"Z" Chair

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Project by SASmith posted 08-22-2011 11:20 PM 5995 views 6 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This “z” chair is constructed of sassafras with catalpa splines.
I first saw this type of chair on one of Rowdys posts:
Daren has made a similar “C” chair:
The strength is provided by tapered dovetail splines:

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

10 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7255 posts in 3771 days

#1 posted 08-22-2011 11:50 PM

Very cool… I have the dovetail spline system.. it works great…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3403 days

#2 posted 08-22-2011 11:58 PM

Thanks Larry. The kehoe jig is great. I have the newer model made of aluminum.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3249 days

#3 posted 08-23-2011 12:17 AM

If mom sees this, she might change her mind about that pesky catalpa we have in the backyard ;)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View bigike's profile


4056 posts in 3705 days

#4 posted 08-23-2011 12:38 AM

very nice looking chair, I helped make this one

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3403 days

#5 posted 08-23-2011 01:01 AM

Wow bigike that 1” thick acrylic must be very expensive.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

22854 posts in 3522 days

#6 posted 08-23-2011 03:32 AM

Nice chair. I like the dovetail splines. That must add a lot of strength in the critical area!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View mafe's profile


12075 posts in 3506 days

#7 posted 08-23-2011 11:33 AM

Really nice.
Looks impossible and this makes it even more interesting.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 3859 days

#8 posted 08-23-2011 04:05 PM

Very nice, very nice. If I ever build another one I will use solid wood like you did instead of plywood. I found this project to be a pain in terms of the time I put into it, so I may not make another one. Anyhow, I am glad to see that there is another one out there. The dovetail splines really work well. Congrats on a good job.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3453 days

#9 posted 08-23-2011 09:25 PM

Spot on. An excellent example of the Gerrit Reitveld ‘Z’ chair. Well done.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3403 days

#10 posted 08-23-2011 11:53 PM

Rowdy: It is deceivingly simple. I’m sure anyone who has built one knows this. I can imagine the plywood version would be even more difficult.

Sodabowski: Catalpa is a great wood if you ask me. Rot resistant, light weight, and easily worked. Last time I used it I even found some with curl. Top box in pic 1

Jim Jakosh: The key is the 1 degree taper in the splines.

Mads: Thanks for stopping by.

BritBoxmaker: Thanks for the info on the original.

Here is what MoMA has to say about the original.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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