Antique Office Chair Leg Replacement #1: Cut out and shaping

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Blog entry by shredkeenan posted 04-08-2012 07:12 PM 2237 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Antique Office Chair Leg Replacement series no next part

My brother has this antique office chair which recently broke. The wood split where the caster was attached at the end of the leg. I decided to make this blog entry so he can see all the work that went into making the replacement. Unfortunately he lives in Seattle and I am in Houston so I have to just duplicate the broken leg which I have with me and hope it fits when I send it back.

Step 1

Pick up some 8/4 red oak from the lumber yard.

Step 2

Plane to thickness, about 1 1/4”

Step 3

Layout the part. I had to be careful here as the easy way would have resulted in a weak leg. I oriented the leg so that I have continuous grain running at an angle through the entire leg (you can tell the original leg was made this way as well).

Step 4

Make a quick jig to joint the angled cut made on the band saw so I have a flat reference edge for the foot (ignore the pencil lines in this picture)

Step 5

Rip a parallel edge for the top of the leg, and save the off-cut!

Step 6

Over to the drill press to drill the hole for the caster leg. Using the off-cut for support, I ensure a perfectly perpendicular hole.

Step 7

Use a miter gauge to square the angle of the back of the leg.

Step 8

Cut the small shoulders on the back of the leg with the piece oriented vertically on the table saw.

Step 9

Use the old leg to set the fence and bit height for the dovetail cut.

Step 10

Make the cuts and admire your work.

Step 11

Cut out the curves of the top and bottom of the leg on the band saw, and clean up on the spindle sander.

Still to Come

The top of the leg has a radius to it, which will have to be shaped by hand. I don’t want to spend the time doing that, or applying a finish until I know the leg fits. So the leg is off to Seattle and when it comes back, I will document the rest of the process.

P.S. bro if you are reading this, the shaping part would be sooooo much easier with a Veritas A2 Flat Spokeshave.

3 comments so far

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2805 days

#1 posted 04-08-2012 10:20 PM

Nice work, thought process, AND product placement/hostage taking\demand at the end !


-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Chuck Murphy's profile

Chuck Murphy

22 posts in 2307 days

#2 posted 04-09-2012 12:55 AM

Hostage takers are seldom this reasonable.

Great teaching technique, step by step, picture by picture.

Looking to seeing the rest of the process.

-- Chuck Murphy

View Fluke's profile


1 post in 2261 days

#3 posted 04-12-2012 06:28 AM

The leg is looking great! I’m excited to get my swivelling office chair back in action. I’m sitting in a dining chair as I type this which is nowhere near as comfy. The office chair is currently a sad dismantled heap in the corner of the study, but its resurrection is now imminent.

Thanks for all the hard work and don’t worry, I saw the hint at the end!

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