Chair Design


  • Rosewood Studio Perth, Ontario Canada

Chairs are enough of a challenge that many woodworkers avoid building them. So let's be honest, a week class isn’t long enough for each student to complete a chair, at least not one you would be happy with. But we can explore all of the aspects of making chairs -- from comfort to joinery -- and I'll demonstrate it all by building a chair I'll bring partially started. 

Don't worry, you'll get plenty of hands on work drawing, making parts, and cutting joints for your own chair. My goal is to teach you the necessary skills so that you understand how to go about designing an attractive and comfortable chair, draw it full scale and use that drawing to produce patterns and shape parts, configure and cut durable joints, add a few decorative touches, assemble all those parts,  and finally build a seat frame for upholstery (or a woven seat if you prefer). 

A good starting point to work out the overall shape and design of a chair and its three dimensional joinery is a drawing of the front view, side view, and plan view (from above). We will discuss how to use these drawings to orient the parts to one another cutting the joinery, critical dimensions and comfortable angles for  the back and seat, appropriate materials for chairs, making parts by steambending vs. lamination or cutting out of the solid, and even considerations for efficiently making a set of chairs. 

Please bring to the class ideas for a chair you would like to build. Some scale sketches would be enough. Or you can follow the design I will draw. Emphasis will be on modern chairs, and more specifically a dining or desk chairs.