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Thread: Dining chairs-mahogany(and sapele), the work is slow going,

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs

    Dining chairs-mahogany(and sapele), the work is slow going,

    I tossed around the idea of posting anything else about the chairs Im building.
    Its easy for the masters here to post amazing pieces of furniture and other woodcrafts, but its not easy for people like me with limited abilities, and limited knowledge to post their bloopers.
    I knew the challenges and obstacles before I started, pooled and extracted as much advice and answers as I could from the good spirited people of this site, and decided to undertake this project.
    If at anytime I came to a complete standstill, I figured Id remind myself its only a hobby, this isnt going to be some life altering event. Its only 6 chairs.
    6 LOUSY CHAIRS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!
    Sorry about the nonsense, but to say Im frustrated, is an enormous understatement.
    Its been a frustrating month, decompensated old fourth nerve palsey.
    Sounds bad,(it isnt) but I cant blame my lack of skill on a bad right eye.

    ONto the project:

    I listened to Toni, decided to spend the extra time, Im in no rush, to do one chair first. I had cut all the front legs and rear legs already, rough cutting, and today I planed them all to same thickness, using Toms advice about doing them all at once and setting the final thickness so they all are same.
    Worked out fine, selected some wood, jointed and planed it to right thickness for other parts, cut parts for one chair, and then the frustrations mounted.

    I placed the first rear leg on the particle board template, using Rhino 2 sided tape, lining the entire template with tape, and placed the first leg on it.
    Hand held dewalt router and 1.5 inch flush trim bit, not anywhere as easy as it sounds to hold that router on a 2 inch wide leg, but the first leg came out beautiful. Uh........the rhino tape, well, I spent 45 minutes rubbing it off first leg.
    I then placed alot less rhino tape on the first leg I cut, and attached a second leg to it to get a nice match.
    I made one slight wrong move, and the router tipped top over first, and I dug out a 1/2 groove 1.5 inches from the top of the leg. I believe I shifted my grip and when I used a bit more force, I tilted the router off,(or the two legs shifted a bit) and thats all she wrote.
    I ruined the leg, and I dont have any extra thick stock, unless I either make 5 chairs or glue up, which I didnt want to.
    I called in my wife, explained the 39.5 inches height, could be taken down to 38.25 inches, and it would be close to a high back chair, make one shorter, 5 taller, but I decided I will cut them all down one inch, it wont be a disaster, and I wont waste a leg.
    I took a break, I was out there all day, and when I got up to leave, I hit a piece of wood I had on the table, and the second leg I finished, shot off the table, and landed on end, and yes, it cracked about 2 inches down from top.
    So one leg was routed poorly, and the second perfect leg was now cracked.
    I didnt throw anything, I reminded myself about my blood pressure, and said, hey, its only my hobby.
    Last edited by allen levine; 04-05-2009 at 08:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    I didnt take the break, I set the legs up side by side and gave them a bit of a light sanding, to get two perfectly matched legs, cutting down the length of both to 38.25 inches. If the final chair looks too short, I wont cut anymore down, just make five chairs, and have one dwarf chair till I get my hands on some thick stock.

    Can I gently pull apart the cracked leg and squeeze some glue in there?(its not a very deep crack)

    Thats where I left it all today, didnt want to run into any more boo boos.

    Its not easy to show my mistakes, really show my limitations, but Ive shown all the other things Ive built, figured someone could always use a good laugh.

    Heres some pics, the last one is the chair, without mortise and tenons joints cut, so it will be smaller overall, just wanted to see how it will look. I will roundover all edges eventually.(after joints are all cut and before assembly)

    The only thing I did right, was make sure (as I read a final bit of advice a few days back on chair making) I cut all the parts together, the same lengths so it will all fit tight(ofcourse, I have to cut tenons)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails wood stuff 683 (Medium).jpg   wood stuff 684 (Medium).jpg   wood stuff 686 (Medium).jpg   wood stuff 687 (Medium).jpg  
    Last edited by allen levine; 03-24-2009 at 09:34 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    I really need to order clamps, really, really really, need more clamps.

    Im open for any advice, constructive critisism, or just blast away, I will never give up on a project once I start it and make my first cuts.
    Last edited by allen levine; 03-24-2009 at 09:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Odessa, Tx
    Hey Allen, even though you had some "Fopahs's" today, I don't think you did too bad, especially since it's your first chair (of this type). At least YOUR's LOOKS like a chair is supposed to look, (NOT like the first chair "I" tried to build).

    One thing that helps me, is that especially when template routing narrow pieces, I try to do them on the router table which eliminates the "Tipping Router" problem. When I DO have to do template routing using a hand held router, I find that if I take another piece of wood the same thickness as the piece I'm going to route plus the thickness of the template, and lay it on the table parallel to the piece I'm going to rout with a space between the two pieces about twice the diameter of the router bit, it keeps the router dead flat with no chance of the router tipping and letting the bit dig into the work piece.

    I think you're doing fine, so keep on plugging at them and they WILL get easier as you go. Heck, by the time you get all six made, you're going to be a Chair Building EXPERT.

    As to the crack, I have sometimes been able to spread a crack enough to get glue in it, but I've had the best results when I thinned the glue a little bit with water just enough that it would FLOW all the way down into the crack. Others may have better solutions.

  5. #5
    Allen, even if you don't have a router table you could mount your router under a plywood top built on a 2" framework to stiffen it up. Just take the base plate off and use it for a template to drill the holes to mount your router with and your good to go.

    You have nothing to be ashamed of because we have all done what you have done one time or another when we first started out. Keep up the good work because the sample chair looks terrific in the photo.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    I was telling someone else, its foreign to me to use a router upside down, but I bought that little router table, seems solid enough, so Im going to actually secure it to my table and mount a router and give it some practice with the template and some 2x4s.

  7. #7
    Just take your time and you will be allright. Maybe if you have some scrap 2 x 4's or some other scrap wood to try and practice with first to get the hang of routing with a template like that. Just watch where you put your fingers so you don't get caught in the bit.

    As for the cracked leg, you can try to spread it a little with something thin and put some glue in and use the air nozzle to gently blow the glue deeper into the crack.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
    Allen the chairs are looking good so far and i'm sure they will be just fine.As far as the crack try placing your vac hose under where you put your glue and it should pull it right in to the crack,right out if you let it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    Ill go out shortly and do one of those glue tricks

    I pulled the router table out before. Smart Ryobi, the holes are huge and align with the two ryobi routers I have. Unfortunately, the ryobis are 1/4 inch colets, and I wont even look for a 1/4 inch shaft with a 2 inch trim bit.
    I prefer the thicker colet.. I did notice after taking apart all the bases I have with the dewalt(hey, I knew nothing about routers, now Id buy a nice PC)
    one has two 5/64th holes. The ryobi table has something like 1/4 bolts holding the router on, and the holes on the table are fanned out larger, but if I get short 5/64th screws, and use a nut and washer on table side, I can secure the dewalt router into the ryobi table.
    I cut down some screws I had, but ofcourse I ruined the thread, so it doesnt thread right, and I dont want to force it into the router base, so Ill pick up some short screws tomorrow.
    As long as the router feels ultra secure, Ill give it a spin.
    (I took all the routers apart, and ofcourse, the ryobis are larger diameter, so I couldnt fit into the ryobi bases. I didnt expect anything to work right anyway.)IM a victim of my own inferior tools.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    falcon heights, minnesota
    don't feel too bad allen. my first attempt at a bent back leg for my chairs was so fubar, that i went with straight legs for all 4 chairs.
    benedictione omnes bene

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

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