LumberJocks

questions on chair construction

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by sweets posted 09-01-2009 04:19 PM 670 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View sweets's profile

sweets

42 posts in 2793 days


09-01-2009 04:19 PM

I have finally begun construction on a kids table and chair set and I have a few questions regarding the chair construction. I’m sorry but I don’t have the design on sketch-up. It is being built with red oak(3/4 in for the seat tops and rails/aprons and 1-1/4 for the legs). The joints will be dowels and glue. I have the parts milled down and I’m ready to drill for the dowels.

1. The seat is 13 in x 13 in and will made of 4 boards joined together. Is three evenly spaced dowels (3/8×1-1/2) per joint enough? I’m assuming I should glue the entire joint and not just the dowels correct?

2. The apron is only 2 in wide; the legs are 1.5 in front to back and 1.25 in R to L; and I know that I should use 2 dowels to join it to the legs, but I think 3/8×1-1/2 dowels will be too big. I know I will have to offset the dowels connecting each apron to the same leg, but is 1/4 in x 1 in dowel enough to hold the joint? I think the hole needed for the 3/8×1-1/2 dowels will create a weakness in the leg itself.

3. Would it be wise to stain and finish the parts prior to final glue up to make finishing easier? Or even gluing before the final 1-2 coats of poly?

I think I’m going to blog this project too because I know I’ll have many more questions as this is my first attempt at furniture and dowel joinery.

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana


4 replies so far

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3358 days


#1 posted 09-01-2009 05:21 PM

1. The seat is 13 in x 13 in and will made of 4 boards joined together. Is three evenly spaced dowels (3/8×1-1/2) per joint enough? I’m assuming I should glue the entire joint and not just the dowels correct?
Yes, I would glue the entire joint as well as the dowels. You could actually even get by without the dowels but if you are going to use them do both.

2. The apron is only 2 in wide; the legs are 1.5 in front to back and 1.25 in R to L; and I know that I should use 2 dowels to join it to the legs, but I think 3/8×1-1/2 dowels will be too big. I know I will have to offset the dowels connecting each apron to the same leg, but is 1/4 in x 1 in dowel enough to hold the joint? I think the hole needed for the 3/8×1-1/2 dowels will create a weakness in the leg itself.
Myself I prefer mortise and tenon to dowels for this type of joint because of the stresses involved. However, if doweling is the approach you are going to take, I would lean towards the 3/8” dowels to give you more surface area for gluing than the 1/4 dowel will provide.

3. Would it be wise to stain and finish the parts prior to final glue up to make finishing easier? Or even gluing before the final 1-2 coats of poly?

You could do all staining & finishing prior to glue up, just take care not to get finish in the dowel holes, etc. where there will be glue application. It won’t hurt tremendously but I always prefer to have clean unfinished wood to clean unfinished wood for glue joints. If you glue first, let the glue squeeze-out dry to a rubbery consistency and then scrape it away. Don’t wipe it as you will create finishing problems later.

-- Sam

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3040 days


#2 posted 09-03-2009 12:38 AM

Hey Lee I think Sam handled every thing very well but I would repeat the part that you don’t need the dowels at all just good flat edges that don’t have gaps The glue is stronger than the wood. also the part about keeping the finish of the areas where there are glued joints. I’m not a fan of dowels loose tenons or integral mortise and tenons are much better.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View sweets's profile

sweets

42 posts in 2793 days


#3 posted 09-03-2009 10:30 PM

Thanks guys.

Jim, I’ve had no wood working training and am not ready to try mortise and tenons yet. Especially since this will be my first piece of furniture for the house. I do plan to attempt at some point though. I know it will require much practice.

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3040 days


#4 posted 09-04-2009 03:15 AM

Hey Lee
Good luck on what ever aproach you take.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com