Help me think through some joints on Round Back Chairs

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Forum topic by CharlesA posted 01-23-2020 04:03 PM 383 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3395 posts in 2428 days

01-23-2020 04:03 PM

I like the design of these chairs and am thinking of tackling them at some point. I know they are constructed with M&T and Dowels, probably some screws in there somewhere. I have a pic and then a pic with my guesses on joints. I’d love any feedback, partcularly on attaching the back legs. I also wonder how the support for the upholstered seat is done.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

7 replies so far

View teetomterrific's profile


89 posts in 992 days

#1 posted 01-24-2020 11:19 PM

The photos are a bit small but I think you have most of them right. I don’t think that back piece is unglued though. That back leg may be screws or dowels.

-- Tom, Adams, TN

View Kazooman's profile


1424 posts in 2583 days

#2 posted 01-25-2020 01:51 AM

I can’t offer any more on the joinery than my funnel hatted-friend (with kudos to Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog, Crabby Appleton, and Isotope Feeney). I would suggest building a model out of some cheap wood and sitting in it for a while. Those look like some of the most uncomfortable chairs I have ever seen. Just my opinion. Your spine may vary.

View TravisH's profile


703 posts in 2566 days

#3 posted 01-25-2020 02:43 AM

The rear legs are likely a lap joint held together with a bolt/threaded insert. The seat most likely is supported by battens attached to the set rails along the sides and back.

View Woodknack's profile


13056 posts in 3011 days

#4 posted 01-25-2020 05:25 AM

I would bet the back legs are lap joints and the seat rails are M&T reinforced with corner brackets. Ultimately it doesn’t matter how they built it as long as you pick good joinery.

-- Rick M,

View Lazyman's profile


4639 posts in 2018 days

#5 posted 01-25-2020 02:12 PM

I have a dining room chair that has a curve on the font—sort of the reverse of this one. The legs have tenons that I assume are attached to the curved frame, (it is not visible but I assume it has a curve to match) and then reinforced with a bracket that is also attached to the frame. The bracket sort of forms a mortise (between the bracket and side frame) that shoulders for the leg tenon to sit on. One difference in my chair and that one is that the shoulders also rest on the outside curved frame. The seat is then attached with screws up through the bracket from below.

EDIT: here’s a picture.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View AndyJ1s's profile


146 posts in 386 days

#6 posted 01-26-2020 12:29 AM

The back of the armrests are probably joined with a half-lap, or a sliding dovetail for more strength.

A sliding dovetail would also lend strength in the back leg joints too (compared to a lap joint with screw reinforcement).

The sweeping side/back support joint with the seat side/front leg could done with a tenon of sorts, formed by extending the existing bottom curve, but cut rabbets into both sides to fit into a slot mortise (with a bottom curved to match) in top of the seat rail. That tenon could extend forward into the top of the mortise in the front leg.

Andy – Arlington TX

-- Andy - Arlington TX

View CharlesA's profile


3395 posts in 2428 days

#7 posted 01-26-2020 12:45 AM

all these comments are really helpful—some possibilities I wouldn’t have seen.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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