At this point in the side chair build I am ready to lay out slat mortises on the rear legs. But before I get into that part of the process I thought it would be a good idea to go over some general principles of chair design, especially as it relates to dining chairs. Understanding these general principles will help enormously as I describe laying out and cutting the slat mortises, and subsequently how and why I rotate the legs to a specific angle when fitting the slats.
In 2008 Brian gave a 63 minute talk at the 2008 Woodworking in America conference. It is a wide ranging discussion that covers chair design, designing to fit the human body, joints used in chair construction, grain orientation, using hide glue, and much more. Click here to watch. It is well worth an hour of your time.
Here are a couple of views of Brian’s beautiful side chair. I sit in one of these chairs every day, and it is by far the most comfortable chair that I own.
In the next post I will add measurements and angles to these drawings to reinforce and expand upon the principles that Brian goes over in the video. I am teaching two side chair classes this week and next—they are very intense and don’t leave me much time or energy for writing, so the next post in the side chair build series will mostly likely be in a couple of weeks.
Jeff Lefkowitz | September 19, 2013