Side bar: Here is a great link to the story of the tree to the table created by the church’s webmaster. Look for the photo of the tree trunk with the chain saw. I am told that the chain saw has a 48” cut!!! Click here to see the slide show.
After finishing the church’s conference table in mid-December and getting Christmas and New Years behind, I worked with my clients on the design of the chairs. The wood of choice, of course, was the same as the table. Red Oak with Black Walnut accents. There was still vast quantities of oak from the tree. The design was based on a chair plan I found in FWW. With modifications to some of the basic elements, the chairs will complement the tables. The changes were to the back/front and side rails profile to match the lower leg of the table, walnut plug accents, and the Gothic arch theme of the back splat.
The finish was the same as the table – four coats of Minwax Wipe-On poly. No stain.
The challenge of chairs, I guess, is the angles. With the help of lots of jigs and a Wixley digital angle gauge, some of the difficulty is diminished.
I found the FWW article very helpful. I bought the measured drawings and made a few construction modifications. Mainly, the use of loose tenon joints as much as possible. The milling of traditional tenons on some of the parts and loose tenons on others seemed unnecessary and wastes wood.
There are a couple of milling and construction blogs coming about these chairs and also a blog on my newly made loose tenon mortising jig. Keep in touch.
-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.