Subscribe now and save up to 56%
After I finished building the Maloof style rocker I moved on to next project on my list: reproducing Charles Rohlfs Tall Back Chair. Rohlfs Tall Back Chair is my absolute favorite chair. I love the carved back on this char and the biggest challenge for me was to try to reproduce the back.
This is the third Rohlfs chair that I have attempted to reproduce, the first being Rohlfs Rocking Chair and the second his iconic 1898 desk chair.
Before going further, I want to thank Dr. Karl Kusserow, Curator of American Art at the Princeton University Art Museum for the information he provided me on Rohlfs Tall Back chair. I also had an opportunity to visit the Princeton University Art Museum on a recent trip to New York and see Rohlfs tall back chair first hand.
I spent about an hour looking at the chair, taking photos and videos of it from as many angles as possible.
As with Rohlfs desk chair, I was surprised at how light the chair structure is and how fine the carving is. The thickness of the wood is less than ¾ inch. The carving is quite intricate and delicate looking.
I had a 2 x 8× 60 inch piece of walnut left over from my Malolof rocker build and various other small pieces of walnut. I resawed the 2 inch thick piece into two boards which I book matched to form the back. The grain pattern of the book matched walnut matches the shape of the back quite nicely.
I spent a considerable amount of time piecing together the other small walnut pieces I had left over make up the boards needed for the other parts of the chair. Each side is made from four pieces, which in turn were each glued up from smaller walnut boards.
Structurally, the chair is actually quite simple , only five parts and some braces. The main feature and challenge is the carved back. I’m still learning to carve so this was my biggest challenge. It took several days for me to carve the back.
A friend who is a professional upholsterer is going to make me an upholstered leather seat. The seat in the pictures is “faux” (a fancy French way of saying vinyl) crocodile.
The chair is 54″ high, 17.5 inches wide and 18.5 inches deep. It is finished with Tung oil and wax.
Get woodworking tips, expert advice and special offers in your inbox
Become a member today
Get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content.
Subscribe to Fine Woodworking
Save up to 56%
This week's prize is a 7-piece router bit set from Whiteside valued at $118!
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
Given the choice between a fixed-base router and a plunge model, Jeff Miller will take the plunge router every time. Because it can plunge in and out of the work,…
Eliminate tearout, banish snipe, and get smooth results every time
Take a look at the painstaking process that goes into turning one of Pascal Oudet’s wafer-thin disks--from flattening, to turning, to sandblasting.
Give your joinery skills a workout
Become a member today and get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content!
Plus tips, advice, and special offers from Fine Woodworking.
Our biweekly podcast allows editors, authors, and special guests to answer your woodworking questions and connect with the online woodworking community.
Enter now for your chance to win a Lee Valley block plane valued at $160.
© 2016 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
Become a member and get instant access to thousands of videos, how-tos, tool reviews, and design features.