Hi. I am getting the fever to try and build a couple of chairs. I've never
done this before, but I have done other small woodworking projects, am
pretty handy, and have most of the tools I need (I think). I am looking to
build an Arts & Crafts type chair, and came upon this website. Have any of
you used this as a resource, or have any comments? Are there any other
sites that might be better?
Thanks for any comments,
I'm in the process of making a set of the chairs based loosely on the
Popular Mechanics article you saw. I used the plans for basic
dimensions and construction protocol- type of joints, order of
assembly, etc. I modified the back slat design, choosing to use three
horizontal back slats, each about 3" tall x 3/4" thick and loose tenon
joints. I don't have a bandsaw either, just a table saw, although I do
have a thickness planer and a joiner. To bend the backslats I resawed
white oak on the table saw into 3/8" x 3 1/4" strips about 2" longer
than the finished dimensions. I then put them through the thickness
planer until they were 1/4" thick each. I then built a jig out of MDF
to use to bend them to the proper curve. I laminated the boards, stuck
them in the jig, clamped it up and let them dry overnight, then I ran
them across the joiner to get one true edge and then cut the other
edge on my table saw. In assembling the chair I used a loose tenon
joint where the backslats join the back legs. I've just about
completed the first chair, except for the padded seat, and I can tell
you it took many, many hours to complete it. Chairs are challenging.
Good luck on your project.
Thanks Dale. I guess there's more than one way to skin a cat. You know the
saying, "measure twice, cut once?" Well, I'm "thinking twice, acting once"
before I really decide to jump into this. After all, nobody wants just one
The following is in no way meant as derogatory ... just something else to
I'am a bit of a contrarian when it comes to that type of magazine chair plan
... while they do encourage folks to more advanced projects, they seem to be
published more to sell magazines than to be a well designed chairs.
It's a very basic chair design ... notice that the legs are perpendicular to
the ground in all planes, which means your joinery will be straight forward
with no angled mortise and tenons. Chairs of a more advanced, and pleasing,
design generally have both the front and back legs splayed out a few
degrees, often in two planes, which makes for skill and patience that few
other projects call up ... but it also makes for a better looking design,
and a more stable, comfortable chair.
What I would be afraid of in your case is that when your eye gets used to
paying attention to chair design, you may find that style pretty clunky
looking ... IOW, you may want to rethink making more than one of those for
practice, for odds are it will look very amateurish to you after you have
gained some experience.
Granted, you must start somewhere, so in lieu of that chair, I would
consider making a nice A&C style Hall Bench first, perhaps based closely on
that design. Besides practice, it will give you a basic understanding of
chair/seating structure and construction, and a hall bench will look just
fine without a curved back and splayed legs.
Once you get that done you will have hopefully learned a bit more about
chairs, have a nice piece of furniture, and gathered the tools and jigs
necessary to make some better designed chairs.
Nope ... those sentiments, as misguided as they are, are all yours.
It is doubtful that any of the above would want to be associated with those
particular chair plans. If you take a good look at a real Stickley chair,
and know just a little something about chair construction, the differences
will be apparent.
That's odd. Stickley, Morris, and Wright all transgress against the
precepts which you seem to hold essential to the design of a chair which is
not tasteless and amateurish. So are you retracting "Chairs of a more
advanced, and pleasing, design generally have both the front and back legs
splayed out a few degrees, often in two planes, which makes for skill and
patience that few other projects call up ... but it also makes for a better
looking design, and a more stable, comfortable chair"?
I doubt that any of them would have wanted to be associated with each
others' plans. Genius is often like that. What of it?
Care to answer the question? What _would_ you do with the furniture if
someone gave you the Kaufman house? While you're about it, since you're so
certain that the chair in question is different in some fundamental way
other than the name of the designer from those designed by Stickley,
Morris, and Wright, would you care to share your enlightenment with the
rest of us who have not been blessed with your education? Further, if the
features which you described earlier and which all of those designers have
found superfluous are in fact not necessary then why did you mention them?
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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