Milling Chair Parts

Last week, I reported on finding all the parts for Vidar's Chair in the white oak planks. Now, it's time to more carefully mill each part to optimize the grain orientation. I made simple templates from chipboard that represent slightly oversized profiles of each part. I want a 45° rift cut for the arms, so I mark the profile on each end, making sure they are rotated the same angle from a single jointed reference surface of the otherwise rough plank.

After a beveled pass through the bandsaw, I jointed the first face. Then, with the bandsaw table reset to horizontal, I cut a 90° face which was then passed over the jointer as shown below on the first of two front legs.

Following two more passes through the bandsaw, below are the two front legs and their offcuts.

And so on, with all the other parts. So, that concludes the second round of milling. I then give the parts a rest before continuing the work. Each round of milling helps to ensure that all the internal stresses in the wood are relieved before the joinery is cut.

After a third round of milling, all 18 parts are ready to go. I'll make a final milling pass just before cutting joinery into each part.

The first parts to prepare for joinery are the four legs. More jointing, more surface planing. I then traced around the leg templates, including the circular marks that I'll use later when I cut mortises.

I cut near to the line on the bandsaw and immediately get to work with the handplane and spokeshave. Below is the curved taper at the top of one of the front legs.

I gradually work my way down to the line. Below you can see the bandsaw marks are gradually disappearing with each pass of the spokeshave.

The grain is oriented in the front legs so that, after shaping, the annual growth ring lines angle toward the outside of the chair near the top of the legs. The white oak's naturally strong presence of radial rays express themselves in the photo below as lines crisscrossing the growth rings on the upper portion of the legs.

Then, I tackled the rear legs.

Next week, I'll be cutting mortises in the legs and preparing cross members for the chair back.

Hej då and happy shavings!

Craig