Building kitchen chairs (continued)I cut the tenons on the ends of the apron rails using my metal pantorouter. I cut the tenons on one end before cutting the pieces to their final length. That way, if I screwed up a tenon, I still had enough length left to cut it off and cut a new tenon.
Then cutting the rest of the tenons, this time with the dust brush mounted on the pantorouter. Without it, even with the dust collector hooked up, chips just go flying. With the brush in place, it's very rare that a chip makes it out. It continues to amaze me that this brush works at all, let alone how well it works.
The brush is not that expensive, but it needs to attach to the pantorouter dust collection hood, and that part is relatively expensive. https://pantorouter.com/shop?category=Dust+Collection
Then doing a dry fit of the chair so far. I made the bent chair back rungs earlier.
I had to use my bigger drill press and the vise to drill the hole in the top end of the armrest support.
When my dad made chairs like this, He had a template and used something like a pattern router bit and a template on his shaper to smooth the edges, except that "pattern bit" was about 15 cm in diameter.
I still need to route a roundover on the armrest and armrest supports, but before I do that, I need to cut a notch for the armrests to fit around the seats. So I made the seats next.
I glued it up in two halves so the halves would still fit through the planer.
Before gluing things up, I still needed to cut some notches in the apron rails for little blocks that hold the seat down. This arrangement allows for some wood movement in the seat without breaking any joints.
I was worried about getting all 8 joints for the back of the chair right at the same time, so I only put glue in the joints on one side, leaving the other leg just dry fitted while the glue dried. It is very important to assembled the whole back while the glue dries, otherwise the parts could be glued aligned in a way that the tenons don't line up with the mating mortises.
Once the glue dried on that, I glued on the armrest supports. I ended up having to use one of those microjig dovetail clamps because the pad on the Bessey clamp that I started with interfered with the dowels poking through the wood. The narrow bottom of the dovetail clamp nicely fit between the dowels.
I also added block of wood where the apron rails connect to the back legs because that joint is the most stressed joint in the chairs. But this is probably overkill because my dads chairs didn't have this block and none of them ever failed from actual use.
Then I took the chairs to the garage to varnish them with some oil based Varathane varnish. Three coats on all surfaces, with light sanding in between, plus a fourth coat on the armrests and the seat.
I'm using my workbench on wheels which is
against the wall most of the time to make room for the car.
The seat is just screwed straight on near the back legs, but with these blocks near the front so the top can shrink and expand with seasonal wood movement.
These are sturdy chairs, and they should be able to withstand many years of abuse. I have been using the one that they are patterned off of for 25 years now with no sign of any joints getting loose. So I expect the new ones to last at least twice that.
Building night stands (2020)
Building stools (2007)
Building a 3-legged stool using the pantorouter (2019)
Repairing chairs (2013)
Another method of
fixing chair legs (2015)
Steel pin chair repair (2016)
Repairing a chair leg — good as new was not enough (2013)
Last time making chairs in 2007: