Dining room table & chairs

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Just finished my last project. Dining room table and chairs. Posted on abpw.
Have never built a chair before. What an interesting challenge. Used loose tenon construction and had every individual piece of wood marked.
Table is 8/4 red oak with mahogany stain to darken it a bit. Urethane top coat. Glass is 3/8 smoked plate glass. Table is 44x60.
I really had fun building this and got to use several tools that I haven't used much, like a spokeshave and bull nose plane.
I bought a little gadget called MortisePal and it made cutting the mortises in the table and chairs a snap. Just set it and rout out the mortise. Fast and accurate. For anyone who is challenged by mortise & tenon joinery, this little jig is well worth the cost.
Vic
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Very nice work Vic. How many mortises? I guess I wouldn't have wanted to do all of those with my drill press and chisel! Dick

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Thank you!
Actually, 112 mortises and 32 dowels. I shudder to think of doing them with a drill and chisel. The router made it a snap.
Vic
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I agree, very nice, Vic.
However, if I may: I can't tell if it is the pics, themselves (distance), as to why I can't see clear details, but I'll assume the edges of the seat upholstery are a little uneven.
When upholstering dining chairs, don't pull the fabric over and under the edges of the seat with your thumb and index finger. That will always result in indentations, or an uneven edge, along the edges.
Preferably, the bulk of the padding should not overlap the edges of the seat base (board), for a fitted seat as that (It looks like the seat fits into/inside the chair framing). Too much padding on the outer edges can cause problems with (pressure on) the chair frame. Be careful with that outer edge padding, that way. A light amount of padding, like a polyester batting (polyester fiberfill), is okay to overlap the edges with, to dull any sharp edges of the board it's on. Just don't use a lot of batting (bulk padding) on the edges.
Application of the fabric: To start, tack or staple (I use staples) the centers of the front and back. The tension, here, shouldn't be the final tension. Somewhat align the sides' centers, but not tight, and tack them in temporary position.
Align the front edge of the fabric, next to the first staple, and staple the adjacent areas, one on each side of the first staple.... staples about 1" apart. If the fabric seems to align easily, staple one more, each side, again. Make sure the lateral tension is good and firm (the finish tension, laterally). Don't pull the fabric, laterally, with your thumb and index finger... use the palm of your hand to pressure it laterally. Work it a few times, with your palm... you'll see the results as you work it.
Now you want to attach the center section of the back edge to its finished tension. Instead of pulling each area with thumb and index finger, place your whole hand on the seat's top and pet (like petting your dog) the "whole" toward the back. The whole of the fabric will adjust itself to conform to and over the edge, uniformly. With your whole hand still in pressured position, remove the initial staple, while using your thumb to hold the fabric in position at that point, then insert a replacement staple, there. Use the petting motion for a few more attachments at the back edge.... and don't forget about the lateral tension, there, also.... , then....
Go back the the front edge and attach another few staples along the front edge. At this point, the front edge conformity can be established with the whole-hand petting motion, also. Just make sure your lateral tension continues to be good and firm/tight. Then repeat the back edge procedure.
Except for upholstering right at the corners, when the front and back edges are done, attach the side edges. Do the same petting procedure for attaching the sides. This petting procedure eliminates awkward, excess and/or contorted fabric gathering at the corners, as often happens when one tries the "thumb-index finger" pulling technique, for stretching fabric across an area.
The petting procedure and the firm lateral tension will help eliminate those dips, valleys, uneven edges. I don't suspect you have too much padding, along the edges, for it to have caused the rippling I think I can see (again, I'm not sure I am seeing correctly). I suspect it was the way the fabric was attached. This petting procedure is a must for fabrics with lines or other similar patterns, that need to be perfectly aligned and uniformly tensioned.
Sonny
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You are absolutely correct Sonny. Couldn't get the tension quite right. It's in my job jar to redo that part. Appreciate your tips.
The seats are 1/2 plywood blanks set in a 3/8 deep by 1/2 wide rabbett. I did make corner blocks which the seat is screwed to.
Plywood has a layer of 1" foam and two layers of 1" dacron or poly cotton or whatever you call it <g> - then the fabric.
Seems my main mistake was the initial staple - I pulled that too tight and it was downhill from there.
I've printed out your tips and will give it another go.
Thanx!
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I think most dining chairs have a tad more padding, on top, than you've described. A generous layer of cotton is typical for a first layer, against the seat base (board), then foam, then a layer of "polyester" (there are several kinds of finish lining/padding). *Fire retardent polyester fiberfill (a designated industry description) is just as inexpensive as non-fire retardent fiberfill.
For when you redo your seats: For the small amount of padding you seem to have, pay close attention to the front and back corners of the seat base, your plywood! If the wood's corners are sharp 90�, the wood may poke through the fiberfill and sometimes, in time, through the fabric, at those points. When you redo the seats, at the point of having the fabric over the corners (just prior to stapling your fabric down), feel the corners to see if they feel too sharp (use your good judgement). If they feel too sharp, cut the tip (1/8") off the board's corners. This will dull those sharp "poking" corners, yet maintain a good square contour. That 1/8" removed is not going to affect any visible or functional difference. For seats with a bit more padding, instead of cutting the corners, a touch more padding, at those spots, can be used to soften sharp corners. The consideration not to use a touch more padding on your corners is because your seats fit inside a framing..... you want to avoid adding padding into that fitted type of framing.
I assume everyone knows, but I'll add: Once a seat is fitted to a particular chair frame, attach a number/symbol to the seat corresponding to its particular chair/frame number/symbol.
Sonny
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wrote:

