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I hope that's a strong joint

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Forum topic by johnhutchinson posted 10-08-2014 04:53 PM 1823 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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johnhutchinson

1196 posts in 1094 days


10-08-2014 04:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lounge chair mid-century-modern modernica

I just saw this mid-century-modern chair in the Modernica blog …

http://blog.modernica.net/weekend-los-angeles-modern-auction/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=weekend-los-angeles-modern-auction

To me, the bottom leg joint looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen. I’m now wondering if it ever went into production. I have a Heywood Wakefield lounge chair with a similar joint where the arms meet the legs, but NOT where the legs meet the sleds.

I’m calling it a Dirty Harry (Feelin’ lucky, punk?) joint. Your thoughts?

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"


29 replies so far

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3042 days


#1 posted 10-08-2014 04:58 PM

A very cool design .I really can’t see what kind of joint was used ,but it does take lot’s of stress for sure.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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mahdee

3553 posts in 1232 days


#2 posted 10-08-2014 05:00 PM

Holy crap! Just looking at it makes you want to find an alternative seating area.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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johnhutchinson

1196 posts in 1094 days


#3 posted 10-08-2014 05:17 PM

Jim: I’m betting that dowels were used in the joint … VERY STRONG DOWELS. That seems to be the joinery-of-choice for the period.

mrjinx007: Are you saying that you wouldn’t want to flop into that good ‘ol recliner? :)

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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stefang

15512 posts in 2799 days


#4 posted 10-08-2014 05:17 PM

This looks like a pretty strong construction to me John. The bottom rail on the arm reinforces the joint on the top of the arm and I’m pretty sure the seat must be constructed to provide the backwards or rocking motion. Another clue to it’s solid construction is it’s age, which looks to be at least 30 or 40 years old or possibly more.

I had some leather chairs with a very similar look to it, but made with continuous bent laminated beech with no joints in the arms. I bought them in the 80’s and my son is still using them in his basement. They are ‘springy’ and comfortable.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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johnhutchinson

1196 posts in 1094 days


#5 posted 10-08-2014 05:26 PM

Mike: Good point on the age, but I wonder if the ‘sitters’ lived that long. :)

Mies Van Der Rohe did a similar chair, but he decided that steel was a better way to go.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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mahdee

3553 posts in 1232 days


#6 posted 10-08-2014 05:34 PM

I have 240 pound (mostly muscles) friend sit in one of those 60’s made metal pipe chairs and he stared to rock on it and next thing you know, he was doing backward flips in my garden behind him. Likely, he didn’t suffer any injuries. I think this design is more likely to fail at the bottom rather the top rails. Looking at the wight distribution, the pressure would want to tear that bottom joint apart. Yea, dowels would definitely prevent that tear out-not.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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screwikea

19 posts in 1405 days


#7 posted 10-08-2014 05:50 PM

Hey stefangm I think you missed what he’s talking about—there’s basically a butt joint coming into the part of the legs on the floor. So there are some fasteners or something happening in there, but it’s a WHOLE lot of shear force getting thrown into the butt joints. Like with what mrjinx007 pointed out, if you get someone leaning back into the chair hard enough they’ll pop the joint.


This looks like a pretty strong construction to me John. The bottom rail on the arm reinforces the joint on the top of the arm and I m pretty sure the seat must be constructed to provide the backwards or rocking motion. Another clue to it s solid construction is it s age, which looks to be at least 30 or 40 years old or possibly more.

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bondogaposis

4032 posts in 1816 days


#8 posted 10-08-2014 05:58 PM

Americans weren’t as big back then.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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jmartel

6572 posts in 1615 days


#9 posted 10-08-2014 06:18 PM

It would be strongest to use a bridle or a half-lap joint on those. Dowels do little to add strength.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#10 posted 10-08-2014 06:22 PM

Veneered possibly?

I don’t see a seam along the front at the top or bottom.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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JAAune

1643 posts in 1782 days


#11 posted 10-08-2014 06:48 PM

At first glance it looks like a weak dowel joint but a more careful examination indicates that there’s a rim of bent wood going all the way around the leg. That curved piece looks about a quarter inch thick or so and may either be steam bent or laminated but probably the latter.

What that outer lamination accomplishes is eliminating the pulling force on the joint between the foot and the leg. Instead of wanting to pull apart, it’s forcing that joint into compression and all the pulling force is directed at the seamless piece of bent wood. A dowel joint can withstand compressive force with ease.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1774 days


#12 posted 10-08-2014 06:51 PM

Could be something like in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPudD4vtscQ&list=PLCB6AEE2BAF8A0464&index=9

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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johnhutchinson

1196 posts in 1094 days


#13 posted 10-08-2014 07:25 PM

AlaskaGuy: Thanks for the Thomas Moser link. He’s been a hero of mine since Day One !!!
I think he defines modern American furniture.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#14 posted 10-08-2014 07:31 PM

WOOD Magazine’s ZigZag chair elicited similar concerns, so they tested their joint.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FV1SGuL5sc

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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mahdee

3553 posts in 1232 days


#15 posted 10-08-2014 07:46 PM

Rob, that was amazing. Hard to believe that piece held up under that much pressure. JAAune, 1/2” bent oak wood would have somewhere around 5000 lb of shearing resistance. Not sure how many pounds that would translate into with let say a 200lb person fully seated on that chair.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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