Rohlfs Inspired Desk Chair 3
Rohlfs inspired desk chair #3.
50 ½ inches high, 15 ½ inches wide and 16 inches deep.
I made this chair for my nephew who is has just moved into his first home.
This is the 3rd chair I have made inspired by the Charles Rohlfs’ 1898 desk chair. The chair is made from reused mahogany (6” x ¾” mahogany door frames salvaged taken from a home renovation project) with walnut accents.
The design includes the tapered high back. In this case the curved back is a bent lamination. The back is made from two 3 inches pieces that are book matched. It is about 6 inches wide at the top and tapers to 4 inches where the back meets the seat. The curved rails and middle stretcher are also bent laminations.
The shape of the back is actually based on the handle of stainless steel spoon. I got the inspiration to use cutlery as a pattern for chair backs when searching the internet for art deco patterns and the image of a spoon came up. The shape of cutlery lends itself perfectly to the slender shape of the chair back. I rummaged through the cutlery drawer at the cottage, where no two spoons or forks are the same pattern, and found about 15 or so interesting designs which lend themselves nicely to a chair back.
The sash along the front and back of chair is made from walnut carved to match the pattern of the spoon. It provided an opportunity for me to try my hand at some simple carving (and an excuse to start buying some carving chisels and gouges!) The sash is inserted into a 1/8”deep rabbit carved into the back (an excuse to buy a router plane!). The same pattern is also used on the front and side rails of the chair.
The parabolic shape of the seat and the stepped design routed on the side of the seat match that of Rohlfs’ desk chair.
The rails are attached to the legs with mortise and tenon joints. The seat is attached to the back with a through mortise and walnut wedges.
Perhaps this is not the most practical piece of furniture for a young person’s first home, but that’s why we have IKEA.