Walnut Chairs

  • Advertise with us
Project by Mcpowell posted 10-16-2018 02:13 AM 1205 views 8 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Walnut Chairs
Walnut Chairs No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
Zoom Pictures

A few years ago I found a walnut tree that had been cut, but not sawed into lengths. I was able to selectively cut my lengths in order to use the crotch wood. It had a lot of limbs. After taking the sawed lengths to the mill, I waited 2 years for it to dry (while I built end tables, a dining table, and an entertainment center). I started June 2017 and finished October 2018. All the curves were finished with a radius plane after getting within 1/4” with a bandsaw. While I used the tool I thought was best for the job, a lot of these chairs were completed with planes and old fashioned elbow grease.

While I admit to being slow, there is a lot of hours in these chairs; I did see the design on YouTube, but ended up drawing them on Solidworks. After drawing them, I took the files to a print shop and had 2 full-sized sets printed. Many times I’ve told myself I would never do 8 of anything again (it takes forever). My estimate would be at least 10 hours a weekend for ~ 50 weekends. Several times I checked in to Lumberjocks to see how to move on to the next step. Specifically, chair #7 had a nasty knot right where the tenon joined. I’ll show a picture below. The only thing I called “uncle” on was the Uphostery. I guess a man’s got to know his limitations.

Thank you to the good folks here who gave me advice along the way.

#1 this is my most plain chair (The back splat is not a crotch piece):



#4 I like the grain on the crest of this chair



#7 This one gave me trouble as the left rear leg had a bad knot where the tenon enters the mortise. I could see daylight through the knot. I think it turned out ok.

Here is the knot before repair. It was week and flexible:

And repaired…

#8 last chair

And 7 of the chairs along with the table I made in 2016-1027:

Thanks for looking

-- I want to be good

15 comments so far

View firefighterontheside's profile


21045 posts in 2628 days

#1 posted 10-16-2018 02:20 AM

Wow! Very nice! Nice chairs. Nice table.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View shampeon's profile


2110 posts in 2955 days

#2 posted 10-16-2018 02:37 AM

Did you fill the knot with epoxy? Those chairs are really beautiful.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Mcpowell's profile


63 posts in 1662 days

#3 posted 10-16-2018 02:46 AM

Wow! Very nice! Nice chairs. Nice table.

- firefighterontheside

Thank you.

Did you fill the knot with epoxy? Those chairs are really beautiful.

- shampeon

Yes. Thank you. Epoxy with black pigment. However, I didn’t fill the knot in the leg until after I had epoxied the tenon into the mortise, and it had cured. I wanted the black epoxy to adhere to the tenon as well. No chance to ever separate it in the future, but hopefully that will be an heirs problem, not mine.

-- I want to be good

View TungOil's profile


1382 posts in 1267 days

#4 posted 10-16-2018 02:56 AM

Nicely done! I’m in the middle of a chair build right now and fully agree with your time estimate!

-- 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 Andre's profile


3566 posts in 2578 days

#5 posted 10-16-2018 05:55 AM

Very nicely done!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View awsum55's profile


762 posts in 1280 days

#6 posted 10-16-2018 07:24 AM

Those slats remind me of a spine and give the chairs a unique look. What a beautiful dining set. Your heirs will be fighting over who gets it.

-- John D, OP, KS

View Andrek's profile


544 posts in 2682 days

#7 posted 10-16-2018 10:35 AM

Very beautiful chair , with walnut you cannot go wrong, bravo, making a chair is another world in woodworking,
Keep on making sawdust,thanks for showing.

-- andrek

View Lazyman's profile (online now)


5401 posts in 2159 days

#8 posted 10-16-2018 01:05 PM

Simple but elegant design and terrific craftsmanship. I love it. Your attention to wood selection really paid off. I suspect your heirs will fight over who gets these someday. Make sure you sign them and maybe even leave a note for them hidden on the bottom somewhere.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View swirt's profile


5225 posts in 3744 days

#9 posted 10-16-2018 01:37 PM

Great looking chairs. Definitely a labor of love. Well done.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Mcpowell's profile


63 posts in 1662 days

#10 posted 10-16-2018 01:41 PM

Thank you all for the kind comments.

making a chair is another world in woodworking,
- Andrek

Yes, at times I would get bogged down and think “uhh, what have I started”. Where the legs and back splat meet the crest rail was one of those places. I “chased daylight” for a couple of weekends where the shoulders meet the crest rail. Thank goodness for shoulder planes!

Also, the left and right sides of the seat have a compound angled tenon where they join with the back legs. That was a lot of thinking of “just how am I going to do that?”.

-- I want to be good

View PPK's profile


1746 posts in 1581 days

#11 posted 10-16-2018 01:48 PM

Gorgeous set of chairs! Table too! Who couldn’t love the walnut crotches? Great job persevering. It paid off.

-- Pete

View klinkman's profile


49 posts in 647 days

#12 posted 10-16-2018 02:05 PM

really nice, love the selections

-- Klinkman, hand tool enthusiast

View edapp's profile


340 posts in 2202 days

#13 posted 10-16-2018 02:08 PM

Gorgeous! quite an undertaking…

View EarlS's profile (online now)


3733 posts in 3120 days

#14 posted 10-16-2018 07:15 PM

Gorgeous walnut chairs and table!!!

Having built a set of chairs, I know what you mean about them taking a huge amount of time to complete. My wife wants another set of 4 chairs and a game table. Ughhhh. I’m putting her off as long as I can.

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

View oldrivers's profile


2196 posts in 2338 days

#15 posted 01-10-2020 11:57 AM

Very Nice work, Beautiful chairs. Patience and perseverance are essential in fine wood work.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics