The back braces were made by cutting thin strips, “lams,” and then laminating them together on a form. Each back brace consists of four lams. The top and bottom lams are Walnut, the same as the rest of the chair. The middle two lams are quarter sawn ash which gives them strength and flexibility.
The lams are just shy of 1/8” thick and were cut on the table saw. This operation is generally not something I’d consider doing on the table saw—as its pretty much a universal no-no to cut thin strips like this on a table saw. But, in his book and plan, Hal assures us that he does it all the time. Per his advice, I also made a dedicated push stick that is sized specifically for this operation. The photo below shows me cutting the ash strips:
This is the result of an awful lot of ripping:
The lams were glued up on the form eight at a time (two braces at once):
Once glued, the edges were cleaned up on the jointer and then a short adder piece was added to the bottom to thicken them up by another 1/8”.
Then it was time to cut the tenons on the bottom where they insert into the holes in the seat:
This shows me fitting the braces into the chair. I mark the headrest position on the tops of the braces before cutting the top tenons. Yes, there is a lot of progress on the chair shown in this photo that hasnt been covered by the blog yet. But I wanted to show the fitting of the back braces.
Ok, the next photo shows the completed back braces—sanded to 1000 grit. I presume you notice that they dont look like the same wood in the previous photos. Thats because I made a mistake when cutting the top tenons of the original braces. They were cut too narrow so they didnt fit snugly into the headrest. So, I had to remake the full set unfortunately. On the plus side, I really like the grain of these new ones :)
-- Marshall - http://mcomisar.tumblr.com