Building kitchen chairs
My dad made a lot of dining tables for customers and often they wanted some chairs to go with it. My dad didn't like making chairs much, until he came up with this design some time around 1985. From then on, all his chairs followed this basic design. These chairs are simple and solid, and I don't know of any of these chairs to have failed from use, though one did fail from being kept in a wet basement, and the seat expanded too much and pushed the joints apart.
I made a detailed CAD model of the chairs, then printed out 1:1 templates using my BigPrint program. I printed them on individual 8x5x11" (approximately A4 sized) sheets of card stock, then joined them into a bigger sheet with glue stick.
I printed each part twice so I could lay out how to cut up the wood. This board has a knot on the end and a crack, so I'm working out how to make good use of it and avoid the defects. I also want to have good grain orientation for the parts.
The card stock templates are stiff enough that I can trace around them with a pencil without distorting them, even for the long and skinny chair back parts, though I clamped those down in three places to keep them from moving around.
Then flattening the pieces on the jointer. I cut them out before flattening so didn't lose as much thickness from flattening the cupped board.
But I had to use my belt sander to smooth the inside curves of the back.
Getting the boards flat and smooth before cutting the parts out would be less work, but I would have lost too much thickness from flattening the pieces if I went that route.
LegsThe front legs are turned and I had to glue two pieces together to get enough thickness.
I used my table saw sled with the blade raised high, and my feather board clamped to the saw table behind the sled to limit how far the sled would go. That way the front edge of the blade made 45° cut to cut the ends of the corner pieces I cut on the bandsaw.
I'm using my homemade wooden lathe to turn the spindles. It's not as good as lathes made of cast iron, but it does the job, and it's light enough that its easy to lift on top of a cabinet when I'm not using it. I haven't done any turning since 2016 when I made this wooden ball bearing, so it's the right kind of lathe for me.
The lathe has wooden bearings and these need to be oiled every time the lathe is used. But when I turned the first spindle, I forgot to oil the washers that form the thrust bearing. They got hot enough that they started to smoke!
The lathe also doesn't have a live center on the tail stock, so the wood just spins against a fixed cone on the lathe. The tail stock end of the workpiece also needs to be oiled.
I turned the first spindle strictly from my drawing to make sure the drawing is good, but then mounted the first spindle behind the lathe as a visual reference. Just eyeballing against a reference cuts down on checking and measuring a lot.
Then sanding. It's useful to reverse the direction of a lathe between switching to finer grits, but the motor I have on this lathe isn't reversible. So I just took the spindle out and flipped it end to end to reverse the spindle instead of the rotation.
And cutting the mortises into the top on my slot mortiser.
It's best to cut these after turning because they would have added to imbalance of the workpiece.
The other leg is a mirror image of this, so I put the template on it upside-down. I could see where I punched through the template previously, so I just punched through these hole again from the other side.