Friday, June 2, 2017

3rd Annual June Chair Build - I

This year for my June Chair Build, I am going to build a pair of Moravian style chairs as an experiment.

The experiment will have a couple of different facets:

1st - Can I build stout chairs out of pine from the home center?

Laminated wood for the seats and backs, and construction lumber for the legs. My past Welsh stick chairs have had solid seats of elm and either ash or oak legs. I'm pretty sure I could stand and jump up and down on them with no negative effects. These chairs, I suspect will be plenty strong to sit on, but probably not bombproof for the ages.

We'll see.

2nd - Can this style of chair be updated to look at home with more modern decor?

I plan on using more clean lines than some of the old chairs with all the swirly piercings, but there will be a nod to their heritage. Maybe it will look good, maybe not.

We'll see.

3rd - Can I actually get these chairs built in June this year?

This style of chair should theoretically be simpler to build with flat pine seats and staked legs than sculpted elm seats, but you never know. This is me we're talking about. My last one day project took seven days. My intent is to build a simple pair of chairs. Will they end up that way?

We'll see.

My actual plan is to build two matching chairs that are only subtly different. One for the desk, and one for lounging.

I bought plenty of lumber and hauled it home in the usual fashion: in my carrito de abuelita on the bus. I bought three 44mm x 44mm x 240cm boards for leg stock. I got the stuff that had the straightest grain. There are a few knots, and for the most part when I cut them into leg parts, I only have a couple of knots to deal with that I think will not cause too many problems. If they do, I have lots more.
Cutting the leg stock to length.
So far all I have done is cut the legs to rough length, and planed two faces smooth and square on the eight legs I've chosen.
Squaring two faces.
Next up will tapering the legs in square shapes, then making them octagonal. I might not post progress for a couple days on this because it is smelly, sweaty work. After that comes the fun part. I have a vague idea of what I want to do, but design will be on the fly.

Let me know how your June chair is coming along. I'd love to see it, and I'll post links to your photos. I am afraid that the bar will be set high this year, as Greg is building a daring plywood back stool on his blog, the Hillbilly Daiku.


  1. I'm pretty sure the bar is still firmly on the floor, but thanks for the vote of confidence.

    Its exciting that we are both going down the same idea path. Can a decent chair be made from home center available materials? In the Moravian style? And be made contemporary? Great minds? Or Birds of a feather? In this case it may be cuckoo birds.

    In either case, I'm excited to see what you come up with.

    Management just informed me that she wants to take a weekend trip this month. So now I'm down three shop days for the month of June.

  2. You should take a weekend trip to Spain!

    Really, I'm not purposely copying you. I've had this idea for a long time, bit I wouldn't have thought of plywood. The great part of a Moravian chair is Roy Underhill can build one in 30 minutes, so a month should be about right for me.


  3. Hey Brian knock it off!!!
    I invited Greg to Portugal first!!!
    I can built a chair too... sort off... I think...

    :D :D

  4. I can answer part of the first question :) Having a Moravian and a rocking chair whose seats were made from leimholz... they tend to split along glue joints. Then again, they weren't oriented they way I'd have done it.

    1. Thanks Michael!

      I haven't built the seat yet. How would you have done it?