I was able to find olive wood for sale at a hardwood supplier in the greater Toronto area and last fall I purchased 2” x 9” by 8 feet long olive wood board. I would use a portion for the seat and save the remaining portion for another project.
Lately, I have started to build ¼ scale models of my project. Even though I had made a scale drawing (front side and top views) I could not visualize the slope and location of the Windsor style front legs. So I decided to build a simple one of this chair to help me visualize it.
The back would be attached to the seat with a Maloof type joint and the two front legs attached like a Windsor chair. Building a Windsor chair is on my to do list, so I thought this would be good practice.
To get started I cut the oar up into three pieces.
The two top pieces of the oar would be used for the front legs. I turned the second piece to match the oar handle on the first piece and brought both to the same diameter and slight taper. Both were sanded and then burnished with wood chips from the turning.
Then I used Lee Valley’s 5/8” tapered tenon cutter to add a 12 degree taper on each end of the front legs.
I did not want to have a straight back so I decided to cut the back piece in two. One piece for the back leg and the second (the paddle portion) for the chair back.
To rejoin the two pieces I cut square tenons on each end. Each tenon was about 1” thick and 2.5” long. I cut the end of each tenon so that the chair back would slope at 5 degrees and the back leg at about 20 degrees from vertical.
To rejoin them, I sandwiched the tenons using three layers of 1 inch oak. I glued the two tenons to the first layer: a 3’ X 5” piece of oak about one inch thick.
Then I fit two other pieces to match the angles and glued it in as the middle layer. Finally I added another 3” x 5” piece of oak to complete the sandwhich.
The result was that the two tenons were now surrounded and glued into a block of oak 3”inches wide, 4” deep and 5” long. A dado was cut into three side of this block to form one half of the Maloof joint.
You can see the nice shape of the back/back leg in the picture.
I’ll get into shaping the Maloof joint a little later on.
-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario