I am currently making six chairs and the process is truly time consuming. GrampaDoodie’s (Dale Peterson) did an excellent job describing the his chair making journey in his Lumberjock’s Blog. I highly recommend looking at this: Lumberjocks.com/GrampaDoodie/blog . I am not going to reinvent the wheel here, but show what steps I did differently than Grampa_Doodie or Kevin Rodel.
Kevin Rodel suggested that one would construct a jig to hold lumber and then use a hand held router to mill the rear legs to size. I made this jig for the 1st two chairs I constructed. I hated this part of the construction as the router was not stable as I trimmed 1 1/2” thick wood on a 1 1/2” wide platform with a router bit spinning at 20,000 rpm. In one instance the router rocked and I ruined one expensive piece of 8/4 milled lumber.
You may want to consider doing what I did:
Mill 8/4 lumber to 43” long by 1 9/16” thick by 5 1/4” wide.
I constructed a Table Saw Tapering Jig designed by Steve Latta in Fine Woodworking #229. Utilizing this Jig, the front of the legs that accept tenons are perfectly straight. Additionally, this process is very safe! I also milled a piece of 4/4 soft maple on the jig that I used to set up the router table jig.
Another Photo of the Jig.
Table Saw Fence Attachment for the Jig
The back of the rear legs are cut at 90 degrees from the bottom of the leg. At 17 1/2” high the leg tapers from 2” to 1 1/4” at the top. The soft maple template leg was then milled to dimensions by attaching jointed lumber to the template leg, the leg was trimmed to approximate size and the routed to exact size on the router table.
As all of the 8/4 lumber was milled to the same size, a router jig can then be made to accommodate the legs that were tapered on the table saw and all of the legs will be the exact same size. I find that using a router table is more precise and safer than using a hand held router.
Here is a photo of the Router Table Jig
Another photo of the Jig
Legs tapered on the Table saw are placed in the Jig.
A Sharpie Marker was used to draw cutoff lines for trimming the legs on the band saw. A relief hole is also drilled at 17 1/2”.
Trim in the middle of the Sharpie Marker lines and approximately 1/16” will remain to be trimmed on the router table.
I used a Whiteside lower bearing Router bit with a 2” depth of cut and 3/4” diameter blade.The Leg is now run through on the router table. My hands were clear of the spinning blade, the table is steady, and all of the legs came out exactly the same size.
Completed Leg with a few mortises cut
-- Keith - Iowa