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Project Information

This is a set of twelve dining room chairs based on the Fine Woodworking ""Build an Elegant Dining Chair video workshop series and plans by Matthew Teague.

A few (low quality) pictures of the construction process:

Starting with full size drawings from the side and at seat level:


The first of two prototypes I built out of scrap pine before committing to a big lumber order:


Raw stock getting ready to be machined. Chairs are entirely made from hard maple:


I built a crude horizontal slot mortiser out of drawer slides to try to cut the numerous angled mortises. It ended up being too difficult to secure the workpiece, so I switched to using my MortisePal and a set of wedges:


A stack of seat rails partway through the mortising. In all, more than 200 mortises were cut for the set of chairs:


Front leg and seat rail combos being glued up:


A stack of rough back legs waiting to be shaped on the router table:


Shaping finished and ready for mortising:


I don't have any pictures of shaping the backs, but it was certainly the hardest part. I didn't do a very good job at cutting them out on the bandsaw, so there was a lot of shaping to be done with a variety of sanders and spokeshaves.

Band clamps and wedges worked well to bring everything tight:


More band clamps to bring the whole chair together:


The upholstery was surprisingly easy. Just cut, glue, pull, and staple. Close to 5000 staples used in all:




An improvised turntable from a spare seat blank worked well for finishing. I decided to spray finish with one thin coat of shellac and three coats of General Finishes Endurovar.


Hope you enjoyed! This was by far the most ambitious project I've taken on, and while it didn't turn out perfectly, at least they don't fall apart when you sit on them!

Gallery

Comments

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3,385 Posts
Now what pray tell is not perfect in those chairs? Wonderful build…thanks for all the pictures along the way… And Welcome to LJ's
 

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248 Posts
Great job! Very nice looking set. Thanks for sharing.
Welcome to LJs.
 

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30,760 Posts
Great job. Excellent pictorial.

Welcome to LumberJocks
 

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427 Posts
I think that you did a fantastic job, that is one beautiful dinning set. Chairs can be a challenge. Go Pens !!!!
 

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4,150 Posts
wow very nice.excellent build.

welcome to lumberjocks!!!
 

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118,619 Posts
Outstanding work,great build/
 

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3,389 Posts
Must give you a tip of the hat on this project, you my friend are very ambitious. You dinning rm. set came out beautifully and the color really makes the design stand out. But to take on such a project in a small basement shop show a great drive in your woodworking skills and should be commented. Great work on your part hope everyone at home really appreciates you hard work and enjoy all those future family meals…BC PS…just check out your bio page and I see you new to the site…WELCOME TO THE SITE OF SITE LUMBER JOCKS!
 

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3,759 Posts
Great job on the chairs. Building one chair is challenging enough, twelve is quite a task, but I'm sure oit provides a great sense of satisfaction on a job well done.
 

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2,685 Posts
Wow! You did a really great job building those chairs! Another WOW!
 

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200 Posts
Great build. I have yet to tackle a dining room set just because I'm intimidated by chairs. Awesome job jumping in and having an amazing outcome. Also, thank you for all the pictures along the way.
 

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3,381 Posts
Congratulations on finishing a set of 12 chairs! I just did a set of 4 and that was enough for me. :) I am impressed, great job.
 

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7,085 Posts
Excellent work on these chairs-they came out great!

I'm considering making these chairs myself, and will look into the plans on the website.
 

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348 Posts
Really awesome chairs.The dining room chairs will be one of the first pieces of furniture that your guests will see and more importantly will be sitting in, so it is important to have a dining room that is both attractive in appearance and welcoming.Dining room chairs should compliment the style and structure of the tables.
 
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