A Comfortable Craftsman-style Side Chair
Tom McLaughlin builds a Craftsman-style side chair with a reclined backrest, curved crest rail, and angled mortise-and-tenon joinery.
Synopsis: Build a Craftsman-style side chair with a reclined backrest, curved crest rail, and angled mortise-and-tenon joinery. The key to the challenge of chairmaking is to make detailed drawings of the chair from the side, front, and top views, clearly mapping out the chair’s shape, joinery, and dimensions. If you stick to the drawing, angled joinery and other complexities will not thwart you.
During my apprenticeship with P.A. “Pug” Moore, he sometimes said, “If you can build a chair, you can build anything.” After all, chairmaking presents the ultimate challenge in woodworking. There’s the complexity of the construction, which almost always involves angled joinery. Plus, there’s designing a chair to be appealing from any viewpoint while, at the same time, being comfortable. Add in shaping, and it’s no wonder so few attempt making chairs of their own. But take it from me, building chairs is tremendously satisfying. It takes…