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Article Index

BY DAVE HELLER April 1, 2021 Updated: April 1, 2021

This article discusses a specific aspect of making a set of not-yet-completed Bing-style Art Nouveau dining room chairs of my own design. I will write an article for SAPFM on the overall design and construction of these chairs, hopefully for the 2021 publishing cycle. Fitting the splats is the most difficult portion of the construction, and writing this article forced me to think through the construction aspects in a more analytical way than I would otherwise, which led me to an improvement in approach. I hope that you find it useful.

Heller Fitting Asymmetrical Splat Photo 01Photo 1When I designed this chair, <Photo 1> I briefly considered how I would install the splat, and thought that it could be interesting. That is not necessarily a good thing. WHeller Fitting Asymmetrical Splat Photo 02Photo 2hen the customer accepted the proposal I had to think about it more seriously. I was concerned enough about this and other details of the chair to build a prototype, <Photo 2>. Overall I was pleased but the splat fitting had not gone as smoothly as I would have liked. Since I was making six of these there was considerable benefit in doing it efficiently in addition to well. This is the technique that developed:

1) Rather than having the one-piece chair rail shown, with the long curving top edge, I cut the chair rail horizontally (along the grain) to generate a flat top surface to inset the splat into. For this design, the upper surface of the chair rail is at a 14 deg angle to the back surface, which casts the splat at the correct angle to fit into the chair back. I used a sliding bevel in the chair back to mimic the splat, using the back of the chair rail as a reference surface (it is slightly concave). I set the perpendicular angle on the table saw and cut off the ears of the chair rail, which I will reattach later.


In photo 2 there is a horizontal line on the chair rail where the oval sits on top of the rectangular chair rail. That is where I made the cut. I then used a router to cut the mortise for the splat and a shallower surrounding mortise to house the edges of the splat, <photo 3>. I find this a more refined look to the joint, <photo 4>.

 Heller Fitting Asymmetrical Splat Photo 03Photo 3Heller Fitting Asymmetrical Splat Photo 04Photo 4

Upcoming Events

  • Delaware Valley Chapter Meeting July 17, 2021

    The Delaware Valley Chapter is planning their first in-person post-pandemic meeting to be held on July 17, 2021. It will start at approximately at 10 am and finish around 4 pm. Coffee and lunch will be provided and a small...

  • Gateway Chapter Zoom Meeting on June 25th at 7pm CST

    The Gateway Chapter will be having a ZOOM meeting on June 25, 2021, at 7 pm (central). The purpose of the meeting will be to re-introduce each other to one another, talk about what you are working on, what you are planning...

  • Indiana Chapter Spring 2021 Zoom Meeting

    BY SAM RHODES April 26, 2021 Updated June 7, 2021 The Indiana Chapter hosted a Zoom meeting on Saturday 22 May 2021. Our presenter was Cartouche winner Ray Journigan. Ray discussed his current project, a Charleston Rice...

  • Peach State Chapter Spring 2021 Zoom Meeting

    BY ARNIE MOORE May 11, 2021 Updated June 12, 2021 The Peach State Chapter had its Spring meeting on June 5, 2021. The meeting was held simultaniously in-person and live on Zoom.  Steve Quehl discussed the design and...

  • Grinling Gibbons Tour Hosted by Mary May - Rescheduled to September 20 - 30, 2021

    Have you ever seen woodcarvings where you wonder "How can this be carved by human hand"? Mary May, who has been teaching woodcarving classes for the past 15 years, will be hosting a tour of the fabulous 17th century English...

News/Announcements

New Articles

  • Fitting an Asymmetrical Splat Into an Oval Chair Back

    BY DAVE HELLER April 1, 2021 Updated: April 1, 2021 This article discusses a specific aspect of making a set of not-yet-completed Bing-style Art Nouveau dining room chairs of my own design. I will write an article for SAPFM on...

  • A Standup Davenport Computer Desk

     BY JOE PARKER April 1, 2021 Updated: April 1, 2021 The name "Davenport" comes from a reference in the records of an 18th-19th century English furniture maker Gillows. The reference, in about 1795, gives the original design and...

  • Remembering Phil Lowe: Craftsman, Mentor, Friend

    BY MICKEY CALLAHAN April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 It’s with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of one of America’s master period furniture makers, Phil Lowe. I’ve known Phil for over 30 years and was privileged to have...

  • Luthier's Friend To Thickness Small Part

    BY JEFF THOMPSON April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 There are number of ways one can thickness stringing and bindings. I’ve used a couple methods myself like on a drum sander, but mine is in a shed out back behind my shop...

  • Mirka Hand Sanding System

    BY BOB LANG April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 I can develop a pretty smooth surface with a hand plane and/or a scraper, but before finishing I sand to ensure that all the surfaces of a project are consistent. Each hand...

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