Making Octagons

So…, my beautiful staked leg tables aren’t selling.  Despite their beauty, practicality and bargain price, they just don’t generate any interest.  Kris has suggested that it’s because no one buys a table alone, but as part of a dining set.  Therefore, chairs are next on the list.

The chair that I’m hoping to make is Christopher Schwarz’ “Staked Chair” from his book, The Anarchist Design Book.  As per my usual method, I’m making a mock up from inexpensive construction lumber in order to fine tune my technique. The chair has staked in legs without stretchers, so the grain has to be dead straight with zero runout.  Fortunately, I had some CVG (clear, vertical grain) douglas fir 2×4 leftover from a previous project.  I roughed out the legs to 1 1/2″ square, then tapered them to 1 1/8″ at the end using successive passes on the jointer.

Once the legs were tapered, I laid out the facets for making them octagons, and started planing.  However, the temperatures in Seattle today peaked at 95ºF (35ºC); too hot for much bench work by an old Northwest mossback.  So after finishing one leg, I left the other three for another day.

Next up, boring the tapered holes in the seat pan to accommodate the legs.

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