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Strong but light, our rolling chaise is for serious lounging.

Lean, spare good looks and lightweight practicality characterize this garden chaise, and its easy mobility and adjustable back will satisfy even the most dedicated lounger.

Redwood, copper plumbing parts, and even clothes dryer pulley wheels give the rolling chair its lightness of line, but the secret of its strength is the L-shaped aluminum channels hidden in the bottom of the seat rails.

To build one will cost you $125 to $150, not including a store-bought pad or one you make (see page 174). It will take at least a long weekend to build.

Cut rails and slats. From the 10-foot 2 by 2, cut two 59-inch seat rails. From the 6-foot 2 by 2, cut two 25-1/2-inch back rails. Cut all the 1 by 3's into 25-1/2-inch lenghts; you'll end up with 6 pieces of 1-by-3 scrap to use as spacers during construction.

Drill and cut axle supports and legs. Cut the 2 by 4 into two 7-1/2-inch pieces for the rear axle supports and two 11-1/2-inch pieces for the front legs. Drill and saw axle support pieces as diagrammed at right and explained in the caption.

For the legs, set dado blades to make a 3/4-inch-wide cut. Adjust blades to cut 1-1/8 inches deep (test the depth on a piece of scrap wood).

Measure in 1-1/2 inches from one end of each leg. With the wider side flat on the saw table, cut the wood from the notch back to the end so that you've formed a 1-1/8- by 1-1/2-inch notch. Mark and cut leg tapers as in the diagram.

Groove rails and slats. Replace the dado blades at 3/4-inch setting, and set them so they'll make a 3/4-inch-deep cut. Set the fence 3/8 inch from the edge of the blades and run a piece of scrap 2 by 2 through to test the depth and to make sure the cut is centered. Run the 25-1/2-inch 2 by 2's through completely. Next, run through the 59-inch 2 by 2's, but stop the groove cuts 6 inches short of one end (this will be the back end).

You'll see where the cut stops on a radialarm saw; on a table saw, make a mark on the table where the arc of the blade first rises out of the table, then stop the groove cuts 6 inches from there.

To make stop grooves in four of the back slats (to accept the copper tubing assembly), set the blades so they make a 3/8-inch-deep cut and set the fence 7/8 inch from the edge of the blades. Run a test board for depth and centering, then run four 1 by 3's through this setup.

Make the recess for the aluminum L. Set the blades at 1/8 inch deep, reset the fence to 3/8 inch from the edge of the blades, test for centering, and run the 59-inch 2-by-2 seat rails through, starting and stopping the cuts 1-1/2 inches in from each end (see step 2). Cut one rail with the slat groove facing the fence, the other with the slat groove facing away.

Replace the dado blade with your regular saw blade; set its depth for 7/8 inch; with the fence still 3/8 inch from the blade, repeat the cuts you just made, starting and ending 1-1/2 inches in from each end. For each cut, the slat groove will face away from the fence, so the recess will go behind the groove (see step 3).

Assemble the seat. Lay the 59-inch seat rails out with the recess for the aluminum Ls facing up and the slat grooves facing each other. Slide a 1-by-3 slat into the grooves, flush to the front edge; square it up and fasten it from the bottom with four 1-1/4-inch #10 brass woodscrews. To keep the wood from splitting, be sure to use a screw pilot.

Put 15 more of the slats in these facing grooves, using 1-by-3 scraps as spacers to form 3/4-inch gaps. Starting with the second slat, nail slats in place using bronze boat nails (predrill to prevent the wood from splitting). Use four nails per slat and nail inside the recess for the aluminum L; the L will cover the nail heads.

Cut the aluminum L to make two 53-inch pieces, then set each piece in its recess so that its front edge is even with the front edge of the second seat slat. To secure the L, predrill five evenly spaced points centered on slats with a 13/64-inch twist drill, use a countersink bit to finish the hole, and set five brass screws.

