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Thread: Lets improve this chair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    The Kudzu Patch

    Lets improve this chair

    First, I have some beautiful OLD red oak that I recently found. Might even be old growth? I am not a big oak fan but this stuff has some very nice straight grain and I want to use it in something that will show it off. The problem is it is very thin. It will plane out around 1/2" thick on average.

    I have built a Chattahoochee Chair out of some thin pine from a shipping pallet I had for a shop chair. Here is an old photo as the glue was drying. The oak would be good for a similar chair.


    The chair looks good but it doesn't sit that good. I had to guess at the angles and they are close but not quite right.

    The seat is a bit to long too, so I know I need to shorten it up. The back legs need to angle back too. It tips over easy in a decent breeze. It is stable with someone sitting in it though.

    I think it would look better if the seat were tapper so that it was narrower at the back. I just don't know how much to taper it.

    Now, I know some of you have built some outdoor chairs and was hoping to get some design input. Especially on size of the seat and the angles of the back and seat. I don't want these as steep as an true Adirondack chair I don't think. I have a wonderful back porch overlooking my pool and yard. I have no chairs out there and I want something to sit in the evenings. Perhaps take a laptop with me and be able to put a drink on the arms. Since I know the lumber I have would work with this chair, I would like to improve on it and build a couple of them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    near Dallas, Texas
    Everyone has a different opinion of what is comfortable.......I absolutely love the feel of a Adirondack chair. If you have never sat in one, do try it. They do look a little funny but don't be deceived. An Adirondack chair may be exactly what you are looking for!!

  3. a New and improved......chair???!!!!

    Hi Jeff:

    I'm with Randy on the comfort of an Afirondack chair. I don't like the amount of space they take up by the extension of the back legs.

    The picture you show, has the look of an Adrondack chair with a strait back leg. Staying with the adirondack theme.....the back could use a slight curve from arm to arm, providing a surrounding feel and slightly angle back the side rails.

    I saw where Jim Becker was jet setting the globe playing "woodworking rock-star" with the Barnsley' I'm sorry it was better than the Barnsley's it was a UK "Creeker" who had an adirondack chair with a flair back you mention....take a look at that.

    Look forward to reading more posts..........Neil

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    Jeff, I'm a big fan of prototyping seating furniture. It is darn difficult to tell whether a chair will be comfortable to anybody by just looking at it. On top of that, what feels comfortable to me may not feel comfortable to you.

    It'd be pretty easy to knock together a prototype for your chair. Get some plywood and a bunch of drywall screws. Cut up the plywood and fasten it together with the screws. If it doesn't feel comfortable, pull the screws, move pieces, and try again. Or maybe you don't even screw things together for some parts. For instance, you can experiment with the back angle using clamps to on the arms to set the back angle. In one afternoon in the shop, you can home in on the critical dimensions which feel good to your body.

    Sometimes I do two prototypes. The first one is very rough -- no joinery, and it'll fall apart if you wiggle a bit. However, it gives most of the answers you need. The second prototype is fastened together firmly enough that I can let other people sit in it, and so that I can let it sit in my home for longer-term testing.

  5. #5

    We do alot of Adirondack style furniture very similar to the one you have there. Our backs on that style of chair are reclined about 15 degrees. We also curve the back, say 1/2 to 3/4'' from end to center. We've actually had people send chairs back to one of fancy smansy places and purchase ours. The seats have been made more butt friendly also.

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