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Chair ideas

3588 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Lola Ranch
I have build a 48" red oak, round pedestal table with 2 12" extensions. I am looking to build 6 chairs to go with it. I have never built chairs before. I have one design that was in Wood Magazine that looks OK, but I am not crazy about it. I'm looking for some pictures of chairs that some of you have made (nothing TOO fancy) and some recommendations of books or websites that are chair oriented. I have the tools, but no experience with chairs at this point.

Thanks for any ideas.
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Lola Ranch very creative, beautiful designs.

I have attached a picture of the chair I am planning on building. It's alright, but lacks pizazz. What it has going for it is it is straight forward and I have complete plans for it, a very important consideration for a first time chair builder. I've built each piece in my head several times and have figured out the fixturing I am going to use to make it repeatable (6 times).

Comments appreciated.


The picture is not too clear. The back is a 5" wide splat flanked by a 3/4" spoke on each side.


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You will be appreciated as a chair maker more if you build them comfortable to sit in. That is why I usually put a lumbar curve in the splats.

I believe It is most helpful to build a prototype chair to use as a pattern.


I am planning to build a prototype and have purchased a 2"x12"x11' piece of ash for that purpose. Ash is relatively cheap around here because of emerald ash borers, and it looks nice enough to keep the chair if it turns out well.

The lumbar support is a good idea, but the thought of it causes me mental pain. I'm the kind of guy that can build almost anything given a set of plans, but as far a creative goes---not so much (read "not at all"). Changing the back leg and getting the curve to look natural would be a real task for me.

Do you steam, laminate or band saw the curve in the splat? How do you determine the correct amount of curvature for the lumbar support?


I noticed on your walnut chairs you have a dado running around the inside of the seat. It looks rather narrow. Do the corner braces have a tenon that fits into that dado? Is it used just to ease the assembly process or is the corner brace glued into the dado for added strength?

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