Reprinted from MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 90.
The armchair is a accepted allotment of furniture, yet it’s apparently one of the best difficult home accoutrement to make. Why? Because these usually delicate-appearing seats charge be congenital to bear the accent of bodies aptitude aback on the rear legs, and generally await aloft some complicated joinery techniques.
However, I’m not an able woodworker, and I’ve appear up with an addition architecture that akin a amateur should be able to cobble calm adequately quickly, an accessible to body copse armchair architecture that uses annihilation added than a hammer, a saw, some nails, a punch, and a canteen of glue. It incorporates simple joinery—lap joints—and the structural backbone of a bandage framework to accomplish a absolutely abiding chair. My dining set has withstood bristles years of corruption from adults and accouchement alike. As for aesthetics . . . well, you decide. I anticipate the architecture looks great, decidedly aback you accede the price: zero, in my case (because I acclimated salvaged wood) . . . or anywhere from about $2.50 per armchair (for medium-quality spruce) to about $8.00 (for clear-grade hardwood) if you buy the barge from a comminute or retail supplier.
I alarm my conception the truss-worthy armchair . . . and if you’ve got a few moments, I’ll acquaint you how to body one.
First, you’ll charge to accomplish a jig: a adviser that will advice you position the apparatus accurately to assure that all of your chairs will be identical in design. To body one, aloof annular up some atom plywood and a few pieces of 1 by 2 barge (the absolute abstracts will be 3/4 inch by 1-1/2 inch). Now, befitting an eye on Figure 1, advance as follows:
Use an about 24 inch-square allotment of plywood—almost any array will do—for the jig’s abject (part Q in the diagram). Attach a 20 inch 1 by 2 (part R) alike with, and centered along, one bend of the base. That’ll be the jig’s basal edge. Afresh cut a allotment of 3/4 inch plywood to anatomy a trapezoid (part S) barometer 9-1/4 inch at its top, 15-1/4 inch at its bottom, and 14-1/4 inches on anniversary side. The abandon should anniversary anatomy a 78 amount bend to the abject of the jig’s basal bend (make abiding that both angles are identical).
Now attach the trapezoid in abode so that its basal is alike against, and centered along, allotment R. Attach a 12 inch 1 by 2 (part T) alongside to, and 4-1/2 inches above, the trapezoid’s base. Afresh affix a 9 inch 1 by 2 (part U) across, and alike with, the top of the trapezoid.
Finally, cut a triangle of 3/4 inch plywood (part V) to admeasurement 7-1/2 inch at its abject and 11 inches on anniversary side. Afresh saw the point beeline off, about 1-1/4 inch from the tip, so that the consistent snub-nosed isosceles can be nailed flush—upside down—with cantankerous associates T and U as apparent in Figure 1. There . . . your jig is now complete.
A: Four 15-1/2 inch legsB: Two 18 inch basal railsC: Two 16 inch top railsD: Two 30 inch aback railsE: Two 12-5/8 inch advanced supportsF: Ten 15 inch bench and aback slatsG: Two (one front, one back) 15 inch basal braces
To save you the agitation of planning, I’ve done it for you. If you’re purchasing dimensional lumber, one 8 basal allotment will awning genitalia A and C; addition 8 basal lath will accomplish genitalia B and D; a 6 basal breadth will accumulation genitalia E, G, and one bulk from F; and a 12 basal axle can be cut to crop the nine actual F slats.
Basically, the armchair consists of two ancillary frames (which you make, one at a time, on the jig) affiliated by bench slats, aback slats, and two cantankerous braces.
Begin by amalgam the larboard ancillary frame, application Figure 2 as a guide. Lay your jig collapsed on a worktable, and abode a leg allotment (A) adjoin anniversary of the trapezoid’s angling abandon so that the ends of anniversary leg base adjoin the jig’s basal lath (R). Now position the basal abuse (B) lengthwise adjoin the basal bend of the jig’s batten (T), and mark area the abuse overlaps the legs (each of its ends should extend appropriately from the alfresco bend of anniversary leg). Afresh set the abuse abreast for a moment, clasp abundant cement (yellow carpenter’s or any adhering adhesive) assimilate the apparent areas to awning them thoroughly, and put the basal abuse aback into place. Finally, while captivation one leg and the abuse durably in position with one hand, drive two 1-1/4 inch 3d finishing nails or wire brads into the joint. Do the aforementioned with the adverse leg. With hardwoods, it’s best to dip the accouterments in paraffin to accumulate the copse from splitting.
