Friday, April 18, 2014

Diamond Willow Roorkee - Part II: Joinery

I'm pooped! We got all of the joinery for one chair done today, and have parts roughed out for a second. I'm too tired to write too much tonight, so here are a bunch of photos for the day instead.

All I will say is we wanted some stock that was a bit thicker than the stuff Dad usually uses for his walking sticks.  It turned out he didn't have much, so we used what we had including some stock that had parts smaller that 1 1/2" in diameter.

It wasn't ideal. but after some testing involving a hammer and a tapered mortise and tenon, we decided these should be plenty strong for chairs.  We'll see.

Legs for two chairs.

Dad got pretty adept at roughing out the taper on the disk/belt sander.  He doesn't have many woodworking tools, so we made due with what he had.  I did bring a LV tapered reamer and a tapered tenon cutter.

This was one of the work-holding solutions I came up with.  Dad has no woodworking bench and no woodworking vice or proper clamps, but we figured out what to do without them.

It really didn't take long for the two of us to make enough stretchers for two chairs.

Here is an action shot of me doing some precision sawing.  The meat saw we were using was great for the dowels, but I had to use the hack saw for the back pieces.

The only 5/8" drill bit Dad had was this crappy Chinese spade bit.  It worked fantastic, but was a challenge when the hole had to be drilled directly in a diamond.  Note another workholding solution here:  Dad is stabilizing the piece to be drilled on the barbeque before I drill it with a corded drill.

The hardest part was figuring out the angles to drill.  There was  a lot of eyeballing going on as none of these sticks were straight.

Here is the tapered reamer in the drill.  It worked great as long as you went slow.  All that work practicing with a brace and bit paid off here as the same skills were used to drill straight holes.

Here is Dad doing his thing with finishing the willows.  He uses a random orbit sander for this most of the time.
It fits together!

Almost done.  I stripped some zinc-plated carriage bolts and blued them with something called Black Aluminum.  They look cool now.

Done with the joinery.  One chair to go, and then the leather.  - Or, maybe the leather next, then the rest of the other chair.


  1. Well you are both smiling, must have been a god day! looking forward to tomorrow's post.

    1. It WAS a good day. I'm looking forward to leather day, next.

  2. Love to see the improvising. It's amazing what one comes up with when needs must. I'm sure you'll appreciate your bench all the more so when you get home. Looks like you are going to end up with some very unique chairs. I'd never heard of diamond willow I'm guessing it's fairly light weight?