Arts & Crafts Style Oak Chair


Wood Selection

Making Templates

Milling Wood


Sanding, Finish Application Final Product




This will be the first chair that I have built.

Cindy and I looked at a number of chairs online...liked some of the Mission stylings of this Stickley chair.


The chair's primary purpose will be its use at an oak rolltop desk...width limitation is 21 1/4 inches.

Secondarily, it will serve as a reserve dining chair when guests outnumber chairs at the table.

I looked at a number of images online...checked out SketchUp warehouse for some models...purchased a set of plans for a Mission dining chair.

I began working on a detailed model in SketchUp.



Then, at that time I found a chair that Cindy and I really liked...and the project idea steered immediately to this design.

I really liked this Arts and Crafts chair.

Kevin Rodel, Fine Woodworking

Arts and Crafts Dining Chair

Article: FWW #190, March/April 2007

Here is the chair at Rodel's this picture the chair is built of cherry with a black leather seat...

Video online of Kevin Rodel and the layout and coopering of the splat assembly.
I ordered a detailed drawing...
The detailed drawing includes scaled down drawings from multiple angles...this set of plans is 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

I also began a detailed Sketchup of the design.

This was a bit challenging...lots of curved shapes, angled joinery, a wide variety of mortise and tenon types...but the CAD drawing slowly took shape...learned some new techniques.


Wood Selection

My brother-in-law, Rusty, delivered up some red oak to me. This wood was milled on a farm in south MS and stored in a barn many years ago.

The wood is barn dry.

Boards were about 12 feet plus, 5 inch plus wide and 6/4 thick.

At the Benchmark table, Cindy and I cut them into 6 foot plus working blanks...

...and stored them to surface dry, it had rained the day they were delivered...

...then transported them into the shop.

As a test, I jointed a face and an edge of a cutoff...the boards seem very consistent and I hope to be able to find pieces that after milling are right at 1 1/2 inches thick to use for the legs.
After creating a Sketchup for the A&C chair...looking at the cutlist it was clear that for some parts we had to start with 8/4 lumber...the pieces that required the slab were the 2 rear legs, 3 front legs, the crest rail, and the lower back rail.

We bought a 8/4 x ~7 inches wide x 9 foot long slab of northern red oak at Pickens...shown are the 5 ft and 4 ft slabs.

Cut list from pattern sheet
Making Templates
The Rodel chair plans included full scale images of the items that parts that require templates.
The most important of these templates is for the rear legs. We taped down the plan and put some butcher paper over the drawing. Using a .5mm Sakura Perma pen we traced out the full size template drawing.
This included the locations of the mortises.
The leg and the mortise layouts were cut out with an Exacto blade.

The paper template was laid onto .25 inch thick MDF and the 43" (plus 6" for extensions) outline was applied to the MDF.

There was an extension included at both ends to allow for the template jig construction.


The MDF template, which was the pattern for the right rear leg, was cut at the bandsaw...we it cut a little fat.
The template was then sanded down to the line at the Rigid belt sander.
The second template (right rear leg) was jig sawed fat on all sides...
Then the right template was secured to the left, fat template with double sided tape...
...and then the exact copy was routed.
The 1 1/2 inch slab was put into the template sandwich...a 1/2 dowel hole was drilled...this will be used to index the templates.
A hardwood oversized dowel was cleaned up in the LN dowel plate.
What the template sandwich looks like...the mortise lay out shows where the template may be screwed down to the oak blank.

Milling of Billets


Th 8/4 slab was jointed and planed down to 1 7/8 thickness for the back rails...and then down to 1 1/2 inches for the rear and front legs.
The rear leg blanks were laid out in the template sandwich...the outline was drawn off to maximize grain runs...
The blanks were trimmed fat at the bandsaw...had to use wedge to hold kerf open.
One of the templates was secured to the blank with screws (SD #6, @ 1") the areas of the inside face where the mortises will be located.

At the router table, router RPM was set down one click off highest...we used a Whiteside spiral combination bit with bearings...a compression bit...up/down spiral.

We removed the top bearing...cutting surface is 1 1/8 inches.


The bearing height was dialed in to that the bearing against the 1/4 MDF template at the bottom...this is the template that was screwed down to the blank.

Since only one of the templates can receive the screws...It is important to confirm that the bearing is resting against the secured, screwed template.

Pic after the first pass...the surface is flush with template up 1 1/8 inches...then bit was raised so that the bearing ran against the new surface up to the proper height to finish off the flush cut.

Stopped short of contacting the top MDF template...

The milled rear leg blanks...and the template sandwich.
The front legs are 1 1/2 the blanks are ripped from an edge that was rift sawn...
This slab is ripped at band saw...the two different thicknesses of splats (thickies = 5/8, thinnies= 3/8) will be milled from this piece...

All of the rought billets...planed to appropriate thickness...





Sanding, Finish Application, Final Product






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