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Forum topic by wooderson posted 11-06-2012 06:40 PM 1326 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2651 days

11-06-2012 06:40 PM

Hello all,

I am about to get started building a sofa and I have a small problem I need to figure out.

As you can see from the picture, the back legs have a nice little curve in them. The armrests also have a curve. This is the problem. I’m thinking I need a band saw to make a cut like this. I am planning on using red oak to build the sofa. The legs will be 2 1/4” x 2 1/4”. To get this thickness I am planning to glue three pieces of 3/4” thickness together. Then I’d use the band saw to cut the wood to shape. Problem is, I don’t own a band saw. I haven’t been able to find a rental shop that carries them, and I can’t imagine spending $500 for a descent one (I’m pretty sure the $129 Ryobi at Home Depot won’t make it thru 2 1/4” of red oak) at this point. Anybody got any good input on this one? I’d appreciate any ideas at all.


8 replies so far

View Swyftfeet's profile


170 posts in 2141 days

#1 posted 11-06-2012 06:43 PM

No reason you couldn’t make a router template and use a jig saw to get it close. If no router, just use the template a jig saw and sand sand and sand…

-- Brian

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 2640 days

#2 posted 11-06-2012 06:48 PM

I bought my Craftsman band saw used for $150. With a new 1/2” blade I won’t have any problem cutting through a 3×3 Red Oak board. It may be a little slow but not much. You may be surprised.

-- Bryan

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2457 days

#3 posted 11-06-2012 06:51 PM

That chair back and arms look to me like they are made with bent wood as in steam bending.

The problem with cutting out the pieces for the rear legs is that you lose the majority of the strength and all the flow of the wood.

But that’s just me, this is your chair and your choice.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View wooderson's profile


8 posts in 2651 days

#4 posted 11-06-2012 09:50 PM

@ Dallas, it does appear to be bent. Didn’t know I’d lose that much strength by cutting it instead. Seems like an even bigger problem now.

View Viktor's profile


463 posts in 3388 days

#5 posted 11-06-2012 10:35 PM

1) $129 Ryobi from Home Depot is not the greatest saw but it will cut 2 ½ oak no problem.
2) Template and router
3) Jigsaw
4) Hand saw and rasp
You will lose some strength cutting back legs from a solid piece, but you’ll still be fine given the angle and the application. You could make a lap-like joint there if you don’t mind the look. It will be easy if you laminate them from 3 layers ulternating the overlap.

If you invest in finger joint bit (they are pricy, but can be found at $50-60), you could make this joint but at an angle:

These are commonly found on chairs and such in situations much like yours (slight angle) and are very strong (solves the bansaw problem also).

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3547 days

#6 posted 11-06-2012 10:53 PM

I agree with those who say it has been steam bent,but there is no reason why you could not make this chair with bent lamination’s.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2256 days

#7 posted 11-06-2012 11:52 PM

You can get a steamer kit for 80$. I have one now, I haven’t built a steam box yet, but I plan to this weekend.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18686 posts in 2537 days

#8 posted 11-07-2012 12:02 AM

I agree the one pictured is bent. If you want to bend it, there are lot of information out there. If you want to cut it, use what you have. A few possibilities include cutting as much as you can with a skill Sa the use a jig saw. Don’t have a jig saw? Build a bow saw. Don’t have a skill saw, use a hand saw.

Several other possibilities are given, all look feasible to me.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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