Prototype, critiques requested

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Project by Monte Pittman posted 04-06-2014 12:22 AM 3063 views 1 time favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have several clients that are requesting bar stools (with backs). This is just a trial run and not for sale. I want suggestions and commentary. Made of Beetle Kill Pine. The seat is 30” off the floor, the back is 42” high, the seat is 16” wide. This is the first attempt ever at a chair.

The things I already want to change;

1. Seat needs to be wider
2. Front foot rest is too low, MY feet don’t reach
3. I want the back legs under the seat more.
4. Lean the back rest back slightly more (currently at 5 degree slope. )

other suggestions?

Thanks for reading

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

42 comments so far

View NoThanks's profile


798 posts in 2332 days

#1 posted 04-06-2014 12:39 AM

FINALLY, I get to give some Constructive Criticism, although there is much to give that I can see. lol

Maybe just grind out some of the back like you did the seat to make them go together a little more. Back looks kind of flat (hard) like it is. taking a little off of it,like the seat, might soften up the look a little.

Looks good Monte

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4112 days

#2 posted 04-06-2014 12:41 AM

Monte…that looks really nice…!
One thing that I always find comfortable in a solid wood chair is when the back also has a curve to fit the curve of my back. I see that you have cut into the seat with a contour. Other than that you did a fine looking chair. Building a chair is like anything we build in that it gets tweaked with each thing we learn from the previous one.

View KnotCurser's profile


2034 posts in 3872 days

#3 posted 04-06-2014 12:53 AM


I’m with the peanut gallery – some definition in the chair back would make it look more inviting.

Also, possibly, a slight round-over on the cross rails.

It does look really good, though!



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3212 days

#4 posted 04-06-2014 12:57 AM

Looks good for a prototype and I believe it will be just what the customers ordered when you do a final on it. Nice wood too !

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Hammerthumb's profile


3055 posts in 2779 days

#5 posted 04-06-2014 01:02 AM

I think you’re right Monte. The seat needs to be wider and sit back further.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19336 posts in 4479 days

#6 posted 04-06-2014 01:03 AM

The front legs may need to move forward or splay a bit so it isn’t prone to tipping.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 2433 days

#7 posted 04-06-2014 01:26 AM

Great looking stool, Monte. Is that Jupiter wood?

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)


21104 posts in 2660 days

#8 posted 04-06-2014 01:27 AM

You said the front rest is too low, maybe you should reverse the front and sides. Have the side ones higher and the front and back ones low. The front of the seat seems to hang over the front a little too much. Maybe make the whole base a little bigger. Mind you, I have never made a chair. I’m like you, I have never made a chair, but have had people ask me to. I want to though. I really like the look. I envy you and that beetle kill pine. Oh yeah, nice looking dogs there Monte.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 3373 days

#9 posted 04-06-2014 01:49 AM

Looks like beetle kill to me. I’d make the seat back a little higher. It looks great, though!

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

750 posts in 2695 days

#10 posted 04-06-2014 01:56 AM

Monte, that is beautiful wood and shaping you’ve done.

-- Daniel P

View hoss12992's profile


4172 posts in 2696 days

#11 posted 04-06-2014 02:07 AM

Love the chair buddy. You said that you want a bit more slant on the back and move the back legs forward a bit. Not sure that would be as stable as you have now. Maybe just slant the back a bit more and contour it for comfort. I have been on a bit of a stain kick as of late, and would love to see on with a light coat of Special Walnut, and one in Red Chesnut. I wonder what they would look like on beetle kill pine. Love the way you finish your beetle kill projects. Absolutely beautiful. Great job buddy. Im sure whatever you do to the chairs will be great.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3908 days

#12 posted 04-06-2014 02:31 AM

Lots of good suggestions. I would think that the back could be a little higher. That’s all I’ve got! Looks good. Lots of Beetle Kill Pine around here. Lots of blue stain in it. You have done some good work with it. a lot better than the local guys.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4107 days

#13 posted 04-06-2014 02:54 AM

your getting a really good start, sounds like your figuring out the things you want to change, wish i could offer you suggestions, but im not a chair man…i have faith you will figure it out….i like the wood

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View JSB's profile


737 posts in 2882 days

#14 posted 04-06-2014 03:09 AM

Looks good Monte. To me the seat looks a little cantilevered in the front. I’m not sure if the seat should be pushed back or just reduced in front to back length. Maybe increase the front to back length of the base?

Wish I had a supply of that beetle kill pine. Love that color.

-- Jay -

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3478 days

#15 posted 04-06-2014 03:20 AM

I think it needs an arm with a beverage holder!!! ;^) Just kidding!!!

I can’t disagree with other comments. As others have said, I would soften the back with contour for comfort. I would also consider lightening up the back with a cutout/handhold, to make it look lighter and perhaps more inviting. Can’t tell from the pictures, but yeah, you want to watch the stability. Especially should someone wish to lean back on the two back legs. Overall, it is a nice looking chair, just a bit bulky for my taste. A slight taper on the legs may help make it “lighter”.

I am looking forward to seeing the “final” rendition!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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