In my opinion the most important part in this chair is ensuring the grain runs from one end of each stretcher to the other as straight as possible. Ripping the stretchers out with a handsaw (or a bandsaw) makes this easy, as long as the lumber is straight.
My problem was the lumber I had wasn't quite wide enough to rip enough square pieces at 1 1/4", and then taper them down to one inch on the ends for the nice tapered cigar shape. However, I could get one inch on the ends that spread out to 1 1/4" in the middle. Perfect! Half done already.
After that, it was short work with a jack plane to taper the other ends of the sticks. All four are 1 1/4 inch in the center, and one inch at the ends.
|A funny shape that really isn't necessary, but cool nonetheless.|
I hogged off most of the wood with a wooden jack, then finished the cut with my smooth plane.
|This photo also shows Olav's trick octagon marking tool.|
|Here's a closer look at the setup. Ignore the circle on the joiner's saddle. I must have used it as a backing board at some point.|
|In short order they were done.|
|Big pencil sharpener.|
|I have found this is just as good as a drill press, perhaps even better.|
|Dead-nuts perfect. Just make sure it is clamped square to the bench top.|
|This tool isn't strictly necessary, but I find myself using it all the time.|
|X marks the spot.|
|Just don't cut past the line!|