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The Church Chair

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 07-15-2015 10:47 PM 962 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For those of you who followed my series on designing a chair from a while ago, I finally started production of the chairs that go with that conference room table for my church. This is the first ‘production’ piece of the build. Now I just need to do 7 more.

I’ve made a step by step ‘tutorial’ for this chair here: [link]

Because I can get 1-1/2 chairs from a 1×12x8’ board, it’s best to build them in pairs. ( The second of this pair is 90% complete. I’ll finish it along with the other 6.)

I began by sawing the board in half at 4 feet to make it easier to put through the saw. then I cut it into 3 in. strips. From these I cut the back legs, front legs, sides, front and back. There are also a few cut offs from the rip cuts that give me supports for the seat.

With the legs cut to length, I used my 2-in-1 taper jig to, well, taper the legs. The front legs get a notch cut in them to help support the front of the chair, plus aesthetically, it looks better. (Picture 6 above shows all the parts of the frame laid out.)

The curved back is formed by 3 lengths of plywood via bent lamination. I have to custom fit it to the chair, but it’s not difficult. Because of it being plywood though, I did end up painting the backrest brown because of the sanding involved. It matches well though.

The seat is a flat piece of 1/2 inch plywood. Because I did not curve the seat, I’m including a puffy cushion with each chair.

I haven’t done a Wandel leap onto the chair, but I’m confident it’s sturdy enough. The legs are glued and screwed from the inside and there is no movement in the joints.

I finished the chair with dark cherry stain followed by several coats of spray lacquer.

[EDIT] Here’s a shot of all 8 chairs around the table I built them for. I built the table last year.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!





16 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2375 posts in 1658 days


#1 posted 07-15-2015 11:57 PM

Nice work Dave, these should serve you church for many years to come. Did you have much waste from the 1 X 12s?, with respect to knots, splits, etc. typically encountered with construction lumber.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5061 posts in 2614 days


#2 posted 07-16-2015 12:08 AM

They look good—definitely gonna need those pads!

-- Dean

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1656 days


#3 posted 07-16-2015 12:16 AM

The basic ‘waste’ consists of a strip 2 inches wide, the length of the board, plus all long triangles I cut out for the tapered legs. Some of the 2 inch strip is ripped and used for chair seat supports. Other lengths of the 2 in. strip I’ll paint and use as winter driveway posts for the church parking lot. The triangles I’ve learned can be glued up and used to make other small projects.

When I bought the boards, I looked through for the cleanest I could find. For some reason HD had clearer pine than Lowes. I actually made a chart to help me pick and choose and cut around any small knots I found. The chart assured me that I was getting the right amount of pieces of the correct lengths.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View CharlieK's profile

CharlieK

467 posts in 3260 days


#4 posted 07-16-2015 12:46 AM

Nice job, Dave. A great use of materials, too!

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans http://www.Jack-Bench.com

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8759 posts in 1307 days


#5 posted 07-16-2015 04:22 AM

Had to look up a Wandel leap! Chairs look great, Dave! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

9171 posts in 2335 days


#6 posted 07-16-2015 07:11 AM

I consider chairs most difficult to make and I respect your work. This one looks great.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1656 days


#7 posted 07-16-2015 12:00 PM



Had to look up a Wandel leap! Chairs look great, Dave! Thanks for sharing.

- CFrye

Sometimes I make obscure references. ;-) I’ve added a link to clear thing up for others.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1656 days


#8 posted 07-16-2015 12:03 PM



I consider chairs most difficult to make and I respect your work. This one looks great.

- majuvla

Thanks. I started with a picture on Google images and just had to figure out the dimensions. As chairs go, I’d say this one was very straight forward.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1656 days


#9 posted 07-16-2015 12:24 PM



They look good—definitely gonna need those pads!

- Mean_Dean

Yea, I wish I had either a better solution or a cushion that was closer to the seat shape.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

4881 posts in 2134 days


#10 posted 07-17-2015 04:36 PM

Dave
I agree this is one of the most difficult projects one can build and a chair is hard to design to make it comfortable and sturdy over the long term .

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1656 days


#11 posted 07-20-2015 10:51 AM

Gadzooks! One of our church members saw the first chair I took over to the church. She asked me to make a set of chairs for her. I think that will be my second paid commission.

Today I start production on the remaining five for the church.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8759 posts in 1307 days


#12 posted 07-20-2015 11:14 AM

Cool, Dave! Will you be making any modifications?

-- God bless, Candy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1656 days


#13 posted 07-20-2015 11:59 AM



Cool, Dave! Will you be making any modifications?

- CFrye

If I could figure out a way to make the seat better, I might, but she liked it just as it was with the cushion. I’ll double check about the color too.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1656 days


#14 posted 07-20-2015 05:13 PM

Is there any interest in a blog series for a step by step on how to build this chair? I’m building the last 6 this week and am taking photos as I go.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5061 posts in 2614 days


#15 posted 07-20-2015 08:50 PM



Is there any interest in a blog series for a step by step on how to build this chair? I m building the last 6 this week and am taking photos as I go.

- Dave Rutan

Yeah Dave, would love to see a blog!

-- Dean

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