Reply by Chrmakr

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Posted on Turning Legs for Shaker Rocker

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20 posts in 3057 days

#1 posted 02-10-2010 06:45 PM

Using tenons to join two pieces for a leg is not a good idea. Chairs are subject to considerable stress and failure would eventually occur.

If you think buying another extension will be useful for other turnings, then that would be your best option. However, if you are only making one or two chairs or don’t have the need for the additional extension, another option is to shape the legs with hand tools. I’m not familiar with the Robert Sonday chair so I don’t know if the rear legs you are making are straight or bent, but the process would be the same. I would dimension my legs and cut to length, drill a mortise in the top of each leg to accept the finial, shape and taper the legs using a drawknife and spokeshave and, if required, steam bend the leg. After allowing the legs to dry, do a finish shaping and sanding, drill mortises and assemble.

If you do not have a drawknife or spokeshave, you can square your stock to the leg diameter and make it into an octagonal by cutting the corners on your table saw or bandsaw. Then, using a block plane or rasps/files, make the leg round.

Hope this helps, let us know how your chairs turn out…Doug

-- Doug Roper Chairmaker and Instructor,

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