Rodel chair build. #9: Upholstery and complete.

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Blog entry by Mark posted 07-13-2014 02:10 PM 1698 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Corner brackets and dowels. Part 9 of Rodel chair build. series no next part

Well. They’re done. Damn! What a project. I borrowed a pneumatic staple gun from a good friend. I checked around the Youtube vids for instructions and found a whole bunch of stuff. I went to several different suppliers for materials and bought enough foam and Dacron to do 1 seat pan. I tried a seat using a piece of Naugahyde . All things said and done it turned out ok….but. The leather I had chosen was $625 / hide. The upholsterer I was to get it from said I might get away with 1 hide. And I’m sad to say I wimped out. I sent all the seat pans to the upholstery lady as well as the 2 stools I made earlier to be recovered. I feel shame. But they’ve just came back….Damn they look good!

I had picked up a box of 1/4/ 20 X 1 ¾ pan head screws to secure the seat to the chair. If I was to do it again I’d probably go with 10/32 screws.

I left 1/8” gap between the plywood seat pan and the side rails. This makes for a very tight fit. While I wanted a snug fit I, an extra 16th per side wouldn’t hurt.

So there they sit. What an excellent project. Very labor intensive, but what a reward. And such a learning curve.
I started the 1st proto type last Nov. It took 57 hrs.
I started the 2nd proto type in March. It took 40 hr.
I started the production style build (the other 6) March 17th and they took 207.5 hr.

I forgot to mention in my blog , when I applied the last 2 coats of Varathane I used a spray can. A spry gun would have been nice but I wasn’t to sure about the set up/over spray/do I thin it, etc. So there it is.

That’s it. All done. If any one out there is sitting on the fence as to weather they should tackle a project like this…All I can say is go for it. Man does that feel great. So now I gotta build a table to go with it. 
Thanks fer lookin’

-- Mark

8 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4086 days

#1 posted 07-13-2014 03:32 PM

Bravo. Well done.
Those look really good.

I have dabbled in chair making, but never past the prototype stage. My hat is off to you for finishing.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View kenn's profile


810 posts in 3924 days

#2 posted 07-13-2014 03:37 PM

Well done, they look great! Sounds like you learned a few things during the build. I’ve enjoyed following your journey. A production run seems to add a few challenges. I wouldn’t think of it as wimping out on the upholstery, it’s more or allowing an expert to help. I notice that many of the “famous” woodworkers we all admire often let the experts finish or upholster their projects. Congrats!

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View Dave T's profile

Dave T

196 posts in 3824 days

#3 posted 07-13-2014 04:30 PM

Great blog, nicely documented. Love the design of these chairs. Really like the walnut accent strip in the legs

View NormG's profile


6283 posts in 3208 days

#4 posted 07-13-2014 06:45 PM

Great looking chairs

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3017 days

#5 posted 07-13-2014 07:38 PM

Nice chairs, they came out great. Next time you are shopping for leather, try Tandy Leather. They have beautiful Torino hides on special right now for $199.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Mark's profile


973 posts in 2178 days

#6 posted 07-14-2014 01:17 AM

Thank you gents for the kind words. P/D I looked at the local Tandy. Not much to choose from and what there was was limited edition max 50 sq ft. This one was 55 sq ft plus reminents from a previous job(from the upholsterer)

-- Mark

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3017 days

#7 posted 07-14-2014 04:55 AM

Well it looks great, I like the color of leather you selected.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3008 days

#8 posted 07-15-2014 12:47 PM

Super beautiful chairs, and upholstery job/s.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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