Mark ( on October 28th, 2009

Well, I have finally gotten back to work on the Sculpted Rocking Chair – yes, I know it’s been a while!

When I last left the project, I had completed sculpting the seat.  With that task completed my attention turned back to more processing on the rear legs.

The rear legs needed to have a 20-degree angled cut from the top of the legs down to the arm rest area along their inside edges.  Also, a parallel cut to this one needed to be made at the top of the legs (to match the height of the headrest) along the outside edges.  The result will form a parallelogram shape at the top pf the rear legs which will match the angle of the headrest.

These angled cuts needed to be made at the band saw.  However, because my band saw table (like most others out there) will only tilt greater than 20 degrees in one direction (i.e. it is limited to about 10-degrees of tilt when angled back toward the saw) I needed to either cut one leg in the reverse direction or to find a way around the tilt limitation.

20 Degree Band Saw Jig20 Degree Jig ReversedI chose to create a simple 20-degree jig that could be clamped to the saw table and reversed for each leg cut.  This allowed me to make the cuts from the tops of both legs downward toward the arm rest location which is the most desirable direction.  You can see the jig in the pictures.  The riser blocks beneath the jig are just there so that I had more clearance when rotating the legs during the cut so that they did not run into the saw table.

Cutting Rear Leg at 20 Degrees 1Cutting Rear Leg at 20 Degrees 2Result of 20 Degree Leg CutsAs, I mentioned, there were two cuts to do on each leg.  The first cut was from the top down to the arm rest area.  Then the leg was rotated and the second cut was made from the top downward to match the headrest height.  In the pictures you can see the cuts as well as the parallelogram shapes that resulted at the tops of the legs.

Leg Curve LayoutWith these shaping cuts completed I next moved to the seat joint areas of the rear legs.  As you will recall, these curves have only been roughed shaped and marked along the seat top and bottom for later shaping.  To do this shaping, I first penciled in the curves to meet up with the lines that were scribed earlier with a shallow saw kerf.  These curves were based on a 2” diameter circle – the reason for this will become clear shortly.

Trimmed Seat Joint CurvesSanding Seat Joint Curves to LineRough Fit of Seat Joint CurvesNext, it was back to the band saw to cut along these curves.  The important thing here was to keep the leg balanced on the seat joint area during the cuts.  The picture shows the results. With the band saw work completed.  I moved to my oscillating spindle sander with a 2” diameter drum and I sanded these rough curves to shape until I just barely met the scribe lines marking the top and bottom of the seat. This resulted in legs that will require only minor shaping where they meet the seat.

Drilling Headrest Holes 1Drilling Headrest Holes 2With this shaping completed, it was a good time to drill the holes to allow attachment of the headrest.  This was done in two steps.  The first hole was drilled with a 3/8″ Forstner bit to counter sink for the the screw head.  With the leg in the same position I switched out to a 3/16″ bit to drill through the leg for the screw shank.  Doing it this way assured that this hole would be perfectly centered on the countersunk hole.

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2 Responses to “Sculpted Rocking Chair: More Rear Leg Work”

  1. I started the Hal Taylor chair back in May. Your first few articles added insight to Hal’s book. Alas, when the huntboard project became the priority, I continued to plod along through the process. Well, it’s November now and the project is nearing completion. Only the arm shaping, backbrace tops and the rocker shaping/attaching are left before final sanding and finishing.

    With two more chairs planned and a third requested, I am hopeful that they will go faster. Your articles along with Hal’s new video — which I recommend to first time chairmakers — have gotten me through this far.

    Thank you…

  2. So glad you posted these photos of the tilt jig for your band saw. I was experiencing a similar problem trying to cut volutes in the necks of soprano ukuleles. (My band saw only tilts in one direction.)After many a frustrating and wasteful experiment, I went searching the net for bandsaw “tilt” jigs. Yours has been the best I’ve seen so far. I need to adapt certain elements of course, as I have a 10 inch bandsaw, and not as much free space as you have here, but the basic design is simple to adapt and so I shall. Again, much thanks for the photos.

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