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The Chair – Templates

Using templates to mark out parts is not just about working accurately - it also enables one to use the wood one has with the greatest economy.

It was when making the templates that I discovered some of the sections I had sawn in preparation for this build were not at all suitable. The measurements I had worked with were shorter than desired. Now I am going to need to be a little creative with the remaining wood. Ah, well … it all adds to the excitement.

And so to the templates. Well after completing the legs, the next item on the build list are the stretchers that form the seat.

There are two curved and two straight stretchers.

The curved stretchers have compound curves, that is, not only curve outwards, but also curve downwards. The seat tapers to the rear, and so the front and rear are different sizes and different curves.

The straight stretchers are lower at the rear. The angle of the join to the front leg is 90 degrees, while the angle at the rear is 82 degrees.

Now this is where I was tripped up with measurements. The stretchers are coped and wrap around the front of the leg.

Building the template for the side stretchers must take into account this extra length.

Time was now spent preparing the boards. I do not have a power jointer of thicknesser/planer at this time (sold in preparation for a combination machine to make extra space in my workshop), and so the boards were all prepared with handplanes.

More on these later. Next are the front and rear stretchers. Here it was necessary to trace the curves on both the horizontal and vertical.

I found the Modelmaker’s planes particularly useful for the inside curves.

Finally, all the templates were completed. I must add that these required as much attention to detail as making the parts, themselves. They took a long time to complete.

Next – using the templates to shape the stretchers, and sawing the tenons.

Regards from Perth


January 2014