Friday, March 18, 2011

Queen Anne Chair: Cabriole legs Jig making

I bought this book last year after I saw it in my mini club's library, the patterns are for making full size furniture, but I just fell in love with the Queen Anne chair and I have finally started to make two of them. As I work on them I will describe the process.

The first step was to scan the pattern and reduce it to 1/12 scale, I then printed a few copies because they are going to be cut up to use as patterns in making jigs. I am going to use Tom Waldon's pin routing instructions to make jigs so that all my parts will be symmetrical, it is a lot of work BUT you will have perfectly matching chair legs and if you ever want to make some more chairs in the future your jigs will be all ready. In his list of articles look for those that mentions pin routing, it looks complicated but I often find that step 2 makes more sense after I have done step 1, etc.

First I cut the leg pattern out from my pattern, add about 3/8" on both sides lenghtwise, these handles will help to keep everything square. Cut a piece of 1/16" thick plywood to this length, the width is up to you, but needs to be big enough to hold comfortably. Glue your two chair leg profiles on each side making sure that the top of your legs are lying the same direction, mine are already cut out in the photo. Next you need to cut out your profiles either with a jigsaw or handsaw (I didn't cut out the foot part as it is very small and I am going to turn that part on the lathe afterwards). Next you need to make sure that the edges of your leg profiles are smooth and to your satisfaction.

Next turn your piece of wood upside down and glue two ends on, the same length as the width of your jig, mine is from 1/16" thick wood, the height is 1/4" and is determined by the size of the leg measured over its widest point. Next you need to add two stop blocks that are 1/4" in from the side because you need your leg post to stop against something solid. Don't glue anything in the middle, you are going to need the space to push your leg post out after each cut from the opposite side, with a brush handle or something similar.

Here you can see that I have put two of my leg posts in to check that everything is flush.

Now I have added a top that is about 1/32" smaller on each side so as not to interfere with the cutting process on the drill press. You can see my first leg post is in the jig and ready to be cut. Next installment to follow soon...........



Marie75 said...

Thank you so much for sharing !
I am looking forward for the following steps ;-) as I still can't understand how you can manage with the pin routing described by Tom Waldon (I can be very slow ...)

elly in amsterdam said...

You sure are very gifted with woodworking (and other things, too) Elga. And you have the patience and stamina to pull through. My compliments, big time!