Boring Angles for Chair Leg Mortises

      How to get the correct angle on a chair leg. January 8, 2010

Question
How can I drill the underside of a chair so the spindle legs come out at an angle, making the chair more stable?

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor R:
It depends on if you are going to do a dozen chairs or hundreds. For a few, you need to figure out the angles (usually compound) and you can drill a simple block with a hole the right size through it. It takes some time and setup to get the proper hole angle in the block, but using a decent drill press, it is very doable. Then simply clamp the block to the chair bottom and drill using the angled hole in the block to guide your drill bit.

For hundreds of chairs, there are machines available to do this, but I'm guessing you are not looking in that direction.



From contributor A:
I used to have a chair factory, completely vertical integrated from the dried wood up. We made our own scoop seats, pressed chair backs, bent chair bows, turnings. Didn't make dowels - too cheap to buy them.

We built 120 chairs per day for many years. What we used for leg screws was to lay a drill down at a fairly low angle, and drill a 3/16" hole in each leg. Do this from inside the leg area, harder to do but less visible. Then put an inch and five eighths wood screw in each leg.

That and the glue will hold the legs in just fine. I still have a set of those chairs, going on twenty years and they are still holding up great.



From contributor W:
Get one of the books on Windsor chairmaking or Shaker chairmaking. Or take a class from Brian Boggs or Mike Dunbar or Curtis Buchanan. Adapt their handtool techniques to your drill press. Well made Windsors and Shakers will last a few lifetimes. I use a compound 5 degree/5 degree that gives a very stable chair. However I don't use a plank seat.


From contributor E:
You really must make up a jig with the correct bored hole compound angle. If you don't, your chair is likely to look wonky. I suggest a wooden block about 3 inches thick that could be clamped to the seat of the chair.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Furniture

  • KnowledgeBase: Furniture: General


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article