Spent the week drilling and countersinking the holes for the seat slats. I used my drill press instead of my hand drill this time to ensure a nice consistent depth for the holes, since these are very visible. I did have one screw break off, but I was able to extract it successfully using this extractor and a dowel to fill in the hole. Just follow the instructions in the comments about making a jig and going super slow when extracting and it works fine. Since the patch is getting covered up by the seat slat, I didn’t really care much about the appearance (I used a store bought dowel which was undersized, if you use this to patch some place visible I’d recommend cutting a plug from a similar board and matching up the color/grain to hide the patch).
All of the slats were left a little long, to both ensure I could match up grain patterns as well as getting a nice consistent alignment. To flush them up, I clamped a card scraper to the side of the seat and used a flush cut saw to trim them off, and then hand-planed everything flush (after resharpening my #4’s blade of course). I used a chisel to bevel the edges of the slats so I didn’t blow them out during planing. Despite all of this prep, it took quite a bit of planing just to get rid of that 1/32” left over – my arms are quite dead right now.
Here are the results:
Along the way, I took extra care to make sure the slats came out to the proper spacing and that the correct amount was left over for the seat back mounting. The plan doesn’t really show what that should be, but I was able to figure it out as 2.5” from the plan schematic. I was concerned about compounding a small error, since with 12 slats even being 1/32” off for each one would have meant I would be 3/8” off at the end, which could have caused some issues.
Next up is the seat back, which should be interesting. According to the plan, the screws for the slat running along the top of the seat back are put in through the back, but the screws for the bottom piece (which is also beveled) go in through the front… This means I’ll have to attach one slat and then flip it over to do the other one, while keeping everything aligned and square – should be fun!
Once the seat back is attached, the arm rests get attached to each end and the top is attached to the base with swing arms. There are still some patches to put in on the base (my first attempts at lap joints were not as successful as later ones, and there are some gaps), and then everything will need a final round of sanding followed by several coats of General Finishes Outdoor Oil. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel though.
-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"