Building a Chair, Arts and Crafts Style
Joinery details make this chair strong and handsome
Synopsis: Rex Alexander designed a set of dining chairs inspired by the work of Greene and Greene, Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright, and others. He built a chair prototype to be sure of its comfort, proportions, joinery details, and tool and jig preparation. The chairs have rush seats and vertical slats on both the sides and back, some of which are curved. Detailed project plans clarify all 35 parts. Alexander explains how to machine the parts, cut the mortises, and cut the tenons on the tablesaw. He used jigs to rout the back posts and the mortises. He tells how to fine-tune and dry-fit the parts and how he finished the chairs with a mixture of raw tung oil, boiled linseed oil, and polyurethane. Then he talks about tackling the seat frame and weaving the rush seat, which is time-consuming.
When the curator of Dennos Museum in Traverse City, Mich., asked me…