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Charles Rohlfs Carved Walnut Tall Back Chair

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Project by Woodbridge posted 676 days ago 2026 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After I finished building the Maloof style rocker I moved on to next project on my list: reproducing Charles Rohlfs Tall Back Cahir. Rohlfs Tall Back Chair is my absolute favorite chair. I love the carved back on this chair and the biggest challenge for me was to try to reproduce the back.

This is the third Rohlfs chair that I have attempted to reproduce, the first being Rohlfs Rocking Chair and the second his iconic 1898 desk chair.

Before going further, I want to thank Dr. Karl Kusserow, Curator of American Art at the
Princeton University Art Museum for the information and pictures he provided me on Rohlfs Tall Back chair. They were very useful in developing the plans for this chair. I also had an opportunity to visit the Princeton University Art Museum on a recent trip to New York and see Rohlfs tall back chair first hand. I spent about an hour looking at the chair, taking photos and videos of it from as many angles as possible.

As with Rohlfs desk chair, I was surprised at how light the chair structure is and how fine the carving is. The thickness of the wood is less than ¾ inch. The carving is quite intricate and delicate looking.

I had a 2×8× 60 inch piece of walnut left over from my Malolof rocker build and various other small pieces of walnut. I resawed the 2 inch thick piece into two boards which I book matched to form the back. The grain pattern of the book matched walnut matches the shape of the back quite nicely.

I spent a considerable amount of time piecing together the other small walnut pieces I had left over make up the boards needed for the other parts of the chair. Each side is made from four pieces, which in turn were each glued up from smaller walnut boards.

Structurally, the chair is actually quite simple , only five parts and some braces. The main feature and challenge is the carved back. I’m still learning to carve so this was my biggest challenge. It took several days for me to carve the back.

A friend who is a professional upholsterer is going to make me an upholstered leather seat. The seat in the pictures is “faux” (a fancy French way of saying vinyl) crocodile.

The chair is 54” high, 17.5 inches wide and 18.5 inches deep. It is finished with Tung oil and wax.

My” “blog has more details on the construction of this chair.

Fellow LJer, Mark DeCou, spotted a man wearing sunglasses in the carving. Can you find him?

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario





9 comments so far

View ErikF's profile

ErikF

315 posts in 842 days


#1 posted 676 days ago

Wow! Beautifully executed.

-- Power to the people.

View Puupaja's profile

Puupaja

308 posts in 1699 days


#2 posted 676 days ago

It is really beutiful chair and also your handicraft is masterful!

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Puupaja/357028681017482

View Lidiya Blaznina's profile

Lidiya Blaznina

845 posts in 1137 days


#3 posted 676 days ago

Congratulation Peter !!! Very interesting project.

-- Lidiya,Russia.http://www.reznoe.ru/

View ruddy's profile

ruddy

392 posts in 1537 days


#4 posted 676 days ago

Superb…....Simply beautiful.

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2190 posts in 1614 days


#5 posted 676 days ago

your skills are remarkable..

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

463 posts in 774 days


#6 posted 676 days ago

You my friend are a true craftsman, artist. Proud of you and your work, it will live on in years long after you are gone.

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina (tom@thcww.com)

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

1745 posts in 789 days


#7 posted 676 days ago

Beautiful craftsmanship, beautiful chair.
Thanks for showing.

-- "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 Philip's profile

Philip

1076 posts in 1137 days


#8 posted 673 days ago

Fantastic. Well done.

-- If you can dream it, I can do it!

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

502 posts in 246 days


#9 posted 243 days ago

My god, your skill is beyond my comprehension.

-- I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.

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