Expandable High Chair for the table

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Project by derosa posted 11-24-2012 10:57 PM 2897 views 12 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My daughter has disavowed anything to do with real high chairs or booster seats choosing instead to stand at the table so my wife pointed to this chair on Amazon and said “make her one of those”. Clutching a load of cherry and my orders I went to it.
Having never seen one of the beasts in public I made up all the dimensions.
First thing was deciding on a random angle of 60* for the set back, another person on here suggested 73 as the best angle but I already had the legs glued at that point so 60 worked for me.
I laminated 2 boards together overlapping them at the bottom to make for a strong glue up.

For the slides for the seat and footrest I originally tried using the router but discovered that my table is worse then Ithough, I couldn’t stop the legs from moving along the mitre gauge and consistant spacing per side impossible coming from different angles. I discovered that it was easy to do with the table saw since the lines would always be perpendicular to the bottom if I slid the bottom against the fence. I had hoped for rounded over sides to the seat and footrest figuring that would grip tighter but flat sides it is. I also set the dado blade wider to compensate for the screwups at the router table. The result was only two spots where it was obvious that the router guide had slipped.

The backs were bent lamination, the sides of which were squared up so that the sides of the backs could be cut square and put on the drill press square, one side of the lamination mold was used to cut the backs of the seat and footrest to match the back rests. Everything is held together with decorative brass bolts and brass barrels that screw into the wood, with the seat and footrest held in place by friction and the backrests and bottom brace being slightly narrower creating tension.

The finish was 2 coats of tung oil sanding to 400grit and topped with spar varnish figuring it will get lots of abuse and be covered in food and drink. This was my first time using it and I discovered that I need a lot more practice. I clearly have too dusty a house with too much pet hair despite constantly vacuuming with a hepa filter constantly. Both it seems are incredibly attracted to wet varnish which also likes to run all over the place; attempts to avoid getting too close to the edge resulted in drips and bare spots. Thinning it 20% with mineral spirits did eliminate this as it cut the drying time to 2 hours reducing contamination and also allowed the edges to be snuck up on with less dripping which was easier to wipe off.

-- A posse ad esse

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4384 days

#1 posted 11-24-2012 11:34 PM

This is a really cool design,nice work.


View Karson's profile


35224 posts in 5208 days

#2 posted 11-25-2012 12:07 AM

Great grown up chair for your daughter.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Paulo in Texas's profile

Paulo in Texas

131 posts in 3496 days

#3 posted 11-25-2012 01:31 AM

Looks like your daughter is very happy with it, and that’s all that matters ;-) Thanks for sharing your experience making this (I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to try tackling this project).

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30562 posts in 3145 days

#4 posted 11-25-2012 02:39 AM

Cute chair, cuter daughter!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 3643 days

#5 posted 11-25-2012 04:05 AM

Thanks for the comments.
Monte- the only issue is that she realizes just how cute she is and uses it to get what she wants from the unsuspecting. Those cute looks hide a heart of pure mischief.

-- A posse ad esse

View oldnovice's profile


7597 posts in 4175 days

#6 posted 11-25-2012 04:26 AM

Looks like my granddaughter trying it out! I really think she would like it as she is very independent.

Very good looking chair!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 3892 days

#7 posted 11-25-2012 05:10 PM

Very good idea, and I agree with Monte on the cuteness of the daughter. Hearing where the idea for the chair
came from, I wonder if she is taking lessons from her mother, I think you are definitely a winner with that pair
helping you with ideas and encouragement. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3421 days

#8 posted 11-25-2012 08:14 PM

great idea on this one ,great finish too ,all around great job,beautiful girl

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Bill_N's profile


238 posts in 3086 days

#9 posted 11-25-2012 10:56 PM

I think my granddaughter and new grandson both need one of these chairs
I like how well it turned out
Great job

-- I have the Saw Dust Fever

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 3175 days

#10 posted 11-26-2012 01:49 AM

derosa…this would make a good blog….really for begining woodworkers ..great project


View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 3643 days

#11 posted 11-26-2012 06:03 AM

I might need to consider the blog idea for the spring since the wife wants a second made for our son though he’s a good 8 months to a year away from needing it. I think she’s operating under the precept that I have the wood now and we’ll need it eventually.

-- A posse ad esse

View ohwoodeye's profile


2461 posts in 3960 days

#12 posted 11-26-2012 08:42 PM

Instead of the friction idea holding the seat and foot-rest in place (I fear change in temperature and humidity may make a once frictioned piece loose to slide forward and backward as she climbs) might I suggest some pin holes through each level so a wooden dowel pin could be inserted through the outside of each side leg and into the seat and foot rest locking it in place.
However, that would take some serious accurate hole drilling to make it universal for each level since there would be only one hole in the seat and foot-rest which would have to match up with each hole in the legs.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Dustin's profile


393 posts in 4257 days

#13 posted 01-30-2013 02:38 PM

Oh, I like this!

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