Подпись:Подпись:BACKSCaned and panel backs are two pop­ular and attractive options for frame chairs. To make a caned back (below), all you need is some stock for the rails and mullions and a piece of prewoven cane. You can weave the back from individual strands of cane, fol­lowing instructions starting on page 83. Cut tenons at the ends of the rails to fit into mortises in the rear legs and at the ends of the mullions to join with the rails. The cane fits into a groove cut into the rails and mullions.

The panel for a panel back is cut on a band saw (page 122), then fitted into






Support board



Preparing the rails and mullions

Cut the grooves in the rails and mullions on a router table. Use a straight bit with a diameter equal to the width of the spline you will use to secure the cane; adjust the cutting height to slightly more than the thickness of the spline. Start with the mullions, using three featherboards to support them during the cut: Clamp two to the fence, one on each side of the bit, and a third to the table, braced by a support board. Position the fence to cut the groove / inch from the edge of the mullions, then feed the boards with a push stick (above, left). Before routing the grooves in the rails, test-fit the rails and mullions together
and mark the location of the mullion grooves on the back face of the rails. Then remove the featherboards from the router table, align the groove mark on the leading end of the rail with the bit, and clamp a stop block to the table flush against the trailing end of the stock. Repeat the same process with the second groove mark to install a stop block that will limit the length of cut. Care­fully lower the stock onto the bit, keeping the edge flush against the fence and the trailing end butted against the stop block (above, right). Once the rail is flat on the table, feed it along the fence, lifting it clear once the stock touches the front stop block.

2 Assembling the rails and mullions

Spread some glue on the tenons on the mullions and in the mortises in the rails, then fit the pieces together. Use two bar clamps to secure the joints, align­ing the bars along the length of the mul­lions and protecting the rails with wood pads (left). Once the glue has cured, use a chisel to complete the grooves between the rails and mullions. (The chisel cuts are represented by dotted lines in the illustration.) Then glue the caning frame to the chair, fitting the tenons on the rails into the rear legs (page 47).








3 Fitting the cane in the chair back

While the glue is curing, soak a slight­ly oversized piece of cane in a bucket of warm water for at least two hours. The soaking will make the cane more pliable and easier to work. Many woodworkers will also finish the chair before installing the cane. Once you are ready, set the chair on its back on a work surface and position the cane over its opening. Use wedges at 3- to 4-inch intervals to press the cane into the groove in one of the mullions while pulling the cane taut on the opposite side (right). Continue all around the frame.

















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4 Securing the cane

Cut the reed splines that will hold the cane to fit in the grooves, mitering both ends of each piece, then work on one side of the frame at a time to fix the cane in place permanently. Starting with one mul – lion, remove the wedges from its groove and, tapping a chisel with a wooden mal­let, trim the excess cane flush with the outside edge of the channel. Then spread some glue on the underside of the spline and pound it in place with the mallet. Wipe away any glue squeeze out, then repeat the process with the opposite mul – lion (right) and the two rails.




1 Preparing the rail

To make a panel back for a chair, start by routing grooves in the crest and back rails to accept the panel. Install a piloted three-wing slotting cutter in a router and mount the tool in a table; the cutter thick­ness should equal that of the panel. Adjust the cutting height by placing the stock face down on the table and align­ing a cutter with the center of the edge. Fashion a fence for the stock on the infeed side of the table, cutting a notch at one end to cover the bit. Screw the fence to a support board and clamp the pieces to the table. Mark the start and end of the groove on the rails, then press the work – piece against the pilot bearing as you feed the stock into the bit against the direction of cutter rotation (left).











3 Cutting the panel

Outline the sides of the panel, using any pattern that suits the design of the chair, but make sure the outlines begin and end at the groove marks at the top and bottom of the panel. To ensure that the two sides end up identical, outline just one side on a template. Then trace the pattern from the template to one side of the panel and turn the template over to outline the opposite side. Cut the panel on your band saw (right), feeding the work – piece across the table and keeping your hands clear of the blade.


Outlining the top and bottom of the panel

To help you shape the panel and cut it to length, dry-assemble the rails and rear legs and clamp them together. Center the assembly atop the panel on a work surface, then clamp the panel to the back rail so the bottom of the panel extends under the rail by the depth of the groove, about % inch. Mark the start and end of the rail grooves at both the top and bottom of the panel. Then, holding the panel flush against the underside of the crest rail, trace the curve of the rail on the panel (left). Remove the panel from the frame and mark a second line parallel to the first about % inch beyond it to allow for the portion of the panel that will extend into the groove.

BACKS4 Test-fitting the panel

Take the panel frame apart and fit the panel into the back and crest rails (right). Since the grooves cut by the router will be rounded at the ends, it may be necessary to trim the corners of the panel with a chisel or sandpaper to improve the fit.


Gluing up the back

Spread some glue on the contacting surfaces of the rails and rear legs. Do not apply any adhesive in the panel grooves or the panel; the panel must be free to move as humidity changes cause the wood to swell or contract. Start assem­bling the back by fitting the back rail into the legs, then slip the panel into its groove in the back rail. Fit the crest rail onto the panel and into the rear legs. Close up the joints with two bar clamps (left), aligning the bars with the rails and using wood blocks to protect the legs.


Updated: March 17, 2016 — 6:12 am