That's a good idea Earl, I need to pick up some sheet goods to make the routing fixtures for this project anyway, I should grab a sheet of MDF while I'm there.Roughing It
The sapele has been in the shop for a week acclimating and my CNC cut templates will not be ready for a while, so I got busy roughing out parts. I started with the largest parts, the back legs. A leg blank 7 inches wide will allow me to cut both back legs for a chair from a single board, helping with grain and color match. Several of the boards were a bit over 14" wide, allowing me to get two pairs of legs from each cut length.
To be sure I have spare material in case of an error, I cut enough parts for 14 chairs. I ripped the wide stock to 7" widths on the bandsaw, then joined one face and edge before planing to final thickness.
As I started planing the stock to thickness, some internal compression damage was revealed on several pieces. All of the damage was located where the lumber had been stickered in the yard. In the image below you can still see some of the sticker stain next to the damaged area.
I went back to the lumber pile to rough out some additional replacement boards. With these boards planed to thickness, they are as far as I can take them until I get the templates.
Most of the damaged boards were salvaged later to make smaller parts such as the front legs (that's why we always start with the biggest parts first, right?). In some cases the grain was not running parallel to the edge of the board, requiring me to lay out the parts parallel to the grain and true up on the bandsaw and jointer. Truing up in this way helps avoid the diagonal grain seen in the top leg below, which will be used for setup only.
As I was working I kept a pair of diagonal cutters in my pocket to remove stray staples from the lumber yard. I don't cut the staples, but I find the diagonals get a good bite making them easier to remove.
Next I roughed out the stock for the back slats. Ideally the center slat and two outside slats should come from the same board and be kept in sequence. It's going to be a real challenge to keep all of the parts properly labeled and oriented as I make these parts.
With the two largest parts roughed out, I moved on to cutting the stock for the smaller parts. The crest rail and lower back seat rail are made from 8/4 stock. The side seat rails and front rail finish up at 7/8" thick so I will resaw the 8/4 stock to get two parts from each blank. The poplar blanks will be used as setup pieces.
The majority of the parts are rough cut at this point, with the exception of the lower stretcher components. These parts are small and can be easily cut from the drop offs left over from roughing out the main chair parts.
Next step: Finish roughing out the remaining parts then joint and plane to size in preparation for pattern routing and sanding.
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