Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Danish Chair Building Extravaganza III - Day Two w/Video

So far I'm shocked and amazed. Today is the second day with all four of us staying focused and on task. I feel like I am doing a good job of pushing my build forward going from one task to the next. Something I have struggled with in the past.

The problems have been more in the line of re-doing things after we already spent time working on them. Yesterday Jonas decided not to use a drawing and a bending form that he spent several hours on.

Today, I started by re-making the chair's legs because looking at them this morning made me realize I didn't like the shape. It's possible there's more of that to come.

Better to make it right with a second try rather than pushing on with something you aren't happy with.

I didn't take many pictures today, and totally neglected Ty and Olav. Ty's chair is coming along nicely. He should finish with time to spare. Olav is building a shaving horse, and I haven't really been paying much attention to the design of his project because I've selfishly been working on my chair.

On to the pictures.

Jonas got a lot done today. He flattened his seat/cradle blank.
Jonas traversing the board to make it flat.
He also failed three times to bend a dowel into the loop for the sack back, but he nailed the bending for the most difficult bend the first try.
Less than optimal back-bend.

The main rail was very long and had two tight curves. First time 'go.'

A closeup of the bend. The form is screwed to a pallet.
I did a lot today, but there isn't too much visually exciting to show. I re-did the legs, turned the tenons on the lathe and trimmed them with a tapered tenon cuter (Tim-Manney style).

To sink the legs, I started by laying everything out on the underside of the seat, including sighlines to have references on what angles I needed to drill holes. I chose to drill from the underside to avoid having to transfer those lines to the top, too. It's the way I usually drill the legs.

I drilled the holes for the front, then realized my bevel gauge was set about three degrees short of my plan. It looks fine, and doesn't really hurt anything, other than now my back legs aren't going to be on any of the lines I layed out.

The problem is this: with a rocker, the front and rear legs on each side have to be in line with each other so the rocker itself bisects both legs - in line. If the legs aren't in line, then the mortises for the rocker have to be at an angle to the leg on either the front or the back, something that aesthetically doesn't look nice.

Jonas helped here with a great idea. After stressing about how best to layout this leg hole and dial it in to perfection, he suggested laying a board up against the legs. If the board touches both legs along the full width of the board, it's perfectly in line.
A revelation.
I'm pretty happy with the holes I drilled for the back legs. I spent a lot of time laying out the lines for the #3 leg, only to realize that I was chasing my tail. What I usually do is continually check my angles with a square and a bevel gauge every couple turns of my tapered reamer. For these rear legs, the best way turned out to be to leave those gauges aside, eyeball the reamer, then check splay (side angle) with the board, followed by a board-check of the rake (front-back angle). This ensures the back legs are dead-nuts on with the front legs, as well as with each other.

Here's a short video on the process: it shows me reaming the hole, checking, making a correction and reaming to final depth.
Check back tomorrow to see the rest of our progress.


  1. Brian that is a pretty ingenious way of checking the legs for your rocker. I’ll have to try that the next time I build a rocker. I’m enjoying the posts by both you and Jonas.

    1. Thanks, Ray! The idea was a masterstroke of practicality. Also, the idea was Jonas'. 😀

      TbThan for the kind words.

  2. (I'm way behind, and only just now getting caught up on DCBEIII) I'm definitely tucking this idea away for aligning legs, very useful.

    1. Thanks, Jeremy! It really helped. I think it would work better on round legs, but if you do octagonal legs like these, just make sure you align the flat faces of the legs or the angles change.