I’m Mike McCrory and this is Wood U Make It. I made this glider 20 years ago in preparation
for the birth of my daughter. I’ve got this “M” scrolled into it.
It has two meanings: M for McCrory and M for Mommy. Well, this bench has not weathered that well, partly because I haven’t taken great care of it. My daughter’s birthday is tomorrow, so it’s
time to rebuild it. So, let’s get started! [theme song playing] The first time I made this glider, I used
plans from a woodworking magazine. I’m pretty sure it was Wood Magazine from 20+ years ago. I know I still have that issue kicking around the house somewhere, but I can’t find it for the life of me. So, I have two options: 1) I can purchase plans off the Internet for around $20 or 2) because I already have the glider, I can reverse engineer it by measuring it and figuring out how to reassemble it. So, last night, I took all the measurements and now I’m going to mill the wood using a jointer and a planer. Then I’ll begin cutting to width and length. This is 4/4 Spanish Cedar that I’m cutting with a circular saw — just cutting it to rough length. And then running it through the jointer on
one of the faces and one of the edges. There were a lot of pieces to keep track of. So, I had them all organized along the garage wall. I’ve labeled them A through U. Some of the pieces were labeled in groups, so these are the back slats and they all had one letter associated with them. Now I’m running the material through the planer to get a uniform thickness. So, I have the bottom off and I’m going to start with this.
I have all the pieces cut to rough length. Everything that I’ve cut is a little bit thicker than the standard dimensional 1 1/2″ thick pieces of wood. I figured, since I’ve got it, instead of shaving it off into sawdust, I may as well make use
of it and make this a little bit “beefier”. I mean, this is strong enough, but why not?
I was fortunate with the bearings. I had this piece of metal fabricated in a
metal shop. And then the bearings, I didn’t know where
to get those. This was back in the days before Google and
Amazon, and with my 1200 baud modem it wasn’t that easy to search for things.
But I was fortunate because there was a bearing manufacturing company just a few blocks from my house in Toronto. So, I just went there. It wasn’t a retail shop, I learned after the fact. I met with somebody and explained what I needed
and he was really nice. He just went back to his office, got me four sample bearings
and handed them to me, and I was free to go. So, thank you to Kilian Manufacturing in Toronto
— in Etobicoke, actually — That really made it easy for me to put this together. I have all the pieces cut for the base. For the bottom piece, I’ve run it through
the band saw to round some of the corners. Now, for these pieces, I have to run them
through the table saw with a dado set to cut some half lap joints.
I’ve done a test cut for depth and this is nice and smooth.
So, I’ll just run them through now. [sound of the table saw] So, the pieces are all cut. I’ve cut the half lap joints.
I’ve also cut some dados down the center of these pieces.
So, it’s ready to glue up and assemble. The half lap joint helped to make sure that
everything was aligned and square, so I really didn’t have to do a lot of checking. And then I screwed it together with some deck screws. The last step was to screw the end pieces
onto the base. Here’s the original base. And the new base. And now I’m cutting the slats for the seats. And now the slats for the back. I used the chop saw to cut each of the seat slats to the proper length. Now it’s time to do a test fit. I’m getting ready to cut the dados for the seat supports. I want to make sure that everything is lined up. The ends are easy because I can just measure from the end.
For the one in the middle, I want to make sure that it’s perfectly aligned, so I’ve
clamped the two pieces together and then I’m going to use the actual piece of wood to mark
the thickness. Then I’ll cut the dado just a little bit shy
of those lines and then fine tune it and make a really nice, tight fit.
I’m going to keep the two pieces clamped together and I’m also going to clamp the two pieces to the miter gauge. That way, everything will stay in position
and perfectly aligned. Now I’ll just trace the edge of the piece
that I took off the existing glider, and then I’ll cut it out on the band saw. [sound of the band saw] I began this project on Saturday afternoon.
I worked most of the day on Saturday, Sunday, and then every evening this week.
Now it’s Friday evening and I’ve got the base assembled and I’ve got all the pieces cut.
There were quite a few pieces to cut. The base has 11 pieces, each side including the
arm rest has 10 pieces, so that’s another 20 pieces total, and the seat and the back
have another 36 pieces. So, all together, that’s 68 pieces that I
had to mill and cut — and to keep track of — that’s the hard part.
