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Compound Curved Dovetails, Sapele Dining Chair

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Project by Byron posted 06-02-2012 04:55 PM 3779 views 41 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Sapele Dining Chair is an attempt to approach seating in a different way. To do this I searched for a design that would leave a cantilevered space underneath the back of the seat. As this is a dining chair the main view will be the back of the chair pushed underneath a table, lending itself to this focus.

The material I work with is very important to my design. Wood is a very warm material both visually and tactilely, and has an inherent beauty on its own. This led me to the challenge of making an all wooden seating surface and back support. Another challenge rose up from this, how to connect the back and seat while keeping the negative space in the back. The solution was a technical challenge I had been interested in approaching from the beginning, dovetails along two curved planes. The compound curves make the connection incredibly strong, not even requiring glue to be supportive (they are glued now). I was able to fabricate the entire chair from one piece of wood and match the seat to the back as it grew naturally.

Growing up in an Italian family we would talk during dinner for hours, resulting in the conversation ending or relocating due to family back problems. Comfort is inherently important for a chair, but the notion of good posture and my family’s dinner dilemma stuck in the back of my mind during the shaping process. The seat and back are shaped completely by hand as are the legs and rails. The chair is very comfortable with a strong lumbar and encourages proper posture.

Sapele Dining Chair is finished with many hand rubbed coats of Bartley’s Gel Varnish.

-- Byron Conn, Woodworking/Furniture Design at Rochester Institute of Technology, http://byronconn.com





37 comments so far

View patron's profile

patron

13103 posts in 2030 days


#1 posted 06-02-2012 05:11 PM

very elegant
and exquisite lines

you are truly
a master of your craft

well done

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112323 posts in 2266 days


#2 posted 06-02-2012 05:30 PM

Excellent design Byron and a fantastic build and a beautiful unique chair.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Byron's profile

Byron

92 posts in 1069 days


#3 posted 06-02-2012 05:39 PM

Thank you both, I really appreciate the positive feedback

-- Byron Conn, Woodworking/Furniture Design at Rochester Institute of Technology, http://byronconn.com

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15960 posts in 1555 days


#4 posted 06-02-2012 05:52 PM

Byron, this is an outstanding piece and is simple to the eye yet very elegant at the same time. The back, seat, and legs are so graceful in the side and back views. The whole piece exhibits your skill and imagination. The wood is beautiful and the whole piece invites a person to not only touch it but to also sit in it and enjoy.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View GenerationWW's profile

GenerationWW

521 posts in 938 days


#5 posted 06-02-2012 06:13 PM

Great design and very nice wood character. Great job!

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ www.generationwoodworks.com for free!

View Ryan Haasen's profile

Ryan Haasen

362 posts in 1090 days


#6 posted 06-02-2012 09:00 PM

All I can say is WOW! This is such a nice chair!

-- Ryan

View Daiku's profile

Daiku

199 posts in 1596 days


#7 posted 06-02-2012 09:30 PM

Byron

Beautiful design! The profile of the legs reminds me of the old Chevy Impala insignia.

Looks very inviting,

-- Cal Noguchi

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

180 posts in 907 days


#8 posted 06-02-2012 10:52 PM

Bryon, an elegantly, beautiful chair – both in design and material selection. It remind me of an African impala ready to spring into action at the slightest hint of danger.

How many hours did it take to create? Are you going to make more for a complete set for your dining room? If so, I would love to see the matching/coordinating table.

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View madts's profile

madts

1280 posts in 1029 days


#9 posted 06-02-2012 10:53 PM

A very nice design and build, Sir. I take my hat off for you.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

1768 posts in 992 days


#10 posted 06-03-2012 12:30 AM

Wow! Words fail me!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11237 posts in 1379 days


#11 posted 06-03-2012 01:06 AM

Very innovative design with beautiful wood and amazing joinery. A great job here.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Woodbridge's profile

Woodbridge

2778 posts in 1107 days


#12 posted 06-03-2012 01:38 AM

A stunningly beautiful designed chair. From all angles it looks great.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Grant Libramento's profile

Grant Libramento

173 posts in 1668 days


#13 posted 06-03-2012 02:05 AM

Beautiful lines and careful joinery. This will become a classic chair.

-- Grant, Tryon, NC

View Byron's profile

Byron

92 posts in 1069 days


#14 posted 06-03-2012 03:06 AM

Everyone, thank you for your great feedback. It is an incredible thing to have such positive responses.

-- Byron Conn, Woodworking/Furniture Design at Rochester Institute of Technology, http://byronconn.com

View jeb1974's profile

jeb1974

45 posts in 1227 days


#15 posted 06-03-2012 03:30 AM

That is amazing. So creative.

showing 1 through 15 of 37 comments

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