Recommended resources: Garden Chair
Check out our collection of articles specifically picked to help with this project.
The bandsaw shines for many woodworking jobs, but if you ask Brian Boggs, its greatest potential is revealed when you use it with a template to cut curves. Equipped with a properly set up saw and using the techniques described here, you’ll make repeatable, glue-joint-quality bandsawn cuts that don’t require cleanup with a router. Boggs gives tips on sawing freehand, how to make a template that includes a “follower” to steady the cut, and how to cut true, large-radius arcs.
Learn to produce astonishing curves in your furniture using steam-bending. Michael Fortune demonstrates how to bend wood without breaking it, using a steambox and a bending form. Fortune explains why air-dried lumber is better, and why a compression strap is the go-to tool if you want serious curves in your furniture. He also gives pointers on proper temperatures and times in the steam box, in the compression strap, and while clamped and drying. Learn how to make a simple clamping form, and to build your own simple steambox. Spend some time exploring the world of steam-bending and you will soon take your projects to a new level.
What makes a wood right for building outdoor furniture? Its ability to resist decay. No wood will survive forever outdoors, but if you use the right wood, stick to the heartwood only, and follow a few design tips, your projects will have a better chance for a long life. Learn why white oak, bald cypress, black locust, Eastern red cedar, and Northern white cedar are master craftsman Hank Gilpin’s choice for outdoor projects.
Curves add life, flow, and energy to a piece of furniture; they also add technical challenges. Brian Boggs says a mastery of curves is vital for a chairmaker like him, but it’s also a valuable skill if you make casework and tables. Here is a guide to the three chief ways to get curved furniture parts—sawing, laminating, and steam-bending. Boggs lays out the characteristics of each approach, giving advice on which ones work best in each situation.