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Forum topic by CaptainSkully posted 01-30-2010 06:46 PM 2710 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2246 days


01-30-2010 06:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: glue up laminate lamination bend bent chair leg stickley rodel mission craftsman arts crafts question how about furniture

While in the shower, letting the sawdust sluice off me, I had a couple of thoughts. I’m making the Rodel chairs for our dining room, and yesterday, I made the template for routing out the back leg.

http://lumberjocks.com/CaptainSkully/blog/13364

My first thought that a CNC router would make short, accurate work out of these very quickly. The back leg can be described in AutoCAD, Mach3, or some other software that can be imported into the mill. Since the legs are described by straight lines, they would come out very crisp. I’ve helped my buddy build a CNC machine, but never had the funds for one myself. It may be an interesting thought if I ever had to produce these for anyone else.

The second thought (the real question), and the most intriguing is how to glue them up. Currently, I’m planning on laminating two 3/4” boards to make a 1-1/2” board to cut the legs out of. This will of necessity show the seam right down the front of the chair leg. I’m using a rather dark finish and I match the grain as much as possible, so I’m not that worried about it. This will also mean that the router will have to go against the grain at an angle somewhere along the leg and possibly produce chip-out. I guess a climb-cut could always work for the trouble spots.

Then I realized, what if I laminated thin strips in an MDF form to bend the assembly to the rather shallow (7 degrees) angle of the back legs? This would allow me to have no seam on the front, and the seams on the sides would be almost invisible with the grain flow. It would also have the added benefit of making the wood more “fair” along the curve, which would mean the router wouldn’t have to go against the grain at an angle, which would reduce the chance for chip-out. This is obviously a whole lot more work, but the end result might be a whole lot better. Spring-back could be an issue too, which would destroy the 7 degree angle.

What do you guys/gals think, and what am I missing? This may delay my leg-making a bit, but I’ve got other stuff to work on, and I think it’s important enough to post the question.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails


11 replies so far

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jlsmith5963

297 posts in 2036 days


#1 posted 01-30-2010 07:46 PM

While the lamination would have the added benefit of being able to choose the best possible graining for the fronts and the backs the extra hours involved would be more than significant. It’s not just the man hours of cutting and glue up but the dry times as well that would extend the overall project construction time. I would think that in a solid day (maybe two) you could template cut all your legs and make them ready for sanding, in that same time you would probably only have 1 or 2 laminations glued up and they would still need some clean up (and that says nothing about the extra time it will take to cut and prep the laminations for glue up).

Regarding chipout there are a number of techniques that can be used to virtually eliminate it (making sure your bits are sharp, using spiral cutters, using a rough cut then finish cut technique, etc.). Also, although climb cutting isn’t desirable, given the proper setup climb cutting to avoid chipout is possible. However, whenever your making multiples its always a good idea to run extras for setup and for insurance.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

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CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2246 days


#2 posted 01-30-2010 07:54 PM

Thanks jlsmith5963. Good stuff.

The father-in-law just chimed in off-line and said to bite the bullet and just buy some 8/4 for the legs. I’d thought of that already, but didn’t want to spend the money.

Where does it stop though? The plans call for laminating the curved back rails to make them thick enough to cut the curve out of them. The front legs are short and straight, but 1-1/2” square. The seams will show there too.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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jlsmith5963

297 posts in 2036 days


#3 posted 01-30-2010 09:09 PM

It only ends when you say it ends. Your father-in-law raises a very good point. Here is another way of looking at it:

Assume these chairs turn out well and therefore you use them for years (decades) are you the type of person that is going to look at those joints every time you look at one of the chairs? Are you going to say to yourself I should have made them without the joint or are you the type that won’t always see the joint and will you be glad you didn’t spend the extra time (or money) to make the legs without a joint. Which type of person are you (and your wife)?

Regarding the front legs since they are straight it wouldn’t be a lot of extra work to laminate over the joint side with a nice piece of wood. A technique that has been traditionally used on legs when working with qtr sawn wood.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

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CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2246 days


#4 posted 01-31-2010 03:44 AM

That’s kind of where I was going with the whole issue. I’m a guy who tries to do things in such a way so that I won’t regret it later. This means I might have to go with 8/4. Being this is the “prototype”, I could laminate this one and make the other 5 or 6 out of 8/4 when I’ve got some more money. Evidently you don’t get rich teaching sailing.

The front legs could be laminated over the edge grain, making them quartersawn on all four sides, but that might show on the pyramid tops. I bit the bullet and bought 6/4 for the breadboard ends, so I might just sneak over to P.A.L.S. and buy enough 8/4 for one chair. Then, it’s magnificence will inspire further 8/4 purchases. I was also thinking about using the BeadLock system for the chairs to make the loose tenon joinery a bit easier.

Part of my rationalization for the tools and wood purchases are the resulting retail value of the project. I think a laminated chair would be considerably less valuable that solid wood. In the end, it’s not about money, but about the satisfaction of having something of quality that you’ve made yourself. That and the learning process which furthers your journey. If all goes well, we’ll be putting all of this awesome furniture in storage for several years anyway while we sail around the world.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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jlsmith5963

297 posts in 2036 days


#5 posted 01-31-2010 05:12 AM

Sounds like a good plan… particularly the sailing around the world part

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

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Vincent Nocito

442 posts in 2052 days


#6 posted 02-02-2010 02:07 PM

I was looking at Kevin Rodel’s article on this chair in FWW. The outside of the back leg is tapered to 1.25”. Do you plan to add that detail or are you going to leave the back leg top 1.5” x 1.25”? Just curious because I have been considering this desgin for a future dining room project.

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CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2246 days


#7 posted 02-02-2010 05:32 PM

Yeah, I’m going to taper the outside. This gives the piece loft and allows the pyramid detail on top to be square, which is important so that it looks right and is symmetrical. I was planning on using my jointer trick to do that but then I realized it’ll only work on one leg. BTW, the trick is to drop the middle of the back leg on the blade and slide it bottom first off the out-feed side. This makes a perfect shallow taper towards the top without using a tapering jig. I use this trick all the time on short picture frames that have a taper in the design. Regardless, I really need to make a decent, safe taper jig, the kind with the hold-downs that slide in the table saw slot. Maybe I’ll knock that out while saving money for 8/4 QSWO.

Vincent, you might be done with yours before I am, so please feel free to blog about the process. Your stuff is a lot nicer than mine, so I’ll be happy to learn from you. I’m still going with the one chair first model.


Thanks pashley!

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2246 days


#8 posted 02-05-2010 04:29 AM

FYI, I bought an unbelievably nice 6” wide x 8’ long stick of 8/4 the other day when I ran to the lumber yard for more 4/4 for the table base. That should be more than enough to make the back legs (yin & yanged to save wood), the front legs, and the curved rails. I think that everything else will be made out of what little 4/4 I’ve got left.

Thanks for all the feedback. I realize that we contantly have the opportunity to make choices in our lives, and regret is something that will follow you for the rest of your days.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View jlsmith5963's profile

jlsmith5963

297 posts in 2036 days


#9 posted 02-05-2010 05:38 AM

Quite a chunk of wood, good luck on the build.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View Grampa_Doodie's profile

Grampa_Doodie

148 posts in 986 days


#10 posted 02-26-2012 09:08 PM

I’m nearly finished making my very first Kevin Rodel Side Chair. I’m at the point where I’m ready to create the pyramid on the tops of both rear legs. I’m assuming that those of you who have made this chair did this part by hand with a small block plane??

Cutting the pyramid tops of the front legs was quite easy to do with a miter saw seeing that all four sides create a perfect square and are perpendicular to the very top. However, the rear legs are not perpendicular, which eliminates using the miter saw.

Any shared tips would be greatly appreciated on how you created the pyramid tops on the rear legs of this beautiful chair.

Once I’m completely done making my 10 chairs, I’ll post some photos of the chairs and all the really simple jigs that I made that allowed me to build this chair much safer and a whole lot quicker.

Thanks, Dale.

-- If at first you don't succeed...DO NOT try skydiving.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7734 posts in 2336 days


#11 posted 02-26-2012 09:50 PM

Pattern sawing on the bandsaw is a safer, more predictable way
to work to a line. Pattern routing 8/4 stock on a router table
will tend to lead to rejects. Do it if you must, but expect severe
tearout here and there. The preferred way to do it is with
a spiral downcut and a pin to guide the pattern against opposite
the cutter. The cut can then be made in small incremental
passes at progressively deeper depths and the downcut bit
sheers the wood, reducing tearout. Lacking such a setup
you can try various workarounds.

I say band saw to the pattern using a bandsaw template copier
jig and shape the rest with a fine rasp and a file using a
drawfiling technique. Then to scrapers, razor blades and
a little sanding. It goes pretty quick this way and the reject
rate should be zero.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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