Dining Room Chairs
Here is a set of four walnut dining room chairs that I helped a fellow woodworker build. There is an interesting story behind the number discrepancy. He had never built a chair before and when he showed me the sample, I was very dubious about its durability as a dining room chair. A dining room chair takes more abuse than just about any other chair in the house because it gets scooted and wiggled upon under load. To add to the problem, carpets prevent the feet of the chair from sliding easily and great leverage is applied against the usually fragile joints at the rear of the seat. And it is always the largest person in the crowd of diners that tilts the chair back on its hind legs and turns from side to side restlessly. This beautiful, fragile Italian model didn't have a prayer. After giving some thought, we agreed upon subtle increases in selected dimensions. That helped a lot, but I still didn't feel comfortable about it. So I redesigned the back joints and built a laminated bent ring to fit inside the seat rails of each chair. This mechanically transferred any stress on the back joint to the almost unbreakable ring. I'm confident that these walnut dining room chairs will never see a repair shop for loose joints. They were beautifully upholstered by a local craftsman after a clear lacquer finish was applied and rubbed out.
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