May 262017

The illustration shows a very comfortable and attractive porch chair that can be made with few tools and easily procured material. Most any kind of wood will answer, says the American Carpenter and Builder, but if open grained wood, such as oak or chestnut, is used, the parts should be filled with a paste filler. If the natural color of the wood is not desired, the wood may first be stained, the filler being colored somewhat darker than the stain.
Procure enough lumber to make all the pieces shown in the detail drawing and finish to the dimensions shown, being careful to make the corresponding pieces exactly alike in order to preserve the perfect symmetry which is necessary in work of this kind. In boring the holes care must be taken to keep both edges of the holes sharp and clean. The holes should each be bored until the spur shows; the bit should then be withdrawn and the rest of the boring be done from the other side. The semicircular notches are made by placing the two pieces edge to edge in the vise and placing the spur of the bit in the crack. The 1-in. bit is used. As it will be difficult to finish the boring of these blocks from the second side, the parts remaining may be cut out with the knife after the pieces have been separated.
Five 1/2-in. dowel rods are needed. It is possible to get these in one long piece if you happen to live near a mill and then all you will have to do is to saw off the desired lengths. However, if they cannot be got easily you can make your own. Two  rods each 18-1/4 in. long; two rods each 20-1/4 in. and one rod 22-1/4 in. give the exact lengths. It is well to cut each piece a little longer than required so that the ends which are imperfectly formed may be cut off. These rods should fit tight and may be fastened in addition with a small screw or nail from the under or back side.
Porch Chair Finished
The hand rests should be nailed to the arms with small nails or brads before the arms are bolted. The illustration of the assembled chair shows the relative position.
The bolts should be 1/4 in. and of the following lengths: 4 bolts 2-1/4 in. long; 2 bolts 2 in. long; 2 bolts 3 in. long. Washers should be placed between adjacent pieces of wood fastened together with bolts and also at both ends of the bolts. This will require 26 washers in all. While the size of the chair may be varied, it will be necessary to keep the proportions if the parts are to fold properly.

May 242017

A lapped and strapped joint is made by laying the end of one timber over another and fastening them both together with bent straps on the ends of which are screws by which they may be tightened.

It is a very strong joint and is used where the beams need lengthening as in false work or in long ladders and flag poles.

May 122017


This hall chair is designed to take up as little room as possible. For its construction the following stock will be needed:

  • 1 back, 7/8 by 14 by 44 in., S-2-S.
  • 2 sides, 7/8 by 14 by 17 in., S-2-S.
  • 1 seat, 7/8 by 14 by 14 in., S-2-S.
  • 1 stretcher, 7/8 by 6 by 16 in., S-2-S.
  • 1 brace, 7/8 by 5 by 11 in., S-2-S.
  • 1 piece, 7/8 by 7/8 by 44 in., for cleats.

These dimensions are for finished pieces, therefore 1/4 in. should be allowed for planing if the stock cannot be secured finished.

Lay out and cut the design on the back, sides, and brace. To cut the openings, first bore a hole near one corner to get the blade of a coping saw through and proceed to saw to the lines. Smooth the edges after sawing by taking a thin shaving with a sharp chisel. A file will not leave a good surface.

Mark the tenons on the ends of the stretcher and cut them with a backsaw and make smooth with a chisel. From the tenons mark the mortises in the sides through which they are to pass.

To cut these mortises, first bore a row of holes with a 5/8 in. bit, boring halfway from each side so as not to split off any pieces. Now make of scrap material the two keys and from them mark the small mortises in the tenons.

Before putting the chair together, the cleats for holding the seat should be fastened to the sides, back and brace. Use flat-head screws for this purpose. Then put the sides and stretcher together, and fasten the back to the sides with flat-head screws.

The brace should be put in next, using three round-head screws in each end. There only remains the top, which is held by screws through the cleats from the under side.

Stain with two coats of weathered or mission-oak stain, and then apply a thin coat of “under-lac” or shellac and two coats of wax.