Rocking Chair Build #9: An hour of prep, 10 minutes of panic...

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Blog entry by Topapilot posted 11-14-2011 08:09 AM 2490 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Router extension Part 9 of Rocking Chair Build series Part 10: Headrest cutting jig »

We’ve all been there: you do the dry fit, you set up your clamps and cauls, you clamp it up dry, you remake your cauls and clamping blocks. Then you do it again. Then one more time, just to make sure. You clear everything from the area but the tools and parts you need. You go through the steps in your mind for the 20th time. Then you open the glue, and it all goes to sh!t…

If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve spent the last two months building this rocking chair. Well, really it’s been equal parts rocking chair, and jigs to build the rocking chair, but you get the picture. Up till now I’ve been shaping and fitting parts. And remaking and shaping and fitting parts. And re-remaking parts.

Today was the day I took the first step I couldn’t undo or redo: glueing the rear legs to the seat. One of the things Hal stressed was to use lots of glue. Lots and lots of glue, so the joint dosen’t seize up as you’re assembling it. A thin film of glue can cure quickly, I deep puddle takes forever to cure. I thought I was using lots. I wasn’t.

I had the second leg dry fitted just in case I needed to use the clamps to pull the joint closed. It worked! I cranked on those pipe clamps until I heard wood crack then let off and pulled the legs tight to the sides of the joint. Then I used the verticle clamps to pull the legs tight to the front of the joint. Then I took them off and glued up the second joint. Lots of glue. Lots and lots of glue. It slid right into place and I clamped it tight to the sides of the joint. Then the front clamps.

Somehow in all this, with glue squeeze out running down my seat and clamps slipping that hadn’t slipped in the dry fit and realizing my clamp blocks should have been waxed and and and… I didn’t get the joint tight to the front of the joint.

I won’t show you the pictures, but the joint I spent so much time and effort on making it flow out of the seat has a gap. A gully. A chasem even. It looks to me to be about the width of the Mississippi. Or maybe the Amazon. I havn’t been to the Amazon, but I bet it’s as wide as the gap in my leg joints.

All right; I’ll figure it out. The joint seems rock solid, so it’s just cosmetic. Maybe no one will notice.

After all that, I built jig #73, the front-leg-riser-block-marking jig:

I also started on jig #74, the cut-the-headrest-on-the-bandsaw jig. But that will have to be another post…

2 comments so far

View lorna's profile


15 posts in 2419 days

#1 posted 11-14-2011 09:15 PM

Oh Topapilot, I know that heart sinking feeling, but you walk away to give your head some rest and come back to it fresh and find a way of making a feature out of that mistake!

View CaptainSkully's profile


1600 posts in 3584 days

#2 posted 11-15-2011 05:17 AM

Dude, we all only see our flaws. Everyone else sees the beauty. At worst, you’ll figure out a way to fix it to be happy with it yourself. At best, you’ve warned the rest of us, which is why LJ’s and your posts are so invaluable. Thanks, sorry, good luck, and keep on keeping on…

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

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