Wegner inspired dining chair #6: And then the final, real chairs

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Blog entry by kaerlighedsbamsen posted 07-25-2017 09:06 PM 2820 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Seat weaving and finishing up Part 6 of Wegner inspired dining chair series no next part

This whole series have all the time evolved around making a set of dining chairs out of two large slabs of European elm that was sawed at my mothers farm and stored, first in their barn, and then in my workshop.

Having gotten the design (nearly finished) in the previous posts this is about making the final chairs.
If you have not already, see the project post here

Cutting up the timber was quite a challenge. The trees had been felled because of an attack of Dutch Elm Disease and parts of it was rather soft du to the infection. Needed to cut around these parts, have enough materials left, and still get all the parts with parallel grain for strengthness. This stye of chair relies on straight grain in order to be light and strong at the same time.

More fiddling with where to place the different parts. The 4 back leg piezes needed to have the most straight grain and at the same time be rift or quarter sawn in order to have predictable grain pattern.

All blanks cut

Made myself a steadyrest. Works great and should have done this a long time ago

Even worked for turning the ends of the front legs that are much exposed and needs to look perfect

Like so

And planed down the rails in order to be suited for weaving the seat

Cut, finger tapped and glued up two back rests. Needed to be super carefull to get the grain running in the right direction, and making a nice pattern, as this glueup have 2 vertical and 2 horizontal piezes joined together.

Cut the backs on the table saw using my simple jig. Finished the shape using handsaws, rasps chisels etc but forgot to take pictures.

Here the story jumps forward nearly two years. I find challenging projects takes a lot of time and are best done in the summer vacation. Now last summer i got an new apartment badly in need of work. So my summer vacation was, in large parts, spent painting, installign new kitchen etc and almost no shop time.
The chair parts sat half finished in storage and waited for my return.

Then one lovely spring day this year I got out the lathe and made the last parts, here the stretchers. This time I gave them a slight barrel shape in order to better fit the rails

And started drilling holes. This step is super critical and needs to be spot on accurate. Got myself an new-old drill press that are super accurate and runs like a dream

Tons of holes..

Looks neat

Test fitting. Looks promising!

And glueing up

and the frame together.

Here the observant reader will notice a break in time again. Spring have turned to summer and a got a new-old table saw

A critical step is attaching the back rest to the legs. On my prototype chair the back rest have loosened and needed to be repaired. Did not want this to happen so did a lot of reading and research and found that a stepped tennon would be a good method.

Cut up soem fibre board to make a few jigs. The joints need to be accurate and at the right angle – and do NOT want to mess up at this stage. The new table saw has a sliding table that makes cutting boards and panels a breeze

This works like so

And, with the help of the saw rest and accurate marking, makes tennons like so. Now just repeat 3 times

And another jig in use to hold the back rest. This drill press is sturdy enough to use with router bits that makes for accurate holes with a flat bottom. Nice when there is not a lot of materials left..

And fitting the mortices with chisels

A little glue and the chairs are together

4 layers of linseed oil/turpentine/varnish blend

And we get this

Now onto something else. On the prototype the seat was made from pallet straps. This material is suoper strong and wear resistant so for the right design the perfect material. But there were some challenges getting it to work on my chairs and have desided to abandon it in favor for traditional Danish paper yarn. Here my skills were about zero but found super help in this video series by skilled Calb James. If you are into Mid Century Modern he shares a lot of interesting stuff on Instagram as well.

This comes wrapped in these lovely bundles and makes me want to order a whole lot more just to have the joy of opening the packages.

Made myself some shuttles in maple

The Workmate came in handy

Getting the first rounds even is the most dificult part

And the final first seat. Not perfect but ok’ish for a first. The next one turned out better

And there you have it. Summer vacation ended and I am the happy owner of 2 special dining chairs – and a whole load of experience. Love my cozy worksop and look forward to more time here soon

And there they are in the new apartment together with the table I made last summer, similar to this one:

Of course there are the tiny mistakes that only I see, but overall i could not be more pleased. A lot learned and feel ready for another challenging project.

Hope you anjoyed following along. Let me know if you have questions or coments!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

13 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


4349 posts in 2593 days

#1 posted 07-25-2017 10:09 PM

Very well done…..nice chairs.

View madts's profile


1921 posts in 2944 days

#2 posted 07-25-2017 10:53 PM

I just love. Wonderful design (Wenger). Wonderful interpretation (Bamse).


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

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4486 days

#3 posted 07-25-2017 11:01 PM

Nice blog
I am loving your love of workmanship.

Well done sir,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View EarlS's profile


3418 posts in 2952 days

#4 posted 07-25-2017 11:22 PM

You definitely need to post the chairs as a project. They are very nice.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1315 posts in 2318 days

#5 posted 07-26-2017 05:36 AM

Redoak: Trying my best
madts: I love that you love our work (Wegner and I)!
SPalm: That is a great sentence. Love the love.. And i love the suppert i get here.
EarlS: Thank you. Already did post it. Could you not see it?

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23740 posts in 3710 days

#6 posted 07-26-2017 11:53 AM

Excellent design and workmanship!! Nice fixtures you’ve made along the way , too!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View mafe's profile


12286 posts in 3693 days

#7 posted 09-03-2017 08:45 PM

Alsmost sad I did not see this blog before, but happy since I did see it!
What a wonderful story, wonderful to see your way of working, I admire your dedication and how nothing is just happening. Careful planning, lots of research and thinking, this leads to a crisp and beautiful result.
From my heart; ‘I am really impressed’.
Way to go my friend.
Hope to see you soon.
Best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1315 posts in 2318 days

#8 posted 09-04-2017 10:54 PM

@Jim: Thanks a lot, glad you apreciate it.
@Mads: Love your joyfull comments. And glad you liked reading along. As you are the master of woodworking blogs here i take that as a great compliment!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View mafe's profile


12286 posts in 3693 days

#9 posted 09-05-2017 09:38 PM

You should. ;-)

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Ross Leidy's profile

Ross Leidy

109 posts in 2546 days

#10 posted 06-17-2019 07:30 PM

Dang, those are some nice looking chairs! I can’t help thinking Wegner would approve.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1315 posts in 2318 days

#11 posted 06-18-2019 08:45 PM

Thanks Ross! Had a lot of fun building and designing them. Now, 2 years later, they still look like new and intend to keep them for the rest of my life. Perhaps a project for you as well?

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Ross Leidy's profile

Ross Leidy

109 posts in 2546 days

#12 posted 06-19-2019 11:59 AM

I definitely would like to work on a chair with some turned components. I’ve got a lathe, but I don’t use it much. I need to brush-up on my turning skills before attacking a chair. I should say develop some turning skills, actually. :)
So many chairs, so little time.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1315 posts in 2318 days

#13 posted 06-19-2019 08:54 PM

So many chairs, so little time.

Indeed, get that feeling at least weekly

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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