You’ve probably been worried about my leg joint. Don’t be. It’s all going to be fine. Here’s how the joint closed up clamped overnight. It’s not as good as it was, but it’s fillable. I’ll still need to run a dowel through it, but I’m OK with that. I’ll be working on that today.
In other news, I had to keep moving forward. I glued the armrest-leg piece to the back frames, which went more easily than most of my glue ups have gone since there were clearer ways to create flat surfaces for the clamps to bear on. Clamps like flat. They don’t like angles all that much.
I also worked on the seat repair. You’ll recall I cut off the joint I screwed up last time. Well, I found a piece of wood where the grain matched fairly well to the rest of the seat and cut a strip of it to glue on where I cut the strip off. I cut the long ends off by hand with the Japanese saw and then hand-planed the extra width off so it completely matches the profile of the rest of the seat. If you look carefully, you can tell it’s an extra piece, but it blends in pretty well (see the detail below).
With most of the frame glued up and the seat now back in tact, it was time to cut the legs down to their final size. I’ve been afraid of doing this since it would be really hard to put material back on if I cut them too far and I kept envisioning cutting the legs and then putting the whole thing together only for the center of gravity to be way off. But, I used the measurements and information I had from my drawings and the mock-up (this is, after all, why I did all this planning in the first place), cut the legs down to about 3/4″ of their final length, and clamped the whole chair up just to be sure everything was looking OK.
And, well, it looks good! Ta daaaa!
Knowing the leg lengths were good, I went ahead and cut them down to final length and then cut the mortises in the ends of the legs and in the rockers. I had to work on the ends of the legs with a sanding block for a while to get them to fit the slight curve where they meet the rockers, and they’re pretty close. Since I used the same bit on the mortiser that I used for the armrest mortise/tenon joint, I knew I would be able to use the same piece of wood for the leg/rocker tenons. I had to sand them a bit to fit right, but I got them there, and I glued up the rockers last night. I now have two complete frames.
Next steps will be to put that dowel pin in where the leg joint opened and then re-cut and adjust the seat joints. Then I move on to the backrest joints,
and then I glue up the whole chair! It sounds like I’m almost done, but there are still a ton of tiny things that have to happen too. I have to trim the mortises down flush that are still sticking out of the armrests. I have a zillion little gaps to fill. I have to cut off the extra lamination material on the rockers and fair down those joints so they look smooth, and then I have to hand sand the whole thing, which will take a lot of time, hurt my neck, and cause me to have mahogany boogers despite my wearing a mask while I do it. Only when that’s all done can I start applying finish. I have about three more weeks to get this all done as well as plan my final presentation. Here’s to the home stretch.