Picture of the three bases after making the mortises / tenons and testing each fit prior to glue up and assembly.
In our last post we had completed the front leg profiles. Below are pictures showing the process of relieving the profile to be flush with the front rail where the leather will be applied.
Before laying out and creating the mortises the back legs need to be planed as a pair together to insure the same dimensions and surfaces are consistent. Below is a picture using a square to ensure the area to layout the mortises are 90 degrees to the bottom leg surface. As you plane the pair of legs to the final surface finish you want to check this periodically.
The mortises for the back legs are 3/8″ from the outside edge and exit the rear at 5/8″. Below is the process I use for creating the tenons for the side rails.
Notice the smooth surface created by striking the layout line with a knife. This makes for easy chisel work to finish the surface and a clean fit upon assembly. Almost always we undercut the surface as this ensures a tight fit and appearance. Below are pictures of cutting the tenons to size. We cut a bit oversize and sneak up on the final fit with a plane , rasps and floats.
This is a chair I carved and built several years ago that is similar to one currently in the Colonial Williamsburg collection. This chair because of its extensive carving requires considerable time and would represent the more costly of chairs sold in the 18th century. When you first attempt a chippendale chair it can be very intimidating at first. As you begin to challenge yourself, your carving skills will improve. In the 18th century, many of the construction methods were standard. Dimensions for mortises and tenons, board thickness and seating height and depth were generally about the same. One unique aspect of building this chair includes the tenons connecting the seat rails to the back stiles. The tenon goes through the stile and is visible from the rear of the chair. A drawing and photo of this will be posted soon. In addition, the mortise and tenon joints are secured with hide glue and pegs. We make our pegs by preparing some flat stock and planing each side with a standard wooden beading plane and either breaking the piece off by hand or using a knife to separate. Below is a picture of a peg made from a beading plane used for assembling this chair.