When I started out working with wood, it was a chore to find any information. I went to used book stores and bought anything that might help and asked any woodworkers I knew. Then Fine Woodworking came along and now the internet. Lumberjocks is the best help I’ve found. There are always several guys who have gone through the same problem.
Now, I’m working on 15 chairs. There have been three difficult parts. The curved back, the back legs, and the chair bottom. I’m currently on the chair bottoms.
I’ve taken a 18” x 18” x 1-1/8” piece of quartersawn white oak and cut several grooves with a dado blade. Next I cut a little more with a router. Then I used a Holey Galahad to rough out the shape. Lastly, I used 40, 80, 120, and finer grit sand paper to finish the shape and smoothness.
The problem is that since the wood is dull it is hard to see the imperfections that show up under a laquer finish. I use my fingers to find the worst problems, but still miss some. For a finish I dye the wood, stain, and then laquer. The surface doesn’t have to be perfectly consistant, it just needs to look good.
The pictures are of the roughed out chair bottom and the chair is the one that was a prototype that I made 3 years ago.