A new dining room set for my wife! #2: The back legs. Throwing a curve at them.

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Blog entry by GaryK posted 04-18-2011 02:34 AM 7177 reads 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: I begin at the begining. Where else? Part 2 of A new dining room set for my wife! series Part 3: Gluing up the front legs, bummer! »

Looking at all my other projects, you all probably know that I like the look and working with mahogany. So It should not come as a surprise to anyone what I will be making this project from.

Making the chairs will be something new for me. I have never made one before, let alone 6-8 of them.
After studying my current chairs and plans for others, it shouldn’t be too hard.

Making so many of something as complex as a chair I will be making templates for everything.

I want all the pieces to be as close as I can make them to each other. This is where templates and jigs come in to play.

Here’s what I made for the back leg.

Since I am throwing it away after I am done with it, I didn’t put too much time and effort into it.

I started on the left side and did one side and the ends. Then I used to other side for the opposite side of the leg. I just moved the clamps when I switched sides.

You can see a leg in the jig with the template resting on top of it. You will notice some blocks glued to the top of the right side. These are to line up the previously cut side with the template. The part and the template both butt against them.

The template is 1/2” MDF which is clamped to the top of the leg blank. Then it’s cut using a bearing guided router bit.

Here’s the bit and a little bit of mess:

And some more of the mess. Sitting on the floor is a test piece I made the check out the curve of the back. It was very comfortable.

Here are all the legs I made. Enough for 8 chairs. I really only need 6 but I have two extra in case I screw something up along the way. If not I get two extra chairs.

Next I will start on the front cabriole legs. They will be the most time consuming part of the entire project.

I started this blog after having already made the back legs so it will be a little while before I get back for the next installment.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

22 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22871 posts in 4967 days

#1 posted 04-18-2011 02:48 AM

Gary, I have never made one either, but would not hesitate if I decide i wanted to, so you should be able to crank them out in your sleep ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2859 posts in 4884 days

#2 posted 04-18-2011 02:51 AM

Hi Gary,

Looks like your going to have some fun on this one. It’s nice to see you back into the big pieces again. You are an excellent craftsman & I’m looking forward to seeing the progress.

-- Dennis Zongker

View JuniorJoiner's profile


497 posts in 4732 days

#3 posted 04-18-2011 02:56 AM

I’m certain your chairs will impress, seeing your the craftsman.
Look forward to more, i’m glad your finding the time

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View shipwright's profile


8761 posts in 4090 days

#4 posted 04-18-2011 03:01 AM

Coming along nicely Gary. Nice to see someone else makes as much mess as I do. I like your ideas about your chair backs. Very few dining sets have comfortable seat backs with lumbar support. These are looking just right. I’ll be following.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5344 days

#5 posted 04-18-2011 03:14 AM

Looks like a nice bunch of Legs!

Have you made a prototype or just going at what you think is it?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6875 posts in 5271 days

#6 posted 04-18-2011 03:18 AM

Hi Gary;

This is going to be fun to watch.

You’re off to a good start.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5391 days

#7 posted 04-18-2011 03:33 AM

Look forward to seeing these come together.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4633 days

#8 posted 04-18-2011 03:34 AM

good going gary

simple jigs work just as well as art ones

i know you will enjoy the various challenges as i did
when i made 8 chairs too

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 4214 days

#9 posted 04-18-2011 04:04 AM

Good start. Looking ahead on the next step.

-- Bert

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 5036 days

#10 posted 04-18-2011 04:17 AM

That’s the trick. Have a pattern so they all come out the same. The hardest part of making a set of chairs comes when it’s time to sand all of those parts. Keep us posted.

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5692 days

#11 posted 04-18-2011 05:09 AM

Gary: I love pattern cutting. Nice use of the jigs to make them. Is that a solid carbide spiral with a bearing?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View alan coon's profile

alan coon

115 posts in 5005 days

#12 posted 04-18-2011 05:16 AM

i made 6 chairs out of mesq. Then made 2 more,but kept the hard pat’s. Just in case. Yours are going to look great,as all your other things have in the past. good start!! My chairs were a first time try also.

-- Al, South E. Az., But it's a dry heat.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3665 posts in 5004 days

#13 posted 04-18-2011 05:55 AM


This should be good instruction for those of us who haven’t yet made a chair. We’ll be following along.


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5280 days

#14 posted 04-18-2011 06:12 AM

Joe – The only prototype I felt that I needed was for the back. The rest is standard dimensions. You can see the prototype for the back in the lower right part of the third picture.

Karson – Yea that’s a solid carbide bit with a bearing. It’s one of those compression bit I blogged about earlier.
I got it from Woodcraft with the winnings from the last contest. If I would have known how good it worked I would have spent the $100 a long time ago.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22871 posts in 4967 days

#15 posted 04-18-2011 06:29 AM

Gary, i just looked through your blogs and reviews, i didn’t see anything tilted carbide bit. Where did you rite about it? thx ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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