I have always admired wegners furniture. Especially his chairs. They are so “final” designs. Nothing to improve, nothing to remove. Just right.
For a long time a have known that one day i wanted to build something in his style. But as simple they look his furniture is nothing but simple to make. And i felt that i needed a certain level of skill to give it a try. The past two years i have built a lot of projects and tried to raise the difficult level a little each time.
Last week i went to see this exhibion on Wegners designs and his chairs especially. Wow. A must-see if you like mid-century Danish!
Walked away filled by inspiration and decided that now was the time to go to work. Need two side chais for my small apartment and thought that would be a good place to start.
First some research: What have others built like that? Found Derek Cohen´s site where he desciribes in great detail (scroll down, 19 posts so far) his attempts to build a copy of “The Chair” with handtools only. A huge undertaking. And a bit strange considering that this chair is specifically designed to make heavy use of shapers to do both the complex roundings and the special finger joints that hold the back together. Well worth a read none the less!
Now, in my opinion, just copying a design is cheating a little bit. And as much i like Wegner his things are 40-70 years old. So i am looking for a design that is in his style and also looks forward to our time. And i want it to be some of MY design as well.
During a sarch i stumbled on South African designer John Vogel who did this chair:
Now that is something! Classic, Wegner’esque and yet new. There are some parts that does not work so well but overall i like it a lot. That will do as a guideline.
On to the drawing table and do some sketches:
One part that ill change is the seat. The thin strings is too busy for my taste and i have long wanted to experiment with using those flat plastic strips that come wrapped around pallets and crates for mailing. Dont know the name but fund it locally and bought the smallest amount possible, 1km(!):
The Vogel chair has legs that splay out about 5 degrees. I like that feature but find this it is perhaps a littel too much.
It is time to do a first mockup/test. Decided to go quick’n dirty and do a stool with splayed legs at 4 degrees and a test on the seat with the plastic strips.
Went to the lumber yard and bought their best qality pine and milled up some boards. The final chair will have round legs- this is just to test the angles:
Lacking a drill press, in order to get the angles right, i devised this contraption out of scraps, a drawer guide and strips. Looks like a new type of Nerf Gun but works like a charm:
Think i need to make a depth stop. Other than that is fine:
And late yesterday evening it wast time for a glue up:
And suddenly the sky looked like this. Love having an outside shop in the summer!
This morning i spent a lot of time experimenting on the seat. Forgot to take pictures – sorry. Ended up with a simle weaved pattern that is weaved on the underside as well:
The plastic straps come withe these clips that i think suits perfect. Industrial, simple – and if the seat get loose you just thighten it up:
I was a bit worried that placing the two dowels that hold the seat at different levels would create a weak spot in the corners where the straps meet. So far it looks fine but time will tell:
Overall i am quite satisfied. 4 degrees is perhaps i little bit too much angle on the legs:
Thought this would be just a throw-away but ended up liking it and took the time to sand it down and apply a soap finish that i tested in this blog and used on my shop stool #2.
Next will be another test with round legs and trying to find the shape for the back rest.
Let me know what you guys think so far- comments on style, method etc are more that welcome!
-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda