Construction Steps for Kevin Rodel Arts and Craft Chairs #1: Crest Rail Construction

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Blog entry by kbiniowa posted 05-03-2013 04:16 AM 8519 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Quartersawn oak blanks are cut to 14” long and 1 5/8” thick. The upper crest rails are 3” wide and the lower rails are 2 ½” wide. I chose to construct the chair with floating tenons so that I could mill and cut all of the rails to the exact same length. A bench-top mortising machine is used to make the mortises for the upper and lower crest rails. The 3/8” chisel is set exactly parallel to the machine’s fence, then an auxiliary fence is installed and shimmed to the proper angle required. Stop-blocks are used for consistent and repeatable mortise length.

The inside mortises are 92 or 88 degrees to the back of the blank and the outside mortises are 94.8 or 85.2 degrees to the back of the blank.

A router table is be used to mill the crest rails, so a jig is made. There are two sets of back-blocks made to accommodate the different heights of the rails.

Use the jig to track/mark the concave arc for the rails.

Now cut along the scribe line on the bandsaw.

A Whiteside Template Router bit (¾” Diameter with a 2” cut depth) is used for the first cut.

Close up photograph of the first cut.

The rail in now flipped over and a 1/8” thick spacer is inserted between the back-block and the work piece. This prevents the router bit from touching the template arc. I used a Whiteside flush trim router bit (3-flute ½” diameter with a 2” cutting depth.) to remove the remaining wood. To begin the process, I first used a climb cut to reduce tear out.
After the router table work, I lightly sanded the concave arc on an oscillating spindle sander to remove milling marks.

After marking the rail for the convex arc, the bandsaw is used for a rough cut. While this may be a bit crude, it works for me. This Porter Cable 4” x 24” belt sander is a “BEAST”. After securing the sander so that it could not move, it made quick work out of the convex arc.

Process photos – the chairs are dry fit. The next step for me is to construct the back splats.

-- Keith - Iowa

2 comments so far

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 2554 days

#1 posted 05-03-2013 12:30 PM

Looks great. Can’t wait until the next step!

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2798 days

#2 posted 05-04-2013 03:08 PM

Wow!. Gr8 how-to. Lookin very good

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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