Due to backing up septic tanks and clogged pipes I was not able to get into the shop until Saturday. I accomplished everything on my list for the week and will continue Sunday with more sanding of the seat, leg shaping and then glue the legs and seat together by mid-week next week.
For now, on to today’s progress:
The next picture is 45 minutes later with both arms sanded. I start with 60-grit, go to 120, 220, 320, 400 and then finished up with a 500-grit abralon pad. The pads are pricey at $65 per box of 10, but well worth it, this year I even forked out more to get some 1000-grit pads, not sure it was worth it, not a huge noticeable difference between sanding to 1000 versus ending at 500.
From here I went to work on the leg joints. As you recall from working on the seat, we cut a bunch of notches, rabbits and such. To get the legs to fit these joints we start out by marking the legs for where they need to match up to the seat. Then using the table saw, we cut notches in three sides of the front leg blanks. The leg blanks were dimensioned to fit the seat gap perfectly before-hand though.
The back legs also get marked and the notches cut on the table saw. Trial fitting to the seat joints are key during the notching of both the front and back legs so that you don’t remove too much material and you get a nice, tight fit.
After I am satisfied with my notches I use a round-over bit which is the same radius as the rabbit bit we used on the seat. This gives us the nice curve which is identical to the curve on the seat. Here is a picture of all four legs after being put through the router:
The joints are tight enough that is takes some persuasion with the mallet to get them tight, but not too tight that you have to worry about splitting wood. With the legs in position I mark the legs where they hit the top and bottom of the seat, this gives us a guide for when we final shape the legs. I also mark the seat where the back legs hit it so I can mark and band-saw both the sides and back of the seat with a nice curve. I like to use the rocker-taper template for marking the seat, it is a nice curve and I know each side will be identical. With the sides and back of the seat band-sawn I will now proceed to sand the heck out of the seat all the way through 500-grit.
-- Rich, WNY, www.nyrockingchairs.com