|Project by djg||posted 04-13-2015 09:56 AM||1645 views||3 times favorited||18 comments|
After sitting at a bar height table for 10 years (don’t know what we were thinking when we bought it!), I decided it was time for a new dining room set. The top is what we locally call red birch. I actually think it is is just the heartwood component of yellow birch. When finished with tung oil and poly it really brings out the red color tones. It almost looks like cherry. The bread board ends are pinned using walnut and a couple of dutchmen highlight some checking in the wood. The trestle is pine, painted in black milk paint and finished with poly.
After reading many books about the daunting task of chair building, I decided I would design and build my own chairs. I really wanted to break a chair down to it’s simplest components. The Welsh/Windsor stick chair seemed to be a good starting point due to it’s simplicity: 4 legs, a seat, no stretchers, and some sort of crest rail with spindles.
Peter Galbert’s blog is a great starting point for geometry. Once you have the geometry of projections figured out, the chair becomes quite simple. I chose the rake and splay of the legs based on how it looked visually on paper. Likewise for the back and the shape of the crest rail. The chair is made from birch. The chair seat is carved using a method described by Mario Rodriguez of the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop. All the back spindles where created using several veritas dowel cutters and a home built trapping plane. The crest was steam bend using some 14% MC birch obtained locally in central Newfoundland. The leg tenons where super dried using a sand bed kiln made from a slow cooker. The legs are glued and wedged to the seat but they are not tapered. I have talked with several windsor chair builders that have moved away from this methodology due to the fact they have never seen joint failure using round tenons. We’ll see what happens.