Rocking Chair Build #10: Headrest cutting jig

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Blog entry by Topapilot posted 11-29-2011 06:14 AM 3405 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: An hour of prep, 10 minutes of panic... Part 10 of Rocking Chair Build series Part 11: Cutting the Head Rest »

Hey team,
I’ve behind in my project updates, so I’ll try to put up a few short posts covering what I’ve done in the last few weeks.

With front and rear legs attached to the chair seat, it’s time to cut out the curved headrest. If you remember, I glued up 6 pieces 8” tall with a 5 degree bevel on the edges to create a arc of wood. We want the finished headrest to be a smooth curve front and back on a 28.5 inch radius.

Naturally, I built a jig:

In the top photo you can see a secondary table (rectangle plywood) holding a swinging arm that has attachment points for the headrest. The swinging arm pivots on a dowel 28.5 inches from the band saw blade. There are two dowel holes on the secondary table that allow you to shift the whole swing arm 1.25 inches towards the blade. This way the first pass cuts the back curve of the head rest, the second pass cuts the front curve, and cuts the headrest free from the jig.

The second photo shows how the headrest attaches to the swing arm on adjustable mounts. This way I should be able to use the same jig for many, many headrests.

To mount the secondary table to the saw, I removed the resaw fence attachments from front and back and used the bolt holes to attach the table.

The astute woodworker will have noted from the first picture the stock 14” Delta does not have clearance for an 8” tall workpiece. On to Amazon I go and 24 hours later (seriously, no extra shipping charge either. They are great!) I have the riser kit for my saw. Unfortunatly, a new blade took three more days from Highland Hardware.

In the picture above you can see the new, improved clearance with my new woodslicer blade installed. The white tape on the jig attachment points is the cover on VHB tape. VHB stands for Very High Bond, and it’s no joke. I used this last year on a project and once it sets up, it’s not comming off. Fortunatly, permanent set takes a bit longer than the time to cut a headrest, so it worked great in this application.

Unfortunatly, the cutting of the headrest did not go so well….

2 comments so far

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3237 days

#1 posted 11-29-2011 01:17 PM

You’ve got a great looking jig and I’m sure you are going to have more than one rocker project to post after building all these jigs. How did the crack turn out?

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Topapilot's profile


172 posts in 3840 days

#2 posted 11-29-2011 05:38 PM

Hal Taylor told me that if I used glue and sawdust he was going to come to my house and let the air out of my tires! He said to fill the small gaps with Tite bond III, and the large with a piece of wood sanded flush. I tried the glue on the bottom of the seat, but have not filled the larger gaps with wood yet. That would be good to do today…

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