Ash & Walnut Three Leg Chair

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Project by Woodbridge posted 03-25-2013 09:40 PM 5117 views 27 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the third version of my three leg chair. I posted my Modigliani version earlier this year and my first Three Leg chair some time ago.

Most of my chair projects have curved soft edges and are finished in a dark colour. The light colour, angular shapes and hard lines are a bit of a departure for me.

The chair is made from Ash with a Walnut stretcher and accents.

The seat is carved from a 2 inch thick glued up Ash blank. It is attached to the diagonal back legs with a Maloof style joint.

The back is a tapered bent lamination. It is made up of two book matched pieces each constructed from eight laminations. The laminations taper from about 1/8 inch thick at the top to ¼ inch at the bottom. I made a taper sled to run each lamination through the thickness planer, but had quite a difficult time making these tapered laminations. I spite of installing newly sharpened knives and adjusting the planer as best I could for each good one I made there was one wasted lamination.

Each lamination was attached to the sled with double faced tape. If the bond between the lamination and the sled was not absolutely secure, combined with the difficult grain of the ash, the planer would tear the thin end of the lamination to pieces. As a result a number of my choice book matched laminations, which I had planned to use for the front and back faces, were destroyed.

The back supports are also tapered bent laminations capped front and back with a walnut lamination.

When I was cutting the Walnut spindles for my Maloof style rocker to their final width I ended up with a number of thin strips. I just couldn’t throw them out because ” someday I would find a use for them”. I glued them together and used them for the stretcher that runs between the front rail and the diagonal leg.

With the exception of two screws the chair is pinned together with walnut dowels and glue.

In spite of how it might look the chair is rock solid to sit on and with the sculpted seat and sloped curved back it is actually quite comfortable.

I resisted the temptation to get out the my “go-to” stain, Minwax English Chestnut, and left the ash its natural colour. It is finished with a number of coats of tung oil.

That’s it for the three legged chairs for now. My next two chairs will be snake themed.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

30 comments so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3104 days

#1 posted 03-25-2013 10:39 PM

cool chair

-- Joel

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3740 days

#2 posted 03-26-2013 12:44 AM

A very cool and unique design. And amazing craftsmanship in the build! I’d love to see this same design with arms???

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View luv2learn's profile


3112 posts in 3353 days

#3 posted 03-26-2013 12:48 AM

You do some amazing designs. Keep them coming they are always a joy to behold.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3535 days

#4 posted 03-26-2013 01:15 AM

Man, it’s great to see original designs like this. Very spiffy.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Woodbridge's profile (online now)


3744 posts in 3468 days

#5 posted 03-26-2013 01:22 AM

Thanks for the kind comments.

Gfadvm: my brother commented to me that I never have arms on my chairs. I’ll have to get out the sketch pad and see what I can do for the next version. Thanks.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View DocSavage45's profile


9043 posts in 3893 days

#6 posted 03-26-2013 02:21 AM

Wow…Another step into creativity! I even think I might have those exotic woods. Arms now thats a novel cocept …...LOL! looking forward to it.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3740 days

#7 posted 03-26-2013 02:50 AM

Can’t wait for the “armed” version!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 3933 days

#8 posted 03-26-2013 04:05 AM

Such a unique elegant chair! I love the design.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Woodbridge's profile (online now)


3744 posts in 3468 days

#9 posted 03-26-2013 04:32 AM

Thanks. I was never fully satisfied with the first three leg chair so I developed a number of sketches for different versions. One evening I scribbled this sketch. I thought I would give it a try to see how it would come out.

Oh by the way, everyone who has been at my home and saw the chair has asked if it folds. It does not. I thought about titling this project as “Its not a folding chair”.

I’ve got some sketches for a couple of snake chairs, and I’m looking forward to getting a start on them next week.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3548 days

#10 posted 03-26-2013 04:42 AM

It’s a pleasure to see your work unfold, even if only in a limited photographic way, and to be startled yet again by how many ways there are to create a chair. I’m not entirely sure about the contrast between the rather hard edged rectangular under structure versus the curves above but I do know that that back is inspired. Lovely. And the seat with its deep dish and high centre curve looks truly comfortable.
I go to the drum sander for sensitive lamination’s for I know the heartbreak of carefully matched material lost to machines. It might be slow but it is sure.
Thanks for that last great closeup shot. Any photo’s of the build on that joint?
Finally, I suppose that if arms were to be added that just one would do. On the left I should think.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Ted78's profile


415 posts in 3050 days

#11 posted 03-26-2013 04:42 AM

One of the more unique chair designs I’ve ever seen. Keeping the ash light with the walnut accents was definitely the right choice. I find the contrast between the beautifully carved soft curves of the seat and the harder angles of the rest of the chair interesting. Can’t wait to see a snake themed chair!!

-- Ted

View Woodbridge's profile (online now)


3744 posts in 3468 days

#12 posted 03-26-2013 04:56 AM

Thanks again for the comments. After years as a “left brain” engineer I’m trying to exercise the right side in retirement. I’m never quite sure what works from a design perspective so any suggestions as welcome.

Gene, I didn’t take any in progress shots but I hope this photo helps. The legs slope back at 45 degrees. To make the joint I added a 45 degree adder block to the front then two 3/4 inch thick adders along each side. This gave me some additional meat and a vertical face to cut the Maloof joint. There is no screw securing the joint. Long term I’m not sure how it will hold up.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Ken90712's profile


17984 posts in 4239 days

#13 posted 03-26-2013 08:35 AM

This is a work of art! Very talanted, I too think one with arms would be interesting. Look fwd to seeing more.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View DocSavage45's profile


9043 posts in 3893 days

#14 posted 03-26-2013 09:07 AM

Came back to see it again. Nice scribbling!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3664 days

#15 posted 03-26-2013 10:03 AM

awesome chair

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

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