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Blog series by GaryK updated 06-11-2011 04:33 PM 41 parts 93780 reads 516 comments total

Part 1: I begin at the begining. Where else?

04-18-2011 01:24 AM by GaryK | 13 comments »

Well, I had a couple more things I wanted to make first, but my wife kind of changed my priorities for me. She started out by commenting on how the new ones looked in the store, and then started with how nice a new one would look in our dining room. I took the hint. So, where to start? Well, I asked her what she wanted and I got, “I don’t know, just make something. I trust you.” Hmm… No restrictions! That’s nice. Now what do I want? Chairs would be th...

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Part 2: The back legs. Throwing a curve at them.

04-18-2011 02:34 AM by GaryK | 22 comments »

Looking at all my other projects, you all probably know that I like the look and working with mahogany. So It should not come as a surprise to anyone what I will be making this project from. Making the chairs will be something new for me. I have never made one before, let alone 6-8 of them.After studying my current chairs and plans for others, it shouldn’t be too hard. Making so many of something as complex as a chair I will be making templates for everything. I want all the pi...

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Part 3: Gluing up the front legs, bummer!

04-18-2011 05:36 PM by GaryK | 17 comments »

Well, I planned on using this solid 3” thick lumber for the front legs: But it turns out to have too many defects and splits to get all of the 16 pieces out of it. Bummer! Since I have no place local to get more, I have to go with plan 2. Gluing up smaller pieces from this stack: I bought stack this with the intention of using some for this project and saving the rest for the future.Guess I’ll just have to use more for this project than I thought. Since I bough...

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Part 4: The back legs - A flashback!

04-18-2011 11:54 PM by GaryK | 3 comments »

Looking back I noticed there was something that I should have gone into a little more detail with. How I made the template. I started with the full sized drawing and using tracing paper I traced the outline of the back leg. Then using some spray adhesive, I glued the tracing paper to a 1/8” thick of MDF. Using a band saw and spindle sander I shaped it real close to the lines. Then using a thin piece of wood with a piece of sandpaper glued to it. I faired the curved edges smooth...

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Part 5: The front legs continued. Not bad for a days work!

04-20-2011 02:06 AM by GaryK | 9 comments »

Well, I got all the leg blanks all cut to same length and squared up. Then using a template I made from the full sized drawing I marked up all the blanks. Then centered for a spur bit And here I am about half way through trimming them on the bandsaw. At about this point, fellow Lumberjock Chips stopped by for a visit. A great guy and we had a good visit. After they were all roughed out on the bandsaw it was time for some turning. Anyone who knows me knows that I hat...

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Part 6: More work on the front legs.

04-26-2011 04:33 AM by GaryK | 14 comments »

Well, It’s been a while, huh? I’ve been doing the “not too much fun” part of the job. Shaping the legs.I basically worked on four legs a day, sometimes taking a day off in between. Once I get over this hump it will be downhill. I think :-) I last left off using the Legacy mill. Here’s what I came up with. Not too bad.Now for the next step I had to use a lathe. (bummer!) It’s the only way (other than doing it by hand) to shape the transition from t...

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Part 7: On to the sides! Get the inSIDE scoop.

04-26-2011 11:47 PM by GaryK | 19 comments »

For the time being the legs are all done. Both mortises are in all 16 legs. Now I’m just gluing up some material for the knee blocks to glue to the legs. You’ll see more about this later. I cut up the material for the chair sides (apron). I need something to attach the legs together, right?Here are the 32 pieces for the job. Three different lengths. The front of the chair is wider than the back so a long piece for the front and a shorter piece for the back. Then two ...

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Part 8: Sides again - Time to put on my APRON and get back to work.

04-28-2011 12:00 AM by GaryK | 12 comments »

On to the side aprons! After thinking about it for a while I figured that cutting the shoulders would be best since it gives me something to cut to. Somewhere I should cut no further, and the material would fall off when I was done. Before I start I make sure that all the pieces are the exact same length. I do this because I’ll use a stop on the fence and I will know that everything will end up in the same place. I also looked at all the parts and decided which surface would lo...