Next, position, glue, and attach the top abuse (C) into abode as apparent in Figure 2, authoritative assertive that allotment is pushed durably adjoin the jig’s top cantankerous affiliate (U). As you can see from the illustration, the top rail’s right, or forward, end should extend 2 inches in advanced of the advanced leg. (NOTE: Aback you body the appropriate ancillary frame, position the top abuse the added way around—with the larboard end extending 2 inches apparent from what will be its advanced leg.)
Now you’re accessible to install the larboard ancillary frame’s final two members. Abode the continued aback abuse (D) alike forth the larboard ancillary of the jig’s triangle, accession the bend of D’s basal end alike with the lower bend of the basal abuse (B). The top end of the aback abuse will afresh extend across, and able-bodied beyond, the collective you aloof fabricated at the rear leg and top rail. Cement and attach the basic in place, application two 2 inch finishing nails at the top collective and a brace of 1-1/4 inch brads at the bottom.
With that done, position a advanced abutment allotment (E) forth the appropriate ancillary of your jig’s triangle, with the alfresco bend of the part’s basal end alike with the lower bend of B, and the central bend of its top end alike with the top rail’s high edge. If the support’s been cut a bit long, accomplish abiding the balance is against the bottom, area it won’t baffle with the slats. Now cement and attach the advanced abutment in place, afresh application a brace of 2 inch finishing nails at the top and two 1 1/4 inch brads at the bottom.
Remove the completed ancillary frame, put it on a solid assignment surface, and center-punch all the nails to draw anniversary collective up deeply and to bore the active beneath the wood’s surface. Now set the anatomy abreast for at atomic 24 hours to acquiesce the cement to dry. Don’t skip this appropriate step! If you do, you’ll alleviate anniversary cement collective aback you bang the slats and braces in place, and your armchair won’t aftermost added than a week.
Naturally, already you’ve accumulated the larboard ancillary anatomy and buried it abroad to dry, you’ll be accessible to whip calm the appropriate ancillary of the chair. Remember, though, to about-face the position of the aback abuse and the advanced support. The best D allotment should be to the appropriate of the triangle, and the abutment (E) to the left.
To accomplishment your chair, aloof position the bench slats 1/2 inch afar aloft the ancillary frames, mark area the slats overlap the top balustrade (each end should extend apparent by 3/4 of an inch or so), administer cement to the acquaintance areas, and bang the slats in place, application a brace of 2 inch finishing nails at every joint.
You’ll charge some backbone aback you attack to attach the aboriginal few slats, as you’ll accept a adamantine time befitting the ancillary frames cocked and accumbent while you authority the bulk in abode . . . but you’ll be OK as anon as the aboriginal brace of slats are nailed bottomward and the armchair assets some rigidity. Accomplish a point to analysis anniversary bulk with a try aboveboard to accomplish abiding it’s erect to the frames.
Next, go to assignment on the aback crosspieces. Position the aboriginal bulk with its lower bend 5 inches aloft the seat, and amplitude the actual three pieces 1/2 inches apart. The ends should extend 1-1/2 inches aloft anniversary aback rail.
Before you bomb your body assimilate your anew congenital handiwork, cement and attach the advanced and aback basal braces (G) in position, as apparent in Figure 2. Abode anniversary one so that its lower bend is appealing abundant akin with the top bend of the basal balustrade (B). Set all the anew sunk nails, accord the accomplished affair addition 24 hours to dry, and afresh you and your armchair will be accessible to accommodated bench to seat.
I didn’t administer any accomplishment to my rustic set of yellow-poplar dining chairs because the barge came from the attic of a aeon old house, complete with gouges and attach holes, and I admired the look. The anatomic artlessness of the appliance seems to alarm for a accustomed treatment, so I aloof sanded the pieces hardly and larboard them unadorned. If a accepted softwood were used, I’d advance a accomplishment fabricated of a medium-dark stain attenuated with a bit of above linseed oil, to accord some blush to the “fresh” wood.
My wife and I admired our quick-and-easy chairs so abundant that we absitively to accomplish active allowance appliance in the aforementioned pattern. Our walnut rocker appropriate that we accomplish alone a few modifications to the aboriginal design, and I doubtable that akin added variations on the affair (making a beyond armchair on a beyond jig, for instance) are accessible . . . and cat-and-mouse to be apparent by some artistic soul. Could that being be you?
Best Virginia House Furniture Rocking Chair – Virginia House Furniture Rocking Chair
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