A simple chair, just to see if I could

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Project by Dan Lyke posted 04-05-2008 12:17 AM 3817 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had this as a blog series, but when I got back to the front page I saw myself featured there (I was the random lumberjock pick), so figured I should add this chair to my projects as well.

In our longer term plans, we want to build chairs for our dining table. My sweety and I like to work in the shop together, but I generally have a separate project going on because she doesn’t spend as much time in the shop as I do. So combining a need for a chair for my home office and me developing the skills to do some really nice chairs for the living room seemed like a good side project.

This one’s ¾” birch, I had my doubts when I started but the chair seems plenty sturdy. To get that “Maloof” look I’ll definitely have to go for thicker wood so that I can put in more curves, but as a “what I had lying around” experiment with no planning, I think this worked fairly well.

The curves are all cut with a jig saw, clamped together and cleaned up with a router. The splay from the front legs to the back is about 7°, that miter was cut with a Festool saw on a rail. The joints are all loose tenons made with the Domino,

The slats are laminated recurves with 3 layers, they flex a little bit in their sockets, which is fine, but they make noise, so my next version will probably glue them in. That top rail with the knot in it is mitered together for the angle, worked fairly well given that I was working from scrap and thought I should highlight the knot, but the seams are pretty obvious.

All in all it worked fairly well, and I’ll be doing more of them, though I do want to do carved seats for my next one.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

9 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5284 days

#1 posted 04-05-2008 12:19 AM

This is a nice chair. And I do think that you need to do more. After all you need a matched set. :)

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 5206 days

#2 posted 04-05-2008 01:17 AM

Nice. Kind of rustic and elegant all at the same time. The slats may flex and break the glue bond after awhile. You might want to try waxing the mortise and tenon before assembly, that should keep them from squeaking.

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 5224 days

#3 posted 04-05-2008 05:01 AM

great looking chair

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View cajunpen's profile


14577 posts in 5527 days

#4 posted 04-05-2008 05:53 AM

Great looking chair.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14193 posts in 5445 days

#5 posted 04-05-2008 06:30 AM

good looking chair … posting was fun tho read

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 5178 days

#6 posted 04-07-2008 06:23 PM

good work.beautiful chair

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 5261 days

#7 posted 04-08-2008 10:13 PM

nice style

-- making sawdust....

View Nils's profile


141 posts in 5326 days

#8 posted 04-09-2008 05:05 PM

Dan – this is a great chair for “scrap”! Your blog series was very interesting as well. it sounds like you do all your work with hand power tools – no table saw, jointer, etc. Very impressive.

-- Nils Davis, Menlo Park, CA

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1532 posts in 5587 days

#9 posted 04-09-2008 05:16 PM

Nils, yeah, I don’t have room for the big tools (the shop is a 1940s era single car garage), though I do have a benchtop planer. But a good circular saw with a guide can give a jointable edge, and with the right set of jigs can do nearly everything a table saw can do. Dadoes have to be cut with a router, and I still haven’t figured out how to do big cove cuts, but the only thing I really miss so far having is a monster bandsaw for resawing book matched pieces.

On the other hand I’ve got a large investment in tools generally that I’ve yet to work the limits of, so if I occasionally miss out on cutting my own veneers or bookmatching big slabs, I can wait.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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