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Part 9: Back legs. Déjà vu all over again

04-28-2011 08:48 PM by GaryK | 16 comments »

As a rule I generally like to make mortises first and then fit the tenons to them, but in this case I am using a machine to make the mortises so I know that they will all come out the same width. That’s why I waited to finish the mortises in the back legs until now. I wanted to make sure that I had the side aprons out of the way. I fit those tenons to the front legs which will be the same as the back. Here’s all my legs, set out for left and right. I selected the best sides ...

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Part 10: Will these side aprons ever end? The end is in sight!

04-29-2011 07:15 AM by GaryK | 10 comments »

This will be a quick entry. Cutting some straight tenons is a breeze. Well, not any more as we shall see. First I did the shoulder cut on all 4 sides: Then back to the tenoning jig. No problem. Then to the band saw to trim the ends to the shoulder. Couldn’t be simpler. Simple as pie until you screw things up. I got complacent going so simple a job and made 2 mistakes.On the same part no less. One on each end! Here I started to make a cut and realized that it w...

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Part 11: Good news. The aprons are finally done!

04-30-2011 02:26 AM by GaryK | 11 comments »

These aprons seem to take forever. 32 pieces. 8 fronts, and backs each a different length and 8 sides each for the left and right side of the chair. Also those sides each have a different length and angle of tenon.. If you remember, I told you that I left the tenons long. I want as much glue surface on them as I can get. I could have one tenon long and the other short to that they don’t collide in the mortise, or do what I did in the following picture. Miter them. That will give them...

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Part 12: Trimming and hand fitting. Some relaxing fun.

05-01-2011 01:52 AM by GaryK | 12 comments »

Time for some actual hand work. When I traced the pattern on the front legs I always used the top of the leg as my reference. I made a little spacer that I rested the template against to space it from the end. That way every leg would be the same. I left the parts long to I could cut off the part of the legs with the marks from the spur drive and center that I used to hold it in the ornamental mill and lathe. I clamped a square piece of wood, taller than my leg and long enough to clamp ...

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Part 13: More work on the front legs. It's the bees knees!

05-02-2011 02:18 AM by GaryK | 11 comments »

Now for a tedious but necessary job for the front legs. The knee blocks. It’s a fairly straightforward job. These are the glued up blanks that I first showed you being glued up in episode #7. They are cut up into little blocks. You can see the design for them in the drawing. The first thing I do is to match the color and texture of the block with the leg and then mark the number of the leg on the block. Then with the block being held into it’s final position I mar...

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Part 14: Let's see, where was I. Oh, yea! Let's finish the legs!

05-05-2011 03:10 AM by GaryK | 12 comments »

Well, that was a lot of gluing to get all those knee blocks in place. Now I could just sand them flush with the leg but that makes a lot of sawdust so I figured that I would use a chisel to remove the majority of extra wood. You can see in the picture below that I made a quick bench hook to support the leg while I worked on it. That and a nice sharp chisel. You can’t really see exactly how I do it since I need one hand to take the picture. I would normally have my left hand pr...

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Part 15: Sanding is the pits! Here's something unusual I plan on doing.

05-06-2011 12:59 AM by GaryK | 10 comments »

First of all some good news. I have finished sanding 3 legs so far! 13 to go :-) Next I want to let you know what I am going to do after I finish sanding them. I am going to put the finish on them. I have done this before so it’s not a concern to me. I just wanted to show something that will probably be new to some of you. I always use a water based dye rather than a stain. This actually soaks into the wood fibers and when dry is just like you never dyed it. To prove ...

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Part 16: Front legs are finally done! Now on the the back ones, again!

05-09-2011 08:18 AM by GaryK | 9 comments »

It may seem like I’m hopping back and forth between different parts of this project. Well, you’re right. As of yet I haven’t decided exactly how I’m going to do the back legs. I also just wanted to get the front legs out of the way. They are by far the most work in this project, as you can tell. I wanted also to get some of the more difficult aspects of this project behind me. And here they are. All the completed parts ar at that end of the table. You can s...

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Part 17: Tapering the back legs.

