Over the holidays I went to a friend's house for dinner who had some
dining chairs quite similar to these, albeit a little different (did
not have the vertical "slats" between the lower part of the legs, and
the legs rotated / splayed out from top to bottom):
Anyway, I'd been looking to either buy or make new dining chairs for a
while but hadn't liked any I'd seen or sat in until these. Of course
the place where they bought these is no longer in business, so I can't
buy them, but I am interested in making some like them if possible.
The rear legs have a curve to them of about 3.5". What is the
preferred / strongest way to make these? Just get a big ole thick
slab (or glue up) and cut the curved piece out of it? Or is this
something to be done with a steambox (which I don't have and never
The rails across the back between the 2 rear legs are also curved.
Also the vertical slats between the rails are curved. Same question -
can I "get away" with taking a thick piece (or glued up pieces) to
make this curve, or does it require steam bending?
The chair I saw was actually made with what looked like table hardware
underneath the seat. Those corner bracket things diagonally across
the aprons, but with wood instead of metal. Is this an ok way of
I took several pictures of the chair, but don't have the SD card
handy, and will post them if needed.
On 1/6/2010 10:41 AM, email@example.com wrote:
You do NOT want to try steam bending this type of chair leg.
Take a close and careful look at this step by step "chair reproduction"
on my website:
There is a lot information there and the pictures can fill in the gaps.
About the only difference between the two chair designs is the mission
style spindles, which is a piece of cake to do.
If you have any questions, just ask here.
On 1/6/2010 11:02 AM, Swingman wrote:
And, for the hell of it, and for you or anyone else that may benefit,
here are my original CAD "shop drawings" of the project in .pdf format,
including a full size template of the crest rail for placement of the
Shhhhhhh ... I've also got a <gasp> SketchUP 3D model if need be. :)
Wow, excellent page and great looking chairs. I'd love to have the
JDS multi-router but no way I could afford one. I guess I'm
considering building the chair the way the original was: though
frowned on here, I'm sure, the chair I saw actually had pocket screws
connecting the bottom rails to the chair legs. I was disappointed to
see that, but was quite satisfied that the construction is strong.
They regularly support their 300 lb owner!
On 1/6/2010 11:44 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Please don't let that stop you, you don't need one!!
I've built quite a few chairs before I got the MR, and all the joinery
on the prototype on the webpage was done with a plunge router and shop
"Jigs" is where it's at!!
There are a number of "how to" articles on making jigs for chair making
on FWW's site.
There was an article in Wood magazine about 6 months ago (maybe a
little more) that had a great step by step on building a Stickley
style chair. It answered all your questions. This guy used loose
tenons so you could easily do it with a router. Also showed how to
build the mortising jig.
I take issue with loose tenons in chairs unless you pin both side but
that is a different discussion.
The issue has the picture of a craved fan type detail on the front.
The fan is having a glaze applied with a brush and the main article is
about finishing techniques. I just read through this last night. I'll
post the issue date tonight if no one else chimes in before then ...
I think it would really help you he shows how to band saw the back
Those standing on the fence of uncertainty on this issue should also be
aware that a long standing practice (going back centuries)in chair
repair is to replace any broken tenons with loose tenons (obviously with
NO pins, which would likely ruin both original finish, style, and
Many of the these known "repairs" have already lasted over a hundred
The method also has a component of practicality not considered by those
who contend that since all joints will eventually fail, using the very
strongest is always the best practice.
Historical evidence provides ample proof that joinery methods which
readily lend themselves to repair when failure is a certainty are
equally worthy of consideration.
This fact alone should make those of you who are considering using loose
tenons in chair construction, pinned or not, a bit more comfortable with
OK, bad reference. There was a great article with shop drawings in
American Woodworker Aug\Sep this year. Theire website wasn't much help
but it does have some bonus pages from the article that show how to do
a version with arms. Can't find the article online though.
I am currently building 12 chairs based on a design by Kevin Rodel
which was published in an issue of Fine Woodworking a few years ago.
You can see the article and a video on the FWW website. If you are
not a member you can sign up as a guest for 14 days so I think you'd
be able to see everything that I am able to.
I cut the back legs - and all other parts - from solid cherry using a
masonite template and spiral router bit for the shaping. (It hurt to
have all that cherry waste but I am saving it for something!) All of
the curved rails are shaped that way too. I chose not to make the
floating tenons his way and decided to use my Domino for all tenons-
angled floating and straight - which saved a lot of time and material
by not having to allow wood for a true tenon.
The reason for 12 chairs is that there were a few cosmetic defects in
some of the legs (most my fault and some wood defects not noted
before machining (still my fault)) so instead of scrapping the leg
sets I made more rails and other parts and will use the less than
ideal chairs somewhere other than the dining room.
I do not have any pictures of my work to post but you can see what
Kevin has done on FWW or his own site.
Also, my wife and I chose to weave our own fabric for the upholstery
so I am hopeful that will go as well as the woodworking.
Shaping the back legs and the curved rails is easy, just take it slow
and remove most of the waste with a bandsaw.
On Wed, 06 Jan 2010 16:16:27 -0600, the infamous Swingman
Of course it's "per chair", Swingy. Look what prices Phully is
commanding, though they're a bit higher, being Aussie Ducats.
Hmm, his chairs are CHEAP comparatively, but look what he gets for a
TV stand: http://www.nannupfurnituregallery.com.au/MidlineJarrah.htm
Midline TV cabinet, $3,495
table $2,895, but just $335 for Jarrah (or $365, Marri) chairs.
FOUR GRAND for a dining set ain't a bad price for building, wot?
We rightly care about the environment. But our neurotic obsession
with carbon betrays an inability to distinguish between pollution
and the stuff of life itself. --Bret Stephens, WSJ 1/5/10
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