ADB Staked Chair

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Project by Pat3 posted 03-22-2021 12:36 AM 831 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a smaller version of a Staked Chair for my Grandson. The seat and crest rail are made from Port Orford Cedar, the legs and back spindles are Pine Dowels. The Spindles are 5/8” and the tops that go into the crest rail have 1/2” tenons, which I made by hand using a marking gauge, chisel and sandpaper. The seat was saddled using a scorp, pullshave, spokeshave, card scraper and sandpaper. The finish is Tried and True BLO/Beeswax.

The last pic shows what happens when I hammer in the legs to hard. Luckily I had enough Cedar to make another seat blank.

Another problem I have been having is ruining the crest rail when I am steam bending it. I have followed the directions from Chris’ Book, including building the bending form, but I have either cracked or crumpled 4 out of 6 attempts.
Not sure what the issue is yet but I am still investigating. Here is a pic of the bending in action.

The board in the form actually crumpled on the inside bend. I had to use a spokeshave the length of the inside edge to get rid of the damage.

Since this chair was resized to fit my grandson’s proportions, I moved the back spindles closer together and made them longer as well.

I am hoping he enjoys it.

5 comments so far

View Eric's profile


1964 posts in 1120 days

#1 posted 03-22-2021 01:08 AM

Looks very nice. The only thing I can think of with the bending, is maybe not cooked long enough in the steam, or it may get just be the cedar is to dry to start with, so by the time it collects enough moisture the outside is saturated causing the deformation on the outer edge as the pressure increases.

Any time that I have bent wood I used layers of thin stock, bending it the form and letting it set then glue up a placed back in the form.

-- Eric, building the dream

View BB1's profile


2471 posts in 2095 days

#2 posted 03-22-2021 01:42 AM

What a great gift!

Hoping to have the skills some day to attempt a chair build. Definitely challenging but yours turned our so nice.

View Pat3's profile


163 posts in 3126 days

#3 posted 03-22-2021 03:43 AM

Thanks guys.

Eric, I also thought it might be not enough moisture issue so I soaked the board for 2 days. Which seemed to help, until it didn’t.

BB, I also thought that chair making was out of my league, until I read “The Anarchists Design Book”. The author lays out the steps and projects to help guide your progress to build the skills into full blown chairs. It is a lot easier than I ever imagined.

View LeftyBayside's profile


24 posts in 2241 days

#4 posted 07-04-2021 04:51 PM

Pat, this looks great. Like you, I am having a terrible time with steam bending. As a matter of fact, my first chair build is still on hold because of three fails on steam bending the crest rail. I used some walnut i harvested by hand and thought that it was sufficiently air dried but—crack! Twice. Then tried some kiln dried oak but same result, as expected. I am at a standstill and getting frustrated. Schwarz also recommends getting wood that can be cold bent but it is too expensive for this cheap guy. Anyway, I admire your chairmaking efforts. You’ve done well and I like the saddled seat too!

-- Lefty

View Pat3's profile


163 posts in 3126 days

#5 posted 07-05-2021 02:33 PM

Thank you Lefty.

I was pretty sure I wasn’t the only one having the steam bending blues. I would recommend a longer steam time to see if that helps. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

I am currently stuck in the middle of building my first Welsh Stick Chair. I was having a hard time figuring out the drilling angles for the side sticks in the arm bow. I came up with a plan, but now time is my enemy. Probably won’t get back to it until August.

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