05-10-2011 12:43 PM by GaryK | 12 comments »

Time to add the taper to the back legs, but first I wanted to see how the chair would feel to sit in: Exactly what I was hoping for. You just seem to melt right into it. Even without the back upholstered it felt great. Now to the tapering operation. As it is right now the back of the chair is square. I want to add a little lightness to is so from the lower back rail to the top I am going to add a 1/2” taper on each side for a 1” total. So the first thing I did was to ...

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Part 18: Made some rails

05-11-2011 02:28 AM by GaryK | 4 comments »

Not much happening here. Just needed to make the top and bottom rails for the back of the chair. They will surround the upholstered back like this chair. It’s the closest thing I could find the the upholstery method I will be using. The seat and back will be very similar. It’s the same process as I used on the aprons, just very simple. Make the shoulder cuts and then the tenoning jig to make the cheek cuts. Here is the stack of lower rails. And here is a pic...

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Part 19: Time for a rabbet or two. Getting close!

05-12-2011 12:32 AM by GaryK | 5 comments »

As I showed in the last post, I will be upholstering the back and seat of these chairs. To provide a place to attach the upholstery I need a place to attach it to. For the seat it’s easy and obvious. For the back it’s a little harder. I decided to add a rabbet to hold it into position and staples to keep it there. This will become clearer when it comes time to upholster them. Here are all the back legs and a top and bottom rail. I mark them with a big marking pen to make sure I...

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Part 20: Corners, corners and more corners!

05-12-2011 08:58 AM by GaryK | 8 comments »

Not much to show for today. A lot of tedious work with a chisel. I cleaned up 32 corners. It gets kind of old after about 20 of them! Took about 2 1/2 hours Here’s what I’m talking about: At the same time I numbered and matched up all the parts for color and texture. Here they are all assembled: Before I left the shop I chamfered the inside corner below the apron. I just thought that it would look good and be a nice touch. I haven’t decided what I am goin...

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Part 21: Top of the chair, Mate!

05-13-2011 12:02 AM by GaryK | 7 comments »

Right now the chairs are kind of plain with the straight, square top of the back. I plan to add something to change that. First I start out with that material I was gluing up a post or two ago. (see I was actually thinking ahead!) The material I used must have been on the top of the pallet because it had very dark staining. Some places as deep as about 1/4”. The material I need for this step is thicker than any I had, so what I did was to glue up the two pieces with the staine...

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Part 22: The crest rail addition. Filling it up.

05-13-2011 10:51 PM by GaryK | 13 comments »

Now you get to see the complete addition to the top of the chair. It gave me a chance to use my most warped bowed board. Since I was going to cut it into such short lengths it wouldn’t be bad at all. Especially since it will be framed inside the dados from the part I made in the last post. Here you can see the finished product. I resawed the boards, planed them and cut them to the shape you see. Here it is all installed. I thought that the top parts looked a little clun...

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Part 23: Finishing up the back.

05-14-2011 06:54 PM by GaryK | 13 comments »

Well, this will be my last post for a while. After this it’s a bunch of sanding and finishing. There are three more parts I have to make not I’ll have to wait for the chairs to be assembled first. If anyone is interested how I’ll do the upholstery, let me know or I’ll just skip posting that part. Now I left off telling you that I wanted to reinforce the top of the back. Since I have never used dowels in a joint like this I thought that this would be the perfec...

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Part 24: No, I'm not just messing around. I'm finishing up.

05-19-2011 08:29 PM by GaryK | 19 comments »

See, I’ve been working hard. Finally got all the sanding done! All the pieces are dyed. and I am starting the poly finish. All the parts were wet and left to dry. This will raise the grain. Then sanded it all off. Then dyed and anything left was lightly sanded using steel wool. Here’s all the legs. The ones on the right are still wet with dye. And the side and front aprons with their first coat of poly. And the 8 backs. I needed to put these together in a...

