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The Chair – Coping Tenon Shoulders

At this stage I have two near-complete chair sides.

Before the mortices for the front and rear stretchers may be chopped, the sides must be ready to be assembled to the correct dimensions. This means that the tenon shoulders need first to be coped. Not doing so will leave the sides about 20mm oversize.

Once coped, the shoulders will look like this (the rounding over comes later) …

The first step is to trace the intersecting curve at the leg with a contour gauge.

This is copied onto the stretcher …

The coped end of the tenon is chiseled out with a gouge. I only have a couple of crank necked gouges, rather than the preferred straight gouge, but the largest is a close match for the curve of the leg. The curve still needs to be nibbled away.

By far the most useful chisel for this process was a 1/8” bevel edge bench chisel. It was used to help remove the waste from the end (below), and along the shoulder (see later).

The next step is to deepen the tenon with a tenon saw and then remove some of the waste in a diagonal cut against the tenon cheek.

The coped ends must be left unmodified, however the waste along the cheek can be removed a little deeper than the coped ends. The 1/8” chisel made quick work of this.

The outer edge of the shoulder must be pared to a low angle so the join between the stretcher and leg is minimized …

The completed task …

And how it worked out …

Next, to fit the front and rear stretchers.

Regards from Perth


January 2014