Furniture #24: GN Prototype Chair (or Pottz made me do it)

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Blog entry by robscastle posted 04-23-2017 12:37 AM 2347 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 23: Maloof Medium Chair continues I got the timber! Part 24 of Furniture series Part 25: GN Prototype chair Making the seat and assemblying most parts »

Pottz spotted a Sam Maloof chair I was making for the family and wanted a picture, so I sent him a few attached to one of my replies.
Anyway he educated me about a person called George Nakashima in the process, so being a bit of an inquisitive sort of person I went off and researched George myself.

Now this guy is a fellow Americian, and obviously of japanese heritage and he had an engineering background but ended up in a Internment Camp in the USA during WWII.

His life story is a very interesting one (well it was to me anyway) and his furniture creations took my interest.
In particular his two legged chair the “Coniod”

At first I just admired his work and marveled over the natural lines and simplicity he used obviously calling on and using his engineering skills to make the products.

Being a simple person myself I decided to see if I could make the Conoid chair.

As it was a first off for me I decided to make a prototype just in case it ended up in the Otto bin.
So its Sunday morning I set to work, its now early AM Sun and this is my result so far.

The basic frame.

It seemed to be too easy, the feet and supports are Morticed so I clamped up some cross braces and made a temporary seat and inserted some seat supports and clamped them in position.

Well it didnt fall over so I guess thats a good start, curious as to how well balanced it was I sat in it.

The Stability Test

To my surprise it was quite comportable albeit a bit wobbly, but it was not too unstable tipping wise.

So I decide to stand on it , now its not really a good idea but sure enough it held me OK, mind you I would not recommend standing on the very front as I think it may tip forward.


Well in summary its well worth continuing with, and I wanted a decent picture to demonstrate it so I asked my wife Aurora to “come take a look” she looked at it and asked where the other two legs were.

I then coaxed her to try it out and she reluctantly did saying it looked very wobbly upon sitting it it she was also surprised!

So I got some decent pictures to show you all!

Better Pictures

and another

Well thats something well worth persuing and turning into a project !

-- Regards Rob

10 comments so far

View patron's profile


13718 posts in 4419 days

#1 posted 04-23-2017 01:00 AM

always nice to find new ways to enjoy the craft

aurora seems happy too
add more chairs to the honey do list
and start thinking about the matching table
while you are at it

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5131 days

#2 posted 04-23-2017 01:17 AM

Looks very interesting!

Rob, how much do you weigh? Over 210 lbs?

It looks like you have two dado grooves on each leg where Seat pieces slide into those grooves (like a Half-lap) and glued together… (???)

Is this going to be Sculptured like a Maloof chair… or what?

It’s going to be FUN watching how you progress through this project…

Thank you!

BTW: Good to see you David, Patron… Hope all is OK with you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View pottz's profile


16785 posts in 2063 days

#3 posted 04-23-2017 01:44 AM

geeez rob didn’t I tell you never follow me because I’m lost! yeah nakashima has been a huge influence in my work,kinda a combo of sam maloof and nakashima morfed together.i cant wait to see your final piece,ive researched the conoid chair and have never been able to find any drawings or plans so I’m really anxious to see what you come up always inspire me buddy-peace.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View CFrye's profile


11246 posts in 2918 days

#4 posted 04-23-2017 03:13 AM


-- God bless, Candy

View Boxguy's profile


2897 posts in 3346 days

#5 posted 04-23-2017 06:46 AM

Rob, as always thanks for taking us along on your adventure. Nakashima has made some interesting benches too. He deserves emulation.

-- Big Al in IN

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2931 posts in 2142 days

#6 posted 04-23-2017 08:16 AM

I always enjoy bragging about the amazing Buddies I hob-nob with around here. On the subject of sculpted furniture, in case you’re not familiar, here's one of my idols.

-- Mark

View robscastle's profile


7876 posts in 3283 days

#7 posted 04-23-2017 08:45 AM

Thanks everybody all a lotta fun!

Patron: Your right I think when No 1 son sees it he will want a set for the 1500mm x 1500mm T able I built for him at Christmas.

Joe: 100% correct on the joints and yes its more sculpting for the seat, possibly not as much thats involved with Sams work. I wondered where P atron was too maybe he was hibernating… nice to see him back again.

pottz: No worries about getting lost its all part of the journey and adds interest as well. Plans yep agree there, I spent a week or more looking for information, and your correct there is not a lot about. From posts I saw it relates to the fact that Mira, Georges daughter now runs the business and the chair is still being made as a business concern and they are understandably reluctant to have commercial colnes effecting their business interests.
However once I have completed the chair I will have a reasonable idea on dimensions, most of the info I found was available on furniture ergonomices websites, and that helped a lot. The rest was simply measuring my own chairs.
Speaking of which there is a post about somenbody actually measuring a chair at a museum!! They must have been keen!...also there are are pleny of pictures about too. As Joe posted George deserves the credit for the original design

I saw a set of ten chairs advertised for about $147K how about that !

Candy: Glad you liked it more to come!!

Boxguy: Yes I saw the benches most impressive, all a bit out of my league with the size of the timber he used !!

Mark: Thanks looks like I am off checking out some more woodies!

-- Regards Rob

View crowie's profile


4568 posts in 3029 days

#8 posted 04-23-2017 10:10 AM

You’ll have to lower that chair a little sir, the lady can’t reach the ground with her feet….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3591 days

#9 posted 04-23-2017 10:53 AM

Nice looking build Robert.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View pottz's profile


16785 posts in 2063 days

#10 posted 04-23-2017 05:45 PM

I agree with mark benji reyes work is phenominal,on my buddy list also.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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