A few variations on Kevin Rodel's Side Chair

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Project by EarlS posted 03-11-2018 10:32 PM 1254 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We needed desk chairs for the various desks that I’ve built for my wife, daughter, and myself. After realizing that I had no idea how to design a chair I found a set of plans at Taunton Press (Fine Woodworking) for a Kevin Rodel side chair. Since I’m a big fan of his style, I bought the plans and also read all of the blogs and projects that have been posted on LJ regarding his chair.

I wanted to vary the style somewhat for my desk to match the Frank Lloyd Wright look. My wife’s desk is a Stickley Style library desk and she liked the original version so she opted for it. My daughter’s desk is much more Asian influence (but still based on a Kevin Rodel table) so she wanted something to match her desk. I think it also has some subtle hints of Charles Macintosh as well. Lastly, I built a test chair to try everything out. I wrote a blog highlighting my escapades and adventures while building the chairs.

All of the chairs are walnut. There are a couple of cherry accent pieces on the 2nd chair (mine) and the Asian style is ebonized to match the desk. They are finished with Arm-R-Seal and then rubbed out with Behlen’s Deluxing Compound.

The upholstery is from Stickley. I have to say the burnt orange/gold flower pattern really highlights the walnut and brings out all of the best in the wood. Of the 3 styles, the Asian version is the house favorite, followed by the original version with my version coming in dead last. So much for my design sense.

I’m already planning to build 2 more of the original version in walnut with the orange/gold floral pattern to make a dining set.

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

10 comments so far

View WhattheChuck's profile


378 posts in 4198 days

#1 posted 03-11-2018 11:43 PM

You’re totally psyching me up to get with the chair-building project, Earl. Those are AWESOME variations!

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View TungOil's profile


1372 posts in 1133 days

#2 posted 03-12-2018 01:38 AM

Nice work Earl!

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View swirt's profile


4752 posts in 3610 days

#3 posted 03-12-2018 01:41 AM

They all look great. Nicely done.

-- Galootish log blog,

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3972 days

#4 posted 03-12-2018 11:10 AM

Love both sets and greatly admire your work.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View EarlS's profile


3489 posts in 2986 days

#5 posted 03-12-2018 04:42 PM

Chuck – looking forward to seeing what you build.

Tung – thanks for the compliment. Hope to see your amazing G&G chairs soon.

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

View splintergroup's profile


3295 posts in 1860 days

#6 posted 03-12-2018 06:27 PM

Looks like you have some nice matches with those chair styles! Your family gets treated to some really nice workmanship

View AandCstyle's profile


3272 posts in 2895 days

#7 posted 03-12-2018 09:12 PM

Earl, your chairs look great and your innovations make them even more special. I am glad you were able to find fabric to your liking.

-- Art

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3504 days

#8 posted 03-12-2018 09:39 PM

Both the tables and chairs are so outstanding. Nice work!

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

628 posts in 1930 days

#9 posted 03-12-2018 10:56 PM

These are wonderful! Building a chair is not easy. I’ll be building a chair for a desk I’m going to build and you have given me inspiration.
Your desk is also outstanding.

-- James E McIntyre

View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3653 days

#10 posted 03-13-2018 10:27 AM

WOW wonderful desks and chairs. My favorite combo is the first picture. Adore the desk with the glass? flower inserts.

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