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Customizing and Custom Work

The Back Legs

cutting the back legs

We saw outside the drawn line to rough cut the leg.


We draw around the back leg pattern on a board and in a position that pass the required tests for structure and appearance.  Grain direction is very important in curved parts.  It is best to select the part so that the grain follows the curves as much as possible in the areas subjected to the most load.

We mark the back legs in pairs, with the arms, to obtain consistent figure, color, and character in mates that will later be assigned to chairs.

back leg pair
cutting back legs to accurate line on the shaper  

After being planed flat and true to thickness, the leg is clamped in a carriage and cut to accurate line on the shaper.  A true line on the carriage is held against a bearing to control the cut.  We built this shaper with two cutting heads, one rotates clockwise, the other counterclockwise.

plunge router with jig and fixture cuts the mortise  

A plunge router with jig and fixture cuts the mortise for the arm tenon and the notch to receive the seat.

shaping the back leg  

After its joints are cut and bored, we shape the part to soften it visually and make its surface more pleasing to touch.

The arm of the rocking chair appears to grow out of the back leg — a treatment called "fairing".  Because we cut its mortise and tenon joint snugly, we can drive the arm into the back leg and do much of the fairing on the head of the edge sander.  We built this sander to specifically serve our purposes.

we cut its mortise and tenon joint snuglyfairing on the head of the edge sander

We sand.

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