Larry Ciesla Woodworking

Oak Chairs with Inlays

My son and I collaborated on this set of four dining chairs made from oak.  We used quarter sawn oak for the seats and a bent-wood lamination technique to create the curved back rests.  The top backrest on each chair has an inlay of oak leaves and acorns.  

All the joinery was done using my Festool Domino machine.  Some of the more interesting construction steps are detailed below.

The inlay was created using double-bevel marquitry.  By tilting the scroll saw bed about 12 degrees and taping the forground and background pieces together, the saw kerf completely disappears!  (Top of page)

I created the depth guide you see in the lower right out of MDF by drilling holes in a 1 inch grid.  You can also see a small incremental drill gauge block used with the grid and a hand drill to drill holes into the seat.  Holes are drilled from 1/8 to 3/8 inches deep depending on the depth desired.  Chris is using an angle grinder with 36 grit paper to remove the bulk of the wood.  The idea is to simply sand away enough stock to make the holes disappear.  Many additional sanding steps followed with finer grits of sand paper to smooth and finish the seat.(Top of page)

Here we use the Festool Domino machine to cut mortises in the slats and curved back rests.  The curved back rests were created by laminating seven 1/8 inch thick oak strips on a curved form using plastic resin glue. (Top of page)

The slats being glued into the curved back rests.  Chris's dog Indy is supervising!(Top of page)

The sides are roughed out from 8/4 stock on the bandsaw.  The final shaping is done on the router table using a pattern bit and a pattern made out of 1/2 MDF.  (Top of page)
Here the sides are joined to the curved back rests.(Top of page)

The Domino machine is used to cut mortises into the glued up back assemblies to prepare to attach the front assemblies.(Top of page)

One of several dry fits prior to final glueup.(Top of page)

The seat is notched using the table saw sled.(Top of page)

The finishing process ( Top of page)