A new dining room set for my wife! #12: Trimming and hand fitting. Some relaxing fun.

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Blog entry by GaryK posted 05-01-2011 01:52 AM 2207 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Good news. The aprons are finally done! Part 12 of A new dining room set for my wife! series Part 13: More work on the front legs. It's the bees knees! »

Time for some actual hand work.

When I traced the pattern on the front legs I always used the top of the leg as my reference. I made a little spacer that I rested the template against to space it from the end. That way every leg would be the same. I left the parts long to I could cut off the part of the legs with the marks from the spur drive and center that I used to hold it in the ornamental mill and lathe.

I clamped a square piece of wood, taller than my leg and long enough to clamp to my fence. Then I trimmed the end square. This edge serves two purposes. First it gives me a nice straight edge to line up the mark I made on the legs. This will tell me exactly where the saw will cut it.

Secondly it makes sure that I get a nice clean cut on the leg with no splintered edge.

Here you can see the leg with the line about 1/4” from the end of the spacer block. It’s as simple as lining up the line with the end of the block and cut.

I will cut the bottom of the legs to length as one of the last operations. This way I will be certain the chair will sit flat and not rock.

Now it’s time for matching up parts. With this much wood you will get variations in color and texture. At this point I match up the front legs, the front and side aprons for color and texture. Once everything is matched up every part will be numbered.

I have 16 legs so I give them numbers from 1 to 16. For the front and side apron that fits the leg I mark tenon with the same number. It really makes it a no brainer after doing that. Tenon #4 goes into mortise on leg #4. The front apron for example will have a #1 and one end and a #2 on the other. These fit legs #1 and #2. I don’t have to re-think everything every time I take it apart.

At this point I use just use a chisel to clean up everything and make things fit exactly like I want them to. Basically every tenon is custom fit to a particular mortise.

Other than the setting how tight the fit was, I made sure that the top of the aprons fit perfectly flush to the top of the legs. I left the tenons a little oversized just for this reason.

Here you can see the fit as well as all the other assemblies in the background.

At this point all the work is going into the front part of the chair.

Next is adding the knee blocks.

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

12 comments so far

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2859 posts in 4879 days

#1 posted 05-01-2011 02:06 AM

Looking Great Gary! Looks like your really having some fun!

-- Dennis Zongker

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 5201 days

#2 posted 05-01-2011 02:17 AM

Man you are fast, I’d still be trying to figure out the curve :)

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 5007 days

#3 posted 05-01-2011 02:26 AM

It is great to watch a mini production run like this and how you are keeping your work flow organized.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View jackass's profile


350 posts in 5000 days

#4 posted 05-01-2011 03:03 AM

Things are taking shape, wonderful Gary.

-- Jack Keefe Shediac NB Canada

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 4960 days

#5 posted 05-01-2011 03:20 AM


This a remarkable and very enjoyable-to-read blog. Thank you for going the extra mile to share your skills with all of us. This is great stuff!

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4960 days

#6 posted 05-01-2011 03:28 AM

Gray, is the dining room set 18th century in design?

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5340 days

#7 posted 05-01-2011 03:42 AM


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

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5688 days

#8 posted 05-01-2011 03:54 AM

Very Nice Gary.

-- 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 Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4669 days

#9 posted 05-01-2011 03:56 AM

Really starting to look like some beautiful chairs!

But is that the pie crust table in the back there? Why does it have dust all over it? Why isn’t it in a home, or a gallery, or a museum yet!?

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5387 days

#10 posted 05-01-2011 06:38 AM

You are seriously knocking it out!

Nice progress!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5276 days

#11 posted 05-01-2011 08:31 AM

Beginningwoodworker – Kind of yes, kind of no. Some things are and some not. The front legs are typical Queen Ann and the back legs are something of my own design. The back will be my own design also. Something to match the table.

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

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 4319 days

#12 posted 05-01-2011 09:26 AM

Patron (David) needs all our help. He is trying to get a community playground built in a very poor neighborhood. He needs us to vote for his community. Please check his post here on LumberJocks at Lets help a LumberJock who is always quick to help everyone.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

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