Assemble the back. The four grooved 1 by 3's become the second through fifth slats from the top of the back. Line up the first five ad described above for seat assembly; then mark and cut notches in the back rails (see steps 4, 5, and 6). Assemble the eight-slat back the same as the base, with the top slat screwed and the other seven nailed (step 7). Recess nails on the bottom two slats 1/8 inch, where the recess for the hinge will be; keep the bottom nails in the bottom slat at least 3/4 inch in from the end, to avoid the hinge miter.

Attach the two hinges. Take each hinge in your hands, open it up as far as it will go, and gently bend it back slightly on itself. This will make the two tongues lie flat against each other when the hinge is closed.

At this point, paint the hinges and the pulley wheels, if you like.

Along the tops of the seat rails, measure back 47 inches from the front edge; draw a line across each rail at this point. Set the barrel of each closed hinge on the line, the tongues pointing toward the back, with the flat side of the hinge down and the round bump of the barrel facing up (see step 8).

Trace the outline of the hinge on the seat rail with a sharp pencil, then cut out the inside of the tracing so the hinge fits flush to this surface. To do this, use a router or score the outline with a utility knife and chisel out inside it.

Cut the corner off the lower edge of the back rail, where the hinge will be attached, to create a space for the barrel (see step 8). Trace the hinge outline on the back rail and cut out the recess.

Drill pilot holes, then attach the hinges with the brass screws. Depending on the position of the holes in the hinge, there may be places where a screw will be in the gap between slats. Simply leave these out.

Build your "plumbing." With a hacksaw, cut the 1/2-inch copper pipe to the following measurements:

One 24-7/8-inch piece (for the front leg brace); two 21-3/4-inch pieces (for the axle sleeve and top of the back support); two 15-1/4-inch pieces (for the sides of the back support); two 2-1/8-inch pieces (for the ends of the axle sleeves); two 7/8-inch pieces (for the joint from the top corners of the back support to the caps); two 15-1/2-inch pieces (for the back support guides); and four 1-1/4-inch pieces (for the spacers for the back support guides).

Assemble the parts as you see them in steps 9, 10, and 11; make sure you put them together correctly first before you epoxy the joints or, if you have the talent, solder them. Once the parts are assembled, clean them with a wire brush and steel wool. Before you glue the bronze couplings onto the front leg brace, check the fit between the two legs.

The final steps. Turn the chaise upside-down, slide the axle supports onto the axle extensions on the back support assembly, then glue axle supports in position on the rails so that the top bar of the back support is 1 inch from the end of the back rail (the axle supports will be about 3/4 inch in from the ends of the bottom rails).

With an 11/64-inch bit, drill through the centers of the screw recesses in the axle supports (step 1) until you feel the bit just go through the aluminum L. St 2-inch #10 woodscrews tight to the bottom of the holes.

Set the guide bars 1-1/4 inches in from the rail edges with the 3/4-inch #6 brass screws. Be sure the guide bar couplings all face toward the axle. Guide bars should be 1/8 inch down from the top back slat.

Set the 1/2-inch steel axle all the way through one wheel hub so it's flush with the outside of the hub, put a washer on the axle, then slide it through the axle sleeve. Put on the other washer and wheel, then mark the axle for cutting. Slide the wheel off and cut the axle with a hacksaw. Then slide the wheel back on; tighten set screws on the hubs with an Allen wrench.

Cut the V-belts at a 45[deg.] angle and stretch one around each wheel. Mark where the belt ends will butt flush against each other, then make the final cut in each belt. Cement and clamp the belt ends to each other and to the wheel with rubber adhesive or contact cement.

Glue the front legs even with the front of the second seat slat and set five 1-1/4-inch #10 screws in from the side of each leg (see photograph, page 120). Begin the bottom three screw holes with an 11/64-inch bit to get through the aluminum, then finish with the screw pilot. Set the copper front leg brace 5-1/2 inches up from the ground. (The screw holes in the bronze couplings face up.)

We used a clear exterior wood preservative on our chaises, but you can finish the wood to suit your own taste.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jun 1, 1984
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