Prototype Chair

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Project by mb_BeachBum posted 06-17-2007 12:34 AM 2091 views 4 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally figuered out how to post a project… Built of poplar using Norman Vandal’s book as a guide. This one will be black laquered and used as an office chair. Final set of six to be built of cherry with federal blue as seat covers.

Construction Pics

-- Don, on California's Central Coast

19 comments so far

View miles125's profile


2179 posts in 3097 days

#1 posted 06-17-2007 01:07 AM

That is one smooth looking chair design. They’re gonna look awesome.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 3128 days

#2 posted 06-17-2007 01:19 AM

Now THAT’s a post! Great construction shots. That golden lathe is real eye candy!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View TreeBones's profile


1826 posts in 3115 days

#3 posted 06-17-2007 03:38 AM

I wish I could make chairs like that. Real Nice

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1193 posts in 3090 days

#4 posted 06-17-2007 04:19 AM

Wow, this is what I call FINE WOODWORKING. These are fantastic. The skill, work and dedication to the craft are very apparent here. Thanks very much for posting this, especially all the construction pics. I just ordered the plans and video for a queen anne lowboy dresser from The New Yankee Workshop this morning. This will definitely be the most challenging project I’ve ever started. The posting you completed with this level of detail, will definitely help me out, especially the pics of the legs. Congratulations on a fine achievement.


-- Bob A in NJ

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3088 days

#5 posted 06-17-2007 09:10 AM

Can’t wait to see the whole set in cherry!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View oscorner's profile


4564 posts in 3402 days

#6 posted 06-17-2007 01:08 PM

Super chair and I see that UPS is already there waiting to make the delivery. You must be a quick study…building that from a book. I’m jealous! Those cherry ones are going to be awesome!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3252 days

#7 posted 06-17-2007 01:12 PM

yah—- WOW

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View DocK16's profile


1167 posts in 3178 days

#8 posted 06-17-2007 02:34 PM

Nice joinery, they say that chairs are one of the hardest woodworking projects to master, don’t know I ve never build anything other than Adirondack chairs. Theres alot of work there just for a prototype, looks great though. I’d love to see the finished product.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View Karson's profile


34994 posts in 3492 days

#9 posted 06-17-2007 02:46 PM

Don: great set of construction photos The chair looks great..

i notices in one of the pictures that the apron on the front of the chair was a lot thicker. Did you mill it down after getting the dimentions. and how did you shape the curve on the chair leg after the aprons were in place. Use of a rasp, power snader or ?

Great project.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3338 days

#10 posted 06-17-2007 03:54 PM

Now thats a chair I would love to try to make. It really is beautiful, how many hours do you have into it do you think? Kudos, jockmike, love the cabriole legs.

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

View WayneC's profile


12638 posts in 3189 days

#11 posted 06-17-2007 03:58 PM

Looks like you have a lot we could learn from. Would you please blog the construction of the other six. We would love to watch and learn.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mb_BeachBum's profile


25 posts in 3143 days

#12 posted 06-17-2007 04:50 PM

Thanks for the kind comments. The reason that I posted the project is to show that you CAN make chairs like this! I feel that anyone with the desire and PATIENCE can build a chair, this is my first. There are approximately 40 hours into it, however, that time enabled me to make all the patterns and jigs necessary for future use. As for shaping the top of the legs after glue-up, it’s all done with chisels, rasps, and small planes (pics71). The front apron is thicker in order to achieve the curve. The set of six will have to wait until next spring. My next project will be a Maloof style rocker using Bill Kappel’s free plans, just for fun.

-- Don, on California's Central Coast

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2005 posts in 3497 days

#13 posted 06-20-2007 03:19 PM

wonderful chair. Lots of complicated things to build on this chair, and you sure look to be up to the task!
Good reference on the book, not many would be humble enough to say where they idea and plans came from. Doesn’t take anything away from you, or work.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View PanamaJack's profile


4474 posts in 3169 days

#14 posted 06-20-2007 03:24 PM

Despite being a “L.A.Laker” fan the chairs are looking great Don. (Just kidding)

Can’t wait until we get to see the final product. Keep up the great woodworking art Don.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 3253 days

#15 posted 06-24-2007 07:04 PM

A nice looking chair Don. It looks like you have the gift…

-- Bill, Turlock California,

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