First Chair: Walnut and Bubinga

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Project by descolada posted 174 days ago 517 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first chair and was built as a proof of concept for a dining set to match my new table. The body is 1.5” thick walnut whose pieces were rough cut to shape on the bandsaw, joined with a festool domino, and then routed to shape off of a poplar template. Everything was finished with watco tung oil finish.

The back is ~5/16” thick bookmatched bubinga, steam bent to shape and then, after a week in the form, glued into the sides of the chair. I was a little worried this wouldn’t be strong enough, but the curves of the sides and back overlap enough to get a nice long side grain glue joint and it held up to my stress tests. The back is nicely curved and has just enough flex to be really comfortable. I’ll probably shoot for closer to 1/2” thick backs for the rest of the chairs.

I’ll make a few tweaks before making the rest of the set, but I’ve got the wood for the next 6 acclimating to my shop.

Hope you like it.


8 comments so far

View Grumpymike's profile


1067 posts in 950 days

#1 posted 174 days ago

Truly a striking chair … Uh, not for striking anyone but visually. I like the lines of this chair and I look forward to seeing the table that will match. Your craftsmanship truly shows through.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Woodbridge's profile


2672 posts in 1052 days

#2 posted 174 days ago

nice looking chair. Its a great shape.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View DMC1903's profile


186 posts in 962 days

#3 posted 174 days ago

Nice chair!
I just finished a table wth the same combination of wood

View mcoyfrog's profile


3057 posts in 2229 days

#4 posted 173 days ago

Love it, i’ve always been afraid to tackle a chair, maybe someday. Yours is exceptional

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View a1Jim's profile


112018 posts in 2212 days

#5 posted 173 days ago

Totally unique a great first chair.

-- Custom furniture

View gsimon's profile


485 posts in 748 days

#6 posted 173 days ago

Some day i’ll get the nerve to build one

-- Greg Simon

View descolada's profile


22 posts in 432 days

#7 posted 168 days ago

Thanks all. I like this wood combo as well (I better after using it for my table). I’m going to try finishing the back for the next one differently to see if I can get the bubinga to finish a little lighter, maybe just shellac or a water-poly.

Chairs are a lot less scary when you’re building one with a cushion rather than wooden seat. I prefer sitting on the cushions anyways.

View Fishinbo's profile


11217 posts in 810 days

#8 posted 166 days ago

Fantastic chair! Attractive wood combo, love the book matched back and the curved legs. Awesome work!

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