Rodel chair build. #2: Front, sides and back rails.

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Blog entry by Mark posted 04-02-2014 02:43 AM 1333 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Intro Part 2 of Rodel chair build. series Part 3: Back assembly. »

As previously stated I had picked up 3- 6/4 Cherry boards to use for the lower rails. After running them through the planner to knock them down to 1 1/8”. I ripped enough of the material to 3” to make all the rails. These I marked with chalk as to what they are, hopefully to avoid confusion.

The ends of the side rails are beveled at 4.5° to allow the rails to fan out to meet the front legs. On the previous chairs I used a protractor and angle gauge. While this worked quite well I wanted something a bit easier so I bought a Wixey digital angle gauge. this proved to be very fast, easy and accurate.

Care must be taken when cutting the bevel on the side rails. 1st you must be accurate on the 14 1/2” dimension, and 2nd pay real close attention to the orientation of the second cut. If the second cut is backwards you’ll have fresh wood for the smoker.

Next step for the side rails was to rout the 1/2” mortice on each end. Before I built the first 2 I knew I was going to need a specialized tool to cut the mortises. I saw Kevin Rodels jig in the hand out that comes with the plans and figured I didn’t have the skills to use something that simple. So after looking around a fair bit I decided to build this jig.

Pretty darn easy to make and it works like a hot damn. The Rigid router was new when I bought it, and it’s the first plunge router I’ve owned. The soft start is nice and it works quite well. But I find it can be kinda stiff for plunging at times so I don’t know If I’d buy another one. So after a bit of doing all 12 side rails have been mortised.

I guess I should back the truck up just a bit. Before I started this build I decided I wanted 2 Captains chairs.
So with a bit of research and a couple of trips to local furniture stores I found that most Captains chairs are a bit larger than the rest of the set. That being said I made my 2- 2” wider and 2” deeper. Time to cut the tenons on the front and back rails. Quite a while ago I built a tenon jig for a different project so I gave it a try.
But I found it to be kinda time consuming to set up and re set up so I went with the basics.

This proved to work the best.

On to the band saw to cut the arches. As I mentioned before I’m making 2 chairs larger so, that being said the original template for the arches won’t work on those 2. I made up a simple bow type jig to draw the new arches.

Cutting all those arches is kinda tedious. I was careful to stay on the outside of the line.

With all that done I could now cut the curves in the crest and lower back rails.


Not having a dedicated spindle sander (I wish) I had to make do. I know this isn’t to good for the drill press but whatcha gonna do.

The day is done. Still needs final sanding,but this will do for now.

The pieces that were leftover when I cut out the curves will be cut down and used for the floating tenons.

That’s all fer now. ‘Till next time

-- Mark

3 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5654 posts in 2808 days

#1 posted 04-02-2014 05:02 AM

Nice blog, I have always liked that chair. You have some good techniques.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View AandCstyle's profile


3050 posts in 2252 days

#2 posted 04-03-2014 12:49 AM

You have been busy and are doing a great job.

-- Art

View Mark's profile


911 posts in 1969 days

#3 posted 04-03-2014 02:31 AM

Thank you P/D.
A&C. I’m on the 7 day weekend. The good news is everyday is a Saturday. The bad news is the pay sucks. :)

-- Mark

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