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.
Pick up some 8/4 red oak from the lumber yard.
Plane to thickness, about 1 1/4”
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).
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)
Rip a parallel edge for the top of the leg, and save the off-cut!
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.
Use a miter gauge to square the angle of the back of the leg.
Cut the small shoulders on the back of the leg with the piece oriented vertically on the table saw.
Use the old leg to set the fence and bit height for the dovetail cut.
Make the cuts and admire your work.
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.