Our dining room chairs are all wood; no padding at all. I guess the Amish that built them thought padding to be a luxury. ;-)
<snip>
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Besides that, dining chairs with fabric are difficult to keep clean. Not my style but you can always use those washable chair pads.
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They're cheap to replace, too. We'd thought about buying chair pads but the chairs are pretty comfortable as they are and look very nice without pads.
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I make a distinction between kitchen chairs and dining chairs. Kitchen chairs are usually a little more upright and less comfortable, hence no padding or at best a tie on pad. As I have read, dining chairs are meant to be sat in longer and are designed with a more relaxed angle and a padded seat.
Of course, there are always exceptions but that's what I found in my research. So, I opted for almost a 10 degree back angle and a padded seat.
Vic
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What was meant was padding for upholstered chairs, since I was zeroing in on the upholstery, not literally all dining or kitchen chairs. ... But I took krw's comment as ribbing. Them Amish folk don't grow cotton, I don't think. LOL.
Sonny
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wrote:

Who me?

Not in Ohio, anyway.
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"krw" wrote:

Cheese and furniture, yes.
Cotton, not so much, more like none.
Lew
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On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 16:46:25 -0800, "Lew Hodgett"

Yep. Neat place to visit. Aside from the Chinese and Indian junk in some of the stores, the Amish villages were quite interesting. The furniture stores and factories even more so. One gave me a cook's tour of their production facility (no one was there over the weekend).
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krw" wrote:

What part of Ohio?
Lew
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On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 18:03:58 -0800, "Lew Hodgett"

North-east, a bit South of Akron-Canton. I did some contracting in Akron a couple of years ago and we spent several weekends scoping out furniture, quilts, and such. Very nice stuff, but I have to say, I've seen stuff you folks here have done that looks every bit as good.
This is the place we ended up buying our bedroom and dining room sets:
http://www.greenacresfurniture.com /
We'll likely have them do a breakfast set and fill out some other pieces in the spring.
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krw" wrote:

Sounds like New Philly-Dover area.
Grew up 30 miles west of Canton.
Lew
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On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 19:02:13 -0800, "Lew Hodgett"

Most of the places are in Navarre, Berlin, Sugar Creek, Charm, and Kidron.

Wooster? They're about half way between Canton and Wooster and a bit South.
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krw" wrote:

Been to ALL of the above.
My mother lived in Apple Creek.
Would go over to Kidron (less than 5 miles) for ice cream cones and a visit to Lehman Hd'we when I would go back for a visit.
Time to stock up on Trail Bologna and real Swiss Cheese.
Lew
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On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 20:33:05 -0800, "Lew Hodgett"

You must have known Amish, then. Quite an interesting group.

We didn't buy much cheese while there. VT had lotsa good cheese too, so it wasn't a priority.
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