Maloof design ... arms to leg joint

Dorm

Dorm
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An idea I have for a future project is an outside bench seat out of white oak material. I want to incorporate some of Sam Maloof's design with this and it looks to me that Sam's joint between arms and legs is purely a glue joint, as in no doweling, screws or other. Is this the case with this joint ,,, glue only with arms to legs joints?

I realize these take great care to insure perfect alignment, as in drawing sandpaper through 'til the fit is perfect, but I want to verify prior to finishing up with the design. Thanks in advance for your reply.

Ciao ... Dorm

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cyclopentadiene

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This joint has a 5/8 inch dowel inside. It should go as deep as possible in the top of the arm and at least 2-3 inches into the leg. it is relatively easy to position when everything is square if you use dowel centers. Note the joint will be end grain on the top of the leg and long grain on the arm. This is not a strong glue joint without the dowel and a chair arm takes a lot of stress when used to get out of the chair.
Shaping of white oak will be the real challenge here. The rough shape can be made with the band saw followed with an angle grinder and carbide burr. However the real work is with rasps to shape the arm. Walnut, cherry, mahogany, Sapele etc. work well but white oak is extremely hard and makes the final shaping a tough task. It typically takes 3-4 hours per arm to do all of the shaping one one of the above mentioned woods. I would add at least 1 hour for white oak.
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
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As Cyclopentadiene said, an end grain (top of leg) to long grain (bottom of the arm) joint is notoriously weak. You pretty much have to have a mechanical joint that offers long grain to long grain contact for a glue joint. Either a tenon on top of the leg and into the arm or as he’s used on his chair, a heavy dowel.

Without that mechanical connection, you have a glued butt joint which isn’t too useful in it’s own, but has no place in a chair.

You can test it out by gluing the end of a dowel to the flat side of a board and then stressing the joint.
 

Dorm

Dorm
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This joint has a 5/8 inch dowel inside. It should go as deep as possible in the top of the arm and at least 2-3 inches into the leg...
Cyclo ... perfect response - just what I was looking for. This project will be a huge challenge for me, so I have another question on the seat. I've seen ones drill depth holes to help with contouring the seat. So any suggestions to help lay these out is much appreciated ... spacing, depth graduation, etc. My seat base will be roughly 1-1/2" thick. I have an angle grinder, Kutzall discs, etc, and plenty of experience with these for shaping the contour.

Thanks again for your responses.

Ciao ... Dorm

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cyclopentadiene

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Unfortunately, I have not identified a perfect solution for the seat. The first one was carved using a carving gouge and mallet followed by rasps and sandpaper. I then graduated to the carbide burr on an angle grinder. It is messy, but fast. This then resorted to rasps and sandpaper. I the shifted to a Festool RO90 sander (after the carbide burr to replace all the rasp work), card scrapers, modeling rasp and some fine sanding. I have also tried a round back spokeshave but have not really mastered the skill to use this one. The time is now cut in half and I can shape a seat in about an hour.
I do not use the drilling techniquse. I used a series of Mdf patterns to get the shape with my first couple of seats. I now just do this by eye and just take a periodic measurements to make sure the depth is the same on both sides.
The challenge using white oak is the open grain pattern makes getting a smooth surface more difficult.
 

Dorm

Dorm
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Ok - thanks. I'm definitely in the mode to use power/air tools; carbide burrs and Kutzall for shaping the seat :)
 

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