Wegner-Inspired Deck Chair #4: Cutting out the main pieces

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Blog entry by Ross Leidy posted 05-05-2020 05:12 PM 347 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Getting started Part 4 of Wegner-Inspired Deck Chair series Part 5: Legwork »

I started with a couple of 2×10’s from the local box store. I figure that one 2×10x8’ would be enough for one chair, assuming there weren’t too many knots to work around. Since this is an experiment on a couple levels, I’ll be building a single chair to start.

I started by tracing out the template twice for each piece on the 2×10 and rough-cutting them into individual pieces.

I ran the pieces through the drum sander a few times to clean-up the surfaces and to take the thickness down a bit. I was left with pieces around 1-3/8” thick. That still looked a bit bulky, but I didn’t want to compromise the strength by making the pieces too thin.

I did not own a pattern bit (with the bearing next to the shaft), and given the thick material I’d be routing, I started looking around for a tall bit. I ended up splurging on the big Whiteside compression bit with bearings on both sides of the cutter.

After a few adjustments to my technique (due to a couple scary end-grain routing incidents), this bit worked great. What I found was key was to leave 1/16” or less excess around the perimeter before routing and to only route half-way up on the first pass (with top bearing removed). That yielded a smooth cut (mostly) even on end grain.

To route the remaining, I reinstalled the top bearing, flipped the work over, and lowered the bit as needed.

The grain direction on the back legs is not ideal for a weak wood. I’m wondering if I should rout a channel for a hardwood spline on the underside to provide better tensile strength in that area. Still pondering.

2 comments so far

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1343 posts in 2485 days

#1 posted 05-05-2020 07:39 PM

Looking good. A spline would probably solve the issue of the weak legs

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


703 posts in 551 days

#2 posted 05-07-2020 12:50 PM

Impressive bit. Yea, I bet it is grabby as heck coming around that top curve.

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