A Revolution in Chair Making
When you separate the seat and back from the structure, it gets easier
Synopsis: Beauty, comfort, and strength come together in this chair designed by Michael Fortune. In traditional chairmaking the legs, rails, seat, and back are part of a single unit. This design throws all that out the window. By separating the seat and back from the legs and rails, you can build the base first. Because the legs and rails are square to one another, the joinery is much simpler. The seat and back are attached to the base with screws after they’ve been shaped for comfort. Handy jigs take care of the multiple mortises in this chair, and make it easy to create an identical set to fit around a dining table.
I have designed dozens of chairs during my career, and made several hundred. Whenever I design one, I strive to make it beautiful, comfortable, and strong. Meeting those goals often means the chairs are difficult to build,…