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In part one of our two-part series on how to mortise Windsor chair legs, Peter Galbert demonstrated some great tricks involving the use of mirrors, to ensure the proper drilling angle. But the work doesn’t end once drilling is done. In order for your chair’s tapered tenons to fit properly, you’ll have to break out a traditional chairmaker’s tool to flair out your mortises.
A chairmaker’s reamer like Galbert’s (it’s the only specialized tool he uses) creates a 6° taper that perfectly matches the chair’s leg and spindle tenons. What’s more, a reamed leg mortise will cause the seat/leg connection to become tighter whenever weight is applied.
Once, again, it’s all about drawing accurate sight lines and using both the bevel and standard squares to ensure perfect alignment.
If you’d like to take stab at building your own heirloom-worthy Windsor chair, don’t miss Galbert’s article in FWW #218 (Windsor Rocker Without Special Tools).
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