Vitula Chair

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Project by CJay posted 05-18-2012 03:37 PM 2207 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Another college piece. This time the design is based on the way the strings on a violin come down and across the bridge.

I may have chosen that as i have started what has been a dream for many years and i’m now learning the violin…..I’m truly terrible, cats being fed into a blender bad. But that’s another story.

This is made from laminated constructional veneer walnut for the back and read legs, the front legs are solid walnut, and the plugs are African Blackwood. Under the upholstery (which i messed up and had to be rescued by a very talented upholster (Thanks Greg)) is a plywood core. Into this the legs and back are connected using epoxy and threaded steel bar.

The bridge (the little curvy bit just below the seat) was a complete nightmare. Compound miters on compound curves, a very pretty, if stupid, idea.

Design critiques welcome (personally i think the front legs need to be at a steeper angle)

-- Chris Boreham, Oxfordshire, UK - -

12 comments so far

View fissionchips's profile


99 posts in 2632 days

#1 posted 05-18-2012 05:34 PM

I really enjoy the way the back joins the stretcher, I’d say it was well worth the joinery challenge. The contour of the back lamination is also stunning.

If you were to develop the design further, I see a couple things to try. If the front legs had a small forward bow I think it would be more in keeping with the curve of the piece. Also, though the lack of top rail for the back is striking, it’s one of those visual cues the eye wants to see in order to feel the chair is solid. I’m not sure what would be in keeping with the piece, maybe there’s another idea to be borrowed from the violin.

View oweno's profile


18 posts in 2417 days

#2 posted 05-18-2012 05:35 PM

Great work! I see what you mean about the legs but it does add to the character of the piece. Love the seat back! As a string bass player I really like the string on bridge idea for the seat back connection. must have been way hard to get the joints right though.

View Granddaddy1's profile


182 posts in 2375 days

#3 posted 05-18-2012 06:50 PM

Beautiful work and great design! You’re WAY ahead of where I was at your age. Certainly looks like a prolific and bright future ahead for you.

-- Ron Wilson - maker of fine firewood!

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2712 days

#4 posted 05-18-2012 09:15 PM

That is a nice looking chair.

-- I never finish anyth

View T. D. Reid's profile

T. D. Reid

275 posts in 2518 days

#5 posted 05-19-2012 01:37 AM

Beautiful! But is it comfortable? If it is then it is truly a great piece. What type of grade did you get on this piece? And last question for the night are the dowel pins walnut as well? Cheers

-- Head to the shop its calling you – Todd

View a1Jim's profile


117273 posts in 3751 days

#6 posted 05-19-2012 02:08 AM

Interesting design

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View CJay's profile


133 posts in 3405 days

#7 posted 05-19-2012 04:57 PM

Thanks everyone.

fissionchips: – A bow on the front legs is definitely one to keep in mind. Marc Spagnuolo (the Wood Whisperer) has a series coming featuring straight parts that have been given the look of being curved by removing wood at certain points (so as to leave flat parts for the joinery). This may be the answer.
As for the back, i’m very happy it being topless, it also really helps with the comfort as each piece can flex a little to accommodate different back shapes.

oweno: I did have to make some repairs where the back meets the bridge, it’s construction has now been revised to stop this from being a problem.

Granddaddy1: Thank you. i really hope so, i’m not cut out for office work.

T. D. Reid: It is very comfortable (though i am biased), a friend tried it and described it as one of the most comfortable chairs he’d ever sat in (though being a friend he’s also biased). I didn’t get a very good grade as i’m waaaaaaaay past the deadline (problems with how to construct that needed the advice of the upholsterer meant that i was about 3 months late). No dowels in it, there’s threaded bar but that’s all hidden internally, they darker coloured circles are African Blackwood plugs that cover screws.

-- Chris Boreham, Oxfordshire, UK - -

View Woodbridge's profile


3583 posts in 2591 days

#8 posted 05-19-2012 10:44 PM

Very nice looking chair. the back detail (our first picture) is excellent. I like the front legs.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View David White's profile

David White

120 posts in 3454 days

#9 posted 05-20-2012 09:54 PM

Awesome work – well done!

This is a stunning design with almost a Charles Rennie Mackintosh feel about it – specially when viewed from directly in front. I am with fissionchips though, in thinking that the lack of a top rail makes it feel incomplete. Perhaps you could make some kind of ‘bow’ that would visually join the top while still allowing some movment of the back.


View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3143 days

#10 posted 06-16-2012 11:50 AM

That is a very well executed chair. Pity about your mark.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4153 days

#11 posted 06-16-2012 11:59 AM

Beautiful design and execution.

The most elegant chair I’ve seen for quite some time.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3294 days

#12 posted 01-30-2014 06:06 PM

Stunning. The lack of a top rail adds tension to the viewer but once your eye accepts that the lack of top rail is intended and the chair is complete makes the piece. Great job

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

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