2010 06:35 PM

I posted this earlier in the blog series, but I thought it was worth revisiting later:
I should probably post this design by Rex Alexander as my other choice:

Rex Alexander's Side Chair

It’s a free plan on FWW. I’m going to print it out and compare the design to Kevin Rodel’s. Luckily, I still have time to decide. To date, I’ve only made the template for the Rodel chair.
I think that if I had made Schroeder’s table by Rex Alexander, this is definitely the chair I would make, appropriately enough. Since I’m making the Rodel table, his chair is a bit less formal. I’m tempted to make three of each, but that would be silly…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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