Arts & Crafts Desk Chair in QSRO

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Project by Vincent Nocito posted 04-24-2014 10:12 PM 2274 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed a desk chair to go with the Stickley writing desk that was posted recently (see project This chair is based various Arts & Crafts chairs from the past. The chair is made from QS red oak and measures 18” w, 18” d and 40” h. The seat is 17.5 inches above the floor. The joinery is mortise and tenon throughout. I failed to take any photos during the construction and glue up. This photo shows the bones of the chair.

Once the chair was sanded to 220 grit, it was dyed using Trans Tint reddish brown.

The chair was sealed with General Seal a Cell, glazed with General Antique Walnut gel stain, topcoated with 3 coats of satin Arm-R-Seal and finally clear Briwax.

The biggest challenge on this project was upholstering the seal. The seat is 0.5” Baltic birch plywood with 1” high density foam and 0.5” batting. Getting the fabric to sit properly was a challenge. Tucking the corners lead to much frustration and quite a bit of harsh language. The cushion is not perfect, but it is DONE!!!!! Next time, I will hire a real upholsterer to make cushions.

11 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3306 posts in 3589 days

#1 posted 04-24-2014 11:10 PM

Vincent, the chair looks to be very well done. IMO chairs are the hardest things to make and you passed the test with flying colors. Maybe you can get pintodeluxe to give you an upholstery lesson the next time you happen to find yourself in the Pacific North West. :D

-- Art

View Mark's profile


1079 posts in 3306 days

#2 posted 04-24-2014 11:53 PM

I dunno. I’d say that upholstery job looks pretty damn fine. I’m going to be doing 8 chairs in the near future, so I’m looking for tips/pointers.

-- Mark

View mloy365's profile


448 posts in 4462 days

#3 posted 04-25-2014 12:03 AM

Looks pretty fine to me! The writing desk that it sits in front of looks real nice as well.

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4479 days

#4 posted 04-25-2014 12:15 AM

Great looking chair!

I’ve never been interested in doing my own upholstery, so it’s been custom work for me—which can be a little spendy….....

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View CFrye's profile


11405 posts in 3171 days

#5 posted 04-25-2014 09:06 AM

Chair and desk look great. One inch can feel pretty thin after a while. You might want to increase that. The rays in the oak are nicely highlighted in the finish. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4174 days

#6 posted 04-25-2014 12:34 PM

Nice chair, I know what you mean about the seat. LOL! I really wasn’t too happy with my seat upholstering on my recent rehab. Have you ever seen “The furniture Guys?” They made it look easy.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 4695 days

#7 posted 04-25-2014 12:56 PM

Thanks for the comments.

Candy, My wife likes to use and extra back and bottom cushion so I kept it sorta low knowing that the other cushions shift the sitting position. I will use 2” foam when I build my library table and chair.

Doc: I remember the Furniture Guys. Their show was pretty good and they gave some valuable tips on finishing. I watched about 20 different on-line upholstery videos. The “best” one was a Martha Stewart video. The upholsterer made it look pretty easy but his hands moved so fast while tucking the corners that I had to back it up at least 10 times. One of my biggest issues was the material originally picked for the seat. It was a faux leather that was too thick and inflexible and it left rabbit ears after folding the corners.

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4174 days

#8 posted 04-25-2014 01:31 PM


In looking that up for you I found it for me! Thanks for the Martha Stewart tip.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View NiteWalker's profile


2743 posts in 3908 days

#9 posted 04-25-2014 07:47 PM

Beautiful job!
I love A&C furniture as it has a simple, sturdy design.
Well done. :-)

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6518 posts in 4145 days

#10 posted 04-25-2014 11:59 PM

Handsome chair with a beautiful finish. Looks like the whole project came out just great.

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

View BillG's profile


82 posts in 4882 days

#11 posted 04-26-2014 02:13 PM


Great work on the desk and chair. I have built a lot of furniture over the years, but never a chair. They can be difficult. It is time I tried one for myself. Thanks for the inspiration.

-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

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