modern chair

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Project by jdh122 posted 06-09-2016 10:56 PM 1503 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My sister saw this chair in a fancy boutique and asked me if I could copy it. It’s a design from the 1950s that a Canadian company has recently brought back into production. I found some pictures online and decided to give it a try. She wanted two of them, and given that it was a lot of machine work where a lot of the time was in the setup, I decided to make one for myself too. The box for the seat is box joints, the arms and legs are just held on with carriage bolts. The spring for the back is a bent lamination. This was my first time doing that, it worked quite well. I used liquid hide glue since I was worried about yellow glue creeping (some folks say it doesn’t, but I didn’t want to take the chance). The backrest is carved by hand, the same way I hollow out a bowl (adze, spokeshaves, gouges, scrub plane for the convex side). My sister wove the seats.
It turned out quite well. Took a couple tries to get the proportions right – I actually had to do the seat boxes twice, since the first try was too narrow and too long. It’s relatively comfortable, and the back has a nice spring to it. The arms are maybe a bit high.
It’s made from yellow birch – the back piece is red birch (heartwood of yellow birch).

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

7 comments so far

View 489tad's profile


3856 posts in 3811 days

#1 posted 06-09-2016 11:17 PM

That is a cool looking chair. Nice job on building it from pictures and you saved your sister a couple of bucks.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Ivan's profile


16044 posts in 3667 days

#2 posted 06-10-2016 03:21 AM

Beautiful piece of furniture. I like it’s unusual design and this fabric seat looks pretty cool.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1575 days

#3 posted 06-10-2016 03:39 PM

hi guys

View jdh122's profile


1165 posts in 3617 days

#4 posted 06-10-2016 07:35 PM

Thanks for the comments Dan and Ivan.
In case you’re interested, this is the chair I copied:

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View DwightC's profile


26 posts in 1575 days

#5 posted 06-10-2016 11:53 PM

Good looking piece of work and thanks for the link. I’m not surprised getting the proportions right was a challenge and took a couple of tries.

BTW, that’s a very interesting website. The stuff GUS is offering goes off in an nice direction from mid-century modern (I didn’t even know there was a Canadian school in that style). The company’s client list (not so much for case goods as interior design) is mind-boggling—yelp, google, facebook, instagram, etc.

Anyhow, nice work.

View Woodknack's profile


13428 posts in 3179 days

#6 posted 06-12-2016 05:22 AM

It’s different. Chairs with woven seats sometimes cut off circulation to your legs if you sit awhile; you sink in and the hard front pinches the arteries. I don’t dislike it but I’d have to sit in it before I could say I liked it. You captured the essence of the original and it looks sturdy.

-- Rick M,

View jdh122's profile


1165 posts in 3617 days

#7 posted 06-12-2016 02:41 PM

Thanks Dwight and Rick. I’ve sat in it a good bit and not had problems with pinching on the legs, although maybe I didn’t stay for a long enough time (too much woodworking to do to sit and read for more than an hour or so at a time). I wonder if it may need re-upolstering once it’s been sat in for a while and the webbing stretches, since unlike post-and-rung chairs with shaker tape it only has a single layer of webbing and no padding to distribute the weight toward the bottom.
I like the mid-century modern stuff that GUS has, good for design inspiration (not to sell, for my own use only, of course).

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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