Rocking Chair: Episode 2


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With the rails orientated, Paul lays out the tenons, being careful to get a consistent distance between the shoulder lines. Then we’re ready to saw the shoulders and split or saw the waste before fitting them to the mortise. The wide rails are then arched using stop cuts and the chisel before refining with the spokeshave. Once everything has been cleaned up, we’re ready to glue up the front frame.


  1. aspinallar2 on 13 October 2016 at 1:09 am

    You work so quickly flipping the square when you mark the shoulders. I can’t tell what you are doing . It seems on purpose though. How do you decide which way to flip the square around when marking?

    • Craig on 13 October 2016 at 2:03 am

      The stock of the square is always registered against the face (marked with a cursive “f”) side or the face edge ( marked with an upside down “v”. If necessary, the stock is rotated so that the knife “brusing ” is on the waste side of the blade.
      Hope this helps. Paul does this so automatically that you have to follow carefully to catch it.

      • plan00i on 13 October 2016 at 6:00 am

        I imagine that after fifty years this second nature to Paul. I have been trying to always flip my pieces the same way. I’ve noticed I make fewer mistakes and spend less time looking for my registration faces. It’s beautiful to watch a craftsman such as Paul work.

    • mattz on 14 October 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Hi Alan, Paul and other woodworkers ‘flip the square around’ as you put it so that they are always referencing from the same true surface. That said, much of the time the stock should be properly prepared and sides should all be square and parallel. So, as Paul often says that his stock has been properly prepped and therefore one should be able to reference from all surfaces. Hope this helps and that you continue to enjoy Paul’s videos…I think they are both highly watchable and of course full of the woodworking gems that come from a true craftsman who loves what he does! Enjoy your woodworking…it’s therapy and good for the soul!

    • bigbrowndog on 15 October 2016 at 1:28 am

      Alan I think your questions already been answered, but check out some of the other projects from earlier on, Paul spends a lot more time explaining those kinds of questions. I like the earlier projects for that reason, and it’s personally helped me a lot to watch those carefully. Good luck!

    • Michael Ostrander on 15 November 2017 at 5:16 am

      While I do appreciate the skill required with square and knife to get these shoulder lines exactly even, isn’t that what a marking or cutting gauge is for? Just set one to 1 1/8″ run it off the squared edges and it’s perfect every time, in about 1/2 the time. Just set it once and use it for all 8 tenons.

      If you want a deeper cut for the knife wall just follow up using a couple off passes with a marking knife.

      • Philip Adams on 15 November 2017 at 3:04 pm

        That would depend on the ends of the pieces being perfectly square, which can be done but would take quite a bit of time to ensure. Do give it a go and see how you get on.

  2. poolshark86 on 31 October 2016 at 2:22 am

    Shouldn’t the tenon length for the wide rails be 1 3/8? Or do these tenon not bottom out in the mortise. A 3/8 mortise set back 3/8 from the edge that connects to a mortise from the adjacent edge should be 1 3/8 deep.

    • ekutan on 31 October 2016 at 3:33 pm

      I was going to ask exactly the same question. Otherwise two tenons will not meet with their mitered ends in the corner.

    • Philip Adams on 25 November 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Hello Danny,
      If you have 1 3/8″ inch tenons, it’s makes it unnecessarily difficult to fit the tenons into the mortise holes for very minimal structural benefit.

      • poolshark86 on 25 November 2016 at 8:01 pm

        That makes sense, i just thought i was going mad is all. That last table project the tennons went full depth, so I figured these would be the same

  3. Philip Adams on 5 December 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Hello Karey, it should indeed be 12 3/4″, thanks. The drawing will be updated in the next few days.
    Best, Phil

  4. Mack Chittenden on 4 September 2021 at 1:51 am

    What am I missing here? Why cut the miter if they don’t touch?

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