Rodel chair build. #4: Back legs

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Blog entry by Mark posted 04-14-2014 03:46 PM 1494 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Back assembly. Part 4 of Rodel chair build. series Part 5: Front legs »

I picked up 6- 8’ x 4/4 Cherry boards That I cut in half and 3 Walnut 4/4 shorts (5’)

Way back in Dec. I made the templates for the rear legs from ¼” plywood. I thought this might stand up better than fiberboard.

Next up was to slice the 4/4 Walnut into 3. the 2 outside pcs were sliced 3/8 thick. This gave me some extra thickness when I fed it through the planer.

After reducing the Walnut and giving the Cherry a cleanup in the planer I laminated them together.

I was able to get 2 back legs from a 4’ x 5 ½” glue up.

Now to the band saw.

I cleaned up most of the saw marks with the new toy.

To produce a flat square face for the side rails to butt into I built a cheap and nasty jig, but it worked quite well.

You will notice the pencil line at the bottom of the leg. That will be trimmed off with the help of the miter gauge to give me the bottom of the leg.

All done.

Cutting the crowns was a bit of a bugger. Because of all the different angles I had to use shims and a square to make the cuts. I set the miter gauge at 11°; I drew a line around the top were I would start the cut and used the square to be sure the line was true to the blade of the saw. I should mention, as I laminated the Walnut and Cherry for the legs, I couldn’t really taper the out side of the leg without throwing the asthetics off. So I ended up with a leg at the top 1 1/2 W x 1 1/4 D.

A bit of squirrelin’ around, but it worked out ok.

Now to route the mortises for the side rail floating tenons. I taped a piece of stock I had sliced on the T/S at 4.5°. Again, it’s all about orientation. Watch which way the mortise will be cut.

Cutting the mortises for the back assembly and the back rail.

Now I can dry fit& adjust the back assembly to the rear legs to ensure a proper/tight fit.

I did them 1 at a time and marked which set of legs goes with which back assembly and I should be good to go.
Glued up and into the clamps.

Before you go any further, this is the time to drill the holes for the lower side stretchers.
Because the lower stretchers are on the same angle as the side rails the mortises for the stretcher tenons need to be angled. I cheated and used 5/8” doweling and made floating tenons for the stretcher. I used the same piece of angled stock I used in my mortising jig.

And I slipped a floating tenon in the side rail mortise just to be sure I was drilling the leg in the right direction.

A little piece of tape as a depth gauge and away we go.


So I guess next up will will be the front legs. ‘Till next time. Thanks fer lookin’.

-- Mark

5 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5758 posts in 2961 days

#1 posted 04-14-2014 04:43 PM

Looks like good progress Mark. This should be a great set of chairs.

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

View AandCstyle's profile


3165 posts in 2405 days

#2 posted 04-14-2014 11:48 PM

Mark, you’re doing great. I am intrigued by the way you have incorporated the walnut into the design. I can’t wait to see them with the finish complete.

-- Art

View Mark's profile


959 posts in 2123 days

#3 posted 04-15-2014 03:13 AM

Thank you gents. Upholstery is looming on the horizon. I’m thinking dark drown leather and 2” high density foam, but I know nothing about upholstery. Any thoughts or suggestions would be most appreciated.

-- Mark

View AandCstyle's profile


3165 posts in 2405 days

#4 posted 04-16-2014 12:41 AM

Mark, when I made mine I put glides on the legs and uses 2” foam. IMO my chairs are a little too high. You might be okay without the glides, but it might be worth the expense to buy a sample of 1” and 2” to determine which you prefer. HTH

-- Art

View Mark's profile


959 posts in 2123 days

#5 posted 04-16-2014 11:23 PM

Thanks for the tip Art. As I said I know nothing about upholstery, But it’s kind of a challenge.

-- Mark

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