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Joining arm rests to rear legs

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Forum topic by DBrown52 posted 11-03-2014 09:46 PM 782 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DBrown52

65 posts in 1193 days


11-03-2014 09:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question chair

So, I’ve been thinking about building an A&C rocker for some time. I came across a Stickley chair, designed by Harvey Ellis that I really like and I wish to “borrow” the design.

What I like is that it’s definitely an A&C style, but it’s not so incredibly heavy. But because it’s light, I’m not sure how to go about creating a good sturdy joinery for attaching the arms to the rear legs. I’d think that joint would take some abuse with people getting in and out of the chair. Corbels are an option, but they aren’t on the inspiration piece and I’m not sure it fits the design anyways. I find dowels to be a pain with alignment, but could probably make it work with no better option. Screws are viable, but a last resort. Does anyone have experience with something like this and would care to offer a solution that worked for them?

Thanks in advance
Dave


8 replies so far

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Neptuno

32 posts in 781 days


#1 posted 11-03-2014 09:51 PM

Dave

Green & Green used just screws. Contrary to what you think, that is a joint that gets very litlle abuse. I have a G&G-inspired rocker and the screws are standing OK. As in any chair, I thing the dificult joint is were the front legs meets the seat or apron.

Pedro

-- We must all cross the line.

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Yonak

979 posts in 984 days


#2 posted 11-03-2014 10:53 PM

My Stickley rocking chair arms are attached with pocket screws.

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pintodeluxe

4854 posts in 2276 days


#3 posted 11-04-2014 12:21 AM

I use screws covered with 3/8” square pegs. You never see them.
Also, because of the angled back leg, the armrest is more stable than it looks.

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

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Loren

8302 posts in 3111 days


#4 posted 11-04-2014 12:40 AM

Counterbored and plugged screws from the inside.

Prior to that I scribe and excavate a very shallow
dado, 1/32” will do. This will make the arms glue
in place exactly where you want them, even if
awkwardly shaped for clamping. After that, put
the screw in. This is a rather fussy way to do
it but for a fine chair for your own household
probably worth it and a skill building exercise too.

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DBrown52

65 posts in 1193 days


#5 posted 11-04-2014 04:47 PM

Thanks for the replies. This website is wonderful. I guess it’s somewhat obvious now that the angle on the back leg would help the arm wedge itself into place and strengthen the shear force on the joint. I hadn’t thought of that. I like the idea of a shallow dado to help with alignment too. I feel confident I can pull off a rocker. I’m finishing up a Rodel chair now that I’ll have to post soon. It was a really fun build.

Willie, while I have your attention, I want to thank you for your contributions here. Your furniture is fantastic and I’ve learned quite a bit reading your blogs.
Dave

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Loren

8302 posts in 3111 days


#6 posted 11-04-2014 05:36 PM

I’ll describe scribing a bit more. Dry assemble
and clamp everything enough that the final structure
is where it’s going to be when glued. Put your arms
on the front leg tenons a support them at the vertical
height you want using clamps and perhaps scrap blocks
to hold them up. Push the backs of the arms against
the side of the back legs and make a flush scribe with
a marking knife.

The bottom scribe you can do by clamping a block on
the top scribe, turning the chair on its side and scribing.
This moves away from using measurements and
uses the actual parts instead. This way you can hand
plane them first and not be concerned about mine
thickness variations. If you sand, be wary of rounding
over that delicate hard corner that will go in the
dado.

Now you have two scribe lines. Carefully chop out
with hand pressure to the line. It’s easy to lift
up the grain outside the lines.

Don’t color outside the lines! heh. If you do you’ll
need to glue the lifted chip back in place. Better
not lift it in the first place. I use fish glue for
such blunders.

After that excavate the dado to depth. Messing
with routers and jigs is not me, but if you’re
doing a bunch of these joints it may be
worth exploring. I use chisels and files
instead to establish the flat.

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pintodeluxe

4854 posts in 2276 days


#7 posted 11-04-2014 05:53 PM

Hey Dave,
Thanks for your nice comment. I’ll look for that Rodel chair, it’s one of my favorite designs.

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

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DBrown52

65 posts in 1193 days


#8 posted 11-04-2014 06:14 PM

Loren, thanks for the detailed description. It should be very helpful

Willie, here is the state of the Rodel chair as of last weekend before sanding and finishing. I hope to have it done this weekend or next

Dave

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