Arts & Crafts Dining Chairs

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Project by Marco Cecala posted 04-22-2009 05:11 PM 4942 views 16 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just finished a set of 6 chairs. They are from a Fine Woodworking article, I also ordered the plans with full size templates to make construction easier. The design is similar to the original Stickley piece, but the back has more detail.

I built the chairs from QS White Oak. After planing, stock was run through the drum sander. After that, a few swipes with a low angle jack plane, then a smoother gave me a surface ready for finish. Curved pieces were cleaned up with a spoke shave to remove band saw marks, then finished with a card scraper. Joints are all mortise and tenon with ebony plugs at the crest rails.

The slats for the back, as well at the rails were stained and sealed with shellac before assembly. I used Rockler’s Arts & Crafts Cherry stain, then sealed it with 3 coats of 2# cut garnet shellac. I applied one coat before assembly, the sprayed 2 coats. After wet sanding with 400 grit, I applied 2 coats of Minwax wipe on poly. Some dining guests may spill wine, and shellac does poorly with alcohol. I then wet sanded with 400 grit, then to red Scotch Brite. The chairs were finished with Renaissance Paste wak applied with 4/0 steel wool.

Construction of the chairs were helped greatly by the use of an STS slot mortiser, review here Now it’s on to the table!

18 comments so far

View michaelray's profile


232 posts in 3449 days

#1 posted 04-22-2009 05:17 PM

I love art and crafts furniture. You’ve done justice to the style and I applaud your patience with the amount of finishing you did. Fantastic job!


View CaptainSkully's profile


1596 posts in 3554 days

#2 posted 04-22-2009 05:18 PM

Magnificent! I can’t wait to build my set after I build Schroeder's table. I finally convinced my girlfriend that our old table is too small. I’m definitely going to look into this plan. Thanks for the great info and detailed photos. What table are you going to build?

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4268 days

#3 posted 04-22-2009 05:30 PM

Great looking chair. I like the dove tails on the stretchers a very nice touch.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3778 days

#4 posted 04-22-2009 06:27 PM

Great job on a classic set of chairs!


View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3593 days

#5 posted 04-22-2009 07:25 PM

I borrowed a copy of these plans from my neighbor, glad to see someone built them. These are next on the house project list. Looks awesome.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4242 days

#6 posted 04-22-2009 08:53 PM

Very nice job. How long did it take you to do six? Wonderful finish.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View jimi's profile


51 posts in 3524 days

#7 posted 04-22-2009 10:10 PM

Awesome work!

-- Jim, SE PA

View Marco Cecala's profile

Marco Cecala

189 posts in 4029 days

#8 posted 04-22-2009 10:55 PM

Thanks for the kind words.

Skully; I will build a butterfly leaf table. Veneer top with inlay on the top and apron. Paul Schurch covered construction and design of on in Fine Woodworking. Online only article.

Mike; I have 200 hours in them. I can reduce that to 150 on the next set. Savings will come from being able to see 3 steps ahead, and gang up on some operations to save resetting machines and jigs.

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1305 posts in 3769 days

#9 posted 04-22-2009 11:38 PM

Awesome chair Marco!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 3444 days

#10 posted 04-23-2009 03:25 AM

great looking chair…very well done

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View pashley's profile


1043 posts in 3713 days

#11 posted 04-24-2009 02:31 AM

Nice job. Looks familiar!

-- Have a blessed day!

View Woodbear's profile


84 posts in 3062 days

#12 posted 02-13-2010 08:57 AM

Great job Marco. I do love the “Arts & Crafts” style. I like the combination of stickley and Greene and Greene. Very nice finish job also. that is the one place I believe I need more patience.

-- The safest place to be is within the will of God. God Bless. Michael

View Marco Cecala's profile

Marco Cecala

189 posts in 4029 days

#13 posted 02-13-2010 04:21 PM

Thanks Woodbear. I think we all have the tendency to feel like the project is finished after the sawdust is done flying.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#14 posted 02-13-2010 05:53 PM

This is a fine looking chair Marco it’s the details that make the difference.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Marco Cecala's profile

Marco Cecala

189 posts in 4029 days

#15 posted 02-14-2010 07:53 AM

Thanks Jim. It seems to get daunting when doing details, then making 6 of them. I’m sure the next batch will go easier.

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