Shaker Stool – Episode 4

Shaker Stool 4

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With the initial recess cut, the next step is to create the sloped side of the bridle joint which helps to locate the joint. With that done, Paul transfers the lines to cut the recess in the top rail and uses various techniques to fit the joint snugly.

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  1. pnj2411 on 29 July 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Wonderful episode!

    I love the way that Paul’s designs emphasise elements that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with machine-only methods.

    The moment when the mallet sound changed exactly at the point where the joint seated at the correct point was very satisfying. An implicit lesson here is patience when fitting and being prepared to pare and refit multiple times – I’ve often screwed up by being too impatient.

    I’m in the process of building an electric guitar trying to use mostly hand tool techniques (i.e. not doing almost all shaping with templates and electric routers). I wonder whether some variation on this joint with hand cut and fitted tapers would be useful for the mortice and tenon between neck and body? It should ensure good physical contact between the two pieces.

  2. sidreilley on 29 July 2015 at 5:43 pm

    I like the use of the pencil lead to mark the tight spots, just like inletting a rifle stock. I’ve used that method to fit legs into the foot stool project also.

  3. uumikew on 29 July 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Some people use lamp black but it is a little less exact in application. Here is a video of H&H armorers building a shotgun. check at the 7:25 mark to see what I mean. Can’t wait for episode 5!

  4. gregjkm on 29 July 2015 at 10:34 pm

    When you talk of the wood bruising what should I be looking for? In this video you talk about some shininess in the wood, is that all or is there something more I should look for ?

    • bobeaston on 31 July 2015 at 12:00 am

      My own experience (I’m not Paul) is that the “bruising” Paul mentioned is indeed a shiny surface where fibers are compressed. Nothing more, just shine.

  5. Sandy on 30 July 2015 at 1:31 am

    Great video Paul and crew. I can’t wait to get started on mine…:-)

  6. hgwilliams on 30 July 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Would it make the joint more manageable to taper one side only? Is there some reason not to do this?

    • Ed on 1 August 2015 at 5:00 pm

      I wondered about tapering only one side, too. In fact, if you kept the face on the side next to the delicate short-grained side untapered, I wonder if you could reduce the risk of breaking it during assembly.

  7. bigbrowndog on 31 July 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Love this joint too, the only shame is when it’s together no one will see it!

    Paul J asked about using this joint to attach a guitar neck to the body. Fine guitars should use a dovetail joint to attach neck to body (what I’ve been told) it increases tonality across the whole guitar. Larivee guitars in Canada makes there acoustics this way.

  8. davedev on 31 July 2015 at 10:43 pm

    I have noticed a slight glitch at the very end of this episode similar to that noticed by others at the end of episode 2. The joint appears to be very slightly short the line to fit exactly and rather than have another go Paul appeared to give up and said that he would plane down the top surface instead! Why? Did you run out of time and are now limiting episodes to 30 minutes or is it just that Paul thought he had a fit?

    • Philip Adams on 6 August 2015 at 9:46 am

      I think it is similar to episode 2 in that it didn’t quite seat fully in the video as it needed another tap. It can be hard to show everything clearly on camera and check all the joints are completely flush while in the midst of presenting.

      The planing down was necessary even when the joint was fully seated, so that was a separate issue. If you watch episode 5, I think you will find that it addresses any question of gaps. Hope that answers everything for you.

      • davedev on 7 August 2015 at 10:16 am

        Thanks Phil, but not quite. I still feel the end of the episode was rather rushed as I would have expected Paul at this point to check that the bridle joint is absolutely square, rather than just planing the top edge. When paring the bridle joint down there must be a tendency, if more is taken off one side than the other, for it go slightly out of square. Unless both joints are absolutely square then the two sliding dovetails might not fit when assembled. See my comments on episode 5, as I was waiting to see how Paul would do this, but it didn’t come.

        • Philip Adams on 7 August 2015 at 11:24 am

          Hi David, I talked to Paul about it again and he has replied to the episode 5 comment. Hope that helps.

  9. knightlylad on 2 August 2015 at 12:54 am

    Thank you for the lesson.

  10. Blaine Hill on 24 September 2018 at 1:51 am

    The end of my rail snapped. 🙁 What to do?
    I’m amazed to be the first to confess to this error (surely I’m not the first dufus to do this?).
    I did glue is back and clamp it, on the hope that it will hold.
    FYI, I’m working in Eastern Cedar, because that is the wood I had available.

    • Philip Adams on 24 September 2018 at 5:21 pm

      I’m guessing the split is on the rail from the top of the halving joint section to the end? Gluing and clamping it back on then very carefully fitting it making sure the joint is definitely not tight should work. The one thing you can do if that doesn’t work is to screw through the broken off piece into the main rail from the bottom, as long as you pre-drill to the size of the shank of the screw through the broken off section then recess the heads of the screws. The broken off section may be too wide for this though. Hope that helps and makes sense.

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