Scoop a Chair Seat on the Table Saw with Mario Rodriguez

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 3.24.16 PMMario Rodriguez of the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop has an article in our August 2013 issue (which mails to print and digital subscribers later this week, and is on newsstands June 25) that shows you how to build a clever table saw jig he uses to carve chair seats for his contemporary chairs; it’s a jig he first encountered two decades ago in a book by Robert Marquis, “Making the Classic Windsor Chair.”

While Mario is an accomplished maker of traditional Windsor chairs (on which he uses scorps, inshaves and other traditional tools for saddling the seat), lately he’s been interested in mid-century modern design, and he’s adapted 20th-century tooling to match the style – including this jig that (along with the table saw of course) quickly turns a seat blank into an evenly scooped chair seat that looks great for contemporary chair designs.

In the video below, Mario tells you a little about his chair and seat designs, introduces the jig (at about the 4-minute mark) then shows you how to use it. Note that in the article, he recommends that at the end of a full pass over the table saw blade, you stop the saw, raise the blade for the second pass, then start over from the beginning. With a little practice, however, you’ll be able to move the jig and workpiece over the blade in both directions, as Mario demonstrates after the initial passes.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

• Get free plans for a Morris chair that’s a replica (by Christopher Schwarz) of one built in the Shop of the Crafters, a Cincinnati company from the heydey of the Arts & Crafts movement.

Don Weber’s “Irish Chair” plans are in our June 2012 issue.

• Build a Sam Maloof-inspired rocking chair with these patterns, plans, pictures and personal instruction from Charles Brock.

6 thoughts on “Scoop a Chair Seat on the Table Saw with Mario Rodriguez

  1. cnc jim

    I have read the article in popular Woodworking. the only problem I have is where to locate the 1/4 inch holes on the bridge ( that is how far form the apex of the saw blade or far from the front or rear of the bridge ? )

  2. moshel

    That is a wonderful jig and it came at just the right time. I wonder…. if you superglue temporary 1/4″ or 1/8″ spacers at the front of the scooped side of the seat, it should make the scoop deeper at the back, right?

COMMENT