Dining Chairs

Handmade by Jon Palmer, November 2005-January 2006

Here are most of the rough pieces required for two dining chairs.

The rest of the rough pieces. These were carefully bandsawn to have the grain follow the countour as much as possible.

These are the templates used for this pair. They'll be used to make a plywood set once these chairs are done.

Template used to clean up the bandsawn edges of the back slats.

The second pass doesn't need a template, the surface from the first pass does just fine.

Here's how the curved back rails were roughed out. Cutoff from the first cut was taped back on to stabilize the piece for the next two cuts.

Back rails fresh from the saw.

Using the slot mortiser required a bit of ingenuity for the curved rails, but there's always a clever jig just waiting to happen.

Then of course the mortises need squaring. Ever used a sash mortising chisel? It is a wonder and a joy.

Tenons were shouldered on the tablesaw, then cut out on the bandsaw. Finally they were tweaked with a #92 Shoulder plane.

Early steps on smoothing away the bandsaw marks on the curved rails. It's harder to do on the inside of the curve!

Planing the bandsawn surfaces of the legs to width and shape.

Planing thin shavings using sharp blades (see the honing gear in the background below?) is a real pleasure.

It does make a mess though!

Chant with me now: "There are many parts, and it takes a long time."

Dry fitting everything together is a crucial step. Don't wait until glue-up to notice that something doesn't fit right.

With tenons taped so they'll hold glue later, the parts got an application of aniline dye, a good coat of linseed oil, a seal coat of orange shellac, then several wiping coats of thinned polyurethane.

Ah, assembled at last, but there are many steps to go. One last wiping coat of poly, then brackets and seats.

Making the corner brackets for the seat. The pieces clamped to the drill press table register the corner for precise alignment of the holes.

Brackets in place, ready to anchor the seats.

Here we are, seats unpholstered and installed, ready for a comfy dining experience.

Quarter view of the same chair. They really are comfy, come visit and we'll show you!