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Part 25: Finishing finally done! Now assembly Begins

05-25-2011 05:20 PM by GaryK | 18 comments »

It seemed like the sanding and sanding and sanding again; applying finish over and over again would never end, but it finally did! Now back to the fun part. Assembly! Here are the legs all finished And one stack of the backs. You will notice no poly finish on the inside and parts that will get glue during assembly. The first thing I did was to assemble the front legs to the front apron. I did this first because it was easy and secondlyit would make the final glue up real e...

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Part 26: Corners done and bottoms up next.

05-26-2011 04:54 PM by GaryK | 6 comments »

Getting close to the end! Here you can see that I added all the corner supports. They were basically straightforward. I cut one at 45 degrees, flipped the board over and cut another and so on. Then I set the miter gauge to 8 degrees and trimmed one side to match the angle of the sides. Then did the same at 8 degrees on the other side of zero for the other end. Then to the drill press with a couple of brad point bits. First a 5/16” to create a counter bore and then a 3/16” fo...

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Part 27: The seat backs. Finally all the woodworking is done!

05-27-2011 04:05 PM by GaryK | 24 comments »

It took me a while to figure out how I was going to do the back. I had some 3/8” bending plywood, but it took too much force to keep it bent. I thought about laminating a bunch of thin material, but that would be a lot of resawing, plus my bandsaw is limited to 12” and the back is 13 1/4”. What I came up with is a sort of glued tambour. I took a 2×10 piece of southern yellow pine and cross cut into pieces 30” long and then ripped then into 5/16” thi...

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Part 28: Upholstering the seat. Finally!

05-28-2011 04:06 PM by GaryK | 14 comments »

Well, the big day is finally here. Upholstering the seat. I have to tell you that I have never done this before. I just watched some youtube videos. So I’m no expert.Therefore I will not go into detail since I may have it wrong. Here are my supplies. Cotton batting on the right. Some blue foam for the seats. The roll covering material at the back of the table and a roll of cambric to cover up my mess. (I didn’t take a picture of the 1/2” foam for the seat backs). And l...

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Part 29: Chairs are complete after 40 days and 40 nights.

05-28-2011 10:57 PM by GaryK | 17 comments »

Well, at long last I am finally done with the chairs, but I still have the table to go. This last my last blog on the chairs. I will continue with the table though until all is complete. Here I start just like the seat. The foam stapled to the form. Then the batting Then some simple fitting, since I don’t have to worry so much about the corners. They will be concealed in the rabbet. Front side all done. Then the back. Since there was no foam or batting ...

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Part 30: The table begins with a quandry.

05-29-2011 04:49 PM by GaryK | 11 comments »

I told you about that very hard Santos Mahogany I was going to use for the top, right? Well, after getting it down off the shelf yesterday I remembered just how heavy it was. I got curious and weighed it. The wood for just the top and apron would be well over 200 pounds! Just the wood! I was thinking about doing an inlay in the top also. Something simple like a band around the edge so there would be very little chance I would mess it up. Then I got to thinking about a 3/4” (18m...

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Part 31: These are some big thick legs!

06-01-2011 09:30 PM by GaryK | 13 comments »

Well, I wanted this table to be sturdy and with these legs I think it will be. It looks like they are going to end taking up almost as much time as all the small ones. A lot more material to remove! Here’s where I started, gluing up the stock. Those are starting out at 4 1/2” square. That is the template for the legs. Here you can see the templates for the chairs and table side by side. I have already traced the outline on the blanks. And already centered th...

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Part 32: Starting on the top

06-03-2011 02:46 AM by GaryK | 10 comments »

Well, I got the legs almost done. I might put another coat of poly on them and I might not. All I have left to do is to cut them to length, but I’ll wait until I make the decision about the finish. Anyway here they are. I am building the top in 4 sections. The matching ends and the leaves to insert to make the table longer.The ends are going to be a final dimension of 42” wide by 30” long. This will yield a table 60” by 42” wide.The two leaves will each be...

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Part 33: Gluing up the top!

06-03-2011 10:06 PM by GaryK | 6 comments »

Someone in the last blog asked about the vacuum pump I would be using. Well, it’s your standard one I made from the plans found at Joe the Woodworkers's site. It works great. Here I’m gluing up one of the table top ends. And here they are all done with one more in the press. The last part in the press. It’s one of the leaves. Here I’m clamping some spacers I will use to support the veneer that I will leave a little long when gluing in the...