I’m ready to assemble now. Another thing I did last night is I applied
a coat of finish to several pieces — not all of them — but to the ones that are going
to be harder to access after it’s all assembled. So, I thought it was worthwhile to put a coat
on early. The first time I made this glider I used yellow
zinc screws that held up for 20 years in the weather and when I unscrewed the glider they
came out pretty well. Some of them were stuck in and I had to snap
them off, but they were pretty good. For this glider, I’m going to use a newer
screw that I don’t think existed back then. In fact, I haven’t seen these until this year, so I think they’re relatively new. These are Deckmate screws and they have a specially designed head that helps to make sure that you don’t sink them in too far.
I’m going to screw them in just flush to the surface. That was one of the problems that
I had with my first glider. They were a little bit uneven. Some were sunk too deep; some
were just flush. It looked OK, but I think this is going to do a better job.
I also want to make sure that the sides are flat, so I’m going to clamp the piece to the
table saw before I screw in the other pieces. And then the remaining two pieces, I’m going to space them just 3/4″ away from the center piece. I’ll just use a piece of 3/4″ melamine to make it convenient to space them. Now I’m assembling the supports for the seat slats. I used little corner squares to make sure everything was lined up and square.
Just checking every corner. And then I’m rounding over the top of the
seat slats using a 1/4″ roundover bit. And the same with the back slats. I’m rounding
over the front face of the back slats. Now I’m doing a test fit and positioning each
of the pieces for the back slats. Then I’ll use a pencil to trace out the pattern
on the back side of the back slats And then I can take this over to the band
saw and cut them out. And then rounding over the front face of the
back slats using the same 1/4″ roundover bit. Now I’m positioning the seat slats onto the
seat supports and I’ve created some spacers so that everything is evenly spaced.
And I’m taking advantage of the fact that it’s not assembled yet to put a first coat
of finish — especially between the slats, that’s the part that’s hard to get once it’s
assembled. And the same with the seat support. It will
be hard to get finish in there once the seat slats are attached. I made the letter “M” on the computer and printed it out. Now I’m taping it to the center back slat. And then I have a pounce wheel set. It’s something
that I’ve had for a long time that is useful for tracing out the pattern.
It’s a little serrated wheel that creates little indentations in the wood as you trace
it out through the paper. You can probably do this with carbon paper
as well, but this is the method that I usually use. And then I trace it out with pencil just to make it easier to see when I’m using the scroll saw. And then I cut it out with the scroll saw.
It’s pretty easy to do, you just need to be careful and proceed slowly. So the seat portion is done. The next thing I need to do is start putting
the back together. I’m going to work on this MDF panel.
The nice thing about using this panel is that it’s 48″ wide and that’s the same width as
the glider. It’s convenient because I can position the
end pieces right against the edges of the MDF and then I’ve made some spacers.
The space between the back slats is different than the spacing between the spacing between
the seat slats. These are just a little bit more than 1/2″,
so I’ll insert these and get everything roughly set up, and then I’ll fine tune it.
Now with everything lined up, I just need to place this strip near the top.
It doesn’t really matter where, but I want to make it as close to the top as I can because
there’s going to be another support toward the arm rest. I’ve got the arm rest clamped in place. As I was clamping it up, I decided to make
a small change in the design. What I did is I put a notch in the arm rest
and that way the back puts a little bit less stress on the joint.
In the old glider, the back was supported only by the joint that attached to the arm
rest at the back. If that ever gave way, the whole back would
fall off. This way, with the notch, it provides a little
bit of safety and a little bit of extra support. With the arm rest clamped in place, I can
lift the back out. I used glue and screws on this back support
to make sure that it’s well attached to the arm rest. And then rounded the corners of the arm rests. I cut them out with the jig saw and then rounded them over with the router. Now we’re at the final stage of the assembly. This is where we have to attach the seat to
the base. And we’ll do that using the glider arms. These
are the ones that I’m reusing from the previous glider, but if you want to purchase these
they are available from Amazon, as well as other places, I’m sure.
The bolts just screw directly into the bearing. This first part is easy, getting the arms
attached to the seat. The more difficult part is when you try to
attach it to the base because now you’ve got a very tight fit.
Everything has to fit very well. Well, that’s it. The glider is all assembled
and gliding smoothly. And it’s looking pretty nice. So, would you make it? [theme song playing]