Rodel chair build. #3: Back assembly.

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Blog entry by Mark posted 04-04-2014 11:15 PM 1507 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Front, sides and back rails. Part 3 of Rodel chair build. series Part 4: Back legs »

The crest and lower back rail were to be from 1 7/8” stock. As I didn’t want to shell out for 8/4 stock I ran 2 pieces of 4/4 through the planer to get a nice smooth surface then glued them up. The jury is still out on whether this was a good idea or not. After trimming the stock to
it’s finished size I laid out the curves and laid out the tenons. As I
said before, laying out the larger chairs was a bit challenging.

I cut the tenons first. Snuggling up to the fence ensures everything
will line up.

And again I used this guy to remove the waste.

At this point I moved over to the back splats. After ripping 24 pcs 5/8 X 1” I cleaned up the saw marks with the scraper.

I set up a dado set just under the 1/2” the tenons are supposed to be as I didn’t want to chew up my fence face.

I ripped my Walnut pcs to 1 1/2” instead of 1 1/4. There is a 2° bevel on the edge and I’d rather start off big and move in. So I set up the Wixey again and cut my strips.

Ya gotta pay attention to orientation again. 2° isn’t much so be sure your work piece is angled correctly when you flip it. About ready to head to the router table.

After a bit of searching I found a drawing for a DIY router insert for my T/S. It works pretty slick.

My Walnut strips are a touch over 5/16 thick, so I had to make 2 passes with the 1/4” bit.
Once the groove was cut I had to square off the ends with a 1/4” chisel.

Finished product.

Now for the crummy job, cutting the mortises for the back splats.
Not having a dedicated mortiser I had to do all 48 by hand. I started by laying the holes out with a template.

Then drilling a 3/8” hole on the drill press. The tenon is 1/2” long, so I went just a bit deeper.

Then the fun part. 3/8 on each end x 1/2” long.

That pretty much took the day. Next up is fit and finish. The band saw left
lumps and bumps that needed to come off. I hit them briefly with the belt sander then I used a half round file and a scraper to finish each one.

Getting close to the end know. I used the paper template that came with the drawings to
lay out the curve on the crest rail.

I was concerned about tear out on the band saw when I cut the curves so I taped the piece I had cut out from the face of the crest rails back in place. This also gave me a flat
surface to work with.

I ripped some Walnut down to 2” wide by 3/16 thick. These will dress out the top of the crest rails.
After cutting the curves I had to smooth out the ruff surfaces again to receive the Walnut strips.

I used the left over pieces from the tops of the crest rails to sandwich the Walnut for the glue up.

Outta the clamps and time to trim the Walnut. A sharp chisel and a spoke shave
serve the best.

The final assembly X 6.

Then the whole assembly is taken apart for final sanding.

I will put a lite clamp on these assemblies and use them for laying out the locations for the mortises in the back legs.
I will not glue these pieces up ‘till the mortises in the legs are complete.

Thanks fer looking. Untill next time.

-- Mark

5 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3152 posts in 2376 days

#1 posted 04-04-2014 11:57 PM

Greg, just a couple options for your consideration:

“The band saw left lumps and bumps that needed to come off.” I use a spoke shave for that and I think it might be faster/easier than using a file and scraper.

Rather than making square M&T for the back splats, I used a doweling jig. I think that would have to be easier and since the back is glued, nothing is going to go anyplace.

I am really impressed with your progress.

-- Art

View Mark's profile


954 posts in 2094 days

#2 posted 04-05-2014 02:19 AM

Hi Art. Thanks for the tips. Yer right. Dowels would have served very nice. I don’t mind a learning curve….but why is it always 90°?

-- Mark

View Mean_Dean's profile


6859 posts in 3267 days

#3 posted 04-05-2014 10:09 PM

Looks like they’re coming along great! Looking forward to your next installment!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View a1Jim's profile


117203 posts in 3697 days

#4 posted 04-05-2014 10:36 PM

Very good progress nice work.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Mark's profile


954 posts in 2094 days

#5 posted 04-06-2014 11:45 PM

Thanks for the kind words gents. Coming from a professional, that’s high praise indeed a1Jim.

-- Mark

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