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Chair Assembly Challenge

Posted on November 9th, by Andy Brownell in Projects. 1 Comment

Simultaneous glue up and assembly of 74 mortise and tenons.

I’ve been working on a set of two sapele lounge chairs for the last couple of months. They are from a design from Thomas Moser, but are clearly influenced by Asian-style joinery aesthetics. While the fabrication of the parts and layout of 186 mortise and tenons was time consuming, it wasn’t too difficult. This tedium was ultimately broken by the hair-pulling glue-up and assembly of the first of two chairs┬áthis past weekend.

I had pre-assembled the front and back elements, including the four posts while at the Woodworking in America Conference last month. That glue up was farly easy to execute with my go-to PVA Gorilla wood glue. Completing the assembly of the full chair however, required a simultaneous glue-up of 74 mortise and tenon joints by myself. Because of this, I needed a good, long open time only possible with a two-art epoxy like System Three T-88.

Jeff Miller has used this product for years on his bent lamination projects becasue of it’s long open time of 45+ minutes. In the end, I’m glad I used it. I needed close to 45 minutes to apply the adhesive, align and clamp everything up before I was done. Knowing what was possible the first time around, I’m feeling better about assembling the other chair in the next few weeks.

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