Chair bottoms

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Forum topic by Nels posted 12-18-2013 03:07 PM 2967 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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48 posts in 2106 days

12-18-2013 03:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: chair bottom carving shaping quarter sawn white oak library chair

I’ve been wanting to build a bunch (12) of chairs for several years. I’m talking about a Stickley type, similar to a library chair, out of quarter sawn white oak.
I bought a couple from Stickley several years ago and I made one. The one on the left is the one that I made. The only part that I’m having a hard time with is the chair bottom. The one I made was done with dangerous use of the table saw and Holey Galahad grinding head. Yes it worked but I don’t want to do that much grinding and sanding (again for 12 chairs). I’m thinking of going to a shop and getting the chair bottoms done with a CNC machine.
Any other suggestions?

12 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3219 posts in 2734 days

#1 posted 12-19-2013 01:06 AM

Nels, search Youtube for Hal Taylor. In one vid he shows how to make the seats. I haven’t done it, but it was highly recommended by a buddy. HTH

-- Art

View Grampa_Doodie's profile


163 posts in 2775 days

#2 posted 01-06-2014 04:50 PM

Here’s a great video. It’s long, but to the point.


-- If at first you don't succeed...DO NOT try skydiving.

View TaybulSawz's profile


181 posts in 2160 days

#3 posted 01-06-2014 05:39 PM

I think it might be worth your while to build a jig like this since you’re building so many…

-- Still got all my Fingers!!!

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Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 3547 days

#4 posted 01-06-2014 05:45 PM

I’ve done man many seats using the Kutzall grinding wheels love them!

I have many vids including this Time Lapse video of the process, no table saw nesscerrary, The disc does not grab or bounce and never wears out.

This one is Time lapse so my 30 minutes in carving gets watched in 3mins (-:

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View CharlesNeil's profile


2496 posts in 4348 days

#5 posted 01-06-2014 06:03 PM

The Kutzall and the Holey Galahad are very similar, the agressiveness depends on how course the wheel your using . I do like them both .

In my classes , where I don’t want inexperienced folks using the more agressive grinding wheels I opt for these ... they are available all over the place, usually even hardware stores who sell welding supplies have them , as well as Harbor Freight, ( not sure how good) , but you can get a range of grits , and they do pretty well, a course grit to shape then move up , then use a random orbit to finish off. I also really like the “spoon “planes, they can remove alot of material pretty quick, they have to be sharp and it takes a little bit to get used to them, but once you do you can make pretty quick work of a seat.

View Nels's profile


48 posts in 2106 days

#6 posted 01-06-2014 06:07 PM

Thanks guys! I looked at all of them. The table saw jig is fasinating, but to plain for my taste. I am going to look into the Kutzall and I have the bottom I made several years ago at a shop with a CNC. I’ll see how expensive it would be.

I’m technically challenged or I would have been on this website sooner. I really enjoy it!!

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 3328 days

#7 posted 01-06-2014 11:34 PM

Another approach, and valid for a dozen copies, is a router duplicator or copy carver. There are several shopbuild models afoot on the YTube. Total tightness and accuracy would not be a big driver because final sanding would fix anything that needed it.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Danpaddles's profile


576 posts in 2789 days

#8 posted 01-06-2014 11:40 PM

The Windsor chair guys use a gutter adze and a funny curved scraper/ drawknife looking thing called a scorp. I did one chair bottom, it is hard on the wrist, but you can pull out a fair amount of material pretty quick.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View rum's profile


148 posts in 3063 days

#9 posted 01-07-2014 07:56 PM

Paul, I like your wall of suction behind your grinder setup. That’s a take home idea right there.

Interesting thread!

View adaughhetee's profile


104 posts in 3161 days

#10 posted 01-07-2014 08:07 PM

A router sled would be my choice. I have seen a good example but, can find it now. But you can get the basics of how it would work from the picture. Leave the router at one depth and the runners guide the depth. I find this way safer than with the table saw and meat grinder. It would also be more repeatable.

View Nels's profile


48 posts in 2106 days

#11 posted 01-07-2014 08:30 PM

The router sled looks very interesting. I can’t read the lables. Where is it from?

View adaughhetee's profile


104 posts in 3161 days

#12 posted 01-08-2014 06:55 AM

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