Step 10: Trace the Arm Curve

marking the curves for the armrests of a Westport chair
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Each arm has a curved cutout along its inner edge to provide a generous seating area. To draw the curve, start by driving two screws partway into an arm blank, about ¼ inch from the edge: Place one screw 2¾ inches from the rear end and the other 12 inches from the front end. Find the center point between the screws, measure in 2 inches, and make a mark. Press a thin wood strip against the two screws, bending it until it meets the 2-inch mark. Hold it in place as you trace a line along the strip's outer edge, as shown.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Sliding compound miter saw to crosscut the boards to length
    • adjustable clamp
      Clamps to hold the parts together during assembly
    • circular saw
      Circular saw to cut the parts to width
    • framing square
      Framing square and combination square for marking cutlines
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw to cut notches and curves
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • hand plane
      Hand plane to straighten board edges
    • sandpaper
      120-grit sandpaper
    • sanding block
      Sanding block
    • pencil compass
      Compass
    • torpedo level
      Torpedo level
    • 3-inch wide paint brush
      3-inch paintbrush to apply teak oil

    Shopping List

    ½ x 10 cedar boards.
    Get four 8-foot lengths

    1 -inch stainless-steel trim-head screws

    Teak oil to finish the chair