Chair Build 1.5

20210716_113826So, last year I built a chair.  You probably remember it – the chair I didn’t actually need and built on a whim just to give me some experience at building a chair.  As if I was magically going to switch careers and go into chair-making and needed the experience.

Anyway, I built that chair from a little more than one standard length 2×4 and a small piece of a plywood sheet.  When I built it last year this was actually a pretty cheap build for an experiment.  And, while the pine in a 2×4 is generally pretty lousy, it is fairly strong.  That said, if you’ve seen the cost of dimensional lumber lately, you know it would have cost a pretty penny if I went down the rabbit hole this year.

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Chair Experiment v. 1.0

Look, there’s no good reason for me to make a chair — they aren’t that expensive to buy, so why spend the time?  But then again, most things woodworkers make can be bought cheaply, which also usually means you get something cheap.

Anyway…

What is the purpose of making a chair?  It could be that our own dining room set is incomplete, because one of the children broke the lower supports off the chair hears ago, at a time when I didn’t realize it would be fine just to fix it.  But again, our chairs are basically off-the-rack, and nothing special, so they could all be replaced fairly easily, without must trouble.  And if not replace it exactly, could come pretty close, and it wouldn’t cost too much.

But, when you like working with wood, you don’t necessarily think of things in terms of cost.  You usually think about the fun of making something, and the challenge of it.  Plus, you get the satisfaction of doing it yourself.  Which is all why I decided to make a chair — not so much because I needed to, but because the challenge of it made it so I had to.

The chair you see in the photo is my literal first attempt.  As such, I tried to keep it simple, with everything being a rectangle, and without curves.  More difficult features will come in version 2.0.  And since this was a first attempt, I made the thing out of pine.  That way, if it was a disaster the only thing I’d done was ruin two 2×4’s and a small bit of plywood.  Not a hundred dollars of oak or ash.  The only real flourishes were the seat is upholstered, and the back has no curve.

Ultimately, this chair was an experiment and a learning experience.  And I think I learned a lot.  Enough that version two of this chair will probably still be upholstered — I like the look of that — and will also have a curved back, probably made with bent lamination.  As before, the prototype will be made with pine, and if I like this one, then we might move on to making a set out of ash.  Let’s just hope I have enough wood for that.