Plans to make a couple dining chairs

Discussion in 'Carpentry and Woodworking' started by zannej, Nov 6, 2019.

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  1. Nov 6, 2019 #1

    zannej

    zannej

    zannej

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    So, this is something that will be on the back burner on my to-do list since I have many other things to do first, but I like to plan ahead & I've decided that I want to make some chairs for my friend's kitchen (as I can't find anything that matches his color scheme & style that isn't made of mdf & is horribly expensive).

    I've been looking at various plans & trying to figure things out. I really liked a chair that Paul Sellers made but the plans are paywalled (need to pay $15 a month to gain access to his videos & plans for it). I'm seriously thinking of doing a one month sub & downloading it all. He did an intro video that is free and it gave some details-- slope on chair should be greater than 4° but no more than 7° (btw, Alt 0176 is the code for putting the ° symbol). His top rails under the seat were 4" high. He said on the front the lower rail made it about 9" so it looks like he had about a 3" gap and 2" rail. From my guesstimates the side and back rails spanned 13" so the sides & back were a little lower. He uses mortise & tenon joints, which are tricky but sturdy. I also like how he cut 1/2" off the bottom of the back legs so the chair slopes back just a bit.

    He tapered the seat but I couldn't figure out the angle or measurements so I found another diagram of a chair with a tapered seat that gave angles. The one I found went from 16-5/8" at the back and 19-1/4" at the front. That made it about a 95° angle from the back to the side on the rear and 85° angle from the front to the side.

    I also liked the X on the back of the farmhouse chair at Ana White's website. She has detailed plans & cut lists but the seat doesn't taper & the foam cushion is far too thick. The legs do slope a bit at the back so the lower rails are cut at a 10° angle. I think tapered looks better so I'm thinking 1" or 2" difference might work. My ideas for options are:
    a. Reduce the width of the back to 18" but keep it 19" at the front
    b. Reduce the width of the back to 18" and increase the front to 20"
    c. Keep the width at the back 19" but increase the front width to 20"

    I'd have to play around with seat sizes to see which is the most comfortable. I prefer larger seats but my friend is skinny. The less of a taper the easier it might be to cut the tenons. Instead of pocket screws I would use mortise & tenons (bc I think I can figure out how to do it, but I will need to practice on scraps). I'd prefer to use those over dowels or biscuits. Paul Sellers said that it's much harder to cut the mortise at an angle than a tenon & that the difference in strength is negligible. The trick would be figuring out the angles.

    I'd probably have to use larger boards than Ana White suggests. I do have some spare lumber in the barn & workshop to play with so I can see what sizes are available. The stuff in the barn is rough & not planed so I will have to see if I can plane the boards without tripping the breaker (again).

    So, I like the seat/leg rails on the Paul Sellers chair (as well as the angle of the upper back & the slight incline toward the back)
    customchair1.jpg

    But I like the X shape & seat mounted on top rather than recessed on the Ana White chair (the thick cushion looks nice but it would make the seat too high for his daughter)
    Ana-WhiteFarmhouse-Chair.jpg

    I like the taper on the mackintosh chair (it was the first one I found that labeled the degrees of the angles)
    mackintosh-chair-plans.jpg

    I'll talk to my friend about his preferences, but I think I could add a little bit of curve to the top & bottom of the back rails (that ends before the X meets so that part will be straight). I'm also thinking of chamfering the legs & edges so they won't be so blocky & sharp.

    I want to make a prototype with scraps & then make the chairs out good lumber once I am satisfied with the design. My friend can upholster the seat because he has experience with upholstering. I think I have some old couch cushion leather (real leather) down at the workshop that he can dye & use unless he wants to go with a different fabric.

    Anyone have experience with chair-making that has suggestions or diagrams/plans?
     
  2. Nov 6, 2019 #2

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    What do you have in the way of power tools?
     
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  3. Nov 6, 2019 #3

    zannej

    zannej

    zannej

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    I'll need to do an inventory but I know I have a tablesaw. I think my drill press is broken (tenants broke it & we never replaced it). Need to see if the miter saw works. I have a flooring cutter that can do miter cuts but only on thin pieces. I have the Black & Decker Matrix with drill/screwdriver, circular saw attachment, jigsaw attachment, reciprocating saw attachment, sander, router, impact driver, and oscillating attachments. I have a Shopsmith that has some sort of rotating sandpaper thing but I haven't ever used it so I am not sure how to get it to work. I have various clamps, chisels, measuring tapes, T-square, etc. I probably have a speedsquare but if I don't I can get one. I have a digital level & calipers.

    There are tons of tools in there that I need to look at. I put it off because I procrastinate but I always get emotional when I go in there because I still miss my father. I also have an angle grinder, but I don't think that would help with the chair. I will have to see if I have any handheld wood planes.
     

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