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Part 34: Getting ready to veneer!

06-05-2011 07:07 AM by GaryK | 8 comments »

I now have my design worked out and my veneers all picked out. I have decided to simplify the design that I was first thinking about. It was just a little too complex to do on something this big. At least for me, since this is the first time doing something this big. Here you can see the plan (kind of anyway). The table is basically a large rectangle with the corners cut at 45 degrees. The plan shows it with on leaf in the middle. Cutting the corners does two things. First it matches...

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Part 35: Veneering starts, but first a little primer.

06-06-2011 01:31 AM by GaryK | 15 comments »

It seems that I have sparked some interest in some of you with the veneering aspect of this job. I am not an expert at it but I do have a few tips that might be interesting to those who have never done it before. First is sharpening an Exacto (or whatever brand you are using) blade. I didn’t learn this for a long time. I just bought a bunch of blades and threw them away as they got dull. But they are so easy to sharpen I have been kicking myself in the head for not finding out soo...

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Part 36: Taping up the veneer.

06-07-2011 01:33 AM by GaryK | 14 comments »

Last time I showed you the center part of the top all taped up. This time I will go through the sequence I used to do the entire thing. First I start with one edge. I use the blue tape to hold everything in place. I also use it to position the veneers tightly together before I apply the veneer tape. I place the blue tape firmly on one piece of the veneer and then stretch it and stick it to the other piece. This will pull them tightly together. Afterwords I will remove the blue tape and ...

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Part 37: Let the pressing begin!

06-08-2011 02:26 PM by GaryK | 14 comments »

Well, pressing starts today. First I have to prepare the backing to balance out the substrate to avoid warping. I don’t really think I will need it with 1” thick plywood but I’m not taking the chance at this point. I’m using some nice wide mahogany veneer I have had for a long time. I didn’t use any special glue, just regular yellow glue. What I did do was to glue up the back first, apply the veneer and put it into the press for about 5 minutes. Then took i...

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Part 38: Just a little trimming.

06-09-2011 04:38 PM by GaryK | 9 comments »

It took some fiddling to get things right when I trimmed the edges I had to make sure that everything remained centered with both the ends as well as the leaves. Then I had the corners to deal with. I wanted to make sure that they were consistent and at the exact angle. What I did was to place a piece of scrap with a straight edge in the position I wanted it. I had to take into account the distance of the edge of the router base to the bit. Once this was worked out I clamped it into pos...

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Part 39: It's all about the trim!

06-10-2011 07:05 AM by GaryK | 15 comments »

With the edge on the top so vulnerable to getting damaged I want to get the trim on it as soon as I can. I want something that can take a beating so I chose that very hard and heavy Santos Mahogany with some Wenge to add some detail. Here are the 6 pieces I started out with all cut. This is how they will be glued up. Both pieces of wenge are oversized to allow me to trim them as a unit for a perfect fit.First I glued up the piece in the upper left corner. Then when dry I took it...

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Part 40: Installing the trim and more!

06-11-2011 02:09 AM by GaryK | 14 comments »

Woodworking almost done! The material for the splines is just some mahogany. I cut a bunch of strips and then ran it through the drum sander to get to to just the right thickness. You can see here how I let it run long and trimmed it at a 45. Then added a 45 to the piece butting up to it. This will add a little more rigidity to the corners where the trim piece meet. I put the groove in the trim pieces a little lower from the top surface so that when installed they would be just barely p...

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Part 41: The end is here.

06-11-2011 04:33 PM by GaryK | 27 comments »

Well, the woodworking part is finally done. Just the final finishing left! This will be the last post in this blog. The next time you see it it will be 100% complete and posted as a project! Here I’m mocking up the position of the legs to measure the lengths for the apron pieces Then it was back to the router table using the same jigs I used to do the aprons on the chairs, but this time for the aprons on the table. Then I got the length for the cross pieces and the h...

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