First of all, As I write this, the chair is done and being picked up this weekend. Second, here is a shot of the arms in the forms as promised.
As you can see, it’s pretty simple. It takes some work to get them bent and some trial and error to get the bend just right. There is some spring back and it’s a guess as to how much. It took a few tries for me to get it right and now I feel the are just right. I didn’t get any more shots of the work so i will have to describe it without any images. Sorry bout that. While the arms sit in the forms, I start on the legs. They are 2 1/4″ square. I try to cut them all out of the same piece and this time was able to get them all out of a 25″ long piece. Square them up, sand them and cut the tenons at the top. The back legs are angled to accommodate the bend in the arms. I put facets on the top of the tenons. It’s little details like this that make the difference. The rest of the chair is as simple as it looks. It’s just a matter of getting the design you like and figuring out the dimensions. I’m not going to give you the dimensions for my chair. You have to figure out your own details. E-mail me if you have any questions. I am happy to share. As for the back. You can’t see it, but there are five slats across that hold the back cushion. They are curved also. I don’t steam these. I cut them out of 8/4 pieces. You have to cut the tenons on them before you cut them out. It’s a lot easier that way. You could cut them out first, but it’s a lot harder that way. Glue them up and pin the tenons and you’re done. The way the back attaches to the chair is with pins. They are made out of cherry dowels. This allows the back to pivot. At the back of the arms are four holes for pins to hold the back at set angles. This adds a built in recline feature which adds a lot of comfort to the chair. Probably the hardest part of the whole process is putting on the arms. You have to cut four mortises that align with the tenons at the top of the arms. The way I do it, is mark them out carefully and drill them on the drill press. Then I use my hand held jig saw to cut the square. I fine tune the fit with sharp chisels. It takes a while and is a little fussy, but if you take your time, you’ll get the fit just right. Don’t try to get them too tight, or the arms can split with seasonal movement.
Now I realize this is greatly compressed and i didn’t get enough pictures to show all the steps. I hope I inspired some of you to give it a try anyway. If you break it down into steps, it’s really not that difficult. By the way, here’s a shot of the finished chair.
Like I said, feel free to comment with your questions. I’ll help as much as i can.
Next time I’ll have info on my newest project. I am finally building the new work bench that’s been in my head for years. It’